It’s Electric! This early fusion of Reggae and Hip-Hop became a full fledged hit and one of the most popular dances of all time. The “Electric Boogie” was actually written by Reggae icon Bunny Wailer in 1976. Broadway choreographer (Ric Silver) created a line dance “The Electric Slide” for the song, eventually seeking copyright protection as it caught fire.
The timeline of the song is every bit as intriguing as the dance phenomenon. Bunny Wailer’s 1976 demo was re-recorded by Marcia Griffiths (one of Bob Marley’s “i-Threes” singers). Island Records however did not release the song until 1982, and it would take another 8 years to become a hit.
At the time Bunny’s legacy was fully established as one of the original Wailers, but Marcia Griffiths herself was no mere backup singer. She hit the international charts in the late 60’s as part of the duo “Bob & Marcia” (with Bob Andy). Here is a remake of Nina Simone’s “Young, Gifted & Black”.
In the summer of 2018 an internet rumor surfaced that the hit song “Electric Boogie” was actually about a vibrator. It was a subject of much consternation by Bunny Wailer. He wrote directly to EDM.com:
“At no time have I ever lent credence to a rumor that the song was inspired by anything other than Eddie Grant’s Electric Avenue. To state otherwise is a falsehood and offends my legacy, the legacy of the singer Marcia Griffiths, and tarnishes the reputation of a song beloved by millions of fans the world over.”
You can’t see it, It’s electric! You gotta feel it
It’s electric! Ooh, it’s shakin’, It’s electric!
Jiggle-a-mesa-cara, She’s a pumpin’ like a matic
She’s a movin’ like electric, She sure got the boogie
You gotta know it, It’s electric, Boogie woogie, woogie!
Now you can’t hold it, It’s electric, Boogie woogie, woogie!
But you know it’s there, Yeah here there everywhere
Editor’s Note: Had Bob Marley written the song, the vibrator reference would be a distinct possibility (Kinky Reggae)… but Bunny Wailer has always expoused the spiritual aspects of Rasta. Regardless of the reason, the vibrant song has had yet another resurgence. Bunny (as the last surviving Wailer) is the only one to see his work “bubbling on the top 100, just like a mighty dread” during his lifetime.