Indeep – Last Night A DJ Saved My Life
But I was trapped in love with you and I didn't know what to do
But when I turned on my radio
I found out all I needed to know
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Last night a DJ saved my life
In February 1983, a song achieved resounding success in nightclubs around the world, starting in New York city and conquering all of Europe. We’re talking about Indeep’s Last night a DJ saved my life. In those days many people called it friendly “the song of the phone” because you repeatedly hear a phone ringing, at a certain verse of the song, and maybe it was the first time you could hear a phone ringing in a song, especially in a disco hit.
In any case, this song was really strong, because in addition to the phone it officially introduced, at least in Europe, two other really important trends. First, this song has a very funky bass line, syncopated, which in America was certainly more common, but in Europe it was still something new. Then, towards the end of the song, the DJ’s voice begins to rap. Maybe we’re more on the beat of hip-hop than real rap, and certainly in American nightclubs I guess that wasn’t new, but in Europe there had really been very few examples of rap. In fact we are at the beginning of 1983, so I would say that in Europe we had Falco and Der Kommissar, Wot by Captain Sensible, and very little else, perhaps Paris Latino by Bandolero, which came out in those same days, where Doctor B raps at the end of the song.
Very little was known about Indeep. They were a trio: a man who acted as the DJ, who was always a little behind the scene, and two American vocalists. The main voice we hear in the song belongs to Rose Marie Ramsey, who soon disappeared from the scenes, although it seems that she still sings with a great voice in familiar or charity contexts. She was joined by the voice of model Reggie Magloire, who was born in Zaire and raised in New York City. Reggie became a known model in the 80s, and in the 90s she returned to the charts when she joined Technotronic. Not since the first album (which contained Technotronic and Pump up the jam), but from the following, the one with Move that body and Money makes the world go round.
The third member of the group was actually the band’s star and the songwriter, Michael Cleveland. And he was the one who acted as the DJ in the videos, the one who raps in the final part.
This song doesn’t have a real video; it has an official video that was essentially their standard appearance on music programs on TV. This song was covered several times, and it was also sampled many times. For example, the base of Black Betty by the great Tom Jones, is built mainly on this song.
Returning to Last night a DJ saved my life, the song is about a bored woman who can’t talk to her man on the phone, and in 1983 she certainly had no cell phones. She meditates on leaving him, but the DJ with a song holds her back from doing something wrong. In the next verse she leaves the house and we hear the noise of car brakes, which suggests that once again the DJ has saved her life probably from an accident. Let’s say that anyway we should not expect too much from these lyrics, these songs were made especially for dancing, and I would say that this song has fully achieved its goal!
Indeep on Wikipedia