Dextormixwith via Flickr

Reviving the dancefloor: an exploration of the resurgence of forgotten hits

In my A-Level summer, I had the joy of seeing Sophie Ellis-Bextor perform at a very low-key coastal festival in my hometown. Although I’d been a fan of her music for a few years, the occasion was really a summertime social with friends. Now, Ellis-Bextor’s smash-hit ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ has hit the top of the charts after the release of Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn, a shocking 22 years after its initial release. But what does this rather unexpected craze say about the music industry today, and how forgotten hits become popular in a widespread streaming world? 


To discuss this, it would be unfounded not to mention the popularity of the 2023 film Saltburn, the insane thriller renowned for its astounding plotlines and Jacob Elordi’s now-famous eyebrow piercing. With my jaw very much on the floor by the end of the film, the scene with Oliver, played by Barry Keoghan, dancing around the Saltburn estate was incredibly memorable – probably for reasons that cannot be shared in this article. What made it so much more unbelievable and atmospheric was when ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ started blasting, a dancefloor tune fitting the mood perfectly. With the popularity of TikTok videos and edits of the film, it feels like it’s been impossible to escape Ellis-Bextor’s catchy tune. This whole situation really proves how social media can popularise a song, from a new hit to even a golden oldie. 

  Bringing a brand-new generation to her unique yet classically 80s music

This unusual case in modern day music is not unique in recent years – everyone remembers when the whole world went mad for Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’. With Kate Bush being my favourite female singer of all time, I was so excited to see a revival of Bush’s popularity, with ‘Running Up That Hill’ dramatically featuring in the fourth series of  Stranger Things. Although the 1985 song remained a popular hit for Bush, Stranger Things, alongside the popularity of online streaming, catapulted ‘Running Up That Hill’ to the top of the charts. This was an incredible way to revive her iconic synth-pop sound, bringing a brand-new generation to her unique yet classically 80s music. 


With ‘old music’ now representing 70% of the US music market, I think it’s only right to discuss which artists I think should have a resurgence. In continuation of my admitted Kate Bush obsession, I think we need some more 80s revivals. My specific vision would be the Pet Shop Boys classic ‘West End Girls’, ideally featuring in a quirky independent film, or even an intricately filmed party scene in a teen drama like Euphoria. The younger generations need to experience the Pet Shop Boys! 


Moving into the late 80s and early 90s, I’d love to see a bit of a Stone Roses revival, specifically ‘I Wanna Be Adored’. I feel like the introduction alone needs a big feature in a film or tv series, especially when the main character is doing some major contemplating. I’m equally excited for the Bob Marley biopic,  Bob Marley: One Love, to be released in February, so this spring can be soundtracked with his incredible music – hopefully allowing Marley to find necessary acclaim in the charts. 

 There is nothing better than your favourite artist getting some well-deserved credit

From Kate Bush to Sophie Ellis-Bextor, it is clear that a chart resurgence is very possible, especially if your music is featured in a major blockbuster film, or even a tv series. Not only have these pieces of media brought some incredible new cinema to the scene butthey have equally brought some fantastic, and often under credited music, to the fore of popular culture. There is nothing better than your favourite artist getting some well-deserved credit, and I hope some new films and TV shows bring back some forgotten hits! 



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