Record Label: 8th Records
There are a number of different explanations behind the meaning of Canadian new wave group Men Without Hats' 1983 hit "The Safety Dance." People have posited the song could be referring to safe sex, nuclear proliferation, but singer Ivan Doroschuk has explained the track to be about freedom of expression. More specifically "Safety Dance" came about as a protest against dance club bouncers. Unfamiliar with the styles of new wave dance, they would regularly toss patrons out for engaging in pogoing, a dance that involves jumping up and down while keeping the torso rigid.
Regardless of the meaning behind the song, "The Safety Dance" became a major hit for Men Without Hats, reaching #11 on the Canadian Singles chart, only to reach an even higher #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart upon its release in America. The success of "Safety Dance" undoubtedly aided the commercial fortunes of the band's 1983 debut, Rhythm Of Youth, whose other dance club singles such as the bounding "I Got The Message", or the driving "I Like" were nothing to ignore either. One of the quirkier synth-pop albums released during an already quirky period for music, and a high watermark for new wave, if only for the staying power of "Safety Dance."