37 Best Funk Songs Ever


“You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate

Song year: 1975

Hot Chocolate's “You Sexy Thing” has become a significant cultural artifact, making crowds dance every time it plays in public. The band's lead singer Errol Brown wrote the song with Tony Wilson, and they released it on their self-titled album.

Several films use the song in their soundtrack, including Legally Blonde, What Happens in Vegas, and The Monty.

“Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder

Song year: 1974

“Higher Ground” is a funk song from the famed and prolific Stevie Wonder's album Innervisions. The song is an impressive feat of the genre, especially considering that Wonder wrote and recorded it in a total of three hours when inspiration struck hard in 1973.

Stevie Wonder capitalizes on his musical genius abilities with this track, playing every single instrument in addition to vocals. The dedication earned him the number four spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B Singles chart.

“Superstition” by Stevie Wonder

Song year: 1972

Stevie Wonder's “Superstition” came about when he found himself messing around in the studio one day. He released it on Talking Book to start a conversation about the consequences of giving some superstitions any power.

The tune peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, which Wonder had held many times before. He won two Grammys for it, Best Rhythm and Blues Song and Best R&B Vocal Performance.”

“Jungle Boogie” by Kool and the Gang

Song year: 1973

Kool and the Gang released the funk song “Jungle Boogie” on their album Wild and Peaceful. It quickly became a nightclub classic through the '70s and '80s and still plays at funk and disco nights.

The band's frontman does not perform the lead vocals–In fact, their roadie Don Boyce sings the song. The composition includes “jungle-like” elements, including a Tarzan-esque yell at the end and gorilla grunts.

“Slide” by Slave

Song year: 1977.

The band Slave, formed in Ohio, traveled two states over to New Jersey to record their hit song “Slide.” It is the lead single on their debut album Slave, and peaked at number 32 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

The jam is popular enough to feature in several pop culture artifacts, like Marcus Raboy's 2002 stoner comedy Christmas film Friday After Next. A Tribe Called Quest sampled the funk beat in “Go Ahead in the Rain,” and Travis Scott used portions of it in “Flying High.”

“Shining Star” by Earth, Wind, and Fire

Song year: 1975

Maurice White, Larry Dunn, and Philip Bailey worked together to compose “Shining Star,” with White and Bailey on the lead vocals. It was a milestone release, as the song soon became Earth, Wind, and Fire's first single to hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles.

“Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine (Part 1)” by James Brown

Song year: 1970

James Brown sings the lead vocals on his hit song “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine (Part 1),” while funk singer Bobby Byrd takes the backing vocals. The song's start features a staged conversation between Brown and the rest of his band members. It leads the listener into a funky jam with many trumpet sounds, a piano, a guitar, and a sax.

“Rock Steady” by The Whispers

Rock Steady by The Whispers

Song year: 1987

The Whispers' 18th studio album Just Gets Better with Time proved the truth in its title with the inclusion of their hit single “Rocky Steady.” It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and seven on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs, making it their highest-charting single ever.

The funk song includes elements of the “new jack swing” genre, fusing r&b with dance-pop and hip-hop.

“Don't Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson

Song year: 1979

The King of Pop did not confine himself to the pop genre, becoming one of the most notable names in the funk genre, too. He wrote and recorded the disco-funk tune “Don't Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” for his fifth album, Off the Wall.

The song is a mile marker for the artist, winning him his first Grammy and AMA, which is why many consider it his most significant solo work.

“Brick House” by the Commodores

Song year: 1977

The Commodores released “Brick House” on their eponymous 1977 album. It quickly gained popularity, rising to number five on the US charts. The funky disco tune describes a woman with a great body and uses a horn to bleep out a crass word that comes between “brick” and “house.”

“You Dropped a Bomb on Me” by the Gap Band

Song year: 1982

The Gap Band released “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” as a single and on their studio album Gap Band IV. It peaked at 31 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and two on Hot Black Singles, making it one of the band's highest-charting songs.

The most noteworthy part of the song is its use of whistling instruments that recreate the sound of a bomb dropping, a creative accompaniment to the lyrics.

“Love Rollercoaster” by Ohio Players

Song year: 1975.

The Ohio Players released “Love Rollercoaster” on their seventh and best studio album, Honey. The Recording Industry Association of America certified the song as gold after it hit number one on the American charts and number two in Canada.

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