Bad Day (Daniel Powter song)

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"Bad Day"
Single by Daniel Powter
from the album Daniel Powter
Released January 9, 2005 (2005-01-09)
Format
Recorded 2002
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:54
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Daniel Powter
Producer(s)
Daniel Powter singles chronology
"Bad Day"
(2005)
"Free Loop"
(2005)
Music sample

"Bad Day" is a song written and recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Daniel Powter for his first studio album, Daniel Powter. Produced by Mitchell Froom and Jeff Dawson, "Bad Day" is a pop rock power ballad piano-infused song. Powter and Dawson recorded the song in 2002 but at first they cound not find a label to release it. The song was picked up by Warner Bros. Records; it was first used in a French Coca-Cola television advertisement at Christmas 2004. It was released in Europe on January 9, 2005, as the lead single from the album.

Although "Bad Day" received generally mixed critical reviews, it was a commercial success. In 2005, it was the most played song on European radio. It topped the Irish Singles Chart and peaked at number two on the European Hot 100 Singles and on the UK Singles Chart. In 2006, it topped Billboard‍ '​s United States Hot 100, Pop 100, Adult Top 40 and Adult Contemporary charts. It was first song ever to sell 2 million digital copies in the U.S. and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The song's accompanying music video was directed by Marc Webb and was also successful, registering 10 million views in 2006. The song was often used for advertisements and for television programs, most prominently as the elimination song of American Idol. Different shows and artists covered and parodied "Bad Day", and Powter has performed the song on television and during his concert tours.

Background and writing[edit]

After leaving college, Powter moved to Vancouver; he initially played keyboards before he started composing songs. In 1997, he made a partnership with music producer Jeff Dawson and they recorded "Bad Day" in 2002.[1] For two weeks,[2] Powter had melody that "wouldn't go away" in his mind.[1] Thinking of a lyric that would fit the melody, he thought an "up and poppy" lyric would make it "the cheesiest song of all time".[2] He then thought "bad day" would be a good choice for the chorus;[1] the lyrics Powter wrote were partly based on his life as a struggling musician.[2] Powter said of the song, "mostly it's about phonics. It's about words that sing great. I was mumbling something, and those words came out."[2] "Bad Day" was the last song to be composed for Daniel Powter;[3] Powter wrote it in an hour during a ferry journey between Victoria and Vancouver.[4]

Dawson and Powter included the song on a disc that was offered to record labels, which required Powter to perform in New York, but his lack of stage presence led to the label's refusal. Powter returned to Vancouver because he "got killed" and "decided to forget about it" because "once a record company says no, it's difficult to come around again".[1] After the failure, Powter's new representative, Gary Stamler, played Powter's demo tapes to Tom Whalley, a chairman of Warner Bros. Records. Whalley offered Powter a contract; Powter was reluctant to sign it because he considered himself mainly as a songwriter.[1] He accepted the offer in April 2003 and along with Dawson and producer Mitchell Froom, he began finishing his album in Los Angeles.[1] The album was originally recorded in Powter's Vancouver apartment; it was not modified because Froom wanted to keep its "original feel[ing]."[5]

Composition[edit]

Bitching and griping about nothing. My granddad [sic] used to say to me, 'There's better people who are worse off than you,' and I always remember that. It's a song about trying to make people feel better. I'm making fun of you, but at the same time making fun of myself.

Powter on what the song is about[6]

"Bad Day" is a midtempo[7] pop power ballad,[8][9][10] performed in a moderate groove accompanied by piano.[11][12] The song is composed in the key of E♭ major, and uses syncopated 16th-note rhythms.[11] It also features rock instrumentation[13] and drums; Powter dubbed the latter "aggressive."[3] David Browne of Entertainment Weekly said, it "is addressed to anyone who's feeling depressed ... but its grand, panoramic arrangement wants to pump you up."[14] Simon Donohue of Manchester Evening News said its sound "seagues [sic] from boy band banality to Foo Fighters-style raucous rock."[15] Winston Kung of PopMatters it is "in tune with the zeitgeist."[16]

The lyrics of "Bad Day" follow a "you" passing through a bad day. Alan Connor of BBC News Magazine stated it has a universal appeal because it has "everyman breeziness" as the song's "you" can be anyone.[17] Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic described it as "effortlessly, even incandescently," "a loping, sunny tune that pretty much has the opposite sentiment of its title."[7] Powter himself said, "It's not literally about having a bad day, it's more about not taking yourself too seriously and complaining about trivial things."[18] The song "mak[es] fun of self-absorbed and narcissistic people who bitch and gripe," according to him.[5]

Release[edit]

"Bad Day" was first released in European radios on January 9, 2005.[citation needed] On February 8, Barnes & Noble released it on an exclusive extended play (EP) format.[19] In 2005, it got a physical release as a single by Warner Bros. Records in Switerzland on March 4,[20] in France on March 22,[21] in Italy on May 18,[22] in Germany on May 30,[23] in Australia on June 27,[24] in the United Kingdom on July 25,[25] and in Canada on July 28.[26]

It was digitaly released on February 22, 2005 in the United States,[27] and on November 9, 2005 in Japan.[28] In the United States it was released on January 17, 2006.[citation needed] A version recorded lively from Austria's Hitradio Ö3 was included on the 2005 "Free Loop" EP.[29] "Bad Day" was included on the compilation 2010 album Best of Me.[30]

Critical reception[edit]

Billboard‍‍ '​‍s Chuck Taylor deemed the song "one of the great discoveries of the year."[31] Pete Waterman wrote for The Guardian that it was one of his favorite songs of "recent years" in 2007.[32] Chris Lee of Los Angeles Times said the song is "baleful but soulful".[33] Erlewine considered it the best track from the album[7] as well as did Eric R. Danton from Hartford Courant,[34] and People‍ '​s staff, who affirmed "'Bad Day' may be catchy enough to overcome its trite lyrics."[35] On the other hand, Connor said it is a typical sentimental song but that in "Bad Day"'s case "there's even less detail."[17] Connor stated the song "is so low on the specifics, there are some couplets that feel like they've been translated from a foreign language, possibly by a computer."[17] Lamb said it "feels genuine" but "if you are looking for depth, this is not your song."[36] Kung affirmed the song "pales in comparison to some of the truly strong songs" in the album Daniel Powter.[16] A writer for The Daily Edge duubed it "a song so sweet it gave you a toothache",[37] while a reviewer from The Scotsman considered it a "horrible song".[38]

In 2006, "Bad Day" won the Tokio Hot 100 Award for Best Song,[39] and the Canadian Radio Music Award for Best New Group or Solo Artist — Mainstream AC.[40] In the following year, it was one of the songs honored with the BMI Pop Awards.[41] The song was nominated for Hot 100 Single of the Year at the 2006 Billboard Music Awards but the winner was Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous".[42][43] A the APRA Music Awards of 2006, it was nominated for Most Performed Foreign Work but lost to Rob Thomas's "Lonely No More".[44][45] In 2007, it was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards but "Waiting on the World to Change" by John Mayer won the award.[46] It received a nomination for Best Song at the 2007 Kids' Choice Awards but lost to Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable".[47]

Chart performance[edit]

"Bad Day" topped Nielsen Music Control's Pan European Airplay 100 to be the most played song on European radios in 2005.[48][49] It was also the third most downloaded song in that same year.[50] On Billboard‍ '​s European Hot 100 Singles it peaked at the second spot for the weekly chart, while it placed seventh on its year-end chart.[51][52] In France, although the song peaked at number 2 on the airplay chart,[53] it was the most played song on the radios in 2005.[54] It peaked at number 3 on the French Singles Chart,[55] and sold 143,600 copies to be certified silver by the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (SNEP).[21][56] While it peaked at number 17 in German Singles Chart,[55] it topped the German Airplay Chart and was the most played song on the chart in 2005.[48][57] In Germany, it was certified gold by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI) for shipment of over 150,000 copies.[58] It peaked at the fifth spot on the Danish singles chart,[55] and was certified gold by the IFPI Denmark for shipment of over 20,000 copies.[59] It peaked at number one in Czech Republic,[60] and also reached the top 10 on the singles chart for the Belgian territories (Flanders and Wallonia),[61] in Italy, in the Netherlands, Norway,[55] Poland,[62] Portugal,[63] Sweden, Switzerland,[55] and the top 20 in Austria.[55]

On the UK Singles Chart, the song debuted on the issue dated August 6, 2005[64] at its peaking position, the second spot, and spent 38 weeks on it.[55] "Bad Day" was the eleventh best-selling single of 2005,[65] and ranked 11th and 157th on the year-end UK Singles Chart of 2005 and 2006 respectively.[66][67] It topped the UK Single Downloads Chart for five consecutive weeks,[68] and was the third most downloaded song in the United Kingdom in 2005.[69] It was the most played song on the British radios during the 2003–08 period.[70] The song debuted on Irish Singles Chart at number 13 on July 28, 2005,[71] and topped it for three weeks of a total of 19 weeks on the chart.[55] It also came in the ninth place on the year-end chart of Ireland.[72]

"Bad Day" debuted at number 55 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart issue dated 25 February 2006.[73] On 23 March 2006, the song reached the top of the Hot Digital Songs chart.[74] In the following weeks, it moved to number one on the Pop 100,[75] the Adult Top 40,[76] and the Hot 100 charts.[75] "Bad Day" became the first song of the Warner Bros. label to top the Hot 100 since Cher's "Believe" in 1999,[76] and remained for on the top for five consecutive weeks.[12] The feat also marked the first Warner's male solo singer to top the chart since James Ingram's "I Don't Have the Heart" (1990) and the first Canadian act since Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" (2002).[76] It topped the Adult Top 40 for 12 weeks to become the longest period which a song by a lead male artist had spent in the chart.[77] It also was atop Adult Contemporary for 19, making it the song that spent the most time in Adult Contemporary that year.[78] The 19 weeks also tied "Bad Day" with Phil Collins' "You'll Be in My Heart" as the longest-running number one song by a solo male artist to that date.[79]

"Bad Day", with 1,690,814 copies digitalized, became the best-selling digital single in the United States as of July 2006.[12] In December of the same year, it became the first song ever to sell 2 million digital copies in the United States,[80][81] and was the best-selling "digital track" and "digital song" for 2006.[80] "Bad Day" has received a three-times platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for digital sales of over 3 million.[27] It was the seventh most played song on the American radios in 2006,[80] and ranked at the number one song of 2006 on Billboard Hot 100.[82] At other year-end charts, it ranked first on Hot Digital Songs,[83] second on Hot Adult Pop Songs,[84] third on Hot Adult Contemporary Songs,[85] fourth on Pop 100 Songs,[86] and twentieth on Hot 100 Airplay.[87]

In Japan, its ringtone version was certified "million" by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for shipment of over one million copies,[28] and peaked at the fifth place on the RIAJ Digital Track Chart.[88] Its "full-length ringtone" version was certified platinum for shipment of over 250,000 copies,[89] while its "Single Track" was certified double platinum for shipment of over 500,000 copies.[90] It shared the Japan Gold Disc Award 2007 for the most downloaded international song with "You Raise Me Up" by Celtic Woman and "Dani California" by Red Hot Chili Peppers.[91]

In Canada, it was certified platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (now Music Canada) for receiving 20,000 downloads.[92] "Bad Day" reached its best position at number seven on the Canadian Singles Chart and at number six on the Hot Canadian Digital Singles.[93] It also won an award from the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada as one of the six Canadian pop songs with the most radio airplay in 2005.[94] "Bad Day" was certified silver by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipment of over 70,000 copies.[95] The song debuted at number 21 on the ARIA Charts issue dated July 4, 2005,[96] peaked at the third place on the issue dated August 15, 2005,[97] and spent a total of 20 weeks on the chart.[55] It was the eighteenth top single of 2005 in the year-end ARIA Charts,[98] and was the second most played song in the country in 2006.[99] It additionally peaked at number 7 in New Zealand and on the Venezuela's Pop Rock chart, appearing for 23 weeks on the former and 19 on the latter.[55][100]

Music video[edit]

Synopsis[edit]

Man (Jason Adelman) and woman (Samaire Armstrong) in split screen from the music video.

It features two single people, a man (Jason Adelman) and a woman (Samaire Armstrong), waking and going about their daily schedule. The video shows this happening over a three-day period but makes no distinction between the days apart from the different clothing worn for each day. The main event is the two adding graffiti to the same wall, separately, on each day, culminating in the completion of a heart. At the end of the video, life mirrors the image created on the wall, with the boy offering the soaking wet girl a red umbrella in the pouring rain, as a cab stops for them. Parts of it were shot in a split-screen. Throughout the video, Powter is shown with his tuque, playing his piano.

Release and reception[edit]

The music video for "Bad Day" , directed by Marc Webb, premiered on Yahoo!'s website;[when?] as of August 2005, it had been streamed over 1 million times.[101] It was then released on VH1.com on April 28, 2005,[102] and on iTunes Store for digital download on December 13, 2005.[103] It debuted on VH1 television channel on January 23, 2006,[104] reaching the Top 20 Countdown for two weeks in March.[105][106] It was subsequently put in "heavy rotation" in April 2006, when it was played more than 50 times a week.[107] As of May 2006, this number was reduced to 30 weekly exhibitions.[108] The video was the eighth most watched music video on Internet with over 9.8 millions of views in 2006.[80] Warner Bros. Records released the video on YouTube on October 26, 2009.[109]

Taylor said the video is "strikingly good" and "brings emotion and clarity to an artist that we are meeting for the first time."[31] The Daily Edge considered it a "drippy" video.[37] VH1 ranked it seventeenth on its Top 40 Videos of the Year in 2006.[110] At the 2006 MuchMusic Video Awards, it received a nomination for the MuchMoreMusic Award but lost to Michael Bublé's "Save the Last Dance for Me".[111] It was nominated for Best Male Video at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards Japan[112] but "Age Age Every Knight" by DJ Ozma was the winner.[113]

Usage in media, cover and parodies[edit]

I feel quite detached from that song. It's more like it's everybody's song.

Powter on the song highly exposition in media[114]

"Bad Day" was highly used in media; Connor declared, "turning off the radio isn't enough to escape the tune. It can be heard everywhere from in shops, on mobiles and especially on TV".[17] On Christmas 2004, the song was played on a two-week advertising campaign by Coca-Cola in France.[101][115] "Bad Day" was also used in an advertising for Right Guard in the United Kingdom.[17][32]

The fifth season of American Idol used "Bad Day" as its underscore music to the montage showed when a contestant was eliminated.[76][116] Although it was not his decision to have it on American Idol,[117] Powter said, "I need every opportunity that I can to get the music out there."[17] Media noted its exposure on the show was a major factor on it being a hit in the United States.[76][101][116] "Bad Day" was subsequently used in other shows. Brazilian television series Malhação had it on its soundtrack in 2005.[118] TV Asahi's 2006 Japanese drama Regatta: Kimi to Ita Eien used the song as its main insert song.[119] In 2007, it was featured in the Veronica Mars‍ '​s episode "The Bitch Is Back".[120] "Alles muss raus", a 2012 episode of the German television series Danni Lowinski, also featured the song.[121] In 2014, the song was used as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson's ringtone in the Elementary‍ '​s episode "The One Percent Solution".[122] A FX promotional trailer for Fargo featured a muzak version of "Bad Day".[123]

"Weird Al" Yankovic wanted to parody the song in 2006 but Powter initially refused Yankovic's proposal.[124] Later, when Powter called to give Yankovic permission to record which would be called "You Had a Bad Date", Yankovic had just recorded the day before "White & Nerdy" and replied to Powter that "the train had left the station".[124][125] In April 2006, it was parodied during a Saturday Night Live episode on a montage which set Tom Delay on the song.[2][126] The Daily Show used the song for an American Idol-based montage satirizing the June 2006's death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Al-Qaeda in Iraq's leader.[127][128] "Bad Day" was also parodied by London-based parody group Amateur Transplants in the form of "King of the Dead".[citation needed]

"Bad Day" was covered by Kidz Bop, and included on its albuns Kidz Bop 10 (2006) and Kidz Bop Greatest Hits (2009).[129][130] It was parodied by comedy group Moron Life under the name of "Overplayed" and released on MySpace in 2006.[17][131] In the following year, a Paul Anka's cover was included on his album Classic Songs, My Way.[17][132] It was covered by the fictional music group Alvin and the Chipmunks for their 2007 film Alvin and the Chipmunks.[8] Their version made the charts in January 2008, peaking at number 67 on the Billboard Hot 100.[133] The Maccabeats, the all-male a cappella group of Yeshiva University recorded an a cappella version of the song on their 2010 album, Voices from the Heights.[134] Canadian singer Garou also covered "Bad Day" in his 2012 album, Rhythm and Blues.[135]

Live performances[edit]

Powter at the MTV Asia Awards 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand, where he performed it live

"Bad Day" was performed by Powter at the Live 8 concert in Berlin on July 2, 2005 at the Siegessäule.[101][136] He also performed the song at the MTV Asia Awards 2006 on May 6 at the Siam Paragon in Bangkok, Thailand.[101][137] During the penultimate episode of American Idol on May 23, 2006, Powter performed "Bad Day" at the Kodak Theatre.[138][139] On May 26, 2007, he performed the song at the Saitama Super Arena during the MTV Video Music Awards Japan.[140] Powter performed it in a duo with Japanese singer Ayaka on November 26, 2008 at Astro Hall in Harajuku, Japan.[141]

The singer played it lively in several television shows, including Total Request Live,[101] The Today Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Ellen DeGeneres Show,[12] and The CBS Early Show.[3]

In addition to his live performances of "Bad Day" in awards ceremonies and televised shows, the song was included on the set list for his tours in some European countries,[citation needed] in the United Kingdom,[142] and in the United States to promote its parent album.[143] In a performance in Chicago's Park West venue during the American tour, Andy Downing of Chicago Tribune called the song "a high point" of the show, commenting that it "was slower and prettier than on record, [with] the spartan arrangement nearly rescuing the tune from montage hell."[127]


Formats and track listings[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[95] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[92] Platinum 20,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[59] Gold 4,000^
France (SNEP)[21] Silver 143,600[56]
Germany (BVMI)[58] Gold 150,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[28] Million 1,000,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[152] Gold 400,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] 3× Platinum 3,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]