"Play That Funky Music," by Wild Cherry
How much fun is this song? Barrels of monkeys everywhere have no choice but to bow in its direction -- that's how much fun it is. It tells a story, it mocks itself, it growls, it comments socially, it scorches you with its guitars (the very brief solo is acutely, burningly precise), and moves your limbs and pulse with its horns and percussive, bassy joy, and its singers convince you that they mean every word they sing. It happened in 1976, which is about an average half-life span ago. I was listening to a lot of blues and rootsy rock 'n' roll back then, but I always turned up the car radio when this barrel of monkeys came on. Who wouldn't? And who wouldn't turn it up at any time in the intervening forty years no matter where he was or whom he was with, or no matter how old he and his fellow listeners were? None of 'em would have a choice but to stop whatever they were doing for this untamed burst of soulful fun. The band should've called itself "Wild Cheery."