You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)

"You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" is a song by English pop band Dead or Alive, featured on their second album, Youthquake (1985). Released as a single in November 1984, it reached No. 1 in the UK in March 1985, taking 17 weeks to get there. It was the first UK number-one hit by the Stock Aitken Waterman production trio.[8] On the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at No. 11 on 17 August of that year.[9] In 2003, Q ranked the song at number 981 in their list of the "1001 Best Songs Ever", Blender listed it at number 289 on its ranking of "Greatest Songs Since You Were Born" in 2005 and in 2015, it was voted by the British public as the nation's 17th favourite 1980s number-one in a poll for ITV.

"You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)"
Dead Or Alive Pete Burns.jpg
Single by Dead or Alive
from the album Youthquake
B-side"Misty Circles"
Released5 November 1984 (1984-11-05)[1]
Genre
Length
  • 3:19 (Rock it album Intro)
  • 3:16 (Murder Mix Edit/Original 7" Mix)
  • 8:00 (Murder Mix-full version)
  • 7:28 (Performance Mix)
LabelEpic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Stock Aitken Waterman
Dead or Alive singles chronology
"That's the Way (I Like It)"
(1984)
"You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)"
(1984)
"Lover Come Back to Me"
(1985)
Music video
"You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" on YouTube
Audio sample

The accompanying music video, which features a disco ball, waving gold flags and an evocation of the six-armed deity Vishnu, was directed by Vaughan Arnell and Anthea Benton.

Background and compositionEdit

Dead or Alive's vocalist Pete Burns stated in his autobiography that he composed "You Spin Me Round" by using two existing songs as inspiration for creating something new:

How did I write "Spin Me"? I listened to Luther Vandross's 'I Wanted Your Love'. It's not the same chord structure, but then that's the way I make music – I hear something and I sing another tune over it. I didn't sit and study the Luther Vandross album – I heard the song and it locked. [...] I'm trying to structure the music and I know what I want. [...] It's like do this, do this, do this - and suddenly it hits. I don't want to do Luther Vandross's song, but I can still sing the same pattern over it. And there was another record, by Little Nell, called "See You 'Round Like a Record". [...] So I had those two, Van Dross [sic] and Little Nell and – bingo! – done deal.

— Pete Burns, Freak Unique (2007)

Desiring to move on from the sound of the band's first album, Sophisticated Boom Boom (1984), Pete Burns wanted "You Spin Me Round" to be produced by the then little-known production team Stock Aitken Waterman, in the Hi-NRG style of their 1984 UK hits "You Think You're a Man" by Divine, and "Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)" by Hazell Dean.[8]

Burns claimed the song was "completed" by the time the producers were then chosen to work on it, stating that "the record companies don't trust a band to go into the studio without a producer".[10] According to Burns, the record company was unenthusiastic about "You Spin Me Round" to such an extent that Burns had to take out a £2,500 loan to record it. After it was recorded, he recalled, "the record company said it was awful" and the band had to fund production of the song's video themselves.[11]

Interviewed for BBC Radio 4's The Reunion: The Hit Factory, in April 2015, Burns said that a confrontational attitude between the producers and band led to "quite a bad vibe" during production and "a time of intense friction".[12] Engineer Phil Harding, who mixed the track, said tensions were running so high between the band members and producers Mike Stock and Matt Aitken during mixing, that it almost escalated to violence.[8] Stock has disputed the seriousness of studio tensions, alleging that Burns, Harding and Pete Waterman have all "exaggerated" what happened in their recounting of events.[13]

"You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" is written in the key of F♯ minor[14]

Re-releasesEdit

A remix version of "You Spin Me Round" was released in 2003 at the same time Dead or Alive's greatest hits album Evolution: The Hits was released. The song reached No. 23 in the UK Singles Chart. The original 1984 recording was re-released on 30 January 2006 because of lead singer Pete Burns's controversial time as a contestant on television series Celebrity Big Brother and reached no. 5.

Earlier remixes were in 1996 and 1997 (some are included on the US, European and Australian releases of Nukleopatra). In 1999 these mixes were issued in the US as a 2-CD set. The first disc held seven mixes of "You Spin Me Round" while disc two has five mixes of "Sex Drive". In 2000, new mixes appeared on Fragile and in 2001, on Unbreakable: The Fragile Remixes.

Chart performanceEdit

The song has been re-released three times since its original release in 1984. Each time of its release, it achieved success, but failed to match the success of the original. However, after lead-singer Pete Burns's appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, the single was re-released and managed a Top 5 peak on the UK Singles Chart in 2006.

According to Burns, 12-inch singles comprised over 70% of the original sales of "You Spin Me Round", and because these were regarded by the record label as promotional tools rather than sales, the band had to threaten legal action against the label before they received the royalties on them.[15]

Impact and legacyEdit

In 2003, British popular music magazine Q ranked "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" number 981 in their list of the "1001 Best Songs Ever".[16]

In 2005, Blender listed it at number 289 on its ranking of "Greatest Songs Since You Were Born".[17]

In 2015, it was voted by the British public as the nation's 17th favourite 1980s number-one in a poll for ITV.[18]

After the death of Burns in 2016, musician and actor Gary Kemp described the song as "one of the best white dance records of all time."[19]

In 2020, The Guardian ranked the song number five in their list of "The 100 Greatest UK No 1s".[20]

In 2021, Classic Pop ranked it number-one in their list of "Top 40 Stock Aitken Waterman songs".[21]

Track listingEdit

ChartsEdit

Dope versionEdit

"You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)"
Single by Dope
from the album Felons and Revolutionaries
Released2000
Length2:43
LabelEpic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Dope singles chronology
"Everything Sucks"
(1999)
"You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)"
(2000)
"Now or Never"
(2001)

Nu metal band Dope covered the song on their 1999 album Felons and Revolutionaries; the cover also appeared on the soundtrack for the film American Psycho.[70] This version reached no. 37 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[71]

Track listingEdit

No.TitleLength
1."You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)"2:43

ChartsEdit

Chart (2000) Peak
position
US Active Rock (Billboard)[72] 30
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[73] 37

Jessica Simpson versionEdit

Jessica Simpson's version of the song was released as a promo single from her fifth studio album A Public Affair in 2006. Her version of the song failed to break into the Billboard Hot 100 (though it did reach no. 20 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles). Simpson's version has new lyrics and only preserves the chorus of the song.

ChartsEdit

Chart (2007) Peak
position
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 (Billboard)[74] 20
US Pop 100 (Billboard)[75] 95

Other cover versionsEdit

In 2007, Danzel remixed "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)"; his version peaked at no. 32 in Belgium.[76]

Flo Rida's 2009 single "Right Round" featuring Kesha, interpolates elements of the song.[77][78][79]

In 2020, American industrial metal band 3Teeth released GUNS AKIMBO, a two track set that included a cover version of "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)". The song was previously featured in the 2019 action comedy film Guns Akimbo.[80]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit