Saturday, April 20, 2024

“Murder on the Dance Floor” US Debut on Jimmy Fallon Tonight, Was Written by Songwriter Who Joni Mitchell Said Saved Her Career


British pop star Sophie Ellis-Bextor is making her American TV debut tonight on Jimmy Fallon — 20 years late.

Bextor’s “Murder on the Dance Floor” was released in 2001, made a little bit of noise, and went away. Now it’s a hit thanks to the movie “Saltburn” and the crazy naked dance star Barry Keoghan performs to it at the end of the film.

The actual writers of the song (with Bextor) was Gregg Alexander, the leader of the cult hit group, New Radicals. The latter group had two smash hits with “You Gotta Get What You Give” and “Someday We’ll Know.” After those releases in 1998-99, Alexander announced that was it, he was going on to do other things.

Alexander is also well known for writing “The Game of Love” for Carlos Santana and Michelle Shocked (original version with Tina Turner) and the soundtrack to the great John Carney movie, “Begin Again.”

His frequent collaborator is Danielle Brisebois, who was featured on “Archie’s Place” and “Knots Landing” years ago. But Brisebois is foremost a songwriter. Her Natasha Bedingfield hit, “Unwritten,” is hot again thanks to the movie “Anyone But You.”

You see — good songs stand the test of time! “You Gotta Get What You Give” is one of the greatest pop songs ever. Joni Mitchell once said that she loved it so much it encouraged her to not to give up her career in the 1990s. Years later, I introduced her to Alexander at Clive Davis’s pre-Grammy dinner and couldn’t have been more effusive!

When I ran into Gregg last week in LA, he told me that “Murder on the Dance Floor” was actually supposed to be on the famous New Radicals album.

“I made a demo of it,” he said, “with my voice. We were going to do it and then it was put aside. I may release it now that Sophie’s version is a hit all over again!”

And who got murdered on the dance floor, I asked? “Hopefully, no one!” Alexander replied.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News