THE FT TOP 100 SONGS
98. Deee-Lite – “Groove Is In The Heart”
A song that makes me feel slightly old, as it has become a standard in my listening lifetime. And a real, top-ranking standard, too, up there with “Celebration” and “Dancing Queen”, except unlike “Dancing Queen” it’s fast enough to actually, yes, dance to. It’s one of the absolute dancefloor bankers – it may not be original but unless you’re playing to class A snobs you can get a reaction with Deee-Lite.
Which can lead to other problems. I’ve heard this record a lot, and rarely because I put it on. I am perpetually a bit bored of “Groove Is In The Heart” – unless it’s playing, at which point I always like it. But I take it for granted – I’m a little bit pleased it turned up at No.98 rather than No.9 or 8. Or 1, which it easily could have.
What makes it so good? For one thing it never stands still – if I started counting the different hooks on this track we’d be here all month. There’s a low-attention-span Transatlantic pop thread which bounces back from one group of tres hip disco magpies to another: S’Express in London then over to Deee-Lite then back to Saint Etienne. Now I love Saint Etienne to bits but they never did anything like this. What’s Deee-Lite’s secret weapon? Hip-hop. It may only have a half-minute of rapping on it (and that won’t win any prizes) but “Groove Is In The Heart” is surely one of the classic Daisy Age tracks, steeped in effortless positivity.