The Safety Dance – Men Without Hats | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#3); 1983

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Brothers Ivan, Stefan, and Colin Doroschuk plus schoolmate Jeremy Arrobas first played together at the annual student concert as Wave 21. In 1976, MWH was officially born.

Over the next few years, the Montreal-based band gigged and recorded a 10″ EP. Ivan (vocals) and Stefan (guitar) remained the only constants through numerous personnel changes. The two brothers, along with Allan McCarthy on drums, formed the core of the MWH that recorded their first full-length album, Rhythm Of Youth.

There was just one problem: no record label of note in Canada wanted it. Enter Statik Records from England and Backstreets in the U.S. With a disc in the stores and a quirky video airing on MTV, the stage was set for MWH-mania.

Well, perhaps things never got that crazy, yet, Safety Dance did earn a Grammy nomination and fostered a parody by “Weird Al” Yankovic. High praise, indeed!

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Marc Durand

Lyrics Written by:

  • Ivan Doroschuk