The Hustle (song)

12 hours ago
Albert Flores

"The Hustle" is a disco song by songwriter/arranger Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony. It went to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts during the summer of 1975. It also peaked at No. 1 on the Canadian RPM charts, No. 9 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report) and No. 3 in the UK. It would eventually sell over one million copies. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance early in 1976 for songs recorded in 1975.


While in New York City to make an album, McCoy composed the song after his music partner, Charles Kipps, watched patrons do a dance known as "the Hustle" in the nightclub Adam's Apple. The sessions were done at New York's Mediasound studio with pianist McCoy, bassist Gordon Edwards, drummer Steve Gadd, keyboardist Richard Tee, guitarists Eric Gale and John Tropea, and orchestra leader Gene Orloff. +more Producer Hugo Peretti contracted multi-woodwind player Phil Bodner to play the piccolo lead melody.

During the summer of 1975, "The Hustle" became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles charts. +more Billboard ranked it as the No. 21 song for 1975. It also peaked at No. 9 on the Australian Singles Chart (Kent Music Report) and No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart.

According to producers Hugo & Luigi who owned the Avco record label that originally released "The Hustle", McCoy met with them shortly before his death in 1979 to discuss ideas for a new, longer version of the song, in order to appease Avco's UK and German affiliates who were clamoring for a 12" disco single release. The new version, clocking in at just under 6-and-a-half minutes, was assembled posthumously as a remix, using parts of the original recording plus new parts, including drum, Syndrum, and a "little" Moog synthesizer. +more It was credited to Van McCoy alone or with an unnamed orchestra, mixed by "The Mix Masters", identity unknown.

Appearances in other media

The song has been featured in numerous movies and television shows including Vampires Suck, the Shark Tale short film Club Oscar, The Lorax, That '70s Show, American Dad!, and Futurama

Chart performance

Weekly charts

Chart (1975)Peak position
Australian Singles Chart9
Austrian Singles Chart13
Belgium (Flanders) Singles Chart3
Canada RPM Top Singles1
Canada RPM Adult Contemporary1
Dutch Top 404
French Singles Chart32
German Singles Chart3
New Zealand Singles Chart5
South Africa (Springbok)5
Spain (Los 40 Principales)1
UK Singles Chart3
U. S. +more Billboard Hot 1001
U. S. Billboard Hot Soul Singles1
U. S. Billboard Adult Contemporary2
U. S. Cash Box Top 1001

Year-end charts

Chart (1975)Rank
New Zealand19
U. S. +more Billboard Hot 10021
U. S. Cash Box18

Certifications and sales

Other versions

Italian rapper Talko made a rap cover of "The Hustle". It was released in 1983 on Babalu Records.

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