It's My Life (Talk Talk song)

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"It's My Life"
Single by Talk Talk
from the album It's My Life
B-side "Does Caroline Know?"
Released 13 January 1984
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Recorded 1983
Genre Synthpop,[1] new wave[2]
Length 3:53 (single)
6:16 (extended)
Label EMI, Parlophone
Writer(s) Mark Hollis, Tim Friese-Greene
Producer(s) Tim Friese-Greene
Talk Talk singles chronology
"Another Word"
(1984)
"It's My Life"
(1984)
"Such a Shame"
(1984)
"It's My Life"
Single by Talk Talk
from the album Natural History: The Very Best of Talk Talk
B-side "Renée (Live)"
Released 19 May 1990
Format 7" single, CD single
Recorded 1983
Genre Synthpop, new wave
Length 3:53 (7" single)
3:54 (CD-Single)
Label Parlophone
Writer(s) Mark Hollis
Producer(s) Tim Friese-Greene
Talk Talk singles chronology
"I Believe in You"
(1988)
"It's My Life"
(1990)
"Life's What You Make It (Reissue)"
(1990)

"It's My Life" is a song by the British synthpop band Talk Talk. Written by Mark Hollis and Tim Friese-Greene, it was the title track on the band's second album and released as its first single in January 1984. It reached #46 in the UK charts, but did better in several other countries, reaching #33 in Germany, #32 in New Zealand, #25 in France and #7 in Italy. It was also a success in North America, entering the Top 40 in both the United States (#31) and Canada (#30). (Notably, it peaked at #1 on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart.)

The single was re-released in the UK in 1985, but this time only reached #93. However, in 1990, "It's My Life" was reissued again to promote the compilation album Natural History: The Very Best of Talk Talk. This time, the song was a hit in the UK, reaching #13, the band's highest chart-placing single in its native country.

The song is also featured on the Rockstar Games video game for PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories on the 'Flash FM' radio station. It also is one of the songs played during gameplay for Activision Anthology for the PlayStation 2. The song is featured on Saints Row: The Third on 'The Mix 107.77' radio station.

Music video[edit]

There are two versions of the video for "It's My Life". The first, envisioned by director Tim Pope as a statement against the banality of lip-synching, consists almost entirely of footage from wildlife documentaries, interspersed with shots of Talk Talk lead singer Mark Hollis standing in the midst of London Zoo, with his mouth pointedly shut tight and often obscured by hand-drawn animated lines.

The second version, recorded at the behest of EMI, consisted of the entirety of the original video projected on a green screen behind Hollis on guitar and vocals as well as his two bandmates as they lip-synched and mimed the song, deliberately poorly and with comic exaggerated gestures.[3]

Track listings[edit]

1984 release
7" single
  1. "It's My Life" — 3:53
  2. "Does Caroline Know?" — 4:36
12" single - North America
  1. "It's My Life" (extended version) — 6:14
  2. "It's My Life" (single version) — 3:51
  3. "Again, a Game…Again" — 4:09
12" single - Europe
  1. "It's My Life" (12" remix) — 6:16
  2. "Does Caroline Know?" — 4:33
  3. "It's My Life" (7" version) — 3:50
1990 reissue
7" single
  1. "It's My Life" – 3:53
  2. "Renée" (live) – 7:28
CD maxi
  1. "It's My Life" – 3:54
  2. "Renée" (live) – 7:28
  3. "It's My Life" (live) – 7:58

Chart positions[edit]

Preceded by
"Hold Me Now" by Thompson Twins
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single (Talk Talk version)
5 May 1984
Succeeded by
"I Want It to Be Real" by John Rocca

No Doubt version[edit]

"It's My Life"
Single by No Doubt
from the album The Singles 1992–2003
Released 30 October 2003
Format CD, digital download
Genre New wave, synthpop
Length 3:46
Label Interscope
Producer(s) Nellee Hooper, No Doubt
Certification Platinum (ARIA), Gold (RIAA)
No Doubt singles chronology
"Running"
(2003)
"It's My Life"
(2003)
"Bathwater (Invincible Overlord Remix)"
(2004)

No Doubt recorded a cover version of the song to promote their greatest hits album The Singles 1992–2003. Because the band was on hiatus, while lead singer Gwen Stefani recorded her solo debut album Love. Angel. Music. Baby., they decided to record a cover to avoid having to write a new song.[19] The band listened to hundreds of songs and narrowed it down to "It's My Life" and INXS' 1982 song "Don't Change".[20] No Doubt were dubious about recording a cover and contemplated writing new material.[19] However, they decided on "It's My Life" after rehearsing the song with producer Nellee Hooper,[20] referring to it as a "feel good" song.[19] The song was nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 47th Grammy Awards.[21] Jacques Lu Cont, the song's programmer, created the Thin White Duke mix of "It's My Life", which won the award for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical.[22]

This version was featured on the video game Karaoke Revolution Volume 2. On 9 December 2008 it was also made available as downloadable content for the Rock Band series.

Chart performances[edit]

The cover was successful in the United States, reaching number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and remaining on the chart for 28 weeks.[23] It was moderately successful on adult contemporary stations, reaching number 20 on the Adult Contemporary chart, but had high longevity and appeared atop the Adult Top 40's recurrent chart. The single was more successful in clubs, peaking at number 16 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart, and had some play on modern rock stations, reaching number 32 on the Modern Rock Tracks.[24] The Recording Industry Association of America certified the digital download gold for selling half a million copies.[25]

On the UK Singles Chart, "It's My Life" debuted at number 20 but was unable to reach a higher position until it was released with a remix of the No Doubt song Bathwater which boosted the single up to number 17. The single dropped off the chart after 7 weeks. It was more of a success across Europe, reaching the top ten in Italy, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden and the top 20 in Austria, Belgium, France, and Switzerland.[23] The single reached number 7 on the ARIA Singles Chart, lasting 17 weeks on the chart,[23] and was listed at number 81 on the 2004 end-of-year chart.[26] The Australian Recording Industry Association certified the single platinum in 2004 for shipping 70,000 copies.[27]

Music video[edit]

Gwen Stefani on trial from the music video

The 1930s-style music video was directed by David LaChapelle.[28] In the song's music video, Stefani portrays a black widow whose look closely resembles that of actress Jean Harlow,[29] who is put on trial and sentenced to die for the murders of three men she knew, who are portrayed by the other members of the band. The first victim (played by Tom Dumont) dies when Stefani laces his dinner with rat poison, the second victim (Tony Kanal) dies when Stefani runs him down with her car, and the third victim (a house painter played by Adrian Young) is electrocuted in a bathtub after Stefani tosses her hairdryer into the tub. In between the death scenes are scenes of Stefani in court and being dragged to the gas chamber wearing a prison uniform where she is executed. The video ends with the three murder victims somehow alive, and laughing at her televised execution.

The music video was moderately successful on video chart programs. On MTV's Total Request Live, it reached number 7 in November 2003[30] and was on the countdown as late as January 2004.[31] The video peaked at number 8 on MuchMusic's Countdown and remained on the program through March 2004.[32] At the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards, "It's My Life" won the awards for Best Group Video and Best Pop Video. It also received nominations for Best Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Art Direction.[33]

Formats and track listings[edit]

2-track;
  1. "It's My Life" — 3:48
  2. "Rock Steady" (live) — 5:53
CD single
  1. "It's My Life" — 3:48
  2. "Sunday Morning" (2002 live) — 4:49
  3. "Rock Steady" (2002 live) — 5:53
  4. "Bathwater" (2002 live) — 4:01
UK CD single[34]
  1. "It's My Life" — 3:48
  2. "Rock Steady" (2002 live) — 5:53
  3. "Bathwater" (2002 live) — 4:01
UK re-issue "It's My Life" / "Bathwater" double A-side CD single[35][36]
  1. "It's My Life" — 3:48
  2. "Bathwater" (Invincible Overlord Remix) — 3:07
  3. "It's My Life" (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Mix) — 6:59
  4. "It's My Life" (Chocolate O'Brian Remix) — 5:43
  5. "Bathwater" (Invincible Overlord Remix Video)
  6. "It's My Life" (Video)

Official versions[edit]

  • "It's My Life" — 3:48
  • "It's My Life" (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Mix) — 6:59
  • "It's My Life" (Chocolate O'Brien Remix) — 6:30
  • "It's MY Life" (Dave Aude Remix) — 3:51 (unreleased)

Charts[edit]

Chart (2003-2004) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[37] 7
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[38] 12
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[39] 4
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[40] 11
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[41] 9
Canada (Nielsen SoundScan) 30
France (SNEP)[42] 19
Germany (Media Control Charts)[43] 9
Ireland (IRMA)[17] 6
Italy (FIMI)[44] 7
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[45] 4
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[46] 6
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[47] 8
Norway (VG-lista)[48] 3
Poland (Polish Singles Chart)[49] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[50] 4
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[51] 12
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[52] 17
US Billboard Adult Top 40[24] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[24] 10
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary[24] 20
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[24] 16
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[24] 32
US Billboard Top 40 Adult Recurrents[24] 1
US Billboard Top 40 Mainstream[24] 5
US Billboard Top 40 Tracks[24] 4

Certifications[edit]

Country Certification Sales
Australia Gold[53] 35,000+
US Gold[54] 500,000

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jonathan Barnes (18 October 2010). "When the man from Talk Talk fell silent". EADT 24. Eadt.co.uk. Retrieved 23 July 2013.  "the EMI-signed group achieved reasonable commercial success; even a couple of top 20 singles in the synth-pop classic It’s My Life"
  2. ^ Amy Phillips (31 August 2012). "Talk Talk's Mark Hollis Resurfaces With New Music for the Kelsey Grammer TV Show "Boss"". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media Inc. Retrieved 23 July 2013.  "After hitting it big as new wave stars in the early and mid-80s, with massive singles like "It's My Life" and "Life's What You Make It", Talk Talk abandoned synth-pop and went experimental."
  3. ^ Alan McGee (9 April 2008). "Wherefore art thou Mark Hollis?". The Guardian music blog. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  4. ^ bulion. "Forum - ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts - CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". ARIA. Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 40, No. 11, May 19, 1984". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
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  7. ^ "Talk Talk – It's My Life". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  8. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1984". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
    45. It's my life - Talk Talk [#7]
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  27. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2004 Singles". ARIA Charts. Aria.com.au. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  28. ^ Jennifer Vineyard, Corey Moss (27 October 2003). "Gwen Stefani Bumps Off Bandmates In 'It's My Life'". MTV. Viacom International Inc. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
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  36. ^ "It's My Life/Bathwater at Juno Records". Juno. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
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  38. ^ "No Doubt – It's My Life – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
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  48. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – No Doubt – It's My Life". VG-lista. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  49. ^ "IT'S MY LIFE - No Doubt". Nowe Media, Polskie Radio S.A. LP3.polskieradio.pl. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  50. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – No Doubt – It's My Life". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  51. ^ "No Doubt – It's My Life – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  52. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  53. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2003 Singles". ARIA Charts. Aria.com.au. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  54. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database". RIAA. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 

External links[edit]