Such Great Heights

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"Such Great Heights"
Single by The Postal Service
from the album Give Up
B-side There's Never Enough Time
Released January 21, 2003 (2003-01-21)
Genre Indietronica, indie pop, electropop
Length 4:26
Label Sub Pop
Writer(s) Ben Gibbard, Jimmy Tamborello
Producer(s) The Postal Service
The Postal Service singles chronology
"Such Great Heights"
(2003)
"The District Sleeps Alone Tonight"
(2003)
An 18 second sample of the song's chorus.

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"Such Great Heights" is a single by The Postal Service, released on January 21, 2003 under the Sub Pop Records label. The single includes a previously unreleased track "There's Never Enough Time" and two cover tracks by The Shins and Iron & Wine of "We Will Become Silhouettes" and "Such Great Heights", respectively.

The tracks were recorded in early 2002, and were written by Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello, and include backing vocals in the studio recording by Jen Wood, whose other collaborations include work for The Black Heart Procession and Joan of Arc. It was the first CD released by The Postal Service, and a preview of Give Up, which was released a month later. The cover artwork was designed by Kozyndan.

"Such Great Heights" consistently ranked in the weekly top 5 most frequently played tracks on social music site Last.fm for almost two years during 2005 and 2006.[1] The song was featured on an 2004 episode of Veronica Mars. It has also been used in several television commercials, for organizations such as Ask.com, Kaiser Permanente, Target, UPS, M&M's and Telstra. The song was also featured in the trailer for the 2004 film Garden State and the Iron & Wine cover version was featured in the film and its soundtrack. An instrumental version of the song was featured as part of UPS's "Whiteboard" ad campaign, which was launched 6 January 2007, almost four years after the song was officially released.[2] The song was used in Grey's Anatomy, and appears on its season one soundtrack, Grey's Anatomy Original Soundtrack Volume 1. "Such Great Heights" ranked 27 on Rolling Stone's 100 Best Songs of the Decade list.[3]

Music video[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [4]
*Pitchfork Media (6.3/10)[5]

The music video for "Such Great Heights", directed by Josh & Xander, premiered in April 2003. It is set in the clean room of a Skyworks Solutions semiconductor fabrication plant, where, as the machinery assembles devices, two workers in isolation suits cast longing glances at each other. For most of the song, we primarily see the two workers, interspersed with shots of the machinery working on silicon wafers. When the bridge comes, the video leaves the two workers as one is carefully taking a wafer from the other, and dives into a sequence of shots of machines assembling wafers; then zooms in on a bank of Skyworks Solutions chips; then zooms out to show the chips are inside of a satellite; then zooms in on the Earth and down to the city block containing EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, however the block has been replaced with a computer circuit; from there, a match cut is made to a monitor in the factory displaying a similar looking computer chip; and this is the end of the sequence, cutting back to the two workers handing over the wafer.

Skyworks Solutions is a real company and the video is filmed inside one of their fabrication plants.[6] When the video premiered on iTunes, the name and logo were blurred out during some scenes.

Josh & Xander later created a commercial for Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) and Intel using similar footage.[7][dead link][8] While strikingly similar to the music video, the commercial did not contain imagery of the band or a recording of its music. On January 19, 2006, Gibbard stated on the band's website, "It has recently come to our attention that Apple Computers' new television commercial for the Intel chip features a shot-for-shot recreation of our video for 'Such Great Heights' made by the same filmmakers responsible for the original. In response, the band came out with the following statement: "We did not approve this commercialization and are extremely disappointed with both parties that this was executed without our consultation or consent." The band did not take legal action against Apple or the filmmakers."[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Such Great Heights" – 4:27
  2. "There's Never Enough Time" – 3:33
  3. "We Will Become Silhouettes" (cover by The Shins) – 3:01
  4. "Such Great Heights" (cover by Iron & Wine) – 4:10

Cover versions[edit]

  • Ben Folds covered "Such Great Heights" on Australian radio station Triple J using a piano, forks, tin foil, and glass. He also played the song live during his Fall 2006 tour, including once in his MySpace webcast on October 24, 2006, and on his Summer 2007 tour. He again played it on his Fall 2009 tour in Northampton Massachusetts, St. Louis, MO, Indiana University, and in May 2010 in San Francisco to close the show.
  • Iron & Wine did a cover of the song which was featured on the soundtrack for Garden State. It was released as one of the B-sides of the original Postal Service single.
  • Teddy Geiger did a cover of the song "Such Great Heights" exclusively in a live performance for Boston radio station KISS 108.
  • Firebrand Boy recorded a chiptune version of the song.[9]
  • Matt Nathanson has often covered part of "Such Great Heights" as an outro to his song "Bent".[10]
  • Rilo Kiley did a live cover version.
  • Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls has performed "Such Great Heights" solo on keyboard at live concerts, as well as releasing a ukulele version with Kim Boekbinder in 2011.[11][12][13]
  • The Scene Aesthetic did a live cover on tour. They also recorded their version for the 2010 compilation "Rockin Romance II."
  • The Wrong Trousers did a cover of Such Great Heights [14] on their album One and Counting.[15]
  • FrankMusik, a UK artist, also covered "Such Great Heights" and was a B-Side to his 2009 Confusion Girl (Shame Shame Shame) single.
  • The New Standards covers it on their new album "Rock and Roll".
  • Progressive ska band Tip the Van from Connecticut covers this song at concerts.
  • Streetlight Manifesto covered this song on their album "99 Songs of Revolution: Vol. 1".
  • The Section Quartet covered this song on their album "Fuzzbox".[16]
  • Hong Kong rock band Mr. covered this song on their album "People Sing For People".
  • Fingerstyle guitarist Gareth Pearson covered this song on his October 2012 album "Urban Echoes Vol 2".
  • Confide covered this song on the remake album "Shout The Truth".
  • Joy Kills Sorrow released a cover on their EP "Wide Awake".

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Top Track Charts –". Last.fm. 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  2. ^ "Whiteboard Advertising Campaign". United Parcel Service. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-02-27. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  3. ^ "100 Best Songs of the 2000s". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  4. ^ "allmusic ((( Such Great Heights > Overview )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  5. ^ "The Postal Service: Such Great Heights & The District Sleeps Alone Tonight EPs: Pitchfork Review". Web.archive.org. 2003-08-07. Archived from the original on 2006-04-11. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  6. ^ "Fab Video". Skyworks Solutions, Inc. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  7. ^ "Apple - Intel Chip Switch". YouTube. 2008-01-04. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  8. ^ Apple Ad vs The Postal Service "Such Great Heights" video
  9. ^ http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=6799164&blogId=330316588
  10. ^ "2005-10-02 Cornell University Ithaca, NY". prettytheworld.com. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  11. ^ Such Great Heights on Bandcamp, accessed 2011-12-05.
  12. ^ Rydin, Brent (August 15, 2011), Amanda Palmer and Kim Boekbinder Hit "Such Great Heights", Cover Me .
  13. ^ Barnes, Amelia (August 24, 2011), Kim Boekbinder & Amanda Palmer - Such Great Heights (2011 Single), The AU Review, retrieved 2011-12-05 .
  14. ^ “”. "the wrong trousers "such great heights" on fm94/9 san diego". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  15. ^ "Discover Music". CDBaby. 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  16. ^ "My Space". 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 

External links[edit]