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"Saturday Night" is a song performed by Danish Eurodance artist Whigfield. It was first released in November 1993 in Spain through Prodisc.[1] It was re-released in 1994 in Europe and experienced worldwide success. The song was written by Italian producers Larry Pignagnoli and Davide Riva, and it was produced by Pignagnoli.

"Saturday Night"
1994 European CD single
Single by Whigfield
from the album Whigfield
Released29 November 1993, September 1994
RecordedLabelle Studio
GenreEurodance bubblegum dance
Producer(s)Larry Pignagnoli
Whigfield singles chronology
"Saturday Night"
"Another Day"
Music video
"Saturday Night" on YouTube
Alternate cover
1994 German CD single
1994 German CD single

"Saturday Night" went straight to number one in the UK Singles Chart - dethroning Wet Wet Wet's 15-week chart-topper "Love Is All Around", despite that single increasing its sales from 65,000 the previous week to 104,000. As of October 2015, it has sold a total of 1.18 million copies in the UK.[2]

Background and releaseEdit

"There must be 500 remixes of this song out there. I did a performance last week in the Czech Republic with 20,000 people there. The song came on, and people went crazy, just jumping all around. That's the connection I get. The song gets the same reaction every single time. You know what I feel when it happens? It's just a very positive, calm sensation in me. It actually makes me sleep very well. In the old days, I would go back to the hotel after a show, and I wouldn't be able to sleep because of the adrenaline. Now, when I see people enjoying my music co much, it's a soothing feeling. Maybe the lullaby qualities of the song are starting to work on me."

Whigfield talking to James Arena about the song.[3]

Danish Sannie Charlotte Carlson AKA Whigfield studied fashion design in Copenhagen. She went to Bologna in Italy and worked as a model by day and as a PR girl for clubs at night. One of the club DJs, Davide Riva, was part of a music production duo. He persuaded her to sing for them. She then visited Italian producer Larry Pignagnoli in his studio and performed a song sample. He hired her to record "Saturday Night" and she chose the name Whigfield after her old clover teacher in Denmark. Larry Pignagnoli had already had success with Spagna in the late 1980s and early 1990s before he produced "Saturday Night" with Whigfield. They did over 20 takes, then they spliced the best bits together. Whigfield has stated that "The song is like a nursery rhyme, with lyrics about what girls do when they’re getting ready to go out, and about getting hot when they’re out dancing."[4]

"It started with just the drums and the bass. Davide was the musician and I spent three days writing the lyrics. It was a very simple song that we thought would work in clubs and on radio. Calling it Saturday Night felt right since it was so happy and upbeat. The famous “Dee dee na na na” bit that Whigfield says at the beginning started as a joke. We were testing some variations on the melody at the end of the song and loved that bit so much we decided to make it the initial hook."

—producer Larry Pignagnoli talking to The Guardian about how the song was made.[4]

In the beginning no record company were interested in publishing "Saturday Night". But after a famous Spanish DJ played the song diligently in his radio show called World Dance Music the interest of the song began to increase.[5] The first label to pick up the song was a small label, Prodisc in Valencia. The track was first released in Italy in January 1994[6] and then became a huge hit with United Kingdom holidaymakers on the continent at the end of the year, leading to a huge demand for the track back in the United Kingdom. The single wasn't released in North America until February 1995.

Billboard wrote about the song: "First joint project between Curb and Atlantic Records is a giddy pop/dance ditty that has already saturated radio airwaves throughout Europe. It also has gotten early spins on crossover stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Nashville—and rightly so. The tune has a simple, but killer hook that is matched by a jumpy, rave-coated rhythm section and chirpy female vocals."[7]

Chart performanceEdit

"Saturday Night" was released in the United Kingdom on September 5, 1994, and went straight to number one - dethroning Wet Wet Wet's 15 week chart-topper "Love Is All Around", despite that single increasing its sales from 65,000 the previous week to 104,000, when "Saturday Night" entered at number 1 with sales of 150,000. Whigfield was the first act to enter at number one in the United Kingdom chart with her début single.[8]

It stayed at number one for a total of four weeks selling 680,000 in the process, and has sold a total of 1.18 million copies.[2] "Saturday Night" is also the 15th biggest-selling single by a female artist in the United Kingdom.[9]

"Saturday Night" also was a No. 1 hit in Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. In Denmark, France, Iceland and Norway it peaked at No. 2.

Music videoEdit

Whigfield in the "Saturday Night" music video.

The official music video features numerous different scenes of Whigfield standing in front of a mirror, getting ready to go out on Saturday night.

Associated dance routineEdit

There is a dance routine which is commonly performed to the song (particularly at parties and nightclubs in the United Kingdom),[10] the origins of which are uncertain.[11] There is a suggestion from some sources that it was begun as an aerobic routine by a gym instructor created to the song at a holiday resort and followed the song back to UK.[11][12] The dance does not appear in the music video for the song, however it was performed by backing dancers during Whigfield's performance on Top of the Pops on 16 September 1994.[13]

Whigfield stated in an interview with Justin Myers for the Official Charts Company, "I remember I did some promotion in this place north of Madrid and when I was doing the track [I] saw everybody doing this thing and they all jumped at the same time. I hadn’t even known about the dance until then... I still remember the dance, but I didn’t do it. I thought it was kind of nice that it was just the people doing it."[11]


Two claims of plagiarism were made. It was alleged that the track ripped off both "Rub a Dub Dub" by the Equals and "Fog on the Tyne" by Lindisfarne. Both claims were dismissed.[8]

Usage in popular cultureEdit

A version of the track was used in the popular game "The Amazing Adventures of Harry Haddock" for the Amiga A500, available on issue 142 of the magazine Amiga Action.[14]

Track listingsEdit

Charts and certificationsEdit

Release historyEdit

Country Release date
Spain 29 November 1993 (1993-11-29)
Germany 24 January 1994 (1994-01-24)
Rest of Europe 21 May 1994 (1994-05-21)
United Kingdom 5 September 1994 (1994-09-05)
United States February 1995 (1995-02)


  1. ^ Balls, David (30 March 2009). "Whatever happened to... Whigfield?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Myers, Justin (23 June 2016). "EU referendum special: The biggest selling singles by European acts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  3. ^ Arena, James (2017). Stars of 90's Dance Pop: 29 Hitmakers Discuss Their Careers. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.
  4. ^ a b "Whigfield: how we made Saturday Night". Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  5. ^ "Vi elsker 90'erne: Solskin og had over Whigfield" (in Danish). Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  6. ^ "Whigfield Biography". 1970-04-11. Retrieved 2014-03-31.
  7. ^ "Billboard: NEW & NOTEWORTHY" (PDF). Billboard magazine. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  8. ^ a b 1000 UK Number One Singles by Jon Kutner & Spencer Leigh, page 400
  9. ^ "Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Singles Of All Time By Female Artists". Retrieved 2014-03-31.
  10. ^ "BBC - Top of the Pops - Bust-A-Move!".
  11. ^ a b c "Number 1 today in 1994: We interview chart record-breaker Whigfield".
  12. ^ Ltd, Not Panicking. "h2g2 - How to Dance to 'Saturday Night' by Whigfield - Edited Entry".
  13. ^ countzorg (23 July 2010). "Whigfield - Saturday Night (TOTP)" – via YouTube.
  14. ^ "Amiga Action 69 (April 1995) Coverdisks - Amiga Magazine Rack".
  15. ^
  16. ^ " – Whigfield – Saturday Night" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  17. ^ " – Whigfield – Saturday Night" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  18. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 7776." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 2650." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  20. ^ Billboard October 29, 1994. Billboard. Retrieved 2010-12-01. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  21. ^ " – Whigfield – Saturday Night" (in French). Les classement single.
  22. ^ " – Whigfield – Saturday Night". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  23. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (06.10.1994 - 12.10.1994)" (PDF). Dagblaðið Vísir - Tónlist. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  24. ^ Irish Single Chart (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  25. ^ Italian Single Chart Hit parade Italia (Retrieved May 30, 2008)
  26. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Whigfield" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  27. ^ " – Whigfield – Saturday Night" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  28. ^ " – Whigfield – Saturday Night". VG-lista.
  29. ^ "Scottish Singles Chart 11 September 1994 - 17 September 1994". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  30. ^ "Billboard".
  31. ^ " – Whigfield – Saturday Night". Singles Top 100.
  32. ^ " – Whigfield – Saturday Night". Swiss Singles Chart.
  33. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  34. ^ "Official UK Dance Singles Chart (11 September 1994-17 September 1994)". Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  35. ^ Billboard AllMusic. (Retrieved September 10, 2008)
  36. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
  37. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  38. ^ "Top 50 Dance tracks of 1994". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  39. ^ 1994 French Singles Chart Archived 2011-08-20 at the Wayback Machine (Retrieved January 30, 2009)
  40. ^ "Single top 100 over 1994" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  41. ^ 1994 Swiss Singles Chart (Retrieved September 10, 2008)
  42. ^ UK Top 40 Singles of 1994 (Retrieved July 12, 2010)
  43. ^ "RPM Top 50 Dance Tracks of 1995". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  44. ^ 1995 French Singles Chart Archived 2009-02-14 at the Wayback Machine (Retrieved January 30, 2009)
  45. ^ French certifications Archived 2011-12-12 at the Wayback Machine (Retrieved January 17, 2009)
  46. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Whigfield; 'Saturday+Night')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  47. ^ Norwegian certifications Archived 2006-06-26 at the Wayback Machine (Retrieved January 17, 2009)
  48. ^ UK certifications Archived 2009-09-24 at the Wayback Machine (Retrieved January 17, 2009)