36 Degrees

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"36 Degrees"
Single by Placebo
from the album Placebo
Released 3 July 1996
Genre Alternative rock
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Brian Molko
Producer(s) Brad Wood
Placebo singles chronology
"Come Home"
"36 Degrees"
"Teenage Angst"

"36 Degrees" is a song by British alternative rock band Placebo, released as the third single from their eponymous debut album.[1] It reached number eighty in the UK Singles Chart.[citation needed]

Song meaning[edit]

The song meaning has been a topic much debated amongst fans.[citation needed] There are various suggestions, such as it relates to sexual preferences or it is to do with dying. Some state 36 Degrees refers to the average human body temperature being generally accepted as 37 °C (99 °F), and that the narrator is dying, or losing the will to live after being dumped by a partner.[citation needed] Singer Brian Molko is stated to have said before a performance "The average body temperature is 37 degrees. This is a song called 36 Degrees", further adding to the speculations.[citation needed] However, the term 36 Degrees also means two people who are not getting on in urban slang; therefore the idea of the song being written for a break-up could well be true.[citation needed] The other numbers mentioned have been said to just be random, "they just seemed to fit" according to the band.[citation needed]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Chris Cunningham, was shot primarily in a scuba diving pool and shows band members performing the song underwater. Some scenes were shot in a swamp-like area and show Brian Molko singing the lyrics with just his head above the surface of the water. Later band members revealed that this video was extremely hard to shoot and they would never make one underwater again. Chris Cunningham also claimed in an interview that he made Molko cry, having him in the frigid water for hours.[citation needed]

Live performance history[edit]

The song was part of the band's repertoire prior to the release of their album and it was a regular until the Sleeping with Ghosts tour. A reworked version, performed at a much slower tempo, was debuted at the band's 10th anniversary show at Wembley Arena in 2004. This version was played during the band's 2005 South American tour and the early legs of the Meds tour. It was also released as a B-side to the "Because I Want You" and "Song to Say Goodbye" singles under the title "36 Degrees 2005".

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "36 Degrees"    
2. "Dark Globe (Syd Barrett cover)"    
3. "Hare Krishna"    


  1. ^ "Albums". mtv.com. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 

External links[edit]