31 years ago God decided he was sick of hearing shit on the radio and created Beyoncé to remedy the situation. To celebrate the birth of the music's leading lady, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit Bey's first single. Given the era-defining brilliance and chart slayage of "Crazy In Love" in 2003, it's easy to forget that the Queen tested the muddy waters of solo stardom a year earlier with "Work It Out". And fell flat on her face.
The Neptunes-produced, retro-funk anthem failed to dent the Hot 100 in America, which was a shock given the success of the Austin Powers in Goldmember (it grossed just under $300 million worldwide) and B's high profile as the only relevant member of Destiny's Child. I guess the song was just too quirky and raw for an era dominated by manufactured pop stars like Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. Happily, the raunchy jam has since become a live favorite and performed better internationally.
"Work It Out" just missed the top 20 in Australia but was a radio staple. I almost melted the CD single from overuse and still think it holds up as one of the best songs in Beyoncé's breathtaking catalogue of hits. You can almost smell the talent. That vocal haunts your fave to this day and she oozes star power in the video (below). Bey had much better luck with her next single but this will always have a special place in my heart. Happy birthday, your highness!