Funkytown – Lipps, Inc. | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: R&B (#2) and Pop (#1 for 4 weeks); 1980

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Lipps, Inc. was the proverbial “one man band.” The man in this case was Steven Greenberg who played most of the instruments, wrote the tunes, and produced the recordings for the Lipps, Inc. albums and singles.

The lyrics to Funkytown were born out of Steven’s boredom with his native Minneapolis, and his desire to move to a fantasy funky town. One listen to the final recording and it’s clear that vocals are one part for which Steven was not responsible.

That department belonged to a 24-year-old police department secretary named Cynthia Johnson, who was also moonlighting with a band called Flyte Tyme. Cynthia’s audition wowed Steven, and she became the voice of Lipps, Inc. Funkytown, propelled by Cynthia’s urgent vocals, was irresistible; generating platinum sales for the man behind the band, Steven Greenberg.

PostFunkytown, Lipps, Inc placed only one more track on the Hot 100 while Johnson’s former gang evolved into Prince’s red-hot funk band, The Time.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Steven Greenberg

Lyrics Written by:

  • Steven Greenberg