Fight for This Love

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"Fight for This Love"
The black and white cover art contains a woman in the background with her head titled to the side. Her neckline is bare. She is hearing a black shiny military style hat also leaning to one side. Only one eye is visible in the image as the other is concealed by the hat. In the bottom right-hand corner in a black curly font sits the name of the artist and song: Cheryl Cole Fight for This Love.
Single by Cheryl Cole
from the album 3 Words
B-side "Didn't I"
Released 18 October 2009 (2009-10-18)
(see release history)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2009 SubZero Studios
Santa Monica, CA
Genre
Length 3:46
Label Fascination
Writer(s) Wayne Wilkins, Steve Kipner, Andre Merritt
Producer(s) Wayne Wilkins, Steve Kipner
Certification Gold (SWI, GER) Platinum (UK, DK, IT, SWE)
Cheryl Cole chronology
"Heartbreaker"
(2008)
"Fight for This Love"
(2009)
"3 Words"
(2009)

"Fight for This Love" is the debut solo single by English recording artist Cheryl Cole, taken from her debut studio album, 3 Words (2009). Initially, the song was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland as the lead single on 30 October 2009 by Fascination Records however, in 2010 it was also released in Europe as the album's second single through Universal Music. The up-tempo pop, dance-pop and R&B song, was written and produced by an American songwriting team consisting of Steve Kipner, Wayne Wilkins and Andre Merrit. The song was offered to Cole in demo form, with male vocals. She spoke of an instant connection to the message of the song as well as the noticeable synthy production. Its style and lyrics are different from that of previous songs released with Girls Aloud. "Fight for This Love" divided music critics; some praised Cole's vocals and the powerful production, noting that it had the potential to be a hit with the clubs while other critics criticised the sluggish verses and weak vocals.

The release was promoted around most of the world at a time when Cole's marriage to footballer Ashley Cole was breaking down. In the accompanying music video directed by Ray Kay, Cole wears various fashionable outfits and scenes featured different choreographed dance routines. It was generally well-received by media and critics for resembling artwork, and also drew comparisons to Janet Jackson and the video for "Put the Needle On It" (2002) by Dannii Minogue. Following her first performance of the song on The X Factor it topped charts in Ireland and the United Kingdom. "Fight for This Love" also achieved success in Europe by topping charts in Norway, Hungary and Denmark. In May 2010 it was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for shipments topping 600,000 units. The song received a BRIT Award nomination in the Best British Single category. In December 2012 "Fight for This Love" became the 125th single to reach the million mark in UK Chart history, and the third to reach the feat in 2012, along with Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" and Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know"[1]

Background and composition[edit]

"Fight for This Love" is Cole's first solo single outside of girl band Girls Aloud following 20 top-ten singles with the group.[2] It was written by an American team consisting of Steve Kipner, Wayne Wilkins and Andre Merrit[3] with the demo being sung by Merrit.[4] Cole stated that though the demo had come to her with male vocals she "knew instantly it was a single", having "connected with the song so well".[5]

22 second clip of the song where Cole sings the chorus showing the repetition of the word "Fight".

Problems playing this file? See media help.

The song is an uptempo pop, dance-pop and R&B song with a synthy production,[6][7] written in the key of G major with a time signature in common time and a tempo of 123 beats per minute. The vocal range spans from E3 to D5. The basic chord progression of the song is Am, G, D, G, Bm, and Em.[8] In the middle eight it features a breakdown where the song's usual instruments are replaced with hand claps whilst some of the media reported that Cole's voice had a Whitney Houston-like tone to it.[9] NME magazine reported that some people noticed similarities between the song and a 2007 song "Lil Star" by American singer Kelis, though Cole's representatives denied any similarities.[10] Meanwhile other media outlets reported that "Fight for This Love" has a similar chord progression to "All My Life" by K-Ci & JoJo.[11] The song was later covered by British boyband The Wanted, who released it as the B-side to their number-one single, "All Time Low".[12]

Critical reception[edit]

Critical reception towards "Fight for This Love" has been mixed. Ruth Harrison from 'Female First' was impressed by the song after initially being worried that Cole would not be able to cope going solo. She said "Whilst it does sound just a little big Girls Aloud-y, we still love it, and can see it being a huge hit on the club circuit up and down the country ... we think this is going to send her well on her way to global superstardom."[13] Popjustice also liked the song saying "'Fight For This Love' is very definitely not just a Girls Aloud single with one person singing it... its one of those songs you can have on repeat for an hour and a half without getting bored. One thing that hits you is - well, is this really what Cheryl sounds like? Vocally it's a big surprise... As it turns out, she sounds really great - strong, confident, direct. Like a proper pop singer. It's a sleek, powerful production..."[9]

Meanwhile David Balls of Digital Spy was only moderately impressed and argued that "Cole's vocals aren't terribly strong" but that she had "understated charm and lots of 'X Factor' exposure". Of the song itself he said "Cole has taken the subtle approach on her first solo single. 'Fight For This Love' is a midtempo pop-R&B track with subdued, synthy production and an infectious hook that gnaws into the consciousness - albeit after a few listens."[6] Whilst Fraser McAlpine partially agreed "In Cheryl's favour, she's obviously made an effort to record something that sounds different from the stuff she'd be making with Girls Aloud, and as a result this solo effort is an interesting pop/dance/R&B hybrid, which actually suits her rather well, style-wise." However he too had issues with the voice "It's just a shame it's not stronger," pointing out some weaknesses, "the best thing about the song is the bridge, which is sassy but vulnerable at the same time, and underpinned by a sweet melody, but the rest of the song can't match up: the verses are sluggish...".[7]

Chart performance[edit]

In the United Kingdom, "Fight for This Love" debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart.[14] It sold 134,000 copies in one day beating the previous record held by Cole's X Factor protégé Alexandra Burke with the song "Bad Boys" which sold 187,100 over a seven-day span.[15] The final first week sales totalled 292,000 copies[16] beating the 213,000 that Girls Aloud's debut single, "Sound of the Underground" sold back in 2002.[17] The single remained at number one for two weeks[18] and consequently went on to become the best selling single of the year up to that point.[16] By the end of 2009 it was declared the fourth best-selling single of the year,[19] and 29th best selling of the decade (2000s).[20] On 14 May 2010, just over six months after release, the single was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI)[21] and earned Cole a nomination for Best British Single at the 2010 BRIT Awards,[22] which she had previously won at the 2009 BRIT Awards with Girls Aloud for their single, "The Promise".[23] However, she lost out to "Beat Again" by former X Factor runners-up JLS[22] in what was deemed a "controversial win," as the announcer claimed Cole was the front-runner.[24]

"Fight for This Love" entered the Irish Singles Chart at number thirteen[25] and the following week on the chart dated 22 October 2010 the song rose to number one, giving Cole her first chart topper in Ireland since "Sound of the Underground" with Girls Aloud.[26] In Denmark the song peaked at number one on 12 March 2010[27] as well as topping the charts in Hungary[28] and Norway.[29] The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) certified the single platinum in Denmark[30] and gold in Switzerland.[31] As of December 2012, "Fight for This Love" has sold over 1 million copies in the United Kingdom,[1] making it the best selling single of Cheryl's career both solo and with Girls Aloud.

Music video[edit]

A scene from "Fight for This Love" where Cole appears against a textbook backdrop with doodles.[32]

The music video was directed by Ray Kay and was filmed in early September 2009.[33] Kay commented on the filming of the clip saying "The recordings went very well, and Cheryl was fantastic to work with. I drove her very hard at the shoot, and it was very difficult on her part. My job was relaxing in comparison. We made the video in London, with a lot of focus on fashion and dance, with very tough choreography, before putting it all together in Los Angeles afterwards. I have a strong feeling that this will be a #1 for Cheryl in England!"[34]

Synopsis[edit]

The video starts off with Cole in a simple white vest, and biker gloves, accompanied with an entourage of female dancers dressed in black.[35] Various scenes throughout the video include Cole in silk leopard print bottoms, an all black outfit with silver sparks coming out from both sides of her top,[35] standing in what would appear to be her maths workbook, in which she has been doodling and writing poems rather than doing her maths while wearing what appears to be a corset with two miniature beds of nails strapped to the side and [later] a soldier themed outfit with the famous red Balmain jacket in which she salutes a full eight times during the video.[32][35]

Reception[edit]

Jennifer Adeeko of the MOBOs praised the video saying "the songstress [is] looking sensational ... make-up done to perfection ... giving her that edge. Her performance comes across as effortless. ... The HD quality video comes across as pure artwork."[35] Meanwhile a reporter for The Daily Mail noted that ideas had been borrowed from other artists including one scene where Cole has her hands in the air with a grid in the background which is similar to a scene from Dannii Minogue's 2002 single "Put the Needle On It", a hoody which had previously been seen on Lady Gaga and the transparent top that Cole wore beneath the military jacket has previously been worn by Coco, member of the former X Factor contestants: Kandy Rain.[11] Grazia considered Cole's military outfit "second rate Janet Jackson."[36]

Anna Pickard of The Guardian took a different opinion choosing to focus on how Cole appeared to be "making up for the lack of having Girls Aloud around her by pretending to be all of them at once" and anguish of her own marriage issues.[32] She noted that Cole's various outfits appear to distract people from the lyrics of the song which "seem to be, a thinly veiled reflection on her own marriage compounded by the sad mooning face she keeps pulling. [It is not surprising when one is] singing a solo song about one's troubled (though reconciled and apparently happy) marriage. Although sometimes she looks cross instead. And quite a lot of the time, she looks like she's her own evil sexy twin."[32]

Promotion[edit]

UK and Ireland[edit]

The single premiered on Chris Moyles's breakfast show on 7 September on BBC Radio 1.[13] On Sunday 18 October 2009 the song was released for digital download in the UK.[37] Cole took to the stage of The X Factor Live Results Show later that evening to perform the song for the first time.[38] She adorned a military-themed outfit by Welsh fashion designer Julien MacDonald. It consisted of a sheer bodysuit,[39] a red military jacket with black epaulettes as well as other details, black harem trousers[40] and Alexander Wang boots.[41] The outfit itself was subject to media attention, with some reporting that online debates had drawn comparisons to the outfit worn by 1992 video game antagonist M. Bison from the Street Fighter series.[42][43] Media also considered Cole's outfit and performance inspired by Janet Jackson.[36][39] Media speculated that the performance was mimed,[44] something that Cole denied though she admitted to having some pre-recorded vocals to help the live performance.[45] The show, which also featured the first UK performance by Whitney Houston in six years, drew a record audience of 14.8 million, making it the most watched episode in the show's history at that time.[46]

She also taped a performance for UK teen channel T4, which aired 15 November 2009.[47] Rufus Hound would later go on to perform a parody of Cole's X Factor Stint on BBC's Let's Dance for Sport Relief.[48] Cole appeared at 'Children in Need Rocks the Royal Albert Hall' on 12 November 2009] to perform "Fight for This Love" in a white version of her 'X Factor' performance outfit[49] and later returning to perform Snow Patrol's single "Set the Fire to the Third Bar" with Gary Lightbody.[50] The performances were later televised as a part of the Children in Need 2009 telethon on 20 November. UK paper, The Daily Telegraph wrote that Cole "nailed the harmony vocal with a fragile empathy that should silence those who dare to suggest she can't sing."[51] In December ITV1 aired a one-off television special titled Cheryl Cole's Night In, presented by Holly Willoughby.[52] She performed "Fight for This Love" with her hair in a tight bun and a ninja-inspired outfit, another variation on the military theme which had become synonymous with the song. The song also incorporated a dance break[53] where Cole included a dance routine with samurai swords.[54]

Then on 16 February Cole appeared at the 2010 BRIT Awards for a performance which began with Cole being "catapulted" on stage with her dancers.[55] Cole and her dancers initially wore gold-trimmed white trench coats[56] before revealing a hooded black bodysuit.[57] The performance included a bridge sampled from song "Be" which features vocals from former X Factor contestant Rowetta Satchell.[58] Satchell initially refused to allow Cole to use the sample and was disappointed that they had not asked her to sing it despite Polydor Records stating they would not use the sample, reports later surfaced surrounding an alleged legal battle.[59] Cole also received media attention for performing without her wedding ring, following reports that husband Ashley had cheated,[55] as well as for allegedly miming the song.[58]

Europe[edit]

In January 2010 Cole flew to Germany to perform "Fight for This Love" at German Award Ceremony, DLD Starnight at the Haus der Kunst in Munich.[60] In March European promotion for the single and album resumed with an appearance and performance on Danish X Factor[61] which consequently led to the song topping the Danish Singles Chart. Other performances in Europe included Vivement Dimanche in France;[62] Norway's Skavlan,[63] and Dutch The X Factor.[64] In Germany the song was used as the title theme to the fifth series of Germany's Next Topmodel.[65]

Track listing[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

"Fight for This Love" was recorded at 'SubZero Studios' in Santa Monica, California whilst "Didn't I" was recorded at Klausound Studio, Studio City; The Red Room, Hollywood and Artquake Studios Burbank all in California.[67]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[116] Platinum 30,000^
Germany (BVMI)[117] Gold 150,000^
Italy (FIMI)[118] Platinum 30,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[119] Gold 15,000x
Sweden (GLF)[120] Platinum 30,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[121] Platinum 1,000,000^

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

Airplay premiere and release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Catalogue
United Kingdom[13] 7 September 2009 Airplay - Premiere Fascination Records 2733405
Ireland[68] 30 October 2009 Digital download, EP
CD single
Polydor Records 2733405
2721778
Netherlands[122] 18 October 2009 Digital download Universal Music 060252721778
Sweden[123]
United Kingdom[37] Digital download, EP Fascination Records 2733405
United Kingdom[66] 19 October 2009 CD single 2721778
France[124] 18 December 2009 Digital download Universal Music 060252735320
Mexico[125] 2 February 2010 060252721778
Belgium[72] 8 February 2010
Brazil[126]
Denmark[73]
Finland[127]
Greece[128]
Luxembourg[71]
Norway[129]
Portugal[130] 060252735320
Spain[131]
Switzerland[132] 060252721778
Germany 12 February 2010[133] 060252735320
26 February 2010[134] CD single 2721778
Italy[135] 9 April 2010 Digital download 060252735320
Australia[136] 7 May 2010 Digital EP

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External links[edit]