Let’s have a round of applause for Fitz and the Tantrums. With “HandClap,” the bouncy first single from the group’s new self-titled album, they really find their groove as they take clapping to the best rhythmic level since those Clapper commercials. The band, which will be performing at Terminal 5 in Manhattan on Tuesday, June 21, isn’t the first group to feature their hands in song. Here are some other hits that are hands-down among the best clappy songs ever.
I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND (1964) Everybody was clapping along to The Beatles’ first U.S. hit, which spent seven weeks at No. 1. The song finally was unseated from the top spot by the Fab Four’s second hit, “She Loves You,” on March 21, 1964.
CECILIA (1970) Simon and Garfunkel’s peppy tune, complete with claps throughout, belied what was actually a plea for the woman of the title to come home.
CAR WASH (1976) Forget your troubles, c’mon get clappy was the underlying message in Rose Royce’s chart-topping theme for the movie, also a hit, about a typical crazy day at an L.A. carwash.
TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN (1976) The Steve Miller Band struck gold with this ballad of Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue, who got into “a great big hassle” in Old El Paso. The Bonnie and Clyde-ish duo committed murder and robbery to the rhythm of clapping.
BETTE DAVIS EYES (1981) Kim Carnes’ smash about a seductress with “Harlow gold” hair, “sweet surprise” lips and those Bette Davis peepers topped the charts for nine weeks, no doubt with some help from the throbbing double-clap rhythms throughout the song.
JACK AND DIANE (1982) Clapping came into John Cougar’s downbeat tale of “two American kids doin’ the best they can” from the singer, who put his hands together while recording the song to keep a steady beat. He liked the sound so much, it remained.
FAITH (1987) George Michael never sounded cooler than with this megahit that featured a trunkload of cool sounds, including guitar strumming, finger clicking, tambourine banging and, of course, hands clapping.