Long before the Spice Girls
translated sisterhood into glittery Pop, Sister Sledge did it with 1979's 'We Are Family'. It vindicated the four sisters, Debra, Joni, Kim and Kathie Sledge from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA whose only previous glimpse of mainstream chart action had been their 1975 UK
hit 'Mama Never Told Me
', despite recording since 1971 and touring the world, sometimes supporting Funk legends Rick James
and George Clinton
They were plucked from obscurity by Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards, whose elegant Disco was being honed with Chic. The platinum We Are Family (1979)- with its anthemic title track, 'He's The Greatest Dancer' and 'Lost In Music'- was as key to establishing the Chic sound as that band's own records.
After the album Love Somebody Today (1980) and a 1982 hit with Mary Wells' 'My Guy', their US profile slid again, but Europe faithfully bought remixes and best-ofs and sent 1985's jaunty 'Frankie' (from When The Boys Meet The Girls) to UK No.1. After that, despite vocalist Kathie's solo stab Heart (1992) and ongoing touring, they hit the news only in 1998, when Will Smith reworked 'He's The Greatest Dancer' as the US No.1 'Gettin' Jiggy Wit It' and Spice Girls took to encoring with, appropriately enough, 'We Are Family'. The anthem was also adopted by another bunch of noisy gals: Babes In Toyland included it on 1995's Nemesisters. The Fall also made a fine cover of Lost in Music, which is on their '93 album The Infotainment Scan.