(Let's Dance) The Screw

Album: not released (1963)

Songfacts®:

  • This song, written by Phil Spector, who also "sings" what passes for the chorus ("Dance the screw"), was never released, or even intended for release. In fact, only a handful of copies of the single were ever pressed. It was meant merely as a parting shot at Spector's former business partner Lester Sill. The two co-owners of Philles Records had recently had a falling-out, culminating in Sill selling his stake in the label to Spector just to be rid of him.
  • Despite never having been released, "The Screw" and the story surrounding it still passed into rock and roll legend. A longstanding misconception is that the song was meant by Spector to cheat Sill out of royalties owed him per the terms of their settlement. This myth, and the complete, sordid history of this song, is explored on the Snopes urban legends site.
  • "The Screw" and the legend surrounding it even has echoes in two later songs. In 1970 the Rolling Stones recorded a song called "Schoolboy Blues" with blatantly obscene lyrics to render it unreleaseable, in order to complete their contract with Decca Records (much like the legend surrounding "The Screw"). Then in 1975, Queen's Freddie Mercury wrote "Death On Two Legs" (which was released) as a "Screw"-like parting shot at their estranged former manager. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Joshua - Twin Cities, MN, for all above

Comments: 3

  • Ronny from Melbourne, AustraliaThe lyrics to this song are not accurate! Because it is such a rare song it would be hard to verify, but check out http://youtube.com/watch?v=CA4bw7tIPNs for a recording of the song. The lyrics are not obscene, and quite innocuous.
  • Rick from Columbus, GaThis is maybe the best Spector song ever. It's way beyond its time, and no wonder it was never released. It's obscene, really.
  • Teresa from Mechelen, Belgium"Let's dance the screw", even if everything written above is true it's surely a very good song, after all it's Phil Spector.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Music Video Director David Hogan

Music Video Director David HoganSong Writing

David talks about videos he made for Prince, Alabama, Big & Rich, Sheryl Crow, DMB, Melissa Etheridge and Sisters of Mercy.

Which Restaurants Are Most Mentioned In Song Lyrics?

Which Restaurants Are Most Mentioned In Song Lyrics?Song Writing

Katy Perry mentions McDonald's, Beyoncé calls out Red Lobster, and Supertramp shouts out Taco Bell - we found the 10 restaurants most often mentioned in songs.

Adam Duritz of Counting Crows

Adam Duritz of Counting CrowsSongwriter Interviews

"Mr. Jones" took on new meaning when the song about a misguided view of fame made Adam famous.

David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & Tears

David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & TearsSongwriter Interviews

The longtime BS&T frontman tells the "Spinning Wheel" story, including the line he got from Joni Mitchell.

Female Singers Of The 90s

Female Singers Of The 90sMusic Quiz

The ladies who ruled the '90s in this quiz.

Chris Isaak

Chris IsaakSongwriter Interviews

Chris tells the story of "Wicked Game," talks milkshakes and moonpies at Sun Records, and explains why women always get their way.