The use of the pop star’s 2001 chart-topping hit in Emerald Fennell’s controversial thriller has resulted in a significant comeback.
There are spoilers for the movie Saltburn in this article.
The 2001 track “Murder on the Dancefloor” by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, which starred in the film Saltburn helmed by Emerald Fennell, has made a comeback to the Top 10 after being absent for 22 years.
With 2.2 million plays, the song peaked at 293,000 weekly streams before Saltburn was made available on Amazon Prime, according to data from the Official Charts Company (OCC). The song peaked at No. 8 on the list.
Ellis-Bextor’s second solo song originally peaked at No. 2 in December 2001, losing out to Daniel Bedingfield’s Gotta Get Thru This at the top of the chart.
TikTok contributed to the song’s comeback by allowing celebrities, including Paris Hilton, who revealed her secret pregnancy, to use it as the soundtrack for videos. Views of the song’s hashtag exceed 40 million within the app.
The BBC was informed by Spotify that several New Year’s Eve playlists included the song. With 1.5 million streams, December 31, 2023, was the hit’s greatest day on the platform.
“I’m always very connected to my music, and one thing I’ve always loved about my work is its ability to surprise me,” 44-year-old Ellis-Bextor said to the OCC. I’ve been performing the song “Murder on the Dancefloor” for twenty years, and I have a great relationship with it. I adore doing it and singing it, and what’s going on right now is just quite beautiful.
She stated, “I’m just having so much fun,” and thanked the audience for taking the song on “such a magical adventure.”
The song appears in Saltburn’s climactic climax, where Barry Keoghan’s character Oliver, the main character, dances around his university buddies’ home in his undies after killing the matriarch Elspeth and taking control of the estate’s wealth.
Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill, which debuted at No. 1 in 2022 due to its usage in Netflix’s Stranger Things, is the most recent classic song to get a notable boost from its inclusion in a motion picture or television series.
In honor of Oliver’s dance skills in the song, Ellis-Bextor earlier this week posted a video of herself performing it while wearing a pair of antlers, a theme of the Saltburn estate the setting.
When Fennell requested permission to use the song in the movie, Ellis-Bextor informed the BBC that she was aware of her plans for the song. She claimed to have seen the contentious horror movie at a screening with her mother Janet Ellis and her 19-year-old son Sonny. She expressed concern for Sonny’s emotional state as he watched the film’s most graphic moments with his mother and grandmother.
But he was alright. “That was in my Top 10 favorite films I’ve ever seen,” he said. I guess you can tell when I had my head in my hands at least twice during the movie, but I was sort of projecting my worries onto him.
Stick Season, the Vermont songwriter’s first UK chart-topper, is this week’s No. 1 single. The majority of the songs that debuted in the first chart of the new year have slipped out, leaving just three non-Christmas songs in the whole Top 40 last week.