Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)

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"Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)"
Single by Elton John
from the album 'Blue Moves'
B-side "Chameleon"
Released January 31, 1977
Recorded 1976
Genre Rock, Pop, Disco
Length

3:37 (7" single)

6:39 (12" single)
Label MCA (US/Canada)
DJM Records
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer(s) Gus Dudgeon
Elton John singles chronology
"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
(1976)
"Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)"
(1977)
"Crazy Water"
(1977)

"Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)" is a song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It is the closing track of his 1976 album, Blue Moves. It came out as a single two months after the release of the album. The US b-side was another album track, "Chameleon", which was also featured on the "Crazy Water"-single that only came out in the U.K., only four days later, but the UK release of 'Bite Your Lip' was released as a double-A side single, which was backed with 'Chicago' by Kiki Dee, making the release a joint chart effort. The single peaked at #28 in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Lyrical meaning[edit]

The song is a party-song. It mentions various places, a choir throughout most of the song. It could be put in the same vein as disco, but also uses rock and roll, gospel, and pop elements.

Musical structure[edit]

The song opens with Elton on piano, and then kicks off to the beat, with of a bluesy slide guitar solo by Davey Johnstone along with the heavy conga rhythms of Ray Cooper The rest of the band notably includes, among others, Caleb Quaye. The song begins to turn into a jam after about the first two minutes, prominently including a choir of singers chanting "Bite your lip - get up - get up and dance - bite your lip - get up - get up and dance - bite your lip - get up - get up and dance, dance, dance! (Dance, dance...) (Dance, dance, daaaaaance!)". Like the amount of vocals, the amount of instrumentation increases significantly during this portion, but with John on piano, the piano is obviously the dominant instrument; there are three piano solos in the song. As a result of the musical free-for-all, the song is six minutes and forty-three seconds, making it one of John's longest.

The song closed his "last" concert in 1977, which featured Stevie Wonder on stage. He also played it dressed as Donald Duck at the free concert in Central Park in 1980. The most recent performance dates from 2004, the first time since his throat surgery. The song was played as part of his tour for Peachtree Road but played in just a handful of concerts and then dropped from the set.

Personnel

With:

  • The Cornerstone Institutional Baptist and Southern California Community choirs (In this song, total of 5 males and 16 females)
  • The Gene Page Strings (In this song, five wide cellos, two normal cellos, six violins, and two violas)

Instrument with unknown players:

  • clean guitar
  • clean guitar with wah-wah pedal
  • bongo and conga set
  • pair of tambourines
  • vibraphone
  • french horn
  • french horn
  • trumpet
  • trumpet
  • trumpet
  • trumpet
  • trumpet
  • trumpet
  • trombone
  • trombone
  • flute