Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (Good Charlotte song)
|"Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"|
|Single by Good Charlotte|
|from the album The Young and the Hopeless|
|Released||September 6, 2002|
|Genre||Pop punk, punk rock|
|Writer(s)||Benji Madden, Joel Madden|
|Good Charlotte singles chronology|
"Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" is a song written by Benji Madden and Joel Madden for Good Charlotte's second studio album The Young and the Hopeless. It was released as the first single from the album in late 2002 in the United States and in early 2003 for the worldwide market. Upon its release the single reached a peak position of number 20 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and charted in the top 40 in a number of European countries.
Background and writing
The basic concept of the song is the global obsession with fame and the way that celebrities are not appreciative of how fortunate they are.
The song has references to a number of celebrities within the lyrics. Johnnie Cochran, a famous attorney who represented (amongst others) stars such as O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown. He is mentioned in the lines "Well did you know when you're famous you could kill your wife/ and there's no such thing as 25 to life/ as long as you got the cash to pay for Cochran." A former mayor of Washington, D.C., Marion Barry – who was convicted on drug charges – is also mentioned in the lyrics: "and did you know if you were caught and you were smokin' crack/ McDonald's wouldn't even wanna take you back/ you could always just run for mayor of D.C."
The music video features cameo appearances from Kyle Gass, a member of the bands Tenacious D and Trainwreck; former 'N Sync singer Chris Kirkpatrick; and Mike Watt, the bass player for various bands. All three musicians appear in the courtroom scene - Gass plays the prosecutor while Kirkpatrick plays the witness "Chadwick Merryweather Hardy III". Watt plays the Jury foreman. The dog questioned in the video is Benji & Joel's dog, Ca$hdogg. The Southern California rock band Lefty, who had been touring with Good Charlotte also make a cameo appearance. This video premiered in September 2002 on MTV.
- "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"
- "The Anthem" (Demo Version)
- "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" (Live Acoustic Version)
- "Cemetery" (Live Acoustic Version)
In a largely negative review of The Young and the Hopeless, Sputnik Music called this particular song "the worst choice for a lead single that I have ever seen." The reviewer goes on to write "The terrible lyrics are totally contradictory to Good Charlotte's attitude. As kids, all they wanted to do was "make it" and become famous. And when they have their first taste of success, what do they do? They make a song about how shallow famous people are!". However the reviewer finished on a slightly more positive note by saying "The song's only saving grace is the tempo change in the music during the chorus after the bridge...but they ruin that by going back to the same pace for the last chorus."
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||24|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||37|
|Germany (Media Control Charts)||27|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||22|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||19|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||8|
|US Billboard Hot 100||20|
|US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Sales||22|
|US Billboard Top 40 Mainstream||6|
|US Billboard Top 40 Tracks||11|
|US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay||20|
|US Billboard Adult Top 40||38|
|US Billboard Alternative Songs||11|
Use in popular culture
The song has appeared in various aspects of popular culture since its initial release:
- The song was heard in the 2003 film Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.
- A version of the song was used as the theme music for the Glenn Beck Program early in the 2004 presidential election season, but due to political differences with Good Charlotte, Beck was forced to replace the song with an edited version of Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name".
- "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" was heard on an episode of the American television show Drake and Josh in 2004, when Drake and Josh turned on the radio in their dune buggy, and the song's chorus was playing.
- Parody band Apologetix produced a version on the song based on the events in Luke Chapter 16 in the Bible, named "Lifestyles of the Rich & Nameless".
- Kanye West and Pharrell Williams later released a parody of the song entitled "Lifestyles of the Broke and Famous".
- "Good Charlotte - The Young and the Hopeless Review". Sputnik Music. 19 July 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
- "Australian-charts.com – Good Charlotte – Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
- "Austriancharts.at – Good Charlotte – Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Ultratop.be – Good Charlotte – Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "Chartverfulgong > Good Charlotte > Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- Irish Top 50 Chart. Retrieved January 6, 2008.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Good Charlotte search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Good Charlotte – Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". Singles Top 60.
- "Swisscharts.com – Good Charlotte – Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". Swiss Singles Chart.
- UK Top 75 Chart. Retrieved January 6, 2008.
- Hot 100 Chart. Retrieved November 17, 2007.[dead link]
- Hot Singles Sales Chart. Retrieved November 17, 2007.[dead link]
- Top 40 Mainstream Chart. Retrieved November 17, 2007.[dead link]
- Top 40 Tracks Chart. Retrieved November 17, 2007.[dead link]
- Hot 100 Airplay Chart. Retrieved November 17, 2007.[dead link]
- Adult Top 40 Chart. Retrieved November 17, 2007.[dead link]
- Hot Modern Rock Tracks Chart. Retrieved November 17, 2007.[dead link]
- ARIA Australia
- Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous on Sony Musicbox
- "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" official music video on YouTube
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics