Groove Is in the Heart

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"Groove Is in the Heart"
Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart single cover.png
Single by Deee-Lite
from the album World Clique
B-side "What Is Love?"
Released 1990
  • 3:54 (album version)
  • 3:32 (single version [peanutbutter mix])
Label Elektra
Producer(s) Deee-Lite
Deee-Lite singles chronology
"Groove Is in the Heart"
"Power of Love"
"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 American dance band Deee-Lite. It was released in August 1990 as the lead single from their debut album, World Clique. The song was a hit in many countries, reaching number one in Australia.


Though the album version was not recorded until 1990, the song was originally written in the late 1980s; it was performed live as early as 1989.[1]

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 and Vernon Burch's "Get Up", which provided the drum track and also formed the basis for the famous breakdown featuring a slide whistle. Parliament-Funkadelic legend Bootsy Collins provided guest vocals, and the rap is provided by Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest.[2]

Critical reception and 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".[3] NME and The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop annual critics' poll named "Groove Is in the Heart" the best single released in the year 1990.

An immediate smash in nightclubs, the song went to number one on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart and also hit number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It peaked at number 1 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, controversially giving "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band the top place. Following complaints from Deee-Lite's record company, WEA, the rule, of which this had been the only case, was scrapped and joint positions were once again allowed. "The Joker" spent a second week at the number one spot and 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 late 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?", 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!" (itself sampled by Deee-Lite in the song) and Lady Miss Kier exclaiming "Deee-groovy!"

Impact and legacy[edit]

VH1 placed "Groove Is in the Heart" at No. 67 in their list of "100 Greatest Songs of the 90's" in 2007.[4] In 2011, The Guardian featured the song on their "A history of modern music: Dance".[5]

Cover versions[edit]

Samples used[edit]

This is an incomplete list of samples used in the song.[7]

  • Bel-Sha-Zaar with Tommy Genapopoluis and the Grecian Knights - "Introduction" from the album The Art of Belly Dancing, 1969, Gateway: GSLP 3527 (intro music, vocal sample: "We're going to dance, and have some fun")
  • Herbie Hancock – "Bring Down the Birds" from the soundtrack album Blow-Up, 1966 (bassline)
  • 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 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 fill)

Track listings[edit]


Credits adapted from the album liner notes for World Clique.[8]

Chart performance[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Metzger, Richard (April 4, 2013). "Bringing the Funk from the East Village to the Global Village: Vintage Deee-Lite performances". Dangerous Minds. Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  2. ^ Plagenhoef, Scott; Schreiber, Ryan, eds. (November 2008). The Pitchfork 500. Simon & Schuster. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-4165-6202-3. 
  3. ^ "100 Greatest Dance Songs". Slant Magazine. January 30, 2006. Retrieved April 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ "VH1 : 100 Greatest Songs of the 90's". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
  5. ^ "A history of modern music: Dance". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 March 2017. 
  6. ^ "Questlove, Black Thought, and Charli XCX cover "Groove is in the Heart" — listen". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Les samples de Deee lite" (in French). Du-bruit. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  8. ^ World Clique (liner notes). Deee-Lite. Elektra. 1990. Retrieved October 4, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Deee-Lite – World Clique – Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved October 4, 2017. 
  10. ^ " – Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  11. ^ " – Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  12. ^ " – Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  13. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 1343." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  14. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9112." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  15. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  16. ^ a b " – Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  17. ^ " – Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  18. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Groove Is in the Heart". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  19. ^ a b "I singoli più venduti del 1990" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Deee-Lite - Groove Is In The Heart" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  21. ^ " – Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  22. ^ " – Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  23. ^ " – Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  24. ^ "Deee-Lite: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  25. ^ "Deee-Lite Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  26. ^ "Deee-Lite Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  27. ^ "Deee-Lite – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Deee-Lite Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  29. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Pop Singles – Week ending NOVEMBER 24, 1990". Archived from the original on October 7, 2012. . Cash Box.
  30. ^ "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 50 Singles 1990". ARIA Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Top 50 Dance Tracks of 1990". RPM. Vol. 53 no. 6. December 22, 1990. Retrieved May 18, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1990" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1990" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  34. ^ "End of Year Charts 1990". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  35. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1991". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Australian Fun Countdowns – Accreditation Awards". Australian Fun Countdowns. April 7, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  37. ^ "American single certifications – Deee-Lite – Groove Is in the Heart". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  38. ^ "British single certifications – Deee-Lite – Groove Is in the Heart". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Groove Is in the Heart in the search field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]