Nile Rodgers relates that when "Dance Dance Dance (Yowsah Yowsah Yowsah)" was played at Billboard's 1977 Disco Convention the bass was so prominent that it was "blowing speakers". Of that, I have no doubt as most DJ's at the time were boosting the bass to gut shaking levels out of songs like "Fly Robin Fly" and other songs where the bass was not really optimized. Then along comes this ready for the dance floor stomper with the bass perfectly produced without removing the sub-bass, along with the drums of the gods played by Tony Thompson that needed no embellishing. Chic was gunning for a production deal with Ashford & Simpson who had established a booming, live rhythm track on songs like Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman", Diana Ross's "The Boss" and then their own "Found A Cure". Thompson provided a solid back beat with his explosive drumming techniques and seasoned it with lots of snare that got filled out by Bernard Edwards supple basslines and Nile Rodgers incessantly catchy guitar scratching. The pair first met in 1970, just out of high school and played jazz clubs and beer dives in NYC. In 1972 they met drummer Tony Thompson to create a Roxy Music type art rock band and dubbed themselves The Big Apple Band. Did you know that Rodgers was once a guitarist with the "Sesame Street" touring band? Around the same time, he worked with Edwards in a black rock band (a la Living Colour who followed in those footsteps) called Allah & The Knife Wielding Punks. However the female voices in a rock band did not seem to work within the inherently macho world of rock and roll. Rodgers relates that when disco appeared on the scene it was "like a gift from heaven, because disco was not about being black, white, male or female". Shopping themselves around, they were refused by every label they approached, and were even turned down TWICE by Atlantic Records, who eventually signed them. When "Dance" was recorded, the pair took the song to a DJ at The Night Owl in NYC who was already playing a couple of their songs. Once the pair saw the dance floor reaction, they decided to form a band and looked for a concept to wrap it in. Looking out at the dance floor, they saw the fine ladies and dapper gentlemen all dressed up in suits and cocktail dresses, very upscale, all boogieing down and realized that they had found it. The name was little harder, and they looked around to something elemental and simple like KISS, a band that they both idolized. After a few names got tossed around, the name Chic stood out. KISS had two repeated letters, so did Chic. Roxy, Chic and KISS all had four letters, it was almost as fate had decided the name for them. The concept of Chic evoked an upscale sophistication with a French sensibility that served them well. The liberal use of the "Yowsah Yowsah Yowsah" chant in "Dance Dance Dance" hearkened back to the dance marathons of the the 1930's via Gig Young's performance in the 1969 film "They Shoot Horses, Don't They". When I first heard this song, that is exactly where I remembered the chant from. Music is all about concept, cultural references and a turn of a phrase to create an earworm that enters your consciousness with something vaguely familiar, but totally new sounding. "Dance" made stars of Chic, but the original vocalist Norma Jean Wright left after that recording, Alfa Anderson and Luci Martin were brought on board to fill out the band. The song first peaked at #1 for eight weeks in October of 1977 then it went #6 on the Hot 100 and the R&B surveys. Vince Aletti notes that for his September 24, 1977 report on the NYC clubs that the original release was on Buddah, then part of Arista Records and that DJ only promo versions were to be available that week. In his October 8 column, he relates that Buddah and Atlantic Records both claimed to have purchased the rights to the song and both were rush releasing the song on their respective labels. Both labels were credited a a source of the song, but by October 29th, only Atlantic's release was being noted.