Friday, March 16, 2018

"You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" by Dead or Alive

Song#:  2344
Date:  06/01/1985
Debut:  88
Peak:  11
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Dance-Pop, Hi-NRG

Pop Bits:  After a few iterations, this UK band led by Pete Burns finally came to life in 1980. They honed their chops in clubs while releasing some indie singles along the way. After one of their songs reached the UK indie chart, Epic Records came calling and the band signed up with them. They recorded their debut LP, Sophisticated Boom Boom, and one of the songs from it, a remake of KC & the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way (I Like It)," got to #22. Three other singles reached the lower rungs of the chart and that was enough for Epic to keep them on for another album. Their second effort, Youthquake, would be their breakthrough with this first single zooming up to #1 early in '85. The song finally found its way Stateside in the summer and it became a #4 Dance hit. The tune crossed over to Pop and it wound up peaking just outside the Top 10 in the dreaded #11 spot. The success of the single helped the album reach gold-level sales.

ReduxReview:  I remember when this song hit the airwaves. Its charging, in-your-face synths and urgent beat sounded like everyone involved had too much caffeine and speed. Add in Burns' deep monotone-ish vocals and the results were like nothing else on the radio. I bought into it and got the single. It was a fun track, but also one that could easily wear on you after repeated listens. It's a Hi-NRG song that actually takes a lot of NRG to listen to it. I nearly feel hyperactive after hearing it. The SAW sound (see below) would become a bit tiresome over the decade, but when it was in full bloom like this song, it was hard to resist.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This was the first US chart entry for the British songwriting/production team of Stock Aitken Waterman. Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, and Pete Waterman formed when Waterman asked the other two to join his production company. Their main focus was Hi-NRG dance music and they began producing and/or writing tracks for various artists in 1984. Their first significant hit in the UK was Divine's "You Think You're a Man," which got to #16. Right after that, they wrote and produced the #4 hit "Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)" for singer Hazell Dean. This Dead or Alive track, which they produced but did not write, would be their first project to reach #1 in the UK. Many more hits would follow including tracks by Bananarama, Rick Astley, Kylie Minogue, and Donna Summer. The SAW sound would be a staple throughout the 80s.  2) The chorus of this song was famously used/sampled in the 2009 #1 "Right Round" by Flo Rida, which featured additional vocals by Kesha. It was Flo Rida's second song reach #1 on the Pop chart and it stayed in that top spot for six weeks.

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