"Mickey" is a 1981 song recorded by American singer and choreographer Toni Basil on her debut album Word of Mouth. Written by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn as "Kitty", it was first recorded by UK music group Racey during 1979, appearing on their debut album Smash and Grab. Toni Basil changed the name from Kitty to Mickey to make the song about a man.
Toni Basil's version of the song was initially issued as a single in the UK in May 1981, but did not chart at that time. Reissued in January 1982, "Mickey" quickly became a substantial UK hit, reaching number 2. It was issued in Australia by April, where over the Northern summer (Southern winter) it rose to number 1.
Finally issued in North America in August 1982, "Mickey" became a number 1 hit in the US and Canada in late 1982, a year and a half after its original release.
The original Racey song did not include the famous "Oh Mickey, you're so fine, you're so fine, you blow my mind" chant, which Basil added.
For years, it had been rumored that the name was changed to Mickey because Basil had a crush on Monkees' drummer and lead vocalist Micky Dolenz after meeting him on the set of their movie Head for which she was the choreographer; however, this claim has been denied by Basil, who said she didn't know Dolenz that well.
Two different music videos for the song were recorded, one featuring Basil with a backing band, and another featuring costuming and choreography inspired by cheerleader dance routines. Shot in 1981, while Basil was 37 or 38 years of age, the cheerleader video is considered the very first choreographed dance video.
Rock critic Robert Christgau commented on the perceived 'obscene' content of the lyric "So come on and give it to me / Any way you can / Any way you want to do it / I'll take it like a man". Christgau wrote in a review at the time that Basil "was the only woman ever to offer to take it up the ass on Top 40 radio." However, Basil adamantly denies this: "NO! That's ridiculous. People read shit into everything. It's not about anything dirty. You change the name from boy to girl" -- i.e., from "Mickey" to "Kitty" -- "and they read anything they want into it! When it's a guy singing about a girl, it's a sweet line. But when a girl sings it, it must mean butt-fucking! This is how the wrong foot gets cut off when the doc wheels you into the E.R. Then it's Micky Dolenz and butt-fucking."
The single scored number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 for one week and number two in the UK Singles Chart. The song was Basil's only Top 40 success. It was named #5 on VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of All Time, #16 on 20 to 1's Top 20 One Hit Wonders Countdown and #57 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the '80s. It has also appeared on multiple greatest or best lists and countdowns.
Japanese comedian-musician Gorie scored no. 1 on the Japanese singles chart for two weeks with a version featuring vocals by American-born Jasmine Ann Allen.
A Thai version of the song is featured in the 2018 film The Meg.
Songs which sample the Toni Basil recording
The entire structure of the Run-D.M.C. song "It's Tricky" was consciously lifted from Mickey. According to DMC: "I just changed the chorus around and we just talked about how this rap business can be tricky to a brother."
Heidi Montag recorded a song titled "Bad Boy", which starts off sampling the song with "Bad boy you so fine, you so fine, you blow my mind."