Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Dance Floor Murder: 16 Facts You Never Knew

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware that Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s 2002 hit, Murder On The Dancefloor, is making a comeback in a big way.

Yes, thanks to the song featured on the Saltburn soundtrack, Sophie’s signature song has gained so many streams, it has crept up the UK singles charts.

And the momentum shows no signs of slowing, with Sophie even making it to the charts in America for the first time thanks to the huge amount of streaming that came from Saltburn’s success.

To celebrate the song’s totally unexpected comeback, we’ve rounded up 16 facts you probably never knew about Murder On The Dancefloor…

1. This song was written by Sophie and not her collaborator

The name Gregg Alexander may not necessarily ring a bell, but you’re probably familiar with his work as the frontman of the New Radicals, best known for the 1998 hit You Get What You Give.

Gregg Alexander performing with the New Radicals in 1999Gregg Alexander performing with the New Radicals in 1999

Gregg’s other work includes co-writing Texas’ Inner Smile, Ronan Keating’s Life Is A Rollercoaster, and Lost Stars, a song recorded by Adam Levine for the Begin Again soundtrack, which received an Oscar nomination in 2015.

He also worked with Sophie on a number of her other hits, including Music Gets The Best Of Me, Mixed Up World and I Won’t Change You.

2. Murder On The Dancefloor was inspired not by murder, but by a car breaking down

In 2019, Sophie recalled to Music Week that Gregg Alexander started working on Murder On The Dancefloor when he “wanted to go to the club and then his car wouldn’t start”.

“He recorded it into a cassette player and it was really loose,” he told the music outlet. “There aren’t really any verses, it’s just him singing nonsensical lyrics. But he has the chorus.

“I remember being in a high-tech studio and playing these really rough tapes. So I worked it out and finished the lyrics – it was pretty easy and fun. This started us collaborating on several things together after that.”

3. This single remains Sophie’s highest charting solo single to date

Murder On The Dancefloor peaked at number two in the UK, where it was defended from the top spot by Daniel Bedingfield’s garage bop Gotta Get Thru. He previously reached number one with the Spiller collaboration Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love).

Daniel Bedingfield kept Sophie out of top spot for the first timeDaniel Bedingfield kept Sophie out of top spot for the first time

In fact, Sophie was previously involved in one of the most famous chart battles of the 2000s with Victoria Beckham, when they released Groovejet and Out Of Your Mind respectively, in the same week.

4. When Saltburn revived Murder On The Dancefloor more than two decades after its release, there was a spooky bit of coincidence

Murder On The Dancefloor not only matched its previous chart peak, but also occurred on the same weekend, just 22 years later. This time, it was Noah Kahn’s Season of the Sticks that kept him at the top.

5. This song charted almost everywhere in 2002… except the United States

Sophie made the top five in Australia, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Ireland and the Netherlands and many more, although the song never bothered the US charts (until Saltburn appeared, of course). Murder On The Dancefloor was also the most played song on European radio in 2002.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor performing live in 2002Sophie Ellis-Bextor performing live in 2002

Eric Fougere via Getty Images

6. Murder On The Dancefloor was many people’s introduction to Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s unique singing style

On performing her songs in her trademark accent, Sophie told the Telegraph last year: “Singing while talking felt like the only way to do it. I don’t want to be one of those singers who sings about sadness with a big grin on my face.

“Changing my accent will make my emotions feel like entertainment.”

7. This song is synonymous with its iconic music video which is inspired by classic films

“I just watched the movie They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? about a dance marathon, and in the end they all went absolutely crazy,” Sophie told Music Week in 2019.

“That was our idea to have a dancing competition, where I try to do everything I can to win.”

Michael Sarrazin and Jane Fonda in the 1969 film They Shoot Horses, Don't They?Michael Sarrazin and Jane Fonda in the 1969 film They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

8. With the Murder On The Dancefloor video, Sophie deliberately wanted to differentiate herself from her fellow pop stars at that time

Sophie recalled to Vulture: “I was new to the pop world. Many people were introduced to me and no one knew much about me. I just thought, ‘Maybe I won’t tell them everything about me’.

“I think it feels like a nice juxtaposition to a lot of the smiley pop videos that were out there in that era being pretty awful. That is very fun. And I think with pop music, if you’re not having fun, something’s wrong.”

“The image of pop music is high-fiving models in clubs pretending to be your friends,” he previously told Music Week.

“I don’t want that. I want to be a very unpleasant girl, I want to be a cruel and evil villain!”

Sophie Ellis-Bextor in the music video Murder On The Dance FloorSophie Ellis-Bextor in the music video Murder On The Dance Floor

9. This also marks the second collaboration between the singer and director Sophie Muller

But it certainly won’t be the last. The two Sophies have worked together 15 times, including videos for Sophie’s hits Catch You, Take Me Home, Today The Sun’s On Us, Not Giving Up On Love and Hypnotized. The pair are close in real life, and the director is even godmother to one of the singer’s five sons.

Sophie Muller is also responsible for iconic videos such as Annie Lennox’s Why, Gwen Stefani’s Cool and Wind It Up, Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie, The Killers’ Mr Brightside, Lily Allen’s Smile, Mika’s Grace Kelly and Padam Padam by Kylie Minogue. .

10. The music video features a cameo appearance from The Crown star

The head judge for this dance competition is played by Colin Stinton, who has also appeared in Foyle’s War, Doctor Who, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Wonder Woman 1984.

Colin Stinton as seen in the music video Murder On The DancefloorColin Stinton as seen in the music video Murder On The Dancefloor

11. No, the signature foot stamp is not actually on the original record

If you think so, it’s probably because you spent most of the early 2000s watching MTV Hits and The Box, which were on regular rotation.

The music video adds some additional details, including the aforementioned paw prints and a happy exclamation of “all of them!”.

12. There have been some really interesting Murder On The Dancefloor covers over the years

Among the most important are a version in Chinese by singer Kelly Chen and a reworking by Swedish musician Papa Dee, who released it as Murder In The Dance Hall.

Papa Dee’s version was later sampled by Skepta in his song Love Me Not.

Sophie even put her own spin on the song when she recorded an orchestral version of her favorite song for her reworked greatest hits album The Song Diaries.

Describing the 2019 version as “quite strange”, he told Music Week: “I was working with Ed Harcourt and he suggested making it in Spanish, so we put in instruments.”

13. Sophie gave new meaning to Murder On The Dancefloor in 2013

Over a decade ago, Sophie took part in Strictly Come Dancing, and although her signature hit song felt perfect for the show, she’s never actually danced to it (notably, singers signed up to Strictly have never performed with their own music on the floor dance).

Sophie at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing in 2013Sophie at the launch of Strictly Come Dancing in 2013

John Phillips via Getty Images

In fact, there has only been one Murder On The Dance Floor routine in Strictly history, performed by eventual champions Ellie Leach and Vito Coppola during Halloween week in 2023.

However, we have a feeling that could change in 2024, given the song’s newfound popularity…

14. Even before Saltburn, Murder On The Dancefloor had experienced a mini-resurgence thanks to Sophie’s Instagram live-streams

During lockdown, Sophie has continued to entertain her fans by hosting weekly Instagram live-streams which she calls “Kitchen Discos”, where she performs her own songs, as well as selected covers, from her family home (usually with a mix of songs messed up). results).

Murder On The Dance Floor is, of course, a staple of his “Kitchen Disco,” where he covers everything from Kids In America and Like A Prayer to Dame Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again and Mary Poppins’ A Spoonful Of Sugar .

15. When it came to Saltburn’s closing scene, director Emerald Fennell insisted there was never another song in mind

“It was definitely a joyous, triumphant moment,” he told last year. “It was definitely a moment that got us, the audience, involved in all the bad stuff.

“It has to have a kind of post-coital excitement and a little bit of camp, which I think this film is also inevitable for. So there will be nothing but Murder On The Dance Floor. It was too good to be true.”

Emerald Fennell with Saltburn stars Jacob Elordi and Barry Keoghan at the film's premiereEmerald Fennell with Saltburn stars Jacob Elordi and Barry Keoghan at the film’s premiere

16. And Murder On The Dancefloor isn’t the only song to be launched back into the top 40 thanks to Saltburn

The dance song Princess Superstar’s Perfect (Exceeder) re-entered the UK singles charts after being used on another major Saltburn stage.

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