Life Got Cold
|"Life Got Cold"|
|Single by Girls Aloud|
|from the album Sound of the Underground|
|Released||18 August 2003|
|Girls Aloud singles chronology|
"Life Got Cold" is a song by British all-female pop group Girls Aloud, taken from their debut album Sound of the Underground (2003). The song was written by Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins and his production team Xenomania, and produced by Higgins and Xenomania. Noel Gallagher of Oasis received a writing credit due to similarities with Oasis' "Wonderwall". Released as their third single in August 2003, "Life Got Cold" became Girls Aloud's third consecutive top three hit on the UK Singles Chart.
Set in an abandoned city, the music video suggests coldness and darkness with its blue hue. It portrays Girls Aloud moving in stunted movement. "Life Got Cold" was promoted through various live performances and has since been performed on three of Girls Aloud's concert tours. Described as a "surprisingly poignant", the melancholic ballad received favorable reviews from contemporary music critics; however, it was criticised for its similarities with Oasis.
Background and composition
"Life Got Cold" is a ballad written in D minor. The chord progressions vary throughout the song but the different chords include B♭, C, Dm, Gm, and Am. Following typical verse-chorus form, the song consists of a verse followed by a bridge and chorus. The verses are "talk-sung", while the bridge and chorus are song over guitar strumming. The middle 8 is a slower version of the bridge. The song tells the tale of young love that ended "when summer slipped away." "Life Got Cold" was a late addition to Sound of the Underground, completed by Xenomania shortly before the album's release. Producer Brian Higgins did not take the idea of a Girls Aloud version of the song seriously until he heard the group sing it, because a track working "has always got to be based on an artist's performance, not the music itself. But they sang it, and they really nailed the melancholic aspect of it, and it sounded beautiful." The lyrics focus on "the directionlessness of modern life." Nicola Roberts said it was the group's favourite song on the album.
The song received attention because of similarities between the guitar riff of "Life Got Cold" and that of the 1995 Oasis hit "Wonderwall". A BBC review stated "part of the chorus sounds like it is going to turn into Wonderwall by Oasis." A source told The Sun that Girls Aloud "are all big Oasis fans so I'm sure they won't mind comparisons with their classic love song." Warner/Chappell Music has since credited Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher. Girls Aloud later made a cameo appearance in Oasis' 2007 rockumentary Lord Don't Slow Me Down.
"Life Got Cold" was not originally the choice for Girls Aloud's third single. Polydor Records had originally chosen "Some Kind of Miracle" to be released, but the plan was dropped after an overwhelming fan response to "Life Got Cold". Cheryl Cole (then Tweedy) stated in an interview, "We have two hopes for the single, that it helps to sell the album and people see a different side to us." The single was released on 18 August 2003 in the UK. It was available on two different CD single formats and as a cassette tape. The first CD featured a cover of the Duran Duran song "Girls on Film" as the b-side, which would later become the title for a Girls Aloud DVD, as well as a remix of "No Good Advice". The disc's enhanced section features the "Life Got Cold" music video and a photo gallery. The second disc included both the radio edit and album version of "Life Got Cold", as well as the 29 Palms Remix Edit and the Stella Browne Edit. It also came with a free fold-out poster. The cassette also featured an exclusive b-side, an original track entitled "Lights, Music, Camera, Action". The photos featured on the single's artwork were reshot at the last minute, following the group's request.
"Life Got Cold" received generally favorable reviews from contemporary music critics, although it did receive criticism due to the Oasis similarities. BBC called the song a "charming ballad" that was "a sweet but slightly sad pop song." RTE.ie thought "Life Got Cold" was "surprisingly poignant." However many Oasis fans have been angered by this song regarding it as a rip off of "Wonderwall" which has been generally rated as one of the greatest songs of all time, Girls Aloud dismissed claims of copying Oasis although it is extremely similar to the beginning part of "Wonderwall" chorus Allmusic referred to it as "a solid ballad, suggesting a less intellectual Dido."
The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number three, behind Blu Cantrell's "Breathe" and Lemar's "Dance (With U)". It spent a second week in the top ten, slipping to number eight. The song spent a total of nine weeks in the top 75 overall, a far cry from the fourteen weeks "No Good Advice" or the twenty-one weeks that "Sound of the Underground" spent in the chart. "Life Got Cold" also debuted at number three on the Irish Singles Chart, but managed to rise to number two the following week. It spent two further weeks in the top ten, then two weeks in the top twenty. The single barely missed the top ten of the Netherlands Top 40, instead peaking at number eleven. It has since become the group's 16th best selling single domestically.
The music video for "Life Got Cold" was directed by Phil Griffin, who previously directed the videos for "Sound of the Underground" and "No Good Advice". Although the video appears to be set in New York City, it was filmed in the East End of London. The band members are seen in stunted movement, wandering around an abandoned city setting. Both group and individual shots are shown in various scenes. Nadine Coyle is seen in front of an abandoned building, while Sarah Harding is next to a car and a phone booth. Nicola Roberts is alone in a kitchen as pouring rain can be seen on the window. Cheryl Cole is shown in an alleyway, while Kimberley Walsh is alone on a street curb. The group are shown together on an abandoned bus, in an alley at night, and sat in front of the abandoned building. The video has a slightly blue hue to it, suggesting coldness and darkness. It also makes use of lens flares.
"Life Got Cold" was first performed live by Girls Aloud at two summer festivals in 2003, Pop Beach and Live & Loud. The first televised performance occurred on CD:UK on 19 July 2003. The group performed in black-and-white business casual attire, as seen in the music video and on the single's artwork. They performed on CD:UK once more the following month, although Cheryl was absent due to illness. Girls Aloud also appeared on Diggin' It, Popworld, Top of the Pops and Top of the Pops Saturday (twice).
Girls Aloud performed "Life Got Cold" on three of their concert tours. For 2005's What Will the Neighbours Say? Live, Girls Aloud were positioned at the top of a staircase as they sang the song in colourful, simple evening gowns. The song was given a reggae reworking for 2007's The Sound of Girls Aloud: The Greatest Hits Tour. The song was also included on the bands reunion tour, Ten - The Hits Tour 2013.
Track listings and formats
These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Life Got Cold".
Credits and personnel
- Guitar: Nick Coler, Shawn Lee
- Mastering: Dick Beetham for 360 Mastering
- Production: Brian Higgins, Xenomania
- Programming and keyboards: Nick Coler, Matt Gray, Brian Higgins, Tim Powell
- Songwriting: Miranda Cooper, Lisa Cowling, Nick Coler, Brian Higgins/Xenomania
- Vocals: Girls Aloud
- Published by Warner/Chappell Music and Xenomania Music
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