Dance With Me

Album: Let There Be Music (1975)
Charted: 6
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  • Their first hit, this is the song which really put Orleans on the map. It's a soft but uplifting "let's dance before the night ends" song, in which the singer doesn't want to dance with just anyone, but with a special girl who he has romantic plans for. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Santa Barbara, CA
  • Like many of Orleans' songs, this was written by their guitarist/vocalist John Hall and his wife/lyricist Johanna. The Halls divorced in 2000, and John was elected to congress in 2006.

    In our interview with John Hall, he told the story of the song: "I started playing it on acoustic guitar and developed it, just jamming by myself in the living room. The whole song - the verses, the bridge, the ending - was all complete coming out of my acoustic guitar. Johanna yelled from the other room, 'That sounds like 'Dance With Me.'' And I went, 'Can't we come up with something a little bit more unusual than that?" And she said, "I don't know, it really sounds like 'Dance With Me.''

    She couldn't get past that and I couldn't get past that any further, so I played the instrumental version for Larry Hoppen and he said, 'Boy, you really need to finish that, that sounds like a hit song.'

    So coming back from a show in Ithaca, New York, on the western part of the state, through the Woodstock area again, Johanna and I were riding in the car, and suddenly she says, 'Pick the beat up and kick your feet up.' She starts scribbling on another one of those envelopes, and by the time we got home, we had kicked the ideas back and forth and finished the lyric.

    So that song took a couple of months from start to finish, but it's sort of organic the way it happened. Sometimes a song will start with a lyric, sometimes it'll start with the music, which it did in that case. And sometimes it's both being written at the same time. There's no wrong way or right way to write a song.
  • Orleans used a lot of unusual instruments in their songs, and on this track, Larry Hoppen played a melodica in the break. Also called a "hooter," the instrument looks like a small keyboard with a mouthpiece attached. It is played by blowing through the reed and controlling the notes with the keyboard.
  • Orleans recorded this song for their second album, Orleans II, which was given limited international release in 1974 but withheld in the US by their label, ABC, which didn't hear a hit single on the album. The group left the label and joined Elektra-Asylum. Their first release on that label was Let There Be Music in 1975, which included a re-recorded "Dance With Me."

    Released as a single, it was a hit, vindicating the group. "Everybody at ABC who said it wasn't a hit got to eat their words and I was happy about it all," John Hall told Melody Maker. "I think we were fortunate to get dropped because Asylum are a much better company for developing a band like ourselves."

Comments: 13

  • Bunny from New EnglandHeard this tonight on the radio. My heart instantly melted. I miss how deeply I once believed “love would conquer all”. This song brings me back there.
  • Mark from Massachusetts I had a friend in the 80s who claimed he was a minor at the time and wasn’t credited for the lyrics but that he wrote the song.

    I don’t know if it’s true or not but every time I hear it I think of my friend Steve.
  • Laura AshworthLove this song, and it has toes to another great favorite Dancing in the Moonlight, the most feel good song ever written!
  • Tim from NebraskaThe line "Night is falling, and I am falling" in the lyrics above is incorrect. And no, it's not "Night is falling, and I am calling" either. Actually, according to the sheet music, the correct lyric is "Night is calling, and I am falling."
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 4th 1975, Orleans performed "Dance With Me" on the NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special'...
    Nine days later on July 13th, 1975 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #89; and on October 12th it peaked at #6 (for 1 week) and spent 18 weeks on the Top 100...
    It also reached #6 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    Between 1975 and 1979 the quintet had five Top 100 records; with two making the Top 10, their other Top 10 record was "Still the One", it peaked at #5 and also spent 18 weeks on the chart...
    They group just missed have a third Top 10 record when "Love Takes Time" peaked at #11 (for 1 week) on May 20th, 1979.
  • Dave from Wheaton, IlRIP, Larry Hoppen (Orleans' lead singer).
  • Ken from Pensacola Beach, FlJohn and Johanna, wherever you are, this song has given me great joy for at least forty years. I loved it when I was a kid longing to skate hand-in-hand with a certain girl at Tibby's Roller Rink in 1975, and I love it still.
  • Bruce from San Jose, CaA romantic song...ah yes!!!!

    Sing this softly into any girl's ear at a dance, and see how she'll melt!
  • Bill from Pensacola, Flthe solo on this great song features a Melodica, a small keyboard that is played by blowing into a tube. Not too many people used such a thing, and it might just be the biggest hit to ever feature one.
    There is a fantastic video of these guys playing this song on the Midnight Special DVD's. It really shows the complexities of this beautiful song and the harmonies of this wonderful group.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyThree completely different versions of records titled "Dance With Me" have charted. In 1978 Peter Brown's version peaked at #8, in 1965 The Mojo Men reached #61 with their version, and in 1959 The Drifters' version topped out at #15!!! {The Drifters' song is a super great song}
  • Carrie from Roanoke, VaYou know, the lead does sound a lot like Peter Cetera. Maybe that's one reason I like this song so much!
  • Adrian from Johor Bahru, MalaysiaOften mistaken for a Chicago song especially the vocals of one of the leads sounds like Peter Cetera.
  • Eric from Mentor, OhI really love this song and found it abain after Shaw/Blades [Tommy Shaw of Styx and Jack Blades of Night Ranger] recorded a version on the 2007 album "Influence." Shaw plays the mandolin like nobody's business.
    I sing this to my 4-year old daughter all the time. Beautiful.
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