Every Tuesday, the Analog Kid blog goes back in time and features some of the best groovy R&B/soul songs from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. Sometimes you’ll hear songs from individual artists or from a specific year, and other times you’ll get an entire full-length classic LP ripped directly from the Analog Kid’s vast vinyl vault. Warning: by R&B/soul, I also mean disco. I could go all Tavares on your ass at any given moment, so just be ready!
Scoff if you must, but I happen to think that “Kung Fu Fighting” is a great pop song. I don’t care if it was essentially written and recorded in 10 minutes at the end of a session for another song. I don’t care if Carl Douglas never had another Top 40 hit in the United States. I don’t care if Biddu– the song’s producer and co-writer– had to be persuaded by the record label to release it as an A-side.
The appeal of “Kung Fu Fighting” is very simple:
“Well, Dick, it’s catchy and it has a good beat and you can dance to it.”
“Kung Fu Fighting” has sold over eleven million copies to date, and went to #1 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa, the U.K., and the United States. Of course, I was responsible for one of those eleven million copies sold. I karate-chopped my way around our house for months back in late 1974 and early 1975 while listening to the 45, and I can only imagine that millions of other little boys and girls around the world did exactly the same thing.
If you consider “Kung Fu Fighting” to be one of the ultimate one-hit wonders, you might be a little surprised by the quality of the album it comes from. Kung Fu Fighting And Other Great Love Songs (words cannot describe just how much I love that title!) is actually a very credible soul record, and almost spawned a second Top 40 hit in the U.S. in “Dance The Kung Fu.” The album has never been released on CD, so I am happy to share a brand-new 320 kbps rip of my original vinyl in the hope that it will meet all of your kung fu requirements.
Perhaps you are still scoffing. Even if you are, one thing’s for certain: as far as one-hit wonders go, “Kung Fu Fighting” is a heck of a lot more fun to listen to than “Run Joey Run” or “Convoy”…
Carl Douglas: Kung Fu Fighting And Other Great Love Songs
20th Century Records, 1974
320 kbps vinyl rip courtesy of the Analog Kid
1. “Kung Fu Fighting” (Douglas/Biddu)
2. “Witchfinder General” (Douglas)
3. “When You Got Love” (Biddu)
4. “Changing Times” (Douglas)
5. “I Want To Give You My Everything” (Weiss)
6. “Dance The Kung Fu” (Douglas/Biddu)
7. “Never Had This Dream Before” (Vanderbilt)
8. “I Don’t Care What People Say” (Biddu/Vanderbilt)
9. “Blue-Eyed Soul” (Biddu)
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
David Geddes: “Run Joey Run” (Vance/Perrcione)
From the album Run Joey Run
Big Tree Records, 1975
C.W. McCall: “Convoy” (McCall/Fries/Davis)
From the album Black Bear Road
MGM Records, 1975