Dead or Alive were an English pop band formed in 1980 in Liverpool. The band found success in the mid-1980s, releasing seven singles that made the UK Top 40 and three albums on the UK Top 30. They were the first band under the production team of Stock Aitken Waterman to have a number-one single. At the peak of their success, the lineup consisted of Pete Burns (vocals), Mike Percy (bass), Steve Coy (drums) and Tim Lever (keyboards).
Two of the band’s singles reached the U.S. Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100: “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” (No. 11 in 1985)
“You Spin Me Round” peaked at number one for two weeks in 1985 in the UK, then charted again in 2006 following Burns’ appearance on the television reality show Celebrity Big Brother. It also became the first of two singles to top the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. In December 2016, Billboard ranked them as the 96th most successful “dance artist” of all time. As of 2017 Dead or Alive had sold over 30 million albums and 28 million singles worldwide. The band was discontinued following Pete Burns’ death in 2016.
“You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” released as a single in 1984, it reached No. 1 in the UK in March 1985, taking 17 weeks to get there. It was the first UK No. 1 hit by the Stock Aitken Waterman production trio. On the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at No. 11 on 17 August of that year. In 2003, Q ranked the song at number 981 in their list of the “1001 Best Songs Ever” and in 2015, it was voted by the British public as the nation’s 17th favourite 1980s number one in a poll for ITV. Musician and actor Gary Kemp described the song as “one of the best white dance records of all time.”
The video, which features a disco ball, waving gold flags and an evocation of the six-armed Vishnu, was directed by Vaughan Arnell and Anthea Benton.