|Article by Geoffrey Himes in Rolling Stone Magazine, 6113/96 Issue
- BERNARD EDWARDS, 1952 -1996
- BACK IN THE DISCO era, when most records went thump-thump-thump, the music produced by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers went bumpity-bip-bop, bing-bang-boom. As the founding members Of Chic, and as producers, song writers and players for such acts as Sister Sledge (We Are Family") and Diana Ross (Upside Down"), the bassist Edwards and guitarist Rodgers proved there was room for tremendous creativity in the seemingly narrow world of disco. Edwards, who grew up in Brooklyn, NY., died April 18 after a severe bout with pneumonia in Tokyo, where the reunited Chic were performing, He was 43.
- Edwards, Rodgers and drummer Tony Thompson came together in the mid-70s as a power trio called Big Apple Band. In 1977, the group shifted styles and released a disco song, "Dance, Dance, Dance," as Chic, and the tune became a hit. Their 1978 hit "Le Freak," with its innovative use of a string section as a rhythm instrument, sold 5 million copies. In 1979, "Good Times" went to No. 1; its rhythm tracks were recycled for the Sugar Hill Gang's groundbreaking "Rapper's Delight," and 'Good Times' inspired the tiff for Queen's 1980 hit 'Another One Bites the Dust.
- The big breakthrough for us was when rock stars like Debbie Harry and Jeff Beck said they wanted to play with us," Edwards said. "They recognized we could really play our instruments and weren't just disco robots" Chic disbanded in 1983. Edwards went on to produce music for such artists as Power Station ('Some Like It Hot," "Get It On") and Robert Palmer ('Addicted to Love," I Didn't Mean to Tum You On"). In 1992, Edwards and Rodgers re-formed Chic; they released a new album, Chic-ism (Warner Bros.), and an anthology, Dance, Dance, Dance: The Best of Chic (Atlantic/Rhino).