Time Warp (song)

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For other uses, see Time Warp.
"Time Warp"
Song by Richard O'Brien/Patricia Quinn/Nell Campbell/Charles Gray from the album The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Released 1975
Genre Glam rock
Language English
Length 3:18
Composer Richard O'Brien

"The Time Warp" is a song featured in the 1973 rock musical The Rocky Horror Show and in the 1975 film adaption The Rocky Horror Picture Show, as well as a dance performed during the chorus of the song of the same name. The song is both an example and a parody of the dance song genre in which much of the content of the song is given over to dance step instructions. The dance is one of the major audience-participation activities during screenings of the film and performances of the show.[1] It has become a popular song beyond the reaches of the film and show, and is often played at dances and weddings.[2]

The song is in the key of A major.[3]

Cover versions have been recorded by such artists as Black Lace, Damian, Groovie Ghoulies, Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers, and Sebastian Bach of the heavy metal band Skid Row, as well as an Italian adaptation by Elio e le Storie Tese and a Spanish adaptation by the pop group Timbiriche. In October 2006, the song was ranked and voted 338 out of 2006 songs featured in the Triple M Essential 2006 Countdown.

Placement[edit]

"The Time Warp" was the fifth song in the original stage show (after "Science Fiction/Double Feature", "Dammit Janet", "Over at the Frankenstein Place" and "Sweet Transvestite"), but fourth in the film (following "Over at the Frankenstein Place" and preceding "Sweet Transvestite"). Stage productions continued to use the original placing until Richard O'Brien revised the script for the 1990 West End revival in which he moved the song to the film’s placing. For reasons of pacing, most productions now follow this order.

The song consists of verses sung by alternating characters, serving as the introduction to two of them, and choruses sung by the chorus of "Transylvanians" (Movie) or "Phantoms" (Musical), and the Criminologist/Narrator (played by Charles Gray in the movie). The characters that sing the verses are, in order, Riff-Raff (Richard O'Brien in the movie), Magenta (Patricia Quinn in the movie), and Columbia (Little Nell Campbell in the movie). After the second full chorus, Columbia often launches into her tap dance.

The order of the solos varies in certain albums. In the movie and Roxy cast album, Columbia's solo is right after Magenta's, then Columbia does her tap dance after a second chorus. The version that has been in stage shows more recently is similar to the movie and Roxy cast, with Columbia singing her solo right after Magenta's, but then she does her tap dance right after her solo, leaving only two choruses. Occasionally, Columbia's solo and tap dance come after the chorus after Magenta's solo.

The song is reprised/revisited briefly at the end of the film, in flashback, and in the show as an encore, led by Dr Frank N. Furter.

Footnotes[edit]