Good Life (Inner City song)

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"Good Life"
Good Life (Inner City song).jpg
Single by Inner City
from the album Paradise
Released 28 November 1988 (UK)[1]
Length 4:03
  • Kevin Saunderson
  • Paris Grey
  • Ann Saunderson
  • Roy Holmon
Producer(s) Kevin Saunderson
Inner City singles chronology
"Big Fun"
"Good Life"
"Ain't Nobody Better"

"Big Fun"
"Good Life"
"Ain't Nobody Better"
Music video
"Good Life" on YouTube
1999 Cover
1999 Edition Cover
1999 Edition Cover

"Good Life" is a song by American electronic music group Inner City, featuring vocals by Paris Grey. The song was written and produced by Kevin Saunderson. It is often remembered for being played at dance clubs and on the radio.

Background and release[edit]

Saunderson met singer Paris Grey through a good friend of his. Grey travelled to Detroit to collaborate with Saunderson on "Big Fun" in 1988. Saunderson and Grey included "Good Life" on their debut album, Paradise (issued in the United States as Big Fun).

"Good Life" were made by using a Casio CZ-5000 synth and a Roland TR-909 drum machine. Saunderson made the instrumental part in his own apartment and rented a studio for 24 hours to record it with Grey. He was very happy with the result.[2]

"The vocals were 100% Paris on ‘Good Life’, I just gave her some direction. I said, ‘Look, I don’t want it to sound like ‘Big Fun’ but I want it to be in the same family, I want to follow up with a feel that’s similar’."[2]

Virgin had asked for a follow-up single after the success of "Big Fun". "Good Life" was chosen right away. The original version was almost like a radio version, and Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Steve "Silk" Hurley made remixes for the single. "Good Life" reached number 4 in the United Kingdom in January 1989,[3] and was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry for sales exceeding 200,000 copies.[1] It's their highest charting single and became huge at rave parties and acid house clubs.

When asked about "Good Life" in a 2014 interview, Kevin Saunderson said:

‘Good Life’ is a song that’s going to touch people forever, it’s gonna inspire people, change their mood when they need it, it’s definitely going to make them dance — whether the original or a remix,” he continues. “It’s that kind of song. It wasn’t the intent to make a record to be a hit, it was the intent to make a record that could be played in the clubs that had a melody, which reminded me of when I used to go to hear Larry Levan play Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King or Chaka Khan. There were some great dance records — disco records — and it was my interpretation at the time.[2]

In 1999 the song was rerecorded and remixed by producer Tommy Onyx and a Spanish language version was also released. The 1999 version hit number 10.

Music video[edit]

A music video was made which sees Kevin Saunderson and Paris Grey prancing around in London. It was directed by Andrew Doucette.

Impact and legacy[edit]

Mixmag ranked the song number 20 in its 100 Greatest Dance Singles Of All Time list in 1996, adding:

"As the Summer of Love drew to a close, a tune emerged which distilled the spirit of club hedonism, pressed it onto vinyl and slapped it on the decks of every discerning DJ. "Let me take you to a place I know you wanna go," cooed Paris Grey over a chunky effortlessly uplifting backdrop, "it's the good life". And thousands of kids turned on to this bizarre new way of spending your Saturday night knew exactly what she meant. Remove it from its cultural context, play it eight years after it first came out and you're still left with a beautiful, remarkable house record."

Slant Magazine ranked the song 55th in its 100 Greatest Dance Songs list, adding:

"1988's “Good Life” clanked like techno, pumped like house and featured disco diva vocals from his partner in Inner City, Paris Grey. “Let me take you to a place you know you wanna go/It's a good life,” she belts, creating the clearest picture of dance floor halcyon since Chic sang about 54 and its roller skates, roller skates."[4]

In Time Out's 2015 list of The 20 Best House Tracks Ever "Good Life" was included at #11, adding:

"One of Detroit techno don Kevin Saunderson's housier, poppier moments - under his Inner City project with singer Paris Grey - also became his most well-known. With its unashamedly upbeat vocals and colourful '80s synths all over the place, 'Good Life' showed that dance music wasn't all about heads-down raving in a dark basement club - it could also be (whisper it) happy, for no damn reason at all."[5]

In popular culture[edit]


Chart (1988–89) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[8] 52
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[9] 12
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[10] 7
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[11] 3
Germany (Media Control Charts)[12] 2
Ireland (IRMA)[13] 6
Italy (Hit Parade Italia)[14] 26
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[15] 4
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[16] 6
New Zealand (RIANZ)[17] 8
Norway (VG-lista)[9] 10
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[9] 9
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[18] 5
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[3] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[19] 73
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[20] 1
Chart (1998-99) Peak
Belgium Dance (Ultratop)[21] 20
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[22] 41
Netherlands (Single Top 100) 73
New Zealand (RIANZ) 48
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[23] 10
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 10


  • In 1989 it was sampled in "(Still Life) Keeps Moving" by Nexus 21, and in "Techno Time" by The Maxx.
  • In 1990 "A Place Called Bliss" by Cyclone (2) used a sample.
  • In 1992 it got sampled by Yuzo Koshiro in the song "Go Straight", and by Jungle House Crew in "Let Me Take You".
  • In 1996 it was sampled in "Chord Memory" by Ian Pooley.
  • In 2005 "Rock On" by Jackson and His Computer Band used a sample of "Good Life".
  • In 2008 it got sampled by Hercules and Love Affair in the song "You Belong", and in "Be Free" by Promise Land.
  • In 2009 Rihanna used a sample in the song "Bubble Pop", and it was also used in "Celebration" by Tony Lionni and by Kim Fai in the song "Good Life".
  • In 2013 it was sampled in "Wanna Go" by Maxsta feat. Little Nikki, and "Cut Me Up" by Stanton Warriors and Them & Us.
  • In 2014 it got sampled in "Let Me" by René Amesz.
  • In 2015 "Techno Disco" by Kerrier District and "Wanna Go" by Dos Padres used a sample.


  1. ^ a b "British Phonographic Industry > Certified Awards > Search results for Inner City". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  2. ^ a b c "GAME CHANGER: INNER CITY 'GOOD LIFE'". Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  3. ^ a b "Official Charts > Inner City". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  4. ^ "100 Greatest Dance Songs". Slant Magazine. 30 January 2006. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "20 best house tracks ever". Retrieved 2017-03-03. 
  6. ^ Steven Phillip Smith (writer); Jesús Salvador Treviño (director) (1996-11-07). "Smack is Back". New York Undercover. Season 3. Episode 7. FOX. 
  7. ^ Retrieved 28 October 2013
  8. ^ Australian (ARIA) peak provided by ARIA through "response to chart inquiry, received 2014-01-17". Imgur. Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  9. ^ a b c "Good Life", in various singles charts (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  10. ^ " – Inner City – Good Life" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  12. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Inner City (singles)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know > Search results for Inner City". Fireball Media. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  14. ^ "Indice per Interprete: I". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved March 13, 2018. 
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Inner City" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  16. ^ " > Discografie Inner City" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  17. ^ " > Discography Inner City". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  18. ^ " > Discographie Inner City" (in German). Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 2015-03-23. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  19. ^ "Billboard > Artists / Inner City > Chart History > The Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  20. ^ "Billboard > Artists / Inner City > Chart History > Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-01-15. 
  21. ^ "Ultratop Dance 27/02/1998". Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  22. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 2018-06-26. 
  23. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2018-06-08.