Wednesday, September 27, 2017

"Friends/Five Minutes of Funk" by Whodini

Song#:  2174
Date:  01/05/1985
Debut:  95
Peak:  87
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Hip-Hop, R&B, Rap

Let the new year being!  Welcome to the charts of 1985!

Pop Bits:  This Brooklyn trio was formed in 1981 and they quickly got the attention of Jive Records (Arista), who signed them to a deal in '82. Their self-titled debut album came out the following year and although it didn't chart, they did make some inroads at R&B with a pair of mid-charting singles including the #11 Dance track "Magic's Wand." Jive hung on to the trio and they proceeded to create their second LP titled Escape. At first, the album got off to a slow start with the first two singles making minor headway on the R&B chart. But things turned around quickly when this third single was released. The a-side, "Friends," took off at R&B and it became their first Top 10 reaching #4. The b-side "Five Minutes of Funk" caught some airplay and eventually the single was listed as a double-sided hit. It's popularity allowed it to leak over onto the Pop chart for a brief few weeks. It also got to #25 at Dance. The hit significantly helped the album and it got to #5 R&B and #35 Pop. Eventually it would be certified platinum.

ReduxReview:  While I was not familiar with the song, I did know the second single from the album "Freaks Come Out at Night," which got to #43 at R&B. I'm surprised that track didn't do better on the chart at the time, however I think it gained in popularity once the album caught on with this single. While "Freaks" was fun, this one is more on the serious side and it works very well. It has an addictive electro-groove, a good chorus, and a solid rap. Whodini were terrific at combining elements of hip-hop and R&B and their style would influence a lot of artists.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The first single from their debut album, "Magic's Wand," was originally penned to be an advertisement for NYC hip-hop radio DJ Mr. Magic. The trio would expand on it and record it for their first album. The song was co-written and co-produced by electro-music pioneer and one-hit wonder Thomas Dolby ("She Blinded Me with Science"). The track has become one of the group's most sampled songs.