Rhythm Is A Dancer

Album: The Madman's Return (1992)
Charted: 1 5
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Songfacts®:

  • This club-banger features vocals by Thea Austin. The American singer/songwriter/composer was meant to be the replacement for Snap!'s original lead vocalist Penny Ford, however after laying down the vocals for this track, she left the band. Austin later was lead vocalist on Soulsearcher's UK 1999 Top 10 hit "Can't Get Enough" and Pusaka's 2001 dance club chart topper "You're The Worst Thing For Me."

    So how did Austin hook up with Snap!? After Penny Ford left the band because of tensions with the group's rapper Turbo B, the German producers who controlled the group called her back to help with arrangements, and asked her to find a replacement female singer from America. In our interview with Penny Ford, she told us: "They paid me a whole lot of money to pick somebody and bring 'em back over here (Germany). Because by that time I had signed with Sony, which meant contractually I could no longer sing for them, because they were BMG. But I was not signed to Sony as a writer. So I could still write for them. So I'm not sure how it sorted out, but the girl that came after me, she was interviewing me in the same way that you are right now for a magazine, and she said she was also a songwriter. Her name is Thea Austin, and she asked me if I would listen to her song. And I don't make a point of listening to everybody's songs, I just can't listen to them all. But I listened to this song and I liked it and I wanted it for my album. So I needed to get rid of her so she didn't need that song anymore. So I asked her if she had a passport. She did, and she happens to come from the same small little ghetto outside of Pittsburgh that Turbo did. And three days later she was on a plane coming over here making another massive hit for Snap!, 'Rhythm is a Dancer.'"
  • This was the biggest selling single of 1992 in the UK with 582,700 copies sold. It also reached #1 in many other European countries including France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and The Netherlands. In America, it became the third and final Top 40 hit for Snap!, following "The Power" and "Ooops Up."
  • A memorable and borderline offensive lyric in this song is "I'm as serious as cancer, when I say rhythm is a dancer." Snap's infamous cancer lyric was possibly borrowed from Eric B. & Rakim's song "I Ain't No Joke" from their 1987 album Paid In Full. The couplet in question goes:

    I got a question as serious as cancer
    Who can keep the average dancer


    The line also shows up in the 1988 song "Strong Island" by JVC Force:

    I'm as serious as cancer, all fun is done
  • A remix by CJ Stone returned this song to the UK Top 20 in 2003. In 2008, thanks to its use in TV commercials for Drench spring water Snap's original version re-entered the UK Top 40 again.
  • When Thea Austin left the band after recording this song, Penny Ford brought in Madonna's backup singer Niki Haris to replace her, and she sang on the European hits "Exterminate!" and "Do You See The Light (Looking For)." In 1994, Haris was out and Penny brought in Paula Brown, who went by "Summer," to replace her. European hits with Brown singing included "Welcome to Tomorrow (Are You Ready?)" and "The First The Last Eternity (Till the End)." Snap! went on hiatus in 1997, but reformed in 2006 with original singer Penny Ford back on female vocals and a new male rapper named Benjamin "Stoli" Lowe.

Comments: 5

  • Chuck Cochems from The Internet. Wow. no one ever gets the lyrics right. Lyrics commonly mangled in all caps, explanations at the end.

    Rhythm is a dancer
    it's a SOUL'S companion
    PEOPLE feel it everywhere
    lift your hands and voices
    free your mind and join us
    you can feel it in the air.

    oh-oh, it's a passion
    Oh-oh, you can feel it IN THE AIR
    Oh-oh, it's a passion
    Oh-oh oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh

    Rhythm, you can feel it
    PEOPLE feel it, rhythm,
    Rhythm is a dancer,
    Rhythm, you can feel it
    PEOPLE feel it, rhythm,
    Rhythm is a dancer.

    Common mangles.

    it's a source companion (this makes no sense. soul's companion is obviously right, and it's what she says)
    you can feel it everywhere (instead of people feel it everywhere)
    Oh-oh, you can feel it yeah (it's most definitely "in the air" though it's not said that clearly)
    Lift your handsome voices (LOL! nice mondegreen there)
    you can feel it you can feel it (second rep is "people feel it" definitely, but an easy mistake to make)
  • Ben from New York CityRhythm is a Dancer was a colossal hit in NYC clubs. The songs powerful words and melody Is what gives it it’s staying power. I’m in my late 50’s and my wife and I still hear it in some of the dance clubs, weddings, and events.
  • Sioraf from Macroon, IrelandCancer is very serious though. Nobody calls Waterfalls tasteless for mentioning HIV.
  • Jorges from Oaxaca, Mexicomaybe with Technotronic, SNAP! is one of the most and best examples of House music- at least in some countries in Hispanoamerica the genre was known like that. This song of course is known and it sounds so good in some Audio Systems (home or cars) even: more than 15 years after Snap! Offer Nissim DJ's made a remix of this powerful song.
  • Emily from Derby, United KingdomI LOVE THIS SONG! iT IS ON THE DRENCH ADVERT
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