Hear the original demo of “Murder on the Dance Floor”

With Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s 2001 single “Murder on the Dancefloor” becoming a resurgent hit thanks to its placement in the film Saltburn, you may have learned that the song was co-written by Gregg Alexander, frontman for the short-lived “You Get What You Give” band New Radicals. Now, Alexander has shared his original demo of “Murder on the Dancefloor” in an interview with The Guardian.

As Alexander tells it, he wrote the hook of the song — “It’s murder on the dancefloor/But you’d better not kill the groove” — while annoyed that his broken-down car wouldn’t start.

“‘Murder on the dancefloor’ wasn’t anything deep from my subconscious,” Alexander explains. “It was just a dummy lyric that was kind of sung for fun, but then I couldn’t better it.”

Flash-forward to when New Radicals were recording their one and only album, 1998’s Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too, and Alexander found himself deciding between “Murder on the Dancefloor” and “You Get What You Give” as the band’s first single.

“I almost flipped a coin between the two songs,” Alexander says. “The record company wanted something urgently and I didn’t have the time or the budget to finish both.”

Ultimately, he chose “You Get What You Give,” which became the signature New Radicals song.

“I felt like ‘Murder’ was a monster but ‘You Get What You Give’ was a masterpiece,” Alexander says. “It was everything I’d always wanted to say inside five minutes.”

Over 20 years later, Alexander feels that everything worked out as it should have.

“[Ellis-Bextor’s] so talented and humble but a great pop star,” Alexander says. “I think her genius, slightly deadpan delivery helped make it a hit.”

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