2007   JUNE 30   #181

Chubby Checker Goes Disco!

"In a way, 'The Twist' really ruined my life. I was on my way to becoming a big nightclub performer, and 'The Twist' just wiped it out. It got so out of proportion. No one ever believes I have talent." -Chubby Checker

A: The Rub (4:59)
B: Move It (4:42)

During my last used vinyl store run, I nearly killed myself going through every last 12" single they had in the racks. It was worth it, though, as I got some good stuff (like "Woodpeckers from Space" by Video Kids) including this Halloween-colored disco single by none other than Chubby Checker. I was slightly miffed at the $9 price tag... all I could think was, "Damn, this better be good. The E.T. Storybook Album (narrated by Michael Jackson!) only costs $7, and that's supposed to be pretty rare." I quickly realized it was worth the money simply just to hear Chubby's attempt at disco.

Likely one of of his final attempts to break free of the stigma of The Twist (at age 35, no less!) Mr. Checker put out this single during the early days of disco in 1976. Both sides are borderline forgettable tunes, with either one tackling one of the specific halves of the disco genre: the "slow, creepy make-out music" half, and the "mindless dance music" half, respectively. "The Rub", the A-side, is actually the weaker of the two songs, partly because it's musically unremarkable, and partially because I can't stop picturing Chubby singing this song while making grinding motions with his body. "Move It" is also kind of on the generic side, but it's got some nice synth sounds (didn't hear too much of those in 1976) and it gets pretty funky when the sax solos come in.

Unsurprisingly, I can't find any reference to this single on Chubby's site, since he's pretty much given up on trying to be anything but "the guy who made The Twist" and devotes his entire site to the song's notoriety, more or less. Nor can I find an entire Chubby Checker disco album that this single may have been pulled from. Ah well. Goodonya for trying, Chubby.

- Contributed by: The Swill Man

Images: Sleeve, A-Side, B-Side

Media: 45 rpm 12" single
Label: Amherst Records
Catalog: AMH-D-4
Credits: Written by "C. Checker/M. Washington", producer/arranger: Lou Hemsey
Date: 1976