Utah Saints

This article is about the electronic dance band. For the indoor football team, see Utah Saints (AIFA).
Utah Saints
Origin Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
Genres Electronica, house, hip hop, trance, big beat, trip hop
Years active 1991–present
Labels London, Echo
Associated acts Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Van She, Annie Lennox
Website utahsaints.com
Members Jez Willis
Tim Garbutt

Utah Saints are an English electronic music group based in Leeds, Yorkshire. The band's members, Jez Willis and Tim Garbutt, were joined on-stage by additional musicians when they played live from 1991 to 2001. Since then they have performed as DJs. The band had three top ten and another five top 40 singles in the UK Singles Chart in the 1990s,[1] as well as number one dance tracks in the UK and USA. They were notable for their pioneering use of sampling technology – in particular, their practice of manipulating samples from mainstream pop and rock songs and combining them with contrasting dance beats, using the samples in an entirely new contexts. The band wrote, produced and mixed all their own music.

They were one of the first electronic "rave" acts to play live and supported both The Shamen and U2 live at 10 stadium shows.

Utah Saints ran clubs from 1988 to 1994, particularly "Rickys" and "The Gallery" (later the Pleasure Rooms). They booked new DJs, including Pete Tong, Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, Justice, Annie Mac and Zane Lowe.

They had five further UK Top 40 singles between 2000 and 2012, and continue to produce music, DJ in clubs and at festivals, promote nights, curate festival stages and write music for film.


Utah Saints were described as "the first true stadium house band" by the KLF's Bill Drummond, though their music is difficult to place into one genre. The dance group originally met as music promoters and DJs for the Mix Nightclub in Harrogate in the early 1990s. Originally called MDMA (Mega Dance Music Allegiance), they first had chart success under the name Utah Saints with the singles "What Can You Do For Me" (UK No. 10), "Something Good" (their biggest UK success at No. 4) and "Believe in Me", a UK No. 8 chart hit,[1] which they described as their vocal sample trilogy as those singles sampled Gwen Guthrie, Kate Bush and The Human League respectively ("What Can You Do For Me" also featured a sample from Eurythmics).

Contrary to rumors, the band were not sued by Kate Bush over the use of a sample from Bush's track "Cloudbusting" in the Utah Saints track "Something Good" – the sample was legally cleared before use.[2] Additionally, Bush sold Utah Saints footage from the video of her original song.[3] This track, with new vocals by the singer and actress Davina Perera, experienced a revival in the clubs in 2008 and reached No. 1 on UK Dance Chart. The track featured new remixes by Van She, High Contrast, Prok & Fitch, eSquire, Ian Carey and more.[4]

Utah Saints then moved away from vocal samples with singles such as "I Want You" (sampling thrash metal band Slayer) and "I Still Think of You" (Jez Willis providing original vocals on each). Utah Saints also had three songs — "Hands Up", "Techknowledgy" and "Sick" — featured on the hit video game, Carmageddon TDR2000. Their song "Sick" was included on the 2002 PlayStation 2 soundtrack Wipeout Fusion.

After their debut album, the self-titled Utah Saints, and one further single "Ohio", Utah Saints seemed to disappear for several years. They were busy doing remixes (for artists including Blondie, The Human League, Hawkwind, Simple Minds, James, Annie Lennox and The Osmonds and the theme to the 1995 movie Mortal Kombat), and producing tracks for other artists such as Terrorvision. During this time, they recorded an album that was to be called 'Wired World' but was never released, and produced a handful of Utah Saints tracks that have not been released, with titles such as "Star", "Train" and "Rock".

The Utah Saints then took a break saying that they stopped before they got into a vicious cycle of people expecting them come up with hits and write music they wanted to hear. Garbutt toured the United States with Orbital, Moby and Aphex Twin, whilst Willis appeared on the dance music radio station Kiss 105 in Yorkshire, hosting a very popular Sunday night show.[5]

They reappeared in late 1999 with charting singles "Love Song" and "Funky Music (Sho Nuff Turns Me On)" (featuring Edwin Starr on guest vocals),[1] plus "Power to the Beats" and "Lost Vagueness" (featuring Chrissie Hynde). They also issued the album, Two. It included collaborations with Michael Stipe from R.E.M., Chuck D from Public Enemy, Edwin Starr, and a track with a sample from Metallica: the first time a sample had been cleared by the band.

In 2000, Utah Saints did the soundtrack for the video game Carmageddon TDR2000. In 2001, they supported Feeder on the second leg of their UK tour with a DJ set. In 2002, they went quiet again, resurfacing in 2008 with a single release.

They have been working on projects under other names, such as BeatVandals, as well as developing their regular Leeds- and Edinburgh-based club night 'SugarBeatClub'. They opened a new recording studio on the outskirts of Leeds with fellow Leeds DJs and producers Riley & Durrant in 2008.

In 2007, their hit "Something Good" was remixed by Australian producers Van She. Originally a bootleg, the Utah Saints approved it and facilitated a re-record with a new vocal performance, overseeing final production and edits. It was signed to the Ministry of Sound record label, who released it in January 2008, where it reached No. 8 in the UK chart – their second biggest chart success, behind the original version of "Something Good". The video for "Something Good 08" featured people doing the "running man" dance that was originally performed by MC Hammer. The track was the most played single in 2008 on BBC Radio 1.

Released on iTunes on 11 January 2009 was the Utah Saints' club mix of Girls Aloud's "The Loving Kind". In November 2009, the band produced a remix of the Liverpool-based dance duo Killaflaw's "Set Me on Fire". This formed part of Killaflaw's third single and was made available digitally in December of that year. Utah Saints remixed the band Bring Me The Horizon the same year.

In August 2010, Utah Saints announced the launch of a new record label called Sugarbeat. The first release was Santero's "Drop the Bomb".[6] Utah Saints played the Together Winter Music Festival in London at the Alexandra Palace on 26 November 2010. Then went to play Beat-Herder festival, on the Toiltrees stage, in 2012.

In 2012 "What Can You Do For Me" was remixed by drum and bass duo Drumsound & Bassline Smith. Utah Saints then added to the remix and the track became a collaboration, received airplay, entered the top 10 on the dance charts and the top 30 in the national charts. Herve and Tantrum Desire provided new 2012 remixes for the song, the remix by Herve was made to sound like a remix of the original 90s single, so Herve cut out the new material performed by Drumsound & Bassline Smith. "What Can You Do For Me" peaked at No. 28 on the UK singles chart. It was included on the 2012 edition of Ministry of Sound's Addicted To Bass series. The Cut-Up Boys mashed up "What Can You Do For Me" with "Midnight Run" by Example and Feed Me.

In 2014, for reasons Utah Saints unknown, the original version of "Something Good" reached number one in Laos.

In 2015 Utah Saints released one copy of a work in progress track titled "Swansong D'Amour" which was played on BBC by Mistajam.

Personal details


Studio albums

Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications

Utah Saints 10 49 38 165 6
  • Released: October 2000
  • Label: Echo
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Extended plays

Title Album details Peak chart positions

Something Good 182 6


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
1991 "What Can You Do for Me" 10 90 16 23 35 Utah Saints
1992 "Something Good" 4 10 10 4 42 98
1993 "Believe in Me" 8 92 15 100 9 20
"I Want You" 25 25
1994 "I Still Think of You" 32 Non-album singles
1995 "Ohio" 42 145
2000 "Love Song" 37 Two
"Funky Music" (featuring Edwin Starr) 23
"Power to the Beats" (featuring Chuck D)
2001 "Lost Vagueness" (featuring Chrissie Hynde)
2008 "Something Good '08" 8 32 22 29 Non-album singles
2012 "What Can You Do for Me"
(with Drumsound & Bassline Smith)
2013 "I Got 5 on It" (with Rory Lyons)
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


  • Alabama 3 "Ain't Goin' To Goa”
  • Bang Bang Romeo "Little Love”
  • Bizarre Inc "Playing With Knives”
  • Blondie “Dreaming"
  • Bomfunk MCs "Uprocking Beats”
  • Bring Me The Horizon "Football Season”
  • King Curtis "Watermelon Man”
  • "Danger Global Warming Theme”
  • Deekline "I Don't Smoke”
  • Dope Smugglaz “Barabajagal"
  • Drumattic Twins "Meeting Point”
  • Dub Pistols “Peaches"
  • Electrafixion “Never"

  • The Flaming Lips "Ego Tripping”
  • DJ Fresh "The Feeling”
  • Floorplay "State Of Mind”
  • Girls Aloud "The Loving Kind”
  • Nina Hagen "So Bad”
  • Human League "Tell Me When”
  • James "Say Something”
  • Killaflaw "Set Me On Fire”
  • Kybosh "Take Me Home”
  • Annie Lennox "Little Bird”
  • The Losers "No Man Is An Island”
  • Manchild "The Clichés Are True”
  • The Mission "Shades Of Green”

  • Myagi & The Root Sellers "Rock One"
  • Ricky Martin “Loaded"
  • The Osmonds "Crazy Horses”
  • The Potbelleez "Kiss My Ass”
  • Sacred Spirit "Ly-O-Lay Ale Loya”
  • She Rockers "On Stage”
  • Simple Minds "I Travel”
  • Slyde "You're My Fix”
  • Spek "Smell The Coffee”
  • The Stone Roses "One Love”
  • Swollen Members "Deep End”
  • The Twang "Barney Rubble”
  • 22 Pistepirkko "Wild Billy”

Film credits

Game credits

Radial-G for OcculusSamples used:


  1. 1 2 3 4 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 578. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. "Utah Saints – Music Interview". Digital Spy. 14 March 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  3. Horkins, Tony (November 1993). "The Bush Campaign". Rock Compact Disc Magazine. via Gaffaweb.
  4. "Wuthering Heights – Tamasha Theatre Company". Tamasha.org.uk. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  5. "Interview with Jez Willis". Phase9.tv. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  6. "Utah Saints launch Sugarbeat Label". maxumi.co.uk. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  7. "Organizations". Wilde-life.com. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  8. "UK Albums". officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  9. Canadian Albums:
  10. "Sisältää hitin: Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1961" (in Finnish). Sisältää Hitin - Suomen listalevyt (Timo Pennanen). Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  11. 1 2 3 4 "US Albums". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  12. 1 2 "BPI Certification". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  13. "UK Singles". officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  14. Australian (ARIA Chart) peaks:
  15. "Sisältää hitin: Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1961" (in Finnish). Sisältää Hitin - Suomen listalevyt (Timo Pennanen). Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  16. German Singles:
  17. "Irish Singles". irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  18. "Italian Singles". italiancharts.com. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  19. "Netherlands Singles". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  20. "New Zealand Singles". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  21. "Swedish Albums". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  22. "US Singles". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  23. Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.

External links

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