Lipps Inc. – Funkytown
Lipps Inc. was an R&B/Funk/Disco band from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA best known for the 1980 worldwide hit “Funkytown”.
The group was best known for the Double-Platinum-selling 1980 chart-topping hit “Funkytown”, which hit #1 in 28 different countries around the world.
The group originally consisted of a changing lineup of session musicians, including guitarist David Rivkin, guitarist Tom Riopelle, bassist Terry Grant and vocals by Cynthia Johnson. Steven Greenberg, the creator of the act, wrote and produced most of the group’s music.
Lipps Inc.’s first release was a 1979 single, “Rock It”, on Greenberg’s own Flight imprint. The act released its debut album Mouth to Mouth in late 1979. The second single from this album, “Funkytown”, spent four weeks at #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts in the United States.
The 7″ single sold over two million copies within a few months and was awarded a platinum record within the same year of its release . It reached #2 in the United Kingdom and was a hit throughout the world.
Lipps Inc.’s later singles failed to match the band’s initial success (the only other Hot 100 entry was “Rock It”, which peaked at #64); however, more dance hits were released throughout the 1980s, including “How Long?” in 1981 (originally a hit for Ace), which reached #4 on the U.S. dance chart.
After the third album, Designer Music, Johnson left the band and was replaced by Margie Cox and Melanie Rosales. Lipps Inc. released its final album, 4, in 1983 before disbanding two years later.
The Australian group, Pseudo Echo had a successful cover version of “Funkytown” in the summer of 1987. It reached #6 in the US, #8 in the UK, and topped the charts in Australia for seven weeks from December 1986, as well as charting high in New Zealand and many other countries around the world.
The British band, World Domination Enterprises covered “Funkytown” on its album Let’s Play Domination in 1998.
The Mexican Rap/Rock group, Molotov released a cover of the song, “Designer Music” on its album Con Todo Respeto.
The French Industrialist outfit Treponem Pal offered its take of “Funkytown” on its 1997 album, Higher.
The novelty comedy duo 2 Live Jews produced a satire of “Funkytown” titled Bargain Town on the album Disco Jews.
The Swedish group Alcazar covered “Funkytown” on its “Disco Defenders”, released on March 11, 2009.
Awards and Recognitions
Three Billboard Music Awards, 1980
Platinum and Double-Platinum Status with Funkytown
Inductee into Minnesota Music Hall of Fame
Inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Ohio
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