jakub | March 5, 2024

Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ was nearly New Radicals’ debut single


Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ was almost New Radicals‘ debut single, the band’s frontman Gregg Alexander has revealed. Listen to a snippet of his original demo below.

Alexander is credited as a co-writer and co-producer of Ellis-Bextor’s 2001 song, which has recently enjoyed a huge resurgence after soundtracking an already-infamous nude scene in Saltburn.

Back in January, ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ reached its original position of Number Two on the UK singles chart (it is currently at Number 20), and broke into the Billboard 100 in the US for the very first time.

Ellis-Bextor has since made her US TV debut, announced a run of North American headline shows and performed live at the 2024 BAFTA Film Awards off the back of her surge in popularity.

However, during a new interview with The Guardian, Alexander explained that the song was initially intended to be New Radicals’ debut single, instead of their 1998 anthem ‘You Get What You Give’.

“I almost flipped a coin between the two songs,” the singer-songwriter told the publication.

“The record company wanted something urgently and I didn’t have the time or the budget to finish both. I felt like ‘Murder’ was a monster but ‘You Get What You Give’ was a masterpiece. It was everything I’d always wanted to say inside five minutes.”

Alexander went on to talk about a “master quality demo” he had recorded for ‘Murder…’, but said he ultimately turned his attention to ‘You Get What You Give’. “I was really excited and it was newer,” he remembered.

The demo made its way to Ellis-Bextor after New Radicals’ split, with the pair going on to finish the tune together.

“‘Murder’ was a song I always wanted the world to hear,” Alexander explained. “And when I met Sophie we embarked on a creative journey, the first of three or four Top 10 hits we had.”

He recalled recording the single at Mayfair Studios in London with songwriter and producer Matt Rowe (Spice Girls). “Every time I went down the hallway for a coffee I’d see people dancing to ‘Murder On The Dancefloor,” Alexander said. “I’d think ‘Wow, maybe this is tapping into something’.”

You can listen to a 41-second snippet of the ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ demo here via The Guardian.

The preview was accompanied by a message from Alexander, who wrote: “[…] My bandmate Danielle [Brisebois] and I thought why not share a snippet of that cassette ruff track we sent Sophie containing New Radicals’ nearly ‘lost hit’?

“A song which may have gone unheard, and the world never known, were it not for Sophie’s belief in the song and her pop brilliance! Enjoy – and eternal thank you from New Radicals to Sophie Ellis-Bextor!”

‘You Get What You Give’ appeared on New Radicals’ sole studio album ‘Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too’, and hit Number Five in the UK. In 2021, the band reunited for the first time in 22 years to perform the song during a virtual event celebrating president Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Speaking to NME at the start of this year, Ellis-Bextor discussed the unexpected experience of achieving success in America this late into her career.

“That’s what’s been quite extraordinary,” she said. “To them, [‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ is] a new song, and that’s bonkers. It didn’t do anything there the first time around, and I’m fine with that. If I’ve learned anything along the way it’s that you’ve got to go where the momentum is.”

The singer continued: “The glamour of being big in America would have meant a lot of time away, and I’d rather go where there are already things happening. I had an absolute ball with the first record in Latin America, South East Asia and all these places – but if this ends up being something that takes me there now then let’s see what happens.”





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