Lithium (Evanescence song)

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For the Nirvana song, see Lithium (Nirvana song).
Lithium (Part 1)
Single by Evanescence
from the album The Open Door
B-side "The Last Song I'm Wasting On You"
Released January 1, 2007 (Ireland)
February 6, 2007 (US)
Format CD single
Recorded 2006
Genre Alternative metal
Length 3:44
Label Wind-up
Writer(s) Amy Lee
Producer(s) Dave Fortman
Evanescence singles chronology
"Call Me When You're Sober"
"Sweet Sacrifice"

"Lithium" is a song by American rock band Evanescence. It was released in February 2007, as the second single from their second studio album, The Open Door.


Amy Lee describes the song as a song "which embraces feeling over numbness." During an interview with VH1, Lee said,

I wrote the chorus on the guitar when I was about 16. I always thought it was a cool chorus, but I never used it for anything. I started playing it on the piano and the verses came out. I have a pile of pieces stowed away in my mind that maybe I'll use some day. In a way it's an old song, but not really. It grew up.[1]

In another interview with MTV Italy, Lee said,

It's not literal, it's not literal about the drug for me, I've never taken lithium before. It's sort of a metaphor about numbness and happiness and sort of like, it's me looking at happiness in a negative way because I've always been, you know, kind of afraid to be happy. Like with the band and the art and everything else, it's always like I'm never letting myself break through into the happiness it seems like, because it's not cool or something. And describing happiness is lithium, it's like saying 'that's numbness, I won't be able to be an artist anymore if I'm happy', which is hilarious because that's just not true, I'm happy. So it's like this fight within the song of like 'do I do this and get out of here and get happy or do I wallow in it like I always do?' and it's cool because at the end of the song I say 'I'm going to let it go', like I am going to be happy.[2]

The drug itself, lithium carbonate, is typically used as a mood stabilizer to prevent acute manic behavior in patients with bipolar disorder.

Critical reception[edit]

Entertainment Weekly noted that "Addicted to love, Lee explores addiction itself" and "tortured Queensrÿche-style pain strummer Lithium.[3] Rob Sheffield added that "Lithium" is her ode to Kurt Cobain.[4] The Independent was positive by listing it as one of standouts and writing "his third album is wreathed in the genre staples of black-clad, mascara'd gloom, a mood best captured on "Lithium", where singer Amy Lee claims, "I want to stay in love with my sorrow/ Oh, but God I want to let it go".[5] claims that "Lithium" is the equivalent of Fallen's "My Immortal".[6] Stephen Thomas Erlewine highlighted and called this song "the churning 'Lithium', which most certainly is not a cover of Nirvana's classic (that song never mentioned its title, this repeats it incessantly) -- and in their place is the epic gothic rock (not quite the same thing as goth rock, mind you) that made Lee rock's leading witchy woman of the new millennium".[7]

Music video[edit]

A music video directed by Paul Fedor was filmed between October 31 and November 1, 2006. It features Amy Lee and the band members performing in a snowy cemetery, and shows Lee representing the emotions of sorrow and happiness, and drowns in a pond of black liquid at the end of the video.

During an interview with MTV News, Lee said,

There's the me in all white and it's really wintry, and then there's the all-in-black Amy under the surface of the water of this lake in the forest. So it's the happiness and the sorrow and we're almost singing to each other, trying to figure out how both of us can work.[8]

The music video premiered exclusively to Canadian audiences on on November 24, 2006, and was placed on other sites such as YouTube and Myspace afterwards. It was subsequently removed from, and restored on December 4. Wind-up initially released the video on the band's official website on November 27.[9] It was available for digital download on iTunes on December 19. Lee made a guest appearance on TRL on December 24 to premiere the video on MTV.

Track listing[edit]

Single (Part 1)

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Lithium"   Lee 3:44
2. "The Last Song I'm Wasting on You"   Lee 4:07

Maxi (Part 2)

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Lithium"   Lee 3:44
2. "The Last Song I'm Wasting on You"   Lee 4:07
3. "All That I'm Living For" (Acoustic version) Lee, LeCompt 4:33
4. "Lithium" (Video/Acoustic version) Lee 3:50

7" Vinyl Picture Disc

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Lithium"   Lee 3:44
2. "The Last Song I'm Wasting on You"   Lee 4:07

Chart performance[edit]

Australia (ARIA)[10] 26
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[11] 41
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[12] 13
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[13] 18
Germany (Media Control Charts)[14] 44
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 30
Italy (FIMI)[16] 2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[17] 16
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[18] 55
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[19] 23
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[20] 40
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[21] 32
UK Rock Chart (The Official Charts Company) 1
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[22] 24
US Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks (Billboard)[23] 39
US Hot Modern Rock Tracks (Billboard)[24] 37


  1. ^ Bottomley, C. (September 18, 2006). "Evanescence: Amy Lee Explains the New Songs". Archived from the original on October 16, 2006. Retrieved November 6, 2006. 
  2. ^ "Tutto su Evanescence". MTV News. October 12, 2006. Archived from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  3. ^ Dolan, Jon (October 9, 2006). "The Open Door (2006)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ Sheffield, Rob (October 6, 2006). "Evanescence - The Open Door". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ Gill, Andy (October 6, 2006). "Album: Evanescence". The Independent. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  6. ^ "'Open Door' to likeable return of Evanescence". November 11, 2006. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. "The Open Door - Evanescence". Allmusic. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  8. ^ Moss, Corey (November 2, 2006). "After Facing Big Bad Wolf, Amy Lee Faces Herself In Evanescence Clip". MTV News via Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved November 2, 2006. 
  9. ^ "New "Lithium" Video". November 27, 2006. Retrieved November 27, 2006. 
  10. ^ " – Evanescence – Lithium". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  11. ^ "Evanescence – Lithium –" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  12. ^ " – Evanescence – Lithium" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  13. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 200722 into search. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  14. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche –" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  15. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  16. ^ " – Evanescence – Lithium". Top Digital Download. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  17. ^ " – Evanescence – Lithium". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  18. ^ " – Evanescence – Lithium" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  19. ^ " – Evanescence – Lithium". Singles Top 60. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  20. ^ "Evanescence – Lithium –". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  21. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  22. ^ "Bubbling Under Top 100 Singles". February 10, 2007. Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved November 6, 2009. 
  23. ^ "Evanescence Chart History". Retrieved August 18, 2007. 
  24. ^ "Evanescence Chart History". Archived from the original on February 6, 2009. Retrieved November 2, 2008. 

External links[edit]