This song of the
disco era was written by Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch for their
group KC & The Sunshine Band originally called “What You Want Is What
You Get” with Harry Wayne Casey changing the title.
It was inspired
by the Gilbert O’Sullivan song “Get Down” and is based on
a guy going to a nightclub and trying to impress a girl, get her dancing and
then take her home. The songwriters used to go to nightclubs to get an idea
of what the popular culture was and use it for their sound. Richard Finch used the technique of having
the guitar solo sped up to double speed over the top of a guitar line at normal speed to be used
for the introduction of the song and it was hoped that this sound would help
the song become their “breakthrough”.
Don’t Know” on the B-Side it was released by them in 1975 as a single
from their second album, which was self titled and catapulted to the top of
the charts in the United States and Canada, making it the first of their five Billboard
Top 100 No. 1s and the R&B chart. It also made the charts internationally
when it reached No.5 in the Netherlands, No. 11 in Belgium, No. 21 in the UK and No. 44 in Australia.
Since its original
hit recording it was covered by the British group Shriekback
in 1988 with a video containing a very small clip of Harry Wayne Casey, in
1998 it was sampled for the UK No. 2 hit “Bamboogie”
by Bamboo and that same year had some of the chorus inserted for part of the
track “Get a Lil’ Head” by Mack
10 and then in 2010 it was recorded by Sing It Out Loud for the soundtrack
of MTV’s Turn the Beat Around.
It has also been
used in the soundtracks of many movies that include Arlington
Powers in Goldmember, Deuce Bigalow:
Male Gigolo, Forrest Gump, Hotel de Love, Rush Hour and Sid
and Nancy and TV shows that include The
Big Bang Theory, Friends, Futurama and House M.D.