Nile Rodgers' 10 greatest songs ever, ranked

26 October 2022, 16:29

Nile Rodgers
Nile Rodgers. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Nile Rodgers is a true music icon. Not only is he a member of Chic, but he has produced so many pop classics over the years.

Nile has collaborated with countless artists over the years, and we've selected some of his finest moments in the studio to make for the perfect party playlist:

  1. George Michael - Fantasy

    George Michael and Nile Rodgers were working together on new material before the Wham! singer's death in 2016.

    The following year, a reworking of B-side 'Fantasy' produced by and featuring Rodgers was released.

  2. Chic - Le Freak

    Produced with Bernard Edwards, this song is truly one of the best disco anthems ever made.

    The song celebrates the famous Studio 54 in New York City and its notoriously long customer waiting lines, exclusive visitors, and strict doormen.

    Nile Rodgers later said it was created during New Year's Eve 1977, as a result of he and bassist Bernard Edwards being refused entrance, having been invited by Grace Jones, due to her failure to notify staff. He said the lyrics were originally "F*** off!" rather than "Freak out!"

    The song reached number 1 in the states and was a top 10 hit in the UK.

  3. Daft Punk - Get Lucky

    French duo Daft Punk teamed up with their hero for this huge single in 2013.

    It reached the top ten in over 32 countries, and has sold more than 9.3 million copies worldwide. Impressive stuff.

  4. Chic - I Want Your Love

    Sister Sledge were originally meant to sing this song, but instead, the bands swapped this and 'He's the Greatest Dancer' with each other.

    The slick disco anthem with Nile's irresistible guitar hooks was a top 5 hit in the UK in 1979.

  5. Sister Sledge - We Are Family

    This song was the first time Nile and Bernard Edwards wrote a song for another artist outside of their band Chic.

    It was perfect for Sister Sledge, and it became another disco staple.

    According to Nile Rodgers, the verses of the song were mostly verbatim from how Sister Sledge were described by the record label chief. Nile and Bernard simply walked immediately to the studio, rearranged their notes from the meeting into lyrics, and wrote the song.

  6. Diana Ross - Upside Down

    Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards teamed up for Motown legend Diana Ross's lead single from her Diana album. It was a huge success around the world, topping the US chart.

    Nile later said: "Diana Ross was the first big star we ever worked with and we took it very seriously.

    "This was the first time in her life somebody cared about who she was; what she was — everyone previously had treated her the way we had treated Sister Sledge — they got her in and said 'Sing this'. We (took a more personal approach)."

  7. Chic - Good Times

    Perhaps an even bigger success for Chic than 'Le Freak', this track went on to become one of the most sampled songs in pop history, including on The Sugarhill Gang's 'Rapper's Delight' later in the same year.

    The song's lyrics include references to Milton Ager's 'Happy Days Are Here Again' and Al Jolson's 'About a Quarter to Nine'. Nile said that the Great Depression-era lyrics were their way of commenting on the then-current economic issues in the United States.

  8. Duran Duran - The Reflex

    Nile Rodgers didn't produce the original version of this track, but his remixed 7-inch and 12-inch singles would become the version we all know and love

    He later worked with Duran Duran on their Notorious album.

  9. Madonna - Like a Virgin

    Nile Rodgers produced this iconic song by himself, but he wasn't totally sure about it at first.

    It was only after he found himself humming along to it that he relented.

    "I handed my apology to Madonna and said, 'you know... if it's so catchy that it stayed in my head for four days, it must be something. So let's do it."

  10. David Bowie - Let's Dance

    David Bowie scored one of the biggest hits of his whole career thanks to his Nile Rodgers-produced pop anthem.

    Nile later said that Bowie came into his apartment one day, showed him a photograph of Little Richard in a red suit getting into a bright red Cadillac, and said: "Nile, darling, that's what I want my album to sound like."