Mickey (song)

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Song by Racey from the album Smash and Grab
Released 1979
Genre Bubblegum pop
Writer Mike Chapman, Nicky Chinn
Producer Mike Chapman
Single by Toni Basil
from the album Word of Mouth
Released February 5, 1982
Recorded 1981
Genre New wave, bubblegum pop
Length 4:12 (album)
3:36 (single)
Label Chrysalis (U.S.)
Radial Choice (U.K.)
Virgin (Canada)
Writer(s) Mike Chapman, Nicky Chinn
Producer(s) Greg Mathieson, Trevor Veitch[1]
Toni Basil singles chronology

"Mickey" is a 1982 U.S. pop song recorded by singer and choreographer Toni Basil on her debut album Word of Mouth. Written by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn as "Kitty", it was first recorded by UK popular music group Racey during 1979 appearing on their debut album Smash and Grab.

Toni Basil changed the name from Kitty to Mickey to make the song about a man. For years, it had been rumoured that the name was changed to Mickey because Basil was fond of The Monkees' drummer and lead vocalist Micky Dolenz after meeting him on the set of their movie Head as a choreographer; however, this claim has been disputed by Basil, who said she didn't know Dolenz that well.[2] A music video for the song, featuring costuming and choreography inspired by cheerleader dance routines, was played heavily on MTV. Filmed in 1981, the video is considered the very first choreographed dance video, and the opening stunt, where a cheerleader jumps through the center of a human pyramid, is now illegal in competition.[3]

The single scored number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week and number two in the UK Singles Chart. The song was Basil's only Top 40 success, making her a "one-hit wonder".[4] It was named #5 on VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of All Time, #16 on 20 to 1's Top 20 One Hit Wonders Countdown and #57 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the '80s. It has also appeared on countless greatest or best lists and countdowns.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1982–1983) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[5] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 39
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[7] 1
Germany (Media Control AG)[8] 69
Ireland (IRMA)[9] 3
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[10] 39
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[11] 2
South African Chart[12] 3
UK (Official Charts Company)[13] 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[14] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[14] 3

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[15] 2× Platinum 200,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Gold 500,000^
United States (RIAA)[17] Platinum 2,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Preceded by
"I Love Rock 'n Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single (Toni Basil version)
June 7, 1982 – June 14, 1982
Succeeded by
"I've Never Been to Me" by Charlene
Preceded by
"Truly" by Lionel Richie
Billboard Hot 100 number one single (Toni Basil version)
December 11, 1982
Succeeded by
"Maneater" by Daryl Hall and John Oates
Preceded by
"Truly" by Lionel Richie
Canadian RPM Singles Chart number-one single (Toni Basil version)
December 25, 1982 – January 15, 1983
Succeeded by
"Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth

Track listings[edit]

U.S. 7" single
  1. "Mickey" – 3:36
  2. "Thief on the Loose" – 3:50
International 7" single
  1. "Mickey" – 3:36
  2. "Hanging Around" – 4:06
U.S. 12" single
  1. "Mickey" (Special Club Mix) (Short) – 4:32
  2. "Mickey" (Special Club Mix) (Long) – 5:58
Alternate U.S. 12" single
  1. "Mickey" (Special Club Mix) – 5:58
  2. "Mickey" (Spanish Version) – 5:12

Lolly version[edit]

Single by Lolly
from the album My First Album
Released September 17, 1999
Recorded 1998
Genre Dance-pop
Length 3:36 (album version)
Label Polydor
Writer(s) Mike Chapman, Nicky Chinn
Producer(s) Dufflebag Boys
Lolly singles chronology
"Viva La Radio"
"Big Boys Don't Cry"

The UK singer Lolly scored a top ten hit in the UK Singles Chart in September 1999. Unlike the original, this version is very pop-heavy,[clarification needed] and includes influences from that direction. In addition, there is also a karaoke version of the cover in the album.

Track listings[edit]

UK CD Single #1[18]
  1. "Mickey" – 3:36
  2. "Sweetheart" – 2:54
  3. "Mickey" (Karaoke Version) - 3:36
UK CD Single #2[19]
  1. "Mickey" - 3:36
  2. "Mickey" (Creator Remix) - 5:58
  3. "Mickey" (D-Bop Remix Edit) - 4:22
  4. "Mickey" (The Bold & The Beautiful Remix) - 5:50
UK Cassette Single[20]
  1. "Mickey" - 3:36
  2. "Mickey" (Karaoke Version) - 3:36


Chart (1999) Peak
UK (Official Charts Company)[21] 4

Other notable versions[edit]

Songs which sample the Toni Basil recording[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • San Francisco Giants infielder Miguel Tejada uses this as his walk up music.
  • In the film Wayne's World, the song is sung by Tia Carrera and Mike Myers.
  • On September 25, 2009, a flash mob and orchestra performed a parody version ("Oh, Mackey, you're a swine. You're a swine, you blow my mind," etc.) inside a Whole Foods grocery store in Oakland, California, to protest Whole Foods' CEO John Mackey's public opposition to health care reform in the U.S., including his rejection of the principle that people have a right to health care.
  • Spanish TV show Sé lo que hicistéis... (I know what you did...) used to play the song to introduce one of the hosts, Micki Nadal.
  • The song is sung in a short scene on the American sitcom Friends, in the episode "The One Where They're Up All Night".
  • This song is sung in the show Napoleon Dynamite with the name "Rico" replacing "Mickey".
  • This song had a parody version in the animated American sitcom The Simpsons in the episode The Principal and the Pauper when the "real" Principal Skinner asked Bart to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in which Bart recited it as "Hey America, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, America <fart noise>."
  • This song has been used twice in the animated American sitcom King of the Hill: Kahn dances to it at the opening of "Three Days at the Kahn-do" and it is used during a montage for "The Powder Puff Boys".
  • The song is sung in the show George Lopez (TV series) with the name "Ernie" replacing "Mickey", in the 2003 episode "Team Leader". Season 2, episode 22.
  • This song is featured in the 2012 video game Lollipop Chainsaw: It is played when Juliet, the player character, enters a temporary powered-up state. It is also unlockable as a background song.
  • The song is featured as part of the Riff-Off sequence of scenes in the 2012 film Pitch Perfect.


  1. ^ "Mickey/ Thief on the Loose". 45cat.com. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.vulture.com/2012/08/vulture-investigates-what-is-toni-basils-mickey-really-about.html
  3. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0059844/bio
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  5. ^ "Australian n°1 Hits – 80's". Worldcharts.co.uk. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – Toni Basil – Mickey" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  7. ^ "Mickey in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  9. ^ "Mickey in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 5 June 2013.  Only one result when searching "Toni Basil"
  10. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Toni Basil – Mickey" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
  11. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Toni Basil – Mickey". Top 40 Singles.
  12. ^ John Samson. "Mickey in South African Chart". Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "1982 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive – 6th March 1982". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Toni Basil awards on Allmusic". Allmusic.com. 
  15. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Toni Basil – Mickey". Music Canada. 
  16. ^ "British single certifications – Toni Basil – Mickey". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Mickey in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  17. ^ "American single certifications – Toni Basil – Mickey". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  18. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Lolly-Mickey/release/1431316
  19. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Lolly-Mickey-The-Mixes/release/1893232
  20. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Lolly-Mickey/release/4745056
  21. ^ "1999 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive – 18th September 1999". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  22. ^ "Nitty's Hey Bitty samples Toni Basil's Mickey". WhoSampled.com. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  23. ^ [Androids%20vs.%20Las%20Putas%20Remix_Toni%20Basil-Mickey/ "Limp Bizkit's Nookie [Androids vs. Las Putas Remix] samples Toni Basil's Mickey"]. WhoSampled.com. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "Boards of Canada's Nine-Rubber Wisdom samples Toni Basil's Mickey". WhoSampled.com. Retrieved 11 July 2013.