Theme from S'Express (3:55)

Cover of 100 Hits of the '80s

From 100 Hits of the '80s and 53 other releases

“Theme from S-Express” is an acid house song by English dance music band S’Express from their album Original Soundtrack. It peaked at No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in April 1988 for two weeks. One of the landmarks of early acid house and late 1980s sampling culture, the single became an instant hit upon its release in April 1988. Written and produced by Mark Moore and Pascal Gabriel the song samples liberally from many songs, including heavy sampling from Rose Royce’s “Is It Love You’re After” and TZ’s “I Got the Hots for You”. The hi-hat is sampled from an aerosol spray.

The track’s “S express” refrain makes reference to the 42nd Street Shuttle, or, as it is sometimes known, the “S Express”, a well-known line on the New York City Subway. The song reached number one on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in April 1988. It fared less well in the United States where it scraped into the Billboard Hot 100 at number 91. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart during the week of 2 July 1988 – 9 July 1988. It peaked at number 11 in Australia and number two in West Germany.

The song prominently sampled Karen Finley and her “Drop that ghetto blaster/suck me off” vocal formed something of a chorus in the song, The high-pitched scream was controversially provided by the BBC’s Caroline Wyatt. The song’s predominant “I’ve got the hots for you” hook has been described as “campy”.

The song was featured in the film Arthur and the Invisibles. The Norwegian Broadcasting Company used parts of the song for the intro music of their weekly sports programme.

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