“Murder On The Dancefloor” Was Almost New Radicals’ Debut Single — Hear Gregg Alexander’s Previously Unreleased Demo

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Since the release of Saltburn, Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s 2001 song “Murder On The Dancefloor,” which soundtracks a provocative scene at the end of the film, entered the Hot 100 chart for the first time. Gregg Alexander, a co-writer of the song, revealed in January to Variety that “Murder On The Dancefloor” had almost been New Radicals’ debut single, and today he shared some of his demo for the first time.

New Radicals broke up after striking success with the 1998 hit “You Get What You Give” from their sole album Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too. Alexander disappeared, relocating from Detroit to England and writing for artists like Ellis-Bextor, Santana, Hanson, and Rod Stewart, and later the 2013 movie Begin Again which earned him an Oscar nomination. In a new interview with The Guardian, Alexander explained that he wrote “Murder On The Dancefloor” in 1994. “I had a moment of annoyance that I couldn’t go to the house clubs in Detroit,” he said. “You know how Paul McCartney originally sang about scrambled eggs in ‘Yesterday’? ‘Murder on the dancefloor’ wasn’t anything deep from my subconscious. It was just a dummy lyric that was kind of sung for fun, but then I couldn’t better it.”

After making a demo of “Murder On The Dancefloor,” he wrote “You Get What You Give.” “I almost flipped a coin between the two songs,” he said about picking the first New Radicals single. “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.”

He continued, “’Murder’ was a song I always wanted the world to hear. And when I met Sophie we embarked on a creative journey, the first of three or four Top 10 hits we had.” While recording in Mayfair Studios, he would “see people dancing to ‘Murder On The Dancefloor.’ I’d think ‘Wow, maybe this is tapping into something.’” Some of Alexander’s original lyrics, like “hit The Hague! Then hit the bong!,” ended up on the cutting room floor.

In 2021 New Radicals reunited for the first time in 22 years to perform for Joe Biden’s virtual inauguration parade; “You Get What You Give” was the President’s late son Beau’s “theme song.”

Hear the demo here.