Everybody Plays the Fool

"Everybody Plays the Fool"
Single by The Main Ingredient
from the album Bitter Sweet
B-side "Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me?)"
Released August 1972
Format 7"
Recorded 1972 at RCA's Studio C, New York City, New York
Genre Soul, R&B
Length 3:22
Label RCA Records
Writer(s) J.R. Bailey, Rudy Clark, Ken Williams
Producer(s) Luther Simmons, Tony Silvester
Certification Gold
The Main Ingredient singles chronology
"Black Seeds Keep on Growing"
"Everybody Plays the Fool"
"You've Got to Take It (If You Want It)"

"Everybody Plays the Fool" is the title of a popular song written by J.R. Bailey, Rudy Clark and Ken Williams. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best R&B Song at the 1973 ceremony.

The first recording of the song to reach the Top 40 in the United States was by the R&B group The Main Ingredient, a trio consisting at the time of Cuba Gooding, Sr., Tony Silvester and Luther Simmons, Jr. Their version of "Everybody Plays the Fool" rose to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the fall of 1972, and was certified gold by the RIAA.[1] This version also peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart and at No. 25 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart.[2] It was the group's highest charting hit single.

Chart performance

Weekly charts

Chart (1972) Peak
Australia KMR 44
Canada RPM Top Singles[3] 6
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 3
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 25
U.S. Billboard R&B 2
U.S. Cash Box Top 100[5] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (1972) Rank
Australia[6] 136
Canada[7] 66
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[8] 29
U.S. Cash Box[9] 29

"Everybody Plays the Fool"
Single by Aaron Neville
from the album Warm Your Heart
B-side "House on a Hill"
Released August 15, 1991
Format Soul
Length 4:25
Label A&M Records


Aaron Neville version

Singer Aaron Neville recorded a cover version of "Everybody Plays the Fool" in 1991 which also hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, reaching No. 8 in the fall of that year, and it spent 20 weeks on the chart.[1][11] This was Neville's third Top 10 hit on the pop chart, following "Tell It Like It Is" (1967, No. 2) and his duet with Linda Ronstadt, "Don't Know Much" (1989, No. 2). Neville's single also went to No. 1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart.[2] In addition, it was a No. 1 single in New Zealand.

Critical reception

The song received a positive review from AllMusic. Alex Henderson wrote "Everybody Plays the Fool" showed that Neville still had plenty of warmth and charisma.[12]

Chart performance

Weekly charts

Chart (1991) Peak
Canada RPM Top Singles[13] 19
Canada RPM Adult Contemporary[14] 3
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
US Billboard Hot 100[11][15] 8
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[15] 1
US Hot R&B Singles (Billboard) 2
US Cash Box Top 100[16] 11

Year-end charts

Chart (1991) Rank
Canada RPM Adult Contemporary[17] 28
New Zealand[18] 14
US Billboard Hot 100[19] 87

Other covers and uses

The electronic dance music artist Bassix also recorded a version of "Everybody Plays the Fool" during the late 1980s.

The track was featured in an episode of Everybody Hates Chris entitled "Everybody Hates Badboys".

The song was also played during an episode of Supernatural, episode 10 of season 5, "Abandon All Hope".


  1. 1 2 Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  2. 1 2 Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of No. 1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications)
  3. http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/films-videos-sound-recordings/rpm/Pages/image.aspx?Image=nlc008388.4203&URLjpg=http%3a%2f%2fwww.collectionscanada.gc.ca%2fobj%2f028020%2ff4%2fnlc008388.4203.gif&Ecopy=nlc008388.420
  4. Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  5. "Australian Chart Book". Austchartbook.com.au. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  6. "Top 100 Hits of 1972/Top 100 Songs of 1972". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  7. "Discogs Writing Credits". Discogs. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  8. 1 2 "Billboard Song Position". Billboard.com. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  9. Henderson, Alex. "AllMusic Review". AllMusic. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  10. "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  11. "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  12. 1 2 "AllMusic awards". AllMusic. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  13. "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  14. "Recorded Music New Zealand - Top Selling Singles of 1991". Retrieved 2016-04-27.
  15. "1991". Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 2016-10-06.

External links

Preceded by
"Time, Love and Tenderness" by Michael Bolton
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single
October 12, 1991
Succeeded by
"Too Many Walls" by Cathy Dennis

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