The song was written by band members Bernard Edwards(bass) and Nile Rodgers (guitar). They released it on their 1978 album C’est Chic and as a single backed with “You Can Get By.” The story behind the song goes something like this. Edwards and Rodgers were invited by Grace Jones to meet her at Studio 54 on New Year’s Eve, 1977, as her guest to talk about some production work for her (as well as party, no doubt). Chic at that time also had their first hit with “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)” in 1977. That song had played at Studio 54. However, they were denied entrance because they weren’t on the list. Studio 54 was known for its long lines and fierce doormen. Anyway, all decked out and rejected, Edwards and Rodgers went back to Edwards’ apartment, had a jam session, and wrote “Le Freak.” The working title had more to do with “F*** Off” and “Freak Off,” but they calmed down and changed direction a bit. The lyrics do mention the old days of Stompin’ at the Savoy, and they invite people to “come on down to the 54.”
“Le Freak” is the first song to go to the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 three separate times. It went to #1 at the end of 1978, then dropped to #2 for “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” (Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond). It then regained #1 and dropped to #2 for “Too Much Heaven (The Bee Gees). Then in January 1979, it went to #1 again. “Le Freak” was a mega -hit internationally. It earned RIAA platinum certification in the U.S, gold in the U.K., platinum in France, and 2x platinum in Canada.
Chic considered themselves a rock band for the disco movement “that made good on hippie peace, love and freedom.”