On this day in music history: February 18, 1978 - “Too Hot Ta Trot” by the Commodores hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #24 on the Hot 100 on February 11, 1978. Written by Thomas McClary, Milan Williams, William King, Walter Orange, Ronald LaPread and Lionel Richie, it is the fourth chart topping single for the R&B/Funk band from Tuskgee, AL. By 1977, The Commodores hit their stride in a major way with the release of their self-titled fifth album. As it is riding the charts and the band are touring in support of it, their manager Benny Ashburn receives an offer for them to appear in a film. The film in question is the disco themed comedy “Thank God It’s Friday”, a joint venture between Casablanca Record & Filmworks and Motown Productions. The band agree to the offer and are also asked to write a song for the sequence in the film where they perform at The Zoo disco. The club location in “Friday” is actually the legendary Osko’s Disco on S. La Cienega Blvd in Los Angeles, famously photographed on the front and back cover of GQ’s “Disco Nights” album. On an extremely tight deadline, The Commodores are given only a day to record a song, as well as three days on set filming their scenes. The inspiration for “Too Hot Ta Trot” comes from a character in the film named Jackie (played by actress Mayra Small), with drummer and vocalist Walter Orange coming with the phrase and turning it into a chant. The other members of band pitch in, and the song is completed and recorded and recorded in the studio in one day. Included on “The Commodores Live” album and the soundtrack to “Thank God It’s Friday”, Motown releases “Too Hot Ta Trot” as a single on November 17, 1977. One of the funkiest cuts ever recorded by Alabama based funkateers, it is an immediate hit on R&B radio and on the dance floor. Entering the Hot 100 at #77 on December 17, 1977, and the R&B singles chart at #51 on December 24, 1977, “Trot” hits the top of the R&B chart and the top 30 on the pop chart within two months. Though “Thank God It’s Friday” takes a major drubbing from critics, it performs well at the box office, and The Commodores single drives their live album to number two the R&B album chart, number three on the Top 200, selling over a million copies in the US.
Which do you prefer, American or British rock (or both!)?
good question! if i compare it directly, most of my absolute favorite bands are british (like the stones, beatles, floyd, zeppelin, small faces, t.rex…) but on the other side, there’s also the californian rock scene which i absolutely love (y’know bands like the doors, quicksilver messenger service, country joe and the fish, jefferson airplane etc.) and i also love a lot of motown, funk and soul bands which were mainly american, and my #1 fave jimi hendrix was american too (don’t really know where to put the JHE as a band as noel and mitch were british), so yeah… i don’t really prefer either of the two, it rather depends on my mood, like i’ll have “phases” where i’m more into the 60s (then i’ll tendentially listen to more british bands) and other times, i’ll be in a stronger 70s phase (it’s always one of the two, there’s no in between lol it’s been going on like that for years; right now i am in the middle of one of those 70s phases after (re-)watching boogie nights, roller boogie and of course my all-time favorite movie almost famous) in which i have noticed that i’m listening to more american rock… i guess that’s because personally i always rather connect the 60s to great britain cause of the swingin’ london days and everything, and the 70s i rather tend to connect to the states (which is probably because i have read the biographies of pamela des barres, chris o’dell and bebe buell who were all mainly based in the US during the 70s and apart from that, i have watched a literal ton of movies either from or set in a place in 1970s USA, so that’s why)… i just like to have the best of both worlds haha! :D (i hope this ain’t an unsatisfactory boring answer, i rarely ever seem to be able to decide when someone asks me either-or questions lol)