The year was 1985 and Eddie Murphy was one of the most successful entertainers on the planet.
He was the only star to emerge from the wreckage of Saturday Night Live‘s disastrous sixth season and, by his presence along, he kept the show alive through some tough years. He had starred in the hit films 48 Hours, Trading Places, and Beverly Hills Cop. He had even won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for Eddie Murphy: Comedian. There was only one world left for Eddie Murphy to conquer, the world of music.
How Could It Be, Eddie Murphy’s first musical album, was released in 1985 and it spawned one hit single, the Rick James-produced Party All The Time, a song in which Murphy laments that his woman would rather party than take care of him. The critics may have hated it but Party All The Time was a hit, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Of course, there was a video:
The main thing that sticks out about this video is how seriously it wants us to take Eddie Murphy as a singer. Murphy may flash his trademark grin but the video mostly seems to be about convincing us that Murphy was not just another celebrity with a vanity album to sell. No, Murphy was a professional and, in case you had any doubts, just watch Rick James get down in the control booth!
Look at how much effort Eddie’s putting into the song!
Towards the end of the song, Rick leaves the control booth to perform with Eddie and to make sure we understand that Eddie Murphy is the real deal.
It’s too bad that Eddie’s being so professional because if any song seemed perfect for Murphy’s sarcastic and uninhibited comedic sensibility, it was Party All The Time.
Though Murphy is still best known as a comedian and actor, he has continued to record music. He even had another minor hit, a R&B song called Put Your Mouth On Me. (You read that right.) Though it’s been 25 years since he released his last album, Murphy did receive his first Oscar nomination in 2007 for playing R&B singer James “Thunder” Early in the musical Dreamgirls.
As for Party All The Time, it has more recently found new life as the unofficial anthem of Scotland’s St. Johnstone F.C.