One of the most popular tunes made by the dynamic duo, Chaka Demus and Pliers, was inspired by the hugely popular Angela Lansbury series Murder She Wrote. The track, which shared the same name, dominated the airwaves in the Caribbean from the time it was released in 1992 and beyond.
It appeared on their album Bam Bam it’s Murder. Beloved British actress Lansbury died peacefully at her Los Angeles home on Tuesday. She was 96. It’s no wonder that the show inspired the track considering its long-spanning run time and the fact that many in the Caribbean loved the show as well. It aired on the CBS Network from 1984 through 1996.
Pliers spoke with the Observer and admitted to loving the show when he was much younger. He also said he found Lansbury to be a very sound actress. He added that he believed she lived a full life before he extended condolences to her family, friends, and fans.
Pliers shared how he came up with the hook for the successful track that still features in some clubs and parties. He was very young and placed his age somewhere between 18 and 19. At that time, he was at a mechanic shop and heard a friend of his deejaying the lines: ‘Murder She Wrote, Murder She Wrote.’
“I had written my song already but it was not yet recorded, but when I heard the breddin, I said to myself: ‘That would fit my punchline’. So I changed my song around… instead of deejaying it, I sang it. Mi breddin used to watch Murder She Wrote too,” he continued.
It was definitely a bolt of inspiration that hit him as the track went on to become a certified gold record in the United Kingdom and was the track that gave the duo a taste of global success.
The track peaked at No. 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1992, No. 39 on the publication’s R&B table, and No. 5 on the Hot Rap Songs chart. It did well in England and reached No. 27 on the British charts. The track also opened up a new pathway for them, as many of the singles they released after did well.
The “Tease Me” deejay also shared that at the time of its rise, in any country the pair visited, they would hear “Murder She Wrote” playing.
“I went to Russian about 1995-96 and was surprised at a concert we were performing when I heard everybody singing the song word fi word; Dubai, anywhere, everywhere. It’s not a joke song. The song will help keep Angela Lansbury memory alive,” he shared.
Just a short while ago, Pitchfork named Chaka Demus and Pliers’ “Murder She Wrote” No. 92 in their list of 250 Best Songs of The 1990s.
Lansbury eventually got wind of the song many years later in 2019, during a CBS interview, according to Billboard. She excitedly told the host that she was thrilled to be part of reggae.
Lansbury was also well-known for her career on Broadway, which included the musicals Mame and Gypsy, and she also sang the theme song for the animated movie Beauty and the Beast.