Rhythm Is a Dancer

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"Rhythm Is a Dancer"
Rhythm Is a Dancer.jpg
Single by Snap!
from the album The Madman's Return
B-side "Remix"
Released 30 March 1992
Format
Recorded 1991
Genre Eurodance
Length
  • 5:32
  • 5:16 (12" Version)
  • 3:45 (7" Edit)[1]
Label
Songwriter(s)
  • Benito Benites
  • John "Virgo" Garrett III
  • Thea Austin
  • Turbo B
Producer(s)
  • Benito Benites
  • John "Virgo" Garrett III
Snap! singles chronology
"Colour of Love"
(1991)
"Rhythm Is a Dancer"
(1992)
"Exterminate"
(1993)

"Colour of Love"
(1991)
"Rhythm Is a Dancer"
(1992)
"Exterminate"
(1993)
Music video
"Rhythm Is a Dancer" on YouTube
2008 cover
2008 version
2008 version

"Rhythm Is a Dancer" is a 1992 song recorded by German group Snap! from their second album The Madman's Return.

Release[edit]

It was released in March 1992 and achieved huge success in many countries around the world, topping the charts in France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom. It also reached the top 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the US Hot Dance Music/Club Play Singles.[2] The single spent six weeks at the top in the UK where it was the second biggest selling single of 1992, surpassed only by Whitney Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You".[3][4]

The song was the second single from the album The Madman's Return. It was written by Benito Benites, John "Virgo" Garrett III (aliases for German producers Michael Münzing and Luca Anzilotti), singer Thea Austin, and rapper Durron Butler aka Turbo B and produced by Snap!.

Snap! won the 1992 Echo award for the Best Selling Single of the Year with "Rhythm Is a Dancer".[5]

Lyrics and music[edit]

The track features lead vocals by Thea Austin and a rap by Turbo B.

According to Miz hit. tubes, a book which analyses the French pop charts, "This discotheque song alternates female singing in the chorus with fluid, set back male raps in the verses. These are tinted with a resonant sonority, which gives them an astonishingly melancholic softness, for a Dance hit. That gives the whole track a particular colour, almost nostalgia."[6]

The rap lyrics on the main version (not the 7" edit) are a slightly modified version of the following lines from an essay by John Perry Barlow called "Being in Nothingness Virtual Reality and the Pioneers of Cyberspace".[7]

How very like the future this place might be: a tiny world just big enough to support the cubicle of one Knowledge Worker. I feel a wave of loneliness and head back down. But I'm going too fast. I plunge right on through the office floor and into the bottomless indigo below. Suddenly I can't remember how to stop and turn around. Do I point behind myself? Do I have to turn around before I can point? I flip into brain fugue.

The track was originally released as a bonus track on the "Madman's Return" CD, and did not appear on the initial vinyl release.The rap was replaced by another performed by Turbo B when it was decided that it would be released as the second single off of the record.

It also contains what one critic called the worst lyric of all time, "I'm as serious as cancer when I say rhythm is a dancer".[8] The original album version of the song did not contain the line, which is found on the more widely known 7" single of the song that was later added to the album. Although Snap! were criticized for the lyric, the line had been used in hip hop music since the late '80s.[8]

"Rhythm Is a Dancer" contains the hook / riff sample from the 1984 song "Auto Man" by Newcleus, written in the key of A minor with a tempo of 124 beats per minute[9] in common time. The song follows a chord progression of F–G–Am, and the vocals span from A3 to C5.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

The Gavin Report wrote about the song: "Two years ago, "The Power" dominated radio both here and abroad. Snap kind of dropped out of sight since then, and they mark their return with a Euro-Dance sound that's a mega-hit internationally. Sparks fly from start to finish."[11]

Chart performances[edit]

"Rhythm Is a Dancer" was the second single by Snap! to reach No. 1 in the United Kingdom, the song remained six weeks at the top position in 1992, from 2 August to 13 September.[12] It is their biggest hit single to date, with 492,175 sales during the original British chart run. A massive hit across the world, it also topped the chart in Germany for 10 weeks. In the US, it peaked at No. 5 in early 1993, and spent a total of 39 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.[13] In France, "Rhythm Is a Dancer" debuted at No. 5 on 8 August 1992, before climbing to No. 1 four weeks later (where it stayed for six weeks). The track thus became the first dance single to hit the number one position on the French Singles Chart.

Snap! themselves re-recorded their own song in 1996 and 2003, the latter with CJ Stone (as "Rhythm is a Dancer 2003"). It reached number 17 on the UK Singles Chart in May 2003.

On 25 May 2008, "Rhythm Is a Dancer" re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 36, climbing as high as number 23 two weeks later. BBC Radio 1 DJs Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates theorized it was based on download performance, due to its inclusion in a television advertisement for Drench water.

Music video[edit]

Thea Austin in the "Rhythm Is a Dancer" music video.

The music video for "Rhythm Is a Dancer" was directed by Howard Greenhalgh and shows singer Thea Austin and Durron Butler (Turbo B) playing a bass guitar in the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's rocket garden filled with smoke. Austin and her group perform the song on elevated platforms while a group of dancers dance on a closed ground platform below them. Interspersed throughout these scenes are animated shots of flickering astronomy/aviation maps and animated figures dancing.

Impact and legacy[edit]

In the 2017 book 'Stars of 90's Dance Pop: 29 Hitmakers Discuss Their Careers' by James Arena, singer Thea Austin said about "Rhythm Is a Dancer":

VH1 placed "Rhythm Is a Dancer" at number 36 in their list of 100 Greatest Dance Songs in 2000.[15]

MTV Dance placed the song at #4 in their list of The 100 Biggest '90s Dance Anthems of All Time in November 2011.[16]

On 31 March 2012, "Rhythm Is a Dancer" was chosen "Best Song of the Nineties" in the Nineties Top 99 on the Belgian Radio MNM for the 4th year in a row.

BuzzFeed listed the song number 30 in their The 101 Greatest Dance Songs Of the '90s list in 2017.[17]

Cover versions[edit]

"Rhythm Is a Dancer" has been covered by numerous artists including German singer Key Biscayne (aka Lian Ross) in 1992, Italian radio host Leone di Lernia who recorded a parody of the song in Italian,[18] Max Deejay who recorded an instrumental cover in 1997, System Drivers in 2002, The Superb, a Brazilian rock act produced by Chilean DJ Sokio[19] in 2005, Israeli-Italian artist Sagi Rei for his 2005 album Emotional Songs, Chic Flowerz featuring Muriel Folwer in 2006. In 1993 Kids Incorporated covered "Rhythm Is a Dancer" in the Season 9 episode "Teamwork".

Bastille's 2013 single "Of the Night" was a mashup of "Rhythm Is a Dancer" and another 1990s dance track, Corona's "The Rhythm of the Night".[20]

Appearances in other media[edit]

The song was often used in films or series, including in an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 during its third season in 1993, in a scene of the 2010 comedy movie Cop Out. The song was also featured in TV adverts, including in the 1995 ad for the Ford Escort on German television, and in 2008, in a TV commercial in the UK for "Drench" spring water, which features Brains from the 1960s Gerry Anderson puppet series Thunderbirds and used an edited version of the original "Rhythm Is a Dancer", bringing the song back into the UK singles chart on 9 June 2008, at number 23.

Track listings[edit]

Official versions[edit]

  • "Rhythm Is a Dancer" (7" Edit) / (Rhythm Is a Dancer '92) – 3:41
  • "Rhythm Is a Dancer" (12" Mix) – 5:12
  • "Rhythm Is a Dancer" (Instrumental Rhythm) – 5:30
  • "Rhythm Is a Dancer" (Purple Hazed 7" Edit) – 4:31
  • "Rhythm Is a Dancer" (Purple Hazed Mix) – 6:49
  • "Rhythm Is a Dancer" (Rhyth Kid Version) – 5:38
  • "Rhythm Is a Dancer" (Tee's Choice Mix) – 6:19
  • "Rhythm Is a Dancer 2003" (Radio Edit)
  • "Rhythm Is a Dancer 2003" ("Check This Out" Remix) – 7:06
  • "Rhythm Is a Dancer 2003" (CJ Stone Radio Mix) / (CJ Stone Remix) – 3:49
  • "Rhythm Is a Dancer 2003" (CJ Stone Club Mix) / (CJ Stone Remix) – 7:45
  • "Rhythm Is a Dancer 2003" (Video Version) – 3:20

Charts and sales[edit]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ a b c d "Official Charts > Snap!". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-03-21.
  4. ^ "Chart Archive - 1990s Singles". everyhit.com. Retrieved 2013-07-31.
  5. ^ "Echo. Deutscher Schallplattenpreis 1992" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  6. ^ Habib, Elia (2002). Muz hit.tubes (in French). Alinea Bis. p. 246. ISBN 2-9518832-0-X.
  7. ^ John Perry Barlow. "Being in Nothingness Virtual Reality and the Pioneers of Cyberspace". "Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  8. ^ a b Rupert Neate (9 Jul 2008). "Worst lyric of all time: I'm serious as cancer, when I say rhythm is a dancer". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-09-19.
  9. ^ "BPM for 'rhythm' by snap | songbpm.com". songbpm.com. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  10. ^ Austin, Thea. "Snap! "Rhythm Is a Dancer" Sheet Music in A Minor - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
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  13. ^ https://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1993-05-08
  14. ^ Arena, James (2017). Stars of 90's Dance Pop: 29 Hitmakers Discuss Their Careers. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.
  15. ^ "Rock On The Net: VH1: 100 Greatest Dance Songs". www.rockonthenet.com.
  16. ^ MTV Dance - Tuesday 27.12.2011
  17. ^ Stopera, Matt; Galindo, Brian (11 March 2017). "The 101 Greatest Dance Songs of the '90s". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  18. ^ "An audio sample". Video4viet.com.
  19. ^ "The Superb". Last.fm. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  20. ^ Copsey, Robert (15 November 2013). "Bastille: 'Of The Night' – Single review". Digital Spy. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
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External links[edit]