Shut Up and Dance are an English duo that fused hip hop, house and hardcore. They are acknowledged as one of the pioneers of breakbeat hardcore and jungle music.

The group was formed in 1988 in Stoke Newington, London, by Philip ‘PJ’ Johnson and Carl ‘Smiley’ Hyman. In 1990, they made the lower end of the UK chart with two singles, “£20 to Get In” and “Lamborghini”, both released on their own record label, Shut Up and Dance Records. At this time, they also started working with the Ragga Twins and produced their seminal first releases.

In 1992, they reached No. 43 with their double A-side single “Autobiography of a Crackhead / The Green Man”, before hitting the headlines in May of that year when they released “Raving I’m Raving”, based on Marc Cohn’s hit single “Walking in Memphis”. Upon its release, Cohn obtained an injunction to stop production of further copies of the single due to the lack of clearance. A court order was also sought to prevent the sale of any copies already produced, but Cohn was persuaded to allow such sales on condition that all the proceeds went to charity. This caused panic-buying of the copies on sale, as consumers knew that no more would be produced. The single soared to No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart, but plummeted to No. 15 the following week, before leaving the chart completely.

Shut Up and Dance released one further single from their Death Is Not the End album, “The Art of Moving Butts”, which featured singer Erin. The album itself reached No. 38 in the UK Albums Chart in June 1992.

Throughout 1994/5, they released a number of jungle tracks under the alias ‘Red Light’. This was followed by the 1995 album Black Men United which encompassed jungle, downtempo, reggae and hip hop. A single from this album, “Save It ‘Til the Mourning After”, which sampled Duran Duran’s hit “Save A Prayer”, would reach No. 25 on the UK chart.

In the early 2000s, they re-emerged releasing a number of UK garage tracks, followed by the breakbeat album Reclaim the Streets.