You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" is the title of a 1978 single by American disco singer Sylvester James, who performed using just his first name, Sylvester. The song was Sylvester's first Top 10 hit in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at #8 on the UK singles chart. It was also a Top 10 hit in Italy, where the song reached #7. In Sylvester's home country, the single was his second Top 40 hit, peaking at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1979. The song appears on his 1978 album, Step II. A 12" single was released in 1978, with "Dance (Disco Heat)" as the A-side and "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" as the B-side, and these two extended dance mixes proved to be very popular in the dance clubs at the time. The two songs held down the top spot on the American dance chart for six weeks in August and September of 1978. These two songs helped to establish Sylvester's career as a noted disco and dance music performer, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Other versions

The song has been recorded by other musicians, including British singer Jimmy Somerville, formerly of the bands Bronski Beat and Communards. His 1989 version of the song also received substantial club play, and it peaked at #5 on the UK singles chart, making it the highest-charting version of the song in the UK. Somerville's version of this song appears on his first solo album, Read My Lips.

In 1991, actress/comedian/singer Sandra Bernhard recorded her own version of the single, which is a tribute to James, on her album Excuses for Bad Behavior (Part One). A series of 12" remix singles was released in 1994 by Epic Records' 550 Music imprint, who also signed Bernhard and picked up her album for a major push that same year. It peaked at number 13 on the Dance Club Play chart in 1995.

Also recording a cover of this song was Chicago-born house music singer Byron Stingily, formerly of the band Ten City. Like Sylvester's original recording, Stingily's cover version of "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" also went to #1 on the American dance chart, where it spent one week atop the chart in March of 1998. Although there have been instances where the same song, recorded by two different artists, has reached #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart ("Don't Leave Me This Way" is one example), it is still a fairly rare occurrence. This version also reached #13 in the UK.

See also

List of number-one dance hits (United States)

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