You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) (Performance Mix)
“You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” is a song by British band Dead or Alive on their 1985 album Youthquake. The song was the first UK number-one hit by the Stock Aitken Waterman production trio. Released in November 1984, the record reached number one in March 1985, taking 17 weeks to get there. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at no. 11 on 17 August of that year. In 2015 the song was voted by the British public as the nation’s 17th favourite 1980s number one in a poll for ITV.
The video, which features a disco ball, waving gold flags and an evocation of the six-armed Vishnu, was directed by Vaughan Arnell and Anthea Benton.
Dead or Alive’s vocalist Pete Burns states in his autobiography that he composed “You Spin Me Round” by using two existing songs as inspiration for creating something new:
How did I write “Spin Me”? I listened to Luther Vandross’s ‘I Wanted Your Love’. It’s not the same chord structure, but then that’s the way I make music – I hear something and I sing another tune over it. I didn’t sit and study the Luther Vandross album – I heard the song and it locked. […] I’m trying to structure the music and I know what I want. […] It’s like do this, do this, do this – and suddenly it hits. I don’t want to do Luther Vandross’s song, but I can still sing the same pattern over it. And there was another record, by Little Nell, called “See You ‘Round Like A Record”. […] So I had those two, Van Dross [sic] and Little Nell and – bingo! – done deal.
— Pete Burns, Freak Unique (2007)
According to Burns, the record company was unenthusiastic about “You Spin Me Round”, to such an extent that Burns had to take out a £2,500 loan to record it, then once it had been recorded “the record company said it was awful. It was unanimous – it wasawful, it was rubbish.” Burns states that the band had to fund production of the song’s video themselves.
The strings were based on Richard Wagner’s classical piece “Ride of the Valkyries”.
Interviewed for BBC Radio 4’s The Reunion: The Hit Factory, in April 2015, Burns said that the confrontational attitude of the producers was met with an equally confrontational attitude from the band and that this led to “quite a bad vibe” for the entirety of the studio time, describing the experience as “a time of intense friction”.