Dancing in the Moonlight

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"Dancing in the Moonlight"
Song by Boffalongo
Released1970
Recorded1970
GenrePop rock
LabelUnited Artists
Songwriter(s)Sherman Kelly
"Dancing in the Moonlight"
DancingInTheMoonlightKingHarvestSingle.jpg
Single by King Harvest
from the album Dancing in the Moonlight
B-side"Lady, Come On Home"
ReleasedJuly 9, 1972 (1972-07-09)
Recorded1972
GenrePop rock
Length2:57
LabelPerception (P-515)
Songwriter(s)Sherman Kelly
Producer(s)Jack Robinson

"Dancing in the Moonlight" is a song by French-American rock group King Harvest. The song was written by Sherman Kelly, produced by Jack Robinson, originally recorded in 1970 by Kelly's band Boffalongo, and then successfully released as a single by King Harvest in 1972, reaching number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 2000, a cover by English band Toploader became a worldwide hit and achieved multi-Platinum status in the UK.

History[edit]

The song was written in 1969 by Sherman Kelly.[1] While recovering from a vicious attack by a gang, he "envisioned an alternate reality, the dream of a peaceful and joyful celebration of life".[2] Kelly wrote:

On a trip to St. Croix in 1969, I was the first victim of a vicious St. Croix gang who eventually murdered 8 American tourists. At that time, I suffered multiple facial fractures and wounds and was left for dead. While I was recovering, I wrote "Dancin In The Moonlight" in which I envisioned an alternate reality, the dream of a peaceful and joyful celebration of life. The song became a huge hit and was recorded by many musicians worldwide. "Dancin In The Moonlight" continues to be popular to this day.[3]

He recorded it singing lead with his band Boffalongo.

The song was also recorded by High Broom and released in 1970 on Island Records (catalog no. WIP 6088; vinyl 7").[4][5] It failed to reach the UK Singles Chart.

Sherman Kelly's brother Wells Kelly introduced the song to the Paris-based band King Harvest in which he was drummer, and former Boffalongo member Dave "Doc" Robinson was lead vocalist, bassist and keyboardist. King Harvest recorded and released "Dancing in the Moonlight" as a single with "Lady, Come On Home" on the B-side in 1972. Steve Cutler, a jazz drummer from New York City (standing on the base of the pole in the cover picture), played drums on the tracks and toured France and the UK with the band. The group disbanded after six months and the single languished for a year until it was bought and released worldwide by Perception Records. In Canada, the song reached number 5 in the weekly charts and number 71 in the year-end chart for 1973.[6]

Charts[edit]

Toploader version[edit]

"Dancing in the Moonlight"
ToploaderDancingintheMoonlight.jpg
Single by Toploader
from the album Onka's Big Moka
ReleasedFebruary 21, 2000
Recorded1999
Length
  • 3:52
  • 3:30 (Stargate Official Mix)
LabelS2
Songwriter(s)Sherman Kelly
Producer(s)George Drakoulias
Toploader singles chronology
"Let the People Know"
(1999)
"Dancing in the Moonlight"
(2000)
"Achilles Heel"
(2000)

In 2000, English band Toploader released a cover of "Dancing in the Moonlight". It was originally released on February 21, 2000, as the third single from their debut studio album, Onka's Big Moka (1999), and peaked at number 19 on the UK Singles Chart. It was then re-released in November of the same year with new production from Stargate and reached number seven on the same chart. The song has been certified 3× Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for sales of over 1,200,000 copies. Worldwide, the song reached the top 20 in Australia, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Spain.

Critical reception[edit]

In 2007, the song was placed at number 17 on BBC Three's list of "The 100 Most Annoying Pop Songs...We Hate to Love".[citation needed]

As of 2020, it got more than 378 million plays on Spotify.[citation needed] As of February 2021, the official music video has more than 101 million views.

Track listing[edit]

UK CD single reissue

  1. "Dancing in the Moonlight" – 3:52
  2. "Dancing in the Moonlight" (Stargate Radio Mix) – 3:30
  3. "Dancing in the Moonlight" (Alliance DC Vocal Remix) – 6:30
  4. "Dancing in the Moonlight" (Live) – 4:31

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[32] Gold 35,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[33] Platinum 90,000double-dagger
Italy (FIMI)[34] Gold 25,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[35] 3× Platinum 1,800,000double-dagger

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label(s) Ref.
United Kingdom February 21, 2000 (2000-02-21) S2 [36]
Australia April 16, 2001 (2001-04-16) Sony Music [37]

Jubël version[edit]

"Dancing in the Moonlight"
Cover of "Dancing in the Moonlight" by Jubël featuring Neimy (2018)
Single by Jubël featuring Neimy
ReleasedJune 22, 2018
Recorded2018
Length2:44
LabelGood Soldier
Songwriter(s)Sherman Kelly
Jubël singles chronology
"Illusion"
(2017)
"Dancing in the Moonlight"
(2018)
"On the Beach"
(2019)
Neimy singles chronology
"Dancing in the Moonlight"
(2019)
Music video
"Dancing in the Moonlight" on YouTube

Swedish record producer duo Jubël released a dance cover in 2018 featuring Neimy.[38] It peaked at number 9 on Sverigetopplistan, the official Swedish Singles Chart. It also charted in Belgium's Ultratip Bubbling Under chart in both Flanders and Wallon francophone markets.

The song garnered the attention of British radio DJs in 2020 and as a result the Jubël version gained more popularity two years after its initial release in Sweden. The song was rereleased for the British market giving it a much bigger international audience. It peaked at number 11 on the UK Singles Chart,[39] and the Irish and Scottish singles charts as well.[40] The song was used in series 6 of the reality show Love Island in 2020 and spread to TikTok,[41] while reaching the top of the British radio list. The song also charted on the ARIA Australian Official Singles Chart, also in 2020.

Releases[edit]

  • 2018: "Dancing in the Moonlight" (2:44)
  • 2019: "Dancing in the Moonlight" (PBH & Jack Sunset Remix Radio Edit) (2:16)
  • 2019: "Dancing in the Moonlight" (Jack Wins Remix) (2:40)
  • 2020: "Dancing in the Moonlight" (Nathan Dawe Remix) (2:51)

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018–2021) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[42] 23
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[43] 46
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[44] 19
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[45] 99
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[46] 10
France (SNEP)[47] 128
Ireland (IRMA)[48] 36
Scotland (OCC)[49] 3
Serbia (Radiomonitor)[50] 15
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[51] 8
Slovenia (SloTop50)[52] 13
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[53] 9
UK Singles (OCC)[54] 11

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[55] Gold 40,000double-dagger
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[56] Gold 45,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[57] Gold 400,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Cover versions[edit]

In 1970 British band Wolfe recorded the song (a favourite at their live gigs) on an album released in US only by Motown's Rare Earth label. After the King Harvest version came out, Wolfe re-recorded it a single which Motown released in UK and Netherlands. The album version has appeared on several compilations, particularly in Japan for some reason. In 1973 the singing and dancing act Young Generation released a cover version;[58] despite airplay, it failed to chart. In 1980, King Harvest themselves recorded a cover known as the "Olcott Version", featuring improved background vocals and a Rhodes piano. It was officially released in 2015 on their album Old Friends. In 1994 the Baha Men released the song as a single, but it also failed to chart. Their version was later used in the 2004 film Fat Albert. The song finally charted in the UK in March 2000, after being covered the previous year by Toploader. Goose began covering the song in December 2014. The Yonder Mountain String Band made a cover version on their album "Love Ain't Love".

Other versions[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dancing in the Moonlight – King Harvest : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  2. ^ "Sherman Kelly". Sherman Kelly. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  3. ^ About Sherman Kelly
  4. ^ "High Broom - Dancing In The Moonlight (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  5. ^ "Images for High Broom - Dancing In The Moonlight". Discogs. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  6. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (July 17, 2013). "Image : RPM Weekly".
  7. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 137.
  9. ^ http://tropicalglen.com/Archives/70s_files/19730217.html Archived January 3, 2017, at the Wayback Machine CASH BOX Top 100 Singles, February 17, 1973
  10. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (July 17, 2013). "Image : RPM Weekly".
  11. ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  12. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight" (in French). Ultratip.
  15. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 18 no. 10. March 3, 2001. p. 11. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
  16. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts.
  17. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Dancing in the Moonlight". Irish Singles Chart.
  18. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight". Top Digital Download.
  19. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 30, 2000" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  21. ^ "Charts.nz – Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight". Top 40 Singles.
  22. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight". VG-lista.
  23. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  24. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight" Canciones Top 50.
  25. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight". Singles Top 100.
  26. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight". Swiss Singles Chart.
  27. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  28. ^ "Top 100 Singles–Jahrescharts 2000" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  29. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Singles for 2001". ARIA. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  30. ^ "Ireland – Top Singles for 2001". Allcharts. Archived from the original on May 5, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  31. ^ "The Official UK Singles Chart 2001" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  32. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2001 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on September 2, 2020.
  33. ^ "Danish single certifications – Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight". IFPI Denmark.
  34. ^ "Italian single certifications – Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved September 2, 2019. Select "2019" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Dancing in the Moonlight" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  35. ^ "British single certifications – Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight". British Phonographic Industry.
  36. ^ Sexton, Paul (February 26, 2000). Williamson, Nigel (ed.). "Global Music Pulse" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 112 no. 9. p. 53. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  37. ^ "The ARIA Report: ARIA New Releases Singles – Week Commencing 16th April 2001" (PDF). ARIA. April 16, 2001. p. 23. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 23, 2008. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  38. ^ "The Story of... 'Dancing in the Moonlight' by Toploader". Smooth. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  39. ^ "Svenska Jubël slår i England – med gammal hit". Sydsvenskan.se. August 2, 2020. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  40. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100 | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  41. ^ Nina Holma (August 2, 2020). "Svenska Jubël slår i England – med gammal hit". vk.se. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  42. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Jubël feat. Neimy – Dancing in the Moonlight". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  43. ^ "Ultratop.be – Jubël feat. Neimy – Dancing in the Moonlight" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  44. ^ "Ultratop.be – Jubël feat. Neimy – Dancing in the Moonlight" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  45. ^ "Jubel Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  46. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – RADIO – TOP 100 and insert 202044 into search. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  47. ^ "Top Singles (Week 41, 2020)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved October 12, 2020.
  48. ^ "Official Irish Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  49. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  50. ^ "Serbia - Radio airplay chart (Settimana 41.2020)" (in Italian). RadioAirplay. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  51. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 202052,53 into search. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  52. ^ "SloTop50 – Slovenian official singles chart". slotop50.si. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  53. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Jubël feat. Neimy – Dancing in the Moonlight". Singles Top 100. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  54. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  55. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Jubel – Dancing in the Moonlight". Music Canada. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  56. ^ "Danish single certifications – Jubël feat. Neimy – Dancing in the Moonlight". IFPI Denmark. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  57. ^ "British single certifications – Jubel Ft Neimy – Dancing in the Moonlight". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  58. ^ The Young Generation - Dancing In The Moonlight, retrieved August 28, 2020