The members of Dead or Alive were working on their latest single. They wanted to get it just right, because it felt good so far. It felt like they had a hit on their hands.
But they were stuck on the song’s central simile. They knew they were keeping the line “you spin me right round”. The question was, “right round, like…” what?
There had been plenty of suggestions:
“Like a basketball on the fingertip of a Harlem Globetrotter.” That was rejected for being too wordy.
“Like a top”: Deemed too childish.
“Like a globe on its axis”: Too nerdy.
“Like a car’s tire”: Too grease monkey.
“Like a ballerina pirouetting”: Too frou-frou.
But then, someone–it’s lost to history exactly whom–suggested “like a record”, and that was it–perfect. It provided some catchy alliteration, but more importantly, everyone could relate. Who wasn’t familiar with records?
And it’s not like they were going away or anything; they’d been around forever. Sure, cassette tapes were big at the time, but they knew those things were a flash in the pan. Records were around before tapes, and they’d be around long after tapes went the way of 8-tracks. And it’s not like something else better and more convenient and efficient and less wieldy than records would ever come along.
So that was it: “Right round like a record” it was, and a pop music classic was born. And the rest is history.
Except records, which are timeless.