Groove Is in the Heart

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"Groove Is in the Heart"
Single by Deee-Lite featuring Q-Tip
from the album World Clique
Released August 1990
Format 7" single, 12" maxi, CD maxi, cassette
Recorded Spring 1990
Genre Dance-pop, house, disco, funk, hip hop
Length 3:54 (album version)
3:32 (single version [peanutbutter mix])
Label Elektra
Writer(s) Dmitry Brill, Chung Dong-Hwa, Kierin Kirby, Herbie Hancock, Jonathan Davis
Producer(s) Deee-Lite
Deee-Lite featuring Q-Tip singles chronology
"Groove Is in the Heart"
"Power of Love"
Music video
"Groove is in the Heart" on YouTube

"Groove Is in the Heart" is a song by dance music band Deee-Lite from their debut album, World Clique. Released as a single in late 1990, it was a hit in many countries, including in Australia where it was a number-one hit.


"Groove Is in the Heart" is a song that compares the new feelings of infatuation with hearing a good ("groovy") song. However the word 'Groove' could also represent the grooves of a vinyl record. Essentially a house track, it also features elements of disco, funk and hip-hop. The backing track was built around many samples, primarily the main riff from Herbie Hancock's track "Bring Down the Birds" from the Blowup soundtrack, Vernon Burch's "Get Up", which provided the drum track and also formed the basis for the famous breakdown featuring a slide whistle, and the horn riff from Eddie Jefferson's "Psychedelic Sally". Parliament-Funkadelic legend Bootsy Collins played bass guitar and provided guest vocals, and the rap is provided by Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest.

Chart performances[edit]

Slant Magazine ranked the song second in its 100 Greatest Dance Songs list, adding: "No song delivered the group's world-conscious Word as colorfully and open-heartedly as "Groove Is in the Heart," which flew up the Billboard charts while goosing stuffed shirts".[1]

An immediate smash in nightclubs, the song crossed over to pop radio and after going to number one on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart, it eventually hit number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It managed to peak at number-one for one week in Australia in November 1990.

In the UK, the record was equally popular and was released as a double A-side with "What Is Love", and, with the UK single released with the subtitle "peanut butter mix" (because the single was heavily edited and completely omitted the contributions by Bootsy Collins and Q-Tip) it eventually reached number two during September 1990. Its placing second was due to a rule instituted in the UK Singles Chart in the 1980s, which settled any "ties" over chart positions due to equal sales: the single with sales that had increased most from the previous week would reside above the other. In September 1990, "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band and "Groove Is in the Heart" sold enough copies to be the joint number-one, but because of the ruling, Deee-Lite was relegated to the number two spot and "The Joker" topped the chart; this was the first and only time that this ruling had ever been implemented to break a tie for the number one position, and the overriding factors which led to the ruling being implemented in this case was that "The Joker" had been one position lower in the chart the previous week than "Groove Is in The Heart", and "The Joker" was therefore deemed to be the bigger-selling of the two. Following the controversy and complaints from Deee-Lite's record company, WEA, the rule was scrapped and joint positions were once again allowed. "The Joker" spent a 2nd week at the Number One spot & thereafter convincingly outsold "Groove Is in the Heart".

Music video[edit]

The song was accompanied by a psychedelic music video, with Deee-Lite, Q-Tip, Maceo Parker and Bootsy Collins superimposed over a cartoonish 1960s-style background of various shifting shapes and colors. The video opens and closes with quotes by the band: Lady Miss Kier has an opening dialog consisting of "faux-French" originally spoken in the song's AA-side, "What Is Love?",[2] and the ending features Collins saying, "Don't forget, groove is in the heart, and Deee-Lite have definitely been known to smoke... on stage, that is!" and Lady Miss Kier exclaiming "Deee-groovy!"

Cover versions[edit]

Rick Braun released a smooth jazz cover of "Groove Is in the Heart" on his album Yours Truly (2005, ARTizen Music Group).

American lo-fi group Crocodiles also recorded a cover version of the song, as a medley with the Beach Boys classic "California Girls".

Natasha Bedingfield performed the song at VH1 Divas 2012 concert live with Iggy Azalea performing Q-Tip's rap verse and Bootsy Collins on bass.

Keke Palmer's song "Footworkin'", featured on her debut album So Uncool, features samples from the song.

Samples used[edit]

This is an incomplete list of samples used in the song.[3][4]

  • Bel-Sha-Zaar with Tommy Genapopoluis and the Grecian Knights - "Introduction" from the album The Art of Belly Dancing, 1969 (intro music, vocal sample: "We're going to dance, and have some fun")
  • Herbie Hancock - "Bring Down the Birds" from the soundtrack album Blowup, 1966 (bassline)[5]
  • Vernon Burch - "Get Up" from the album Get Up (drums, crowd noise, slide whistle)
  • Ray Barretto - "Right On" from the album Barretto Power, 1972 (cowbell)
  • Theme from the TV series Green Acres (vocal sample: looped "I" sample ("I-i-i-i-i-i"), sung by Eva Gabor)
  • Ralph MacDonald - "Jam on the Groove" from the album Sound of a Drum, 1976 (percussion)
  • Billy Preston - "Uptight" from the album The Wildest Organ in Town!, 1966 (breakbeat under rap by Q-Tip)
  • The Headhunters - "God Make Me Funky" from the album Survival of the Fittest, 1975 (drum roll)

Track listings[edit]


  • Produced and arranged by Dee-Lite for Sampla-Delic Productions
  • Recording and mixing engineer : Mike 'Tweekin' Rogers at D&D Recording
  • Additional engineer : Bob Power at Calliope
  • Dubbed by Tom Steele and Rick Essig at Frankford/Wayne Mastering Labs, 1697 Broadway, NYC 10019
  • Original version from the album World Clique
  • Executive producer and hooker upper : Bill Coleman


Preceded by
"Jukebox in Siberia" by Skyhooks
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
November 17, 1990
Succeeded by
"Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers
Preceded by
"Dirty Cash" by The Adventures of Stevie V
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
(with "What Is Love?")

August 25, 1990 - September 8, 1990
Succeeded by
"Let's Get Busy" by Clubland featuring Quartz


  1. ^ "100 Greatest Dance Songs". Slant Magazine. 30 January 2006. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  2. ^ liner notes.
  3. ^ [1].
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ " – Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  7. ^ "Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart –" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  8. ^ " – Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  9. ^ Belgian peak
  10. ^ "Groove is in the heart in Canadian Dance Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Groove is in the heart in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  12. ^ a b " – Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart" (in French). Les classement single.
  13. ^ "Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart". GfK Entertainment.
  14. ^ "Groove is in the heart in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 12 July 2013.  Only one result when searching "Groove is in the heart"
  15. ^ "The best-selling singles of 1990 in Italy". HitParadeItalia (it). Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
    75. Groove is in the heart - Deee-Lite [#16, 1990/91]
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Deee-Lite search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  17. ^ " – Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  18. ^ " – Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart". Top 40 Singles.
  19. ^ "Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart –". Swiss Singles Chart.
  20. ^ "1990 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 15th September 1990". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  21. ^ a b c d "Deee-Lite awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  22. ^ 1990 Australian Singles Chart (Retrieved August 19, 2008)
  23. ^ "Single top 100 over 1990" (pdf) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  24. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1991". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  25. ^ U.S. certifications (Retrieved August 19, 2008)

External links[edit]