Filling - and clearing - the dancefloor

EMMA LEE I Want You Back by the Jackson 5 has been named the UK’s favourite dancefloor filler in a nationwide poll. The EDP carried out its own survey – and the results were a bit of a surprise.


It could be an infectious disco classic, a squealing grunge anthem, or an un-ashamedly cheesy novelty Europop hit.

Whatever it is, and no matter if they've got no sense of rhythm and two left feet, most people have a song that gets them on the dancefloor.

A poll of almost 5000 people has revealed the country's top dancefloor filler to be I Want You Back by the Jackson 5, which was released 35 years ago. It reached number two in the singles chart in 1970 and has people heading to the dancefloor whenever it's played, according to a survey by Walkabout pubs.

Queen and Guns N' Roses also made pub chain's list, with entries from girl group Girls Aloud, the Proclaimers, and Tony Christie.

The EDP has carried out its own snapshot survey, which yielded a few surprises of its own – and the winner was one that you certainly can't dance round your handbag to.

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Maybe it's because it's a reminder of those carefree, hedonistic student days, but our survey's top choice was the moshpit classic Smells Like Teen Spirit by Seattle grunge pioneers Nirvana.

The song that polled second in our survey and fourth in Walkabout's poll, Crazy In Love, by Beyonce, has all the makings of a classic – it's uplifting, with attitude and sex appeal.

Some more predictable choices also made the EDP's top 10. You might never admit to owning copies of them, but singalong classic I Will Survive, by Gloria Gaynor, and wedding reception disco staples Dancing Queen, by Abba, and YMCA, by the Village People, were all on the list. Then there are those tunes that are the musical equivalent of fingernails being scraped down a blackboard – and the EDP's survey revealed some surprises there, too.

Some songs are timeless classics. And then there's Lady in Red by Chris De Burgh.

Who knows how many couples Mr De Burgh brought together in the 1980s? You can just imagine the scene – guys in shiny suits with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows Miami Vice-style mouthing the words “I'll never forget the way you look tonight” to girls as the disco winds down.

But nowadays, judging by its top place in the EDP's poll, what most people are remembering is what a crime against music it is.

Most of the top 10 is made up of those cringe-making novelty hits that somehow mysteriously reach the top of the pop charts, despite everyone claiming to hate them.

But who would have thought that Come on Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners would be so controversial? It is both a dancefloor filler and a dancefloor clearer.


1 I Want You Back – Jackson 5

2 Waiting for a Star to Fall – Boy Meets Girl, also covered by the Sunset Strippers

3 (Is This the Way to) Amarillo – Tony Christie and Peter Kay

4 Crazy In Love – Beyoncé

5 Don't Stop Me Now – Queen

6 Sweet Child o' Mine – Guns N' Roses

7 I'm Gonna Be (500 miles) – The Proclaimers

8 Summer of '69 – Bryan Adams

9 Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

10 Love Machine – Girls Aloud


1 Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

2 Crazy in Love – Beyoncé

3 Jump Around – House of Pain

4 Born Slippy – Underworld

5 Dancing Queen – Abba

6 I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

7 Spinning Around – Kylie Minogue

8 Rapper's Delight – Sugarhill Gang

9 YMCA – Village People

10 Come on Eileen – Dexy's Midnight Runners


1 Lady in Red – Chris De Burgh

2 Come on Eileen – Dexy's Midnight Runners

3 The Birdie Song – The Tweets

4 Agadoo – Black Lace

5 Barbie Girl – Aqua

6 Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves

7 Hey Baby – DJ Otzi

8 Uptown Girl – Billy Joel

9 High Ho Silver Lining – Jeff Beck

10 One Step Beyond – Madness

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