Murder On The Dancefloor: Why is this 00s dance hit going viral?


Murder on the dancefloor wiki 128x71 1Murder On The Dancefloor: Why is this 00s dance hit going viral?

Murder on the Dancefloor

Murder on the Dancefloor was a hit for Sophie Ellis-Bextor back in 2001. But guess what? It’s back and bigger than before. Why the sudden rush for this disco bop? 

Murder On The Dancefloor: Why is this 00s dance hit going viral?

Royalties, aren’t they great? Forget the lottery, write yourself a catchy and preferably seasonal song, and watch year after year as your bank balance doubles.

Kate Bush experienced unexpected sales after her 1980s hit, Running Up That Hill, was featured on Netflix‘s popular series, Stranger Things. Noddy Holder, Shakin’ Stevens and The Darkness are all artists who benefit from returning Christmas sales.

Next to receive a cheeky bonus is Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who originally released Murder On The Dancefloor over 20 years ago. Now at the start of 2024, it’s on the rise again.


We must first ask why the hit has come back into the charts. Well, that is thanks to the late 2023 movie release of Saltburn.

The film, directed by Emerald Fennell, landed in movie theatres at the end of last year. Saltburn is a comedy psychological thriller and features Murder On The Dancefloor. Thus far, the movie has grossed $20.3 million! So, it’s not doing badly.

Murder on the Dancefloor features in the final scene of the film, where the film’s lead, Barry Keoghan, dances entirely naked to the song. As a result, it has left quite an impression.

Murder On The Dancefloor

Originally, Sophie Ellis-Bextor achieved a No.2 chart position with Murder on the Dancefloor. However, she has recently charted again at No.8 more than 20 years after the original release.

Furthermore, the track has seen upwards of 40m views across TikTok, as well as Spotify streams hitting 2.2 million in the weeks following the film’s release.

As the lyric says, ‘If you think you’re getting away, I will prove you wrong’!

Unusual Structure

Overall, the song is just a bit strange. As it doesn’t feature your standard, verse-chorus form.

Usually, you’d have a set of chords that form the verse, and a contrasting set of chords to form the chorus. However, with Murder On The Dancefloor, you get the same set of chords for each section. Giving the song an infectious feel is the descending and then ascending chord progression from G#m down to F#m, and then back up again.

Moreover, Guy Pratt, notably in his work with Pink Floyd, played the bass on this track. Arguably, the bass line brings what is otherwise a sedate arrangement to life.

Guy is most well known for playing his modified 1964 Fender Jazz Bass “Betsy”, which he acquired from The Who’s late bass player. John Entwistle. The Fender Jazz bass is synonymous with disco, and Guy’s choice of retrofitted EMG pickups would make it a great choice for playing disco and funk.

Fender AM Ultra J Bass RW Ultraburst
Fender AM Ultra J Bass RW Ultraburst

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Murder On The Danceloor

Murder On The Dancefloor – Chords

Fame Once More

As previously discussed, this is not the first time that a song has come back to life. More often than not, people misplace a brilliant piece of music in their heads and realise that it is indeed pretty good.

From beyond the grave, Tom Petty, has managed to get back into the charts. Following the release of the Grand Theft Auto VI video game trailer, Love Is A Long Road, also received a substantial revival.

Petty’s 1989 track received a 36979% increase in Spotify streams. And do you know what? It is a really good, no longer forgotten, song.

The Power of Social Media

As viewers left movie theatres, they took to their phones and searched for the previously forgotten dance hit. This caused an increase in Spotify streams and TikTok views. If something goes viral on TikTok, it’s everywhere. From holiday vlogs to food shopping hacks, whatever song is trending will be used as background music.

You can see just how much of an impact the song has made on TikTok:

  • Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s personal TikTok page
  • Comedy Video using the song
  • Love Actually ‘remix’

Murder On The Dancefloor: You’d better not kill the groove!

What have we learned so far? Place an impressionable movie scene at the end of a film with a catchy song, and you’ve got a hit.

So, will you be listening to this early 2000s hit again? Or, have you never stopped? Has it remained a guilty pleasure over the past 20 years?


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