KC and the Sunshine Band formed in 1973 and promptly set about conquering the charts. Their first major hit came with the single Get Down Tonight, a song that kicked off a series of number one dance floor fillers and sent the band’s career stratospheric. Since then, they’ve broken up, reunited, and enjoyed as many lows in their career as highs. Through it all, they’ve endured as one of the funkiest dance acts to ever hit the airwaves. Here’s our pick of the ten best KC and the Sunshine Band songs of all time.
10. Please Don’t Go
Kicking off our list of the 10 best KC and the Sunshine Band songs of all time is their first love ballad, Please Don’t Go, a shiny dance floor filler stuffed with smooth ripples of synth and liquid vocals. The song became another huge hit for the band in 1979, taking them to the top of the charts in Australia, Canada, and the UK. In the US, it became their fifth and final chart-topper on the Billboard Hot 100.
9. Keep It Coming Love
Like That’s The Way (I Like It), Keep It Coming Love lays the double entendres on with a spade. Also like That’s The Way (I Like It), it was a giant hit for the band. Recorded for the album Part 3 and released as a single in 1977, it climbed all the way to number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart. It also managed to achieve moderate crossover success, peaking at number 36 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. It proved just as much of a hit abroad, taking the band to number one in Canada, number 28 in Australia, and number 31 in the UK.
8. Shotgun Shuffle
As henrystonemusic.com notes, Shotgun Shuffle is remarkable for being an instrumental radio hit. It’s rare for a song without even the lightest smattering of vocals to fill up the dance floor, but this one did… and continues to do so to this day. It’s taken from the instrumental album The Sound of Sunshine, which also includes a standout cover of George McCrae’s hit, Rock Your Baby.
7. Give It Up
By the early ’80s, disco was officially dead. Or so people thought. And then along came KC and the Sunshine Band with the dance floor ready Give It Up and proved it had just been taking a little nap along. Released in August 1982 in the US and August 1983 in other countries, it stormed into the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and took the band all the way to number 1 in the UK, where it clung to the top spot for the next three weeks and became the 18th best selling single of the year. As it turned out, it spelled the end of the band’s time in the top ten in either the UK or the US, but it was a great last hurrah.
6. It’s The Same Old Song
It’s The Same Old Song was first recorded by the Four Tops in 1965. It became one of their biggest hits and signature songs – an extraordinary achievement, especially in light of how it went from concept to commercial release in just 24 hours. In 1978, KC and the Sunshine Band came along and put a disco spin on the classic. In comparison to the almighty success of their previous singles, it failed to make much of an impact in the charts, reaching number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 41 on Cashbox’s singles chart. Frontman Harry Wayne Casey blamed a lack of airplay, saying, “The record never got played and… our records go R&B first and then crossover to pop. But this one didn’t get the R&B support; it didn’t get the airplay.” It’s still a fabulous song though, and a definite highlight of the album, Who Do Ya Love.
5. Boogie Shoes
Boogie Shoes first made an appearance on the band’s 1975 self-titled album, but became a major hit in 1977 when it appeared on the soundtrack to “Saturday Night Live.” Capitalizing on the publicity, the band revisited it, releasing it as a single in March 1978 (the b side to which was Shake Your Booty, giving fans a double whammy of sunshine disco). It’s a little bit naughty but much too nice for anyone to kick up a fuss. It’s since been used in a slew of other films and TV shows, including “Desperate Housewives,” “Flash Forward,” and “Pose.”
4. That’s The Way (I Like It)
In 1975, KC and the Sunshine Band became one of the first groups in the history of the US charts to hit the top spot on more than one occasion in a one-month period with the super saucy That’s The Way (I Like It). It spent one week at number one in November before being replaced by Fly, Robin, Fly by Silver Convention. After Fly, Robin, Fly finished up its three-week run at the top, That’s The Way (I Like It) was waiting in the wings to take its place. Its sexually suggestive lyrics and groovy beats also went down a storm overseas, reaching number 4 in the UK, number 5 in Australia, and number 5 in Norway.
3. I’m Your Boogie Man
According to SongFacts, I’m Your Boogie Man was written about Robert W. Walker, a DJ at Y-100 in Miami, Florida who’d proven integral to the band’s early success by giving the group’s hit single Get Down Tonight airplay. “We wrote the song about [Walker] without telling him. He was the Boogie Man that brought all the funk and the good feeling and the vibes to the people every morning,” Richard Finch explains. Released as a single from the band’s fourth album Part 3, it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 3 on the soul charts. It also proved a success internationally, reaching number one in Canada and breaking the top 40 in various other countries.
2. (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty
At the time of its release in 1976, Shake Your Booty sent the moral majority into overdrive. According to them, the lyrics had sexual connotations. They were probably right. What they weren’t right about was that it made the song any less sensational, or any less impactful. It’s a song that, as Harry Wayne Casey himself says, makes people “get off their can and get out there and do it.” It’s also a song with the most “shake’s” per title of any number one ever released… reason enough to love it, whatever the naysayers say.
1. Get Down Tonight
There can only be one song at number one, and in this case, it couldn’t be anything else but Get Down Tonight. It’s the song that bears the immortal lines “Do a little dance. Make a little love. Get down tonight! Get down tonight!”, the song that has one of the most distinctive guitar solos ever committed to tape, and the song that gave the band their first-ever number 1 single. At this point, it’s as much of a legend as it is a song – if you haven’t already heard it, now’s the time.