Black and Gold (song)

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"Black and Gold"
Single by Sam Sparro
from the album Sam Sparro
Released 14 April 2008
(see release history)
Format 7", 12", CD single, digital download
Genre Dance-pop
Length 3:32 (UK radio edit/single version)
4:37 (album version)
  • Jesse Rogg
  • Sam Falson

Gold, UK

Gold, AUS
Sam Sparro singles chronology
"Black and Gold"
"21st Century Life"

"Black and Gold" is the lead single from Sam Sparro's eponymous debut album.[2] The song has been remixed by Max Sanna and Steve Pitron, Paul Epworth, Al Usher, Kings of the Universe, Kromatik, and Russ Chimes.[3] The original version of the single was made available on iTunes on 23 March 2008, with the entire album available from 31 March.[4] On 7 April, the CD, 12" and limited edition 7" singles were released. The song explores the relationship between reason, spirituality, and love. The song was written by Sam Falson & Jesse Rogg. The song was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 2009 Grammy Awards.


"Black and Gold" originally appeared on the Modus Vivendi Music Vol.2 [5] compilation album, released in 2007, along with an alternate mix of the song "Sally" and Sparro's remix of "Young Lovers", by another Modus Vivendi artist, Love Grenades. Modus Vivendi Music released an EP entitled Black + Gold, featuring the song, in the fall of 2007, which garnered the attention that led to the deal with Island UK. All songs from that EP, excluding "Miss Rexi", appear in new revisions on Sparro's debut eponymous studio album, released with Island UK in May 2008.

"Black and Gold" was made available as a digital download (via the Apple iTunes Store) on 23 March 2008 as the lead single from Sam Sparro. The song was released by Island UK Records through a licensing deal with independent Los Angeles based label, Modus Vivendi Music, owned and operated by Jesse Rogg, who also produced and co-wrote the song with Sparro.[5]

The song was nominated for the 2009 Grammy Award for "Best Dance Recording". It received two nominations for the 2008 2008 ARIA Awards in the categories for "Breakthrough Artist - Single" and "Single of the Year".[6] The song has been certified gold in both Australia and the UK.

In a video interview, Sparro confirmed that the song's subject is his religious faith, saying "It is about God, yeah. [...] I do like to have faith in something that is bigger than me."[7]

The song was used in the 2009 films Obsessed[8] and Fame, and appears on their official soundtrack releases. The song appears on the soundtrack of the video game, FIFA 09,[9] as well as appearing in the 2010 video game DJ Hero 2, where it was mixed with David Guetta's "Love Is Gone".

A music video was released to promote the single.

Music video[edit]

There were two music videos produced for "Black and Gold".

Sam Sparro dancing with his look-a-likes, from the second music video for "Black and Gold".

The first was directed by Mariah Garnett.[10] Sparro appeares dressed in black, white, and gold clothing, singing alone, cut between city views, shots of urban streets filmed from moving cars, and reverse action shots of gold colored drinking glasses shattering against a black back drop. The video had a significantly low budget, and was later scrapped after Sparro's deal with Island Records.

The second music video was directed by AlexandLiane,[11] funded through Sparro's new contract. The music video depicts Sparro emerging from a Limousine with many copies of himself in an underground garage. The Garage, illuminated by chains of lights, pulsating as Sparro and his copies dance, donning tuxedos decorated with lights. The video has a color theme of black and gold after the title, a theme reminiscent of the first video.[12]

The second video, directed by AlexandLiane, received a nomination for "Best Dance Video" at the 2009 MTV Australia Awards.


The song has been covered by multiple artists including Adele (left) and Katy Perry (right).

The song has been covered live several times by Irish band, The Blizzards. The song was covered at BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge by both Adele and Guillemots in 2008; Guillemots's cover was featured on the radio show's third compilation. On a Sensual Note, an all male a cappella group at American University, the Chordials, a co-ed collegiate a cappella group at Cornell University, and The Unaccompanied Minors, a co-ed a cappella group at the University of Waterloo have all covered the song. Katy Perry covered the song during a live session on Australian radio station Nova FM,[13] that was later featured as a bonus track on her album One of the Boys and as a track on her extended play The Hello Katy Australian Tour EP. Ellie Goulding and Liam Payne have also covered this song. Payne covered the song during his gigs before he joined boy band One Direction. The song was also covered on season four of NBC's The Voice by Team Usher. Canadian folk band City and Colour has added the chorus at the end of their song "Sometimes (I Wish)" during some live performances, including their televised performance on Bravo! Live at the Concert Hall.[14] DC-area rapper Wale sampled the song for his mixtape, More About Nothing, citing Sparro as a featured artist.

Track listing[edit]

UK CD Single
  1. Black and Gold (Radio Edit)
  2. S.A.M.S.P.A.R.R.O.
German CD Single
  1. Black and Gold (Radio Edit)
  2. Black and Gold (Phones Hard as Diamond)
  3. Black and Gold (Al Usher Mix)
  4. Black and Gold (Video)
12" Single
  1. Black and Gold (Sanna & Pitron mix)
  2. Black and Gold (Al Usher Mix)
  3. Black and Gold (Phones Hard as Diamonds Dub Mix)


Credits adapted from the liner notes of Sam Sparro.

  • Richard Edgeler - assistance
  • Jesse Rogg – writing, mixing, production
  • Sam Sparro – vocals, writing, production
  • Brio Taliaferro - additional programming
  • Jeremy Wheatley – mixing

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[15] 4
Austrian Singles Chart 52
Belgian Singles Chart 15
Czech Republic Singles Chart[16] 32
Danish Singles Chart[17] 10
Dutch Singles Chart 29
European Hot 100[18] 5
German Singles Chart 29
Global Dance Tracks Chart[19] 22
Irish Singles Chart 5
Italian Singles Chart[20] 13
New Zealand Singles Chart[21] 12
Norwegian Singles Chart 4
Turkey Singles Chart[22] 5
UK Singles Chart 2
UK Dance (Official Charts Company)[23] 1
US Billboard Hot Dance Airplay 8
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 13
Chart (2010) Peak
UK Dance Chart 29

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Position
Australian Singles Chart 19[24]
Australian Artist Singles Chart 3[25]
Australian Dance Singles Chart 3[26]
Australian Digital Tracks Chart 45[27]

Decade-end charts[edit]

Chart (2000–09) Position
UK Singles Chart 91[28]


Country Certification
Australia Gold[29]
United Kingdom Gold[30]

Awards and nominations[edit]

ARIA Music Awards[31]
Year Recipient Award Result
2008 "Black and Gold" Breakthrough Artist – Single Nominated
Single of the Year Nominated
Grammy Awards
Year Recipient Award Result
2009 "Black and Gold" Best Dance Recording Nominated
MTV Australia Awards
Year Recipient Award Result
2009 "Black and Gold" Best Dance Video Nominated

Release history[edit]

Region Date
United Kingdom 14 April 2008
Europe 23 May 2008
Australia 24 May 2008
United States of America 10 June 2008


  1. ^ ""Black and Gold" writing credits". BMI. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  2. ^ "Sam Sparro's first album". <>.
  3. ^ "Sams Blog." <>
  4. ^ "Sam Sparro." <>.
  5. ^ a b Modus Vivendi Music
  6. ^ 2008 ARIA Awards Nominees Announced... And Here They Are!, Undercover, accessed 6 October 2008
  7. ^ YouTube - Sam Sparro interview
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Gamespot EA kicks off FIFA 09 tracklist Accessed 6 October 2008
  10. ^ "Sam Sparro - Black and Gold". Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  11. ^ "Sam Sparro - Black & Gold: Video". Universal Music Group (YouTube). Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Katy Perry Black and Gold cover LIVE (sam sparro)". 28 July 2009. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  14. ^ "City And Colour - Sometimes (I Wish) (Bravo! Live Concert Hall)". YouTube, Bravo!. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  15. ^ Top 50 Singles Chart. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved on 15 June 2008.
  16. ^ Czech Republic IFPI Singles Chart
  17. ^ Danish Singles Chart Top 40
  18. ^ Billboard
  19. ^ Billboard
  20. ^ Classifica
  21. ^ RIANZ
  22. ^ Turkey Top 20 Chart Retrieved on 2008-05-24
  23. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Dance Chart.
  24. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2008". ARIA. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  25. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts Top 50 Australian Artist Singles 2008". ARIA. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  26. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Dance Singles 2008". ARIA. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  27. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Digital Tracks 2008". ARIA. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  28. ^ 13:00 (29 December 2009). "Radio 1 Programmes - Christmas and New Year on Radio 1, Chart of the Decade, Episode 2". BBC. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  29. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2008 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  30. ^ "Certified Awards Search: Sam Sparro". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  31. ^ ARIA Awards History 2008.Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 10 June 2012