Album: The Roof Is On Fire (1984)
  • One of just three songs released by Rock Master Scott and The Dynamic Three, "Request Line" was the A-side of "The Roof Is On Fire," which later became famous for its chant.

    The "request line" was the phone line where listeners could call in to a radio station and ask for a song. In the years when songs weren't accessible on demand and when live disc jockeys were required at radio stations, this was a big deal, and it was always a thrill when the DJ actually played your song.

    The group was produced by Jerry Bloodrock, who came up with the idea for this song. Greg Wigfall of the Dynamic Three told us how it came together: "Jerry was a DJ, and had the concept of, 'DJ please pick up your phone, I'm on the request line.' We wanted to be in tune with this particular song for the radio station, because with radio, that's what it was. The request line is what people called into when they want to request a song. So we utilized that concept as a radio type of song, the message behind it, DJ picking the phone up and someone making a request and then playing the music.

    And then the raps that came in between the hooks were our own freestyle raps introducing ourselves. Like my rap name was MBG and when I picked the phone up, 'Hello, MBG on your request line, responding to your request.' I would answer the phone and say who I was, and then lay the rap down. It was more of a radio type of song, and it worked. I remember 98.7 KISS broke that song and when they broke it, it just went wild. It came out right around the time that Run-D.M.C. made 'Sucker M.C.s' It was like a battle as to which song was #1 this week, and it went from there.

    Did we expect it to do that? I didn't. When they started playing and playing on regular rotation, it had everybody surprised. But it hit regular rotation with major radio stations, and it's been in Billboard magazine. I think we were in Billboard with a bullet up to #16 before it started to drop."
  • The Soul diva group Zhané recorded a similar song called "Request Line" in 1997 that incorporated the "DJ please pick up your phone..." line at the beginning. Missy Elliott sampled this section at the beginning of her 2002 song "Work It."


Be the first to comment...

Zakk WyldeSongwriter Interviews

When he was playing Ozzfest with Black Label Society, a kid told Zakk he was the best Ozzy guitarist - Zakk had to correct him.

Scott StappSongwriter Interviews

The Creed lead singer reveals the "ego and self-fulfillment" he now sees in one of the band's biggest hits.

Dave Pirner of Soul AsylumSongwriter Interviews

Dave explains how the video appropriated the meaning of "Runaway Train," and what he thought of getting parodied by Weird Al.

The PoliceFact or Fiction

Do their first three albums have French titles? Is "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" really meaningless? See if you can tell in this Fact or Fiction.

Producer Ron NevisonSong Writing

Ron Nevison explains in very clear terms the Quadrophenia concept and how Heart staged their resurgence after being dropped by their record company.

Into The Great Wide Open: Made-up MusiciansSong Writing

Eddie (played by Johnny Depp in the video) found fame fleeting, but Chuck Berry's made-up musician fared better.