This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.
KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #373: Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite.
In one of the YouTube comments for this song, the author stated that “Groove is in the Heart” is the exact moment when the 1980s and 90s merged. There may be some truth to that sentiment. Deee-Lite were formed in the late 1980s and consisted of lead singer Lady Miss Kier, along with DJs Dimitry (from Russia) and Towa Tei (from Japan). They created a form of music that combined Funk with Rave and Dance music. The effect of this mashup was a sound that pulsated with energy and movement and dancing and fun. Deee-Lite played with a full band and dancers and had as much in common with Funk pioneers such as James Brown and Parliment-Funkadelic as they did with any of the forerunners of the Electronic Dance Movement to come.
“Groove is in the Heart” was their biggest commercial hit. It went to #1 on the Dance charts and Top Ten on the Pop charts when it was released. The band had several other hits that charted such as “The Power of Love”, “Good Beat” and “Runaway”. The band was known for their live performances. They were often lauded for being inclusive because they welcomed all manner of individuals into their sphere of influence. You could be into fashion and find a home with Deee-Lite. You could be into dancing and enjoy Deee-Lite. You could be exploring your sexuality and/or your sexual orientation and find safe harbour with Deee-Lite. You could be someone who admired the funk pioneers of the past and appreciated how Deee-Lite incorporated that into their performances. In general, there was lots to like about the band when they played live. For me, I am amazed at the deep bass tones and excellent sound quality of their live shows. Lead singer Lady Miss Kier is extremely charismatic and aerobically fit and possesses a powerful, clear voice and, wow, can she ever dance!
However, Deee-Lite turned out to be one of those groups that burned brightly for a short while and then left a beautiful corpse. The band broke up after a couple of albums. DJ Towa Tei didn’t like touring or performing. Instead, he preferred working in a more controlled studio setting. DJ Dimitry, who often took a back seat to Lady Miss Kier on stage during their concerts is enjoying his time as a solo artist much more. As for Lady Miss Kier, I am not sure why she never became a bigger star. She had it all: stage presence, singing power, good looks, high energy dance moves and much more. While she has remained active in the Rave and Electronic Dance scenes she has kept a deliberately low profile since the breakup of Deee-Lite. That is too bad for them and for all of us. Their music was the tonic for much of what ails our society these days. It was fun, funky, upbeat and extremely positive. But, in their wake, they have left us some incredible tunes and wonderful live performances to remember them by.
Enjoy the official video for “Groove is in the Heart” featuring rapper Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest and Bootsy Collins from Parliment-Funkadelic (in the star-shaped glasses). I will also post another song theirs called “What is Love?” It is a live recording that demonstrates the absolutely excellent sound quality that Deee-Lite was known for. Once the bass guitars start up, this song roars to life. As noted earlier, Lady Miss Keir’s fitness level is off of the charts! What a workout! Yet her voice remains powerful and clear all the way through (no autotune or lip-syncing here!). Without further delay, here is Deee-Lite with “Groove is in the Heart” and “What is Love?” Have a sweet day, everyone.
A link to the video for “Groove is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite can be found here. ***The lyrics version can be found here.
A link to the video for “What is Love?” by Deee-Lite can be found here. ***There is no lyrics version for this song. Sorry.
A link to the official website for Deee-Lite can be found here.
KEXP supports of all manner musical expression. A link to their wonderful website can be found here.
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