Men Without Hats

The Safety Dance

Song Review by

An unapologetic novelty, "The Safety Dance" mixes a melody that wouldn't sound out of place on an album by Ashley Hutchings' UK folk-rock supergroup the Albion Band (the video even features Morris dancers!) to a crisply electronic arrangement, with Ivan Doroschuk's cheerfully over-dramatic vocals belting out lyrics that the band claimed were a commentary on nuclear proliferation, though it's hard to see the connection from simply listening to the song. The overall effect is?well, a little silly. Okay, very silly. But there's something primal in the appeal of "The Safety Dance." The song is slow enough and with a prominent enough beat that literally anyone with the use of both feet can dance to it, and Doroschuk's limited range ? he sings maybe a total of three notes in the entire song ? means that the vocal is equally attainable to just about anyone. Generations of drunken college parties have erupted into spontaneous mass singalongs of "The Safety Dance" as a result.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Rhythm of Youth 1982 MCA
Rock of the '80s 1987
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets 2:44
Rock the First, Vol. 3 1992
Various Artists
Sandstone 4:34
Safety Dance UK Remix 1994 Import 5:18
Hit That Perfect Beat, Vol. 2 1995
Various Artists
Oglio Records 4:30
No Image 1995 Priority Records 4:33
Bio-Dome 1996
Original Soundtrack
Priority Records 4:34
Collection 1996 Oglio Records 4:32
Greatest Rock Hits of the 80's 1996
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / MCA 4:32
VH1: The Big 80's 1996
Various Artists
Rhino 2:47
'80s Hits Back 1996
Various Artists
Hip-O / HIPP 2:46
Oh What a Feeling, Vol. 2: A Vital Collection of Canadian Music 1996
Various Artists
Canadian Academy of Recording Art 2:45
Greatest Hats 1997 4:32
Rhythm of Youth/With Folk of the 80's 1997 Oglio Records 2:45
Billboard Top Dance Hits: 1983 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 4:36
80's New Wave: New Wave Dance 1998
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / Rebound Records 2:45
Electronic Eighties, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Polygram 2:43
Awesome '80s, Vol. 3 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:45
Poptronica: Dance 1999
Various Artists
Buddha Records 4:33
Millennium Party [Rhino Box] 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:45
Millennium: 80's New Wave Party 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:45
Eighties Complete [CD2] 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:46
Modern Rock Collection 2000
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:46
More Pure 80's 2000
Various Artists
UTV 4:32
Club Mix Retro: The '80s, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Cold Front Records 2:45
City Rocks: Canada 2000
Various Artists
Cityrocks 2:45
The Mexican [Music from the Motion Picture] 2001 Decca 4:34
Modern Rock: Dance 2001
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:02
The Ultimate Jukebox Hits of the '80s, Vols. 4 & 5 2001
Various Artists
Collectables 2:45
Hit Me With Your 80's Box 2002
Various Artists
Hip-O 4:35
Monster '80s, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
Razor & Tie 2:46
40 Years of Jukebox Hits: The 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 2:45
Sedated in the Eighties, Vol. 6 2002
Various Artists
The Right Stuff / Capitol 2:45
Eighties Complete, Vol. 2 [Box] 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:46
Best 80s Modern Rock Album 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:45
Casey Kasem Presents: America's Top Ten - The 80's New Wave 2003
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 4:34
Awesome '80s [2 Disc] 2003
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:45
'80s Dance Gold 2006
Various Artists
Hip-O 4:33
Gold: New Wave 2007
Various Artists
Hip-O 4:34
The Informers [Original Motion Picture Score] 2009 Lakeshore Records
Hot Tub Time Machine [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 2010
Original Soundtrack
Rhino 2:44
100 Hits: New Years Eve Party 2011
Various Artists
100 Hits 2:47
No Image
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution