"Red" is the first single by English alternative rock band Elbow and the first single from their first album, Asleep in the Back. It was released on 23 April 2001 in two formats: 7" vinyl and two CDs. The 7" vinyl version had the LP colored red for the single[clarification needed] and had a slightly longer version of "Vum Garda". Both of the track listings are similar between releases.[contradiction] "Red" had been previously released on The Noisebox EP, which contained an earlier version of the song. "Vum Garda" was also released on the 12" Vinyl pressing of Asleep in the Back. The CDs were released with two different sets of art work that were similar to the one on the 7" vinyl.
In an interview, Guy Garvey claims the song was inspired by a friend with a severe drug addiction: "This was about a concern for a friend who was doing too much speed, to the point where I worried how it was going to turn out for her. She’s fine as it turns out."