36 Days of Adrenaline: Day 10 — “Da Butt”

Artist: E.U.

Why this song is an adrenaline rush: There are songs that make you want to dance, and there are songs that absolutely compel you to dance. This is one of the latter. Straight from the opening drum riff and horn blast, “Da Butt” lays down a groove that forbids you to sit still. Even if I’m driving in the car when this song comes on, my hips immediately start undulating. (If you have a problem with that visual, that’s on you.)

Lyric line that’s fun to belt at maximum volume:

When you get that notion
Put your backfield in motion!

Fun factoids:

  • Contrary to popular assumption, the band name E.U. does not stand for “European Union.” Instead, it stands for “Experience Unlimited.” The band’s use of the initials precedes that of the political organization (under its present name) by nearly 20 years.
  • E.U.’s musical style, go-go, enjoyed a brief explosion of popularity in the mid-to-late 1970s, primarily in the Washington, D.C. area. Go-go can probably be best defined as a merger of funk/R&B with Latin rhythm and percussion instruments. The genre’s best-known practitioner, Chuck Brown, scored with “Bustin’ Loose,” which experienced a resurrection when Nelly sampled it for his megahit “Hot in Herre,” and when the Washington Nationals baseball team adopted “Bustin’ Loose” as their unofficial theme song.
  • “Da Butt” is prominently featured in Spike Lee’s second feature film, School Daze. Although Spike has gone on to direct some of the finest American films of the past quarter-century — including Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing, 25th Hour, and Inside Man — the goofy, irreverent, and admittedly uneven School Daze was my introduction to his work, and remains a personal favorite.
  • For the record, here’s the roll call of girls who “got a big ol’ butt” in the song’s bridge: Tanya, Shirley, Irene, Theresa, Sonya, Melissa, Tammy, and little Keisha. If you answer to any of those (or any other) names, and you too “got a big ol’ butt,” wear it proudly, girlfriend.
  • And I don’t care what you thought you heard — E.U. lead vocalist Sugar Bear (real name, Gregory Elliott) never, ever utters the phrase “do it in da butt.” Shame on you.

Other songs by E.U. that I could have chosen instead: “Buck Wild,” “Gimme That Beat,” “Shake It Like a White Girl.” (Avoid E.U.’s later material, which found the band trying to expand its audience by pumping out flaccid R&B ballads. Stick to their earlier go-go records, which are guaranteed to launch a dance marathon in your iTunes.)

[Late to the party? Here’s an explanation of 36 Days of Adrenaline.]

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Explore posts in the same categories: 36 Days of Adrenaline, Soundtrack of My Life, SwanStuff, That's Cool!

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