Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life

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"Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life"
Single by Indeep
from the album Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life!
Length5:40 (12"/LP)
4:16 (7")
  • Sound of New York
  • Becket Records
Songwriter(s)Michael Cleveland
  • Mike Cleveland
  • Reggie Thompson
Indeep singles chronology
"Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life"
"When Boys Talk"
Music video
"Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life" on YouTube

"Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life" is a song written by Michael Cleveland for American group Indeep. It features vocals from Réjane "Reggie" Magloire and Rose Marie Ramsey.

The lyrics tell the story of a woman who is bored alone at home. She wants to speak to her man, but cannot reach him and considers leaving him, until a DJ plays a hot song and thereby saves her life. In the second verse, she leaves home, but does not reach her destination. The sound of squeaky wheels suggests she has an accident, but is saved by a DJ playing a good song on the radio.

The song was mixed by Michael Jay at Eastern Artists Recording Studio, East Orange, NJ, and released as a single in 1982, becoming the most popular and successful hit released by its record label, Sound of New York/Becket Records. In the U.S. "Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life" reached number ten on the R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart and number two on the Club Singles chart, but could only bubble under the main Hot 100, where black crossover had become very difficult in the early 1980s as a result of the anti-disco backlash. In February 1983, it peaked at number thirteen in the United Kingdom, and in March 1983 at number two in the Dutch Top 40 and the Belgium Ultratop 50. It also made number 5 in Switzerland, number 12 in Austria and number 25 in New Zealand.[3] In West Germany, it made it to number 10.[4] The track appears as the third track of the namesake album released in 1983.

Rolling Stone magazine declared the song "one of the greatest songs ever written about being a girl, listening to the radio, or any combination of the two,"[5] and, in 2005, editors of Blender magazine placed it at number 406 on its 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born list. The song also provided the inspiration of the title of the book Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: The History of the Disc Jockey (2000).

Because of the limited success of Indeep's later releases, the group's first single was its only major hit and placed it into the one-hit wonder category of artists.[6]


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[7] 86
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 12
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 2
France (IFOP)[10] 7
Greece (Pop & Rock)[11] 1
Italy (FIMI)[12] 14
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[13] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[14] 2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[15] 25
South Africa (Springbok)[16] 7
Spain (AFYVE)[17] 7
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[18] 5
UK Singles (OCC)[19] 13
US Billboard Hot 100[20] 101
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[20] 10
US Hot Dance Club Play (Billboard)[20] 2
West Germany (Official German Charts)[21] 10
Zimbabwe (ZIMA)[22] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1983) Position
Belgium (Ultratop Flanders)[23] 50
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[24] 43
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[25] 27
West Germany (Official German Charts)[26] 60


  • In 1983, South African vocalist Margino recorded a version for her album of the same name.[27]
  • In 2001, American R&B singer Mariah Carey co-produced a cover of "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life" with DJ Clue and Duro, which appeared on her eighth album, Glitter. Carey's version of the song features Fabolous and Busta Rhymes, and it is heard during a scene in the film Glitter, in which Carey starred. It was released as the album's sixth and final single in 2001 in Spain on a strictly promotional basis to boost the album's slow sales, as the preceding singles from the album had performed poorly. Because of its limited release and conflict between Carey and Virgin/EMI Records, the single's music video (directed by Sanaa Hamri) was not released until late 2002–early 2003 through Carey's online fan club.
  • In 2004, UK house/trance music producer Seamus Haji made several popular remixes of the song through his own label, Big Love Records, and released them on a 12" single titled "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (ATFC Mixes)". This version reached number thirteen on the UK Singles Chart and number one on the UK Dance chart in 2006.
  • In 1997, King Britt included a version of this song on his album King Britt Presents Sylk 130 – When The Funk Hits The Fan.[28]
  • The song was also re-released and remixed a number of times by various DJs/producers, most notably Seamus Haji, Funkagenda, and ATFC.[29]
  • Dara Rolins covered the song under the title "Party DJ".
  • In 2013, Milk Inc. released its own vocal trance version.


  • The song is sampled during Madonna's performance of her song "Music" on her Sticky & Sweet Tour.
  • The song "If Ya Gettin' Down" by Five features a sample of the song, alongside a take on the in the mix lyrics during the bridge.
  • The song "Black Betty" as covered by Tom Jones uses or samples the drum, bass, and guitar groove of this song.
  • The chorus of the song is sampled, as well as translated, in Quebecois singer and songwriter Jean Leloup's song "1990". The song ends with backup singers repeatedly chanting "hier soir le D.J. a sauvé mon âme avec cette chanson" ("last night the D.J. saved my soul with this song").
  • The song was sampled in the 2015 song "Hell of a Night" by Chris Brown contained in his mixtape Before the Party.
  • The beat of the song was sampled in song "Nlogax" by Boards of Canada.
  • The song is sampled in the 2009 single "I'm Just Here for the Music" by Paula Abdul.

Other uses[edit]


  1. ^ Grow, Kory (May 2008). "Gorgoroth – Why the most dangerous true Norwegian black-metal band of the decade turned on itself". Archived from the original on February 10, 2010. Retrieved March 13, 2009.. Revolver (68). ISSN 1527-408X. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  2. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (August 21, 2001). "Mariah Carey – Glitter". Slant Magazine. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  3. ^ Swiss Charts website
  4. ^ Infinity Charts: German Top 20 hits of 1983
  5. ^ Mariah Carey: Glitter—Music Reviews—Rolling Stone
  6. ^ Reynolds, Chris (June 29, 2012). ""Last Night a DJ Saved My Life" by Indeep - Today's One-Hit Wonder at 1 [VIDEO]". Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  7. ^ Grant. "Every AMR Top 100 Single in 1983". Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  8. ^ " – Indeep – Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ " – Indeep – Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "InfoDisc : Les Tubes de chaque artiste commençant par I". Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  11. ^ "Greece Single Charts - Number Ones". UKMIX Forums. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  12. ^ "Indice per Titolo: L". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Indeep" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  14. ^ " – Indeep – Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  15. ^ " – Indeep – Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life". Top 40 Singles.
  16. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  17. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  18. ^ " – Indeep – Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life". Swiss Singles Chart.
  19. ^ "Indeep: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  20. ^ a b c "Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life (song by Indeep) ••• Music VF, US & UK hits charts". Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  21. ^ " – Indeep – Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  22. ^ "Number one hits in Zimbabwe". UKMIX Forums. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  23. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1983". Ultratop. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  24. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1983". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  25. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1983". Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  26. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts". GfK Entertainment (in German). Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  27. ^ "Margino – Last Night A D.J. Saved My Life". Discogs. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  28. ^ "King Britt Presents Sylk 130 - When The Funk Hits The Fan". Discogs. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  29. ^ "Beatport: DJ & Dance Music, Tracks & Mixes". Retrieved March 28, 2016.
  30. ^ Discogs, Dancemania Speed 8
  31. ^ "Cashback (2006)". IMDb. Retrieved March 28, 2016.