These Days (Powderfinger song)
|Song by Powderfinger from the album Odyssey Number Five|
|Recorded||Sing Sing Studios, Melbourne, Australia|
|Odyssey Number Five track listing|
"These Days" is an alternative rock song from Powderfinger's fourth studio album, Odyssey Number Five, which was released in 2000. The song was also released on Powderfinger's 2004 compilation album Fingerprints: The Best of Powderfinger, 1994-2000.
"These Days" was not released as a single, however it topped the Triple J Hottest 100 chart in 1999. It was also awarded Song of the Year at the 2000 Music Critic's Awards. Powderfinger have described "These Days" as one of their most simple, enduring, and popular works to date.
Writing and production
"These Days" was developed by Powderfinger after a request by film director Gregor Jordan, who asked the band to write a song for his upcoming film, Two Hands, after showing them scenes in which the song would appear. Lead singer Bernard Fanning initially wrote the D minor song, and it was demoed in the garage of guitarist Darren Middleton. Fanning described the process of creating the song as "the first time there was an outside reason to write a song, rather than my own emotional response to something...we saw the film so I took bits and used it without being too specific.".
The lyrics of "These Days" were similarly styled to those of other songs written by Fanning between the production of Internationalist and Odyssey Number Five, such as "Passenger" and "My Kind of Scene". The songs generally dealt with the routine and unhappiness of a "typical existence", according to Esky Magazine's Kelsey Munro. Fanning did not describe this as a conscious theme, despite it appearing in many of his songs, but agreed that the songs did discuss "having to always bow down to all of the responsibilities and obligations" of life. Fanning also told The Sun-Herald that as a result of the lyrics in "These Days" and "My Happiness" (also on Odyssey Number Five), he had been dubbed "as some sort of antipodean Mr Miserable."
The song was initially released by the band as the b-side to the single Passenger, making it the first b-side to top the Triple J Hottest 100. The Two Hands soundtrack, which contained "These Days" as its lead track, was released while Powderfinger were playing their "P2K tour", and when Powderfinger's album, Internationalist, was selling in bulk. With the release of "These Days" and "My Kind of Scene" on movie soundtracks - the latter appeared on the soundtrack for Mission: Impossible II - Powderfinger hoped to launch their overseas career. Australian reviewers stated that "...there’s a wide world out there yet to hear them, particularly These Days. The time is right...for the band to spread their wings."
"These Days" topped the Triple J Hottest 100 chart in 1999, as the result of a nationwide listener poll. The song was also awarded Song of the Year at the 2000 Music Critic's Awards. In response to the award wins, Powderfinger said they were "excited" that they were voted #1 in a listener poll. Fanning jokingly said that "We worked out that being number one on the hottest 100 makes us the biggest band in the world because it's the biggest music poll in the world", before going on to make a mockery of the band's long time antagonist, Ben Lee, by saying "we remembered we can't be the biggest band in the world because Ben Lee is the biggest in the world!" Fanning continued to publicly insult Lee, eventually calling him a "precocious little cunt" in 2005.
Fanning alone performed a sombre acoustic guitar version of the song at a live benefit concert in the days following the 2002 Bali bombings.
"These Days" was also rostered briefly on the English curriculum in some Australian high schools, something Fanning took with amazement rather than discomfort, stating that the emotional part of the song development process was the writing, rather than the performing of the song. The song was also featured on "The Hidden Toll" road trauma campaign, produced by the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, which first aired on Victorian television on 19 October 2005. Powderfinger performed "These Days" at a commemoration service for Heath Ledger, whose breakthrough film was Two Hands. "These Days" was ranked seventh in a 2008 The Weekend Australian poll for the best Australian songs of the past 20 years.
The song was voted at #21 in the Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time, 2009, where it was the second-highest placed Australian single in the countdown. The only Australian song to place higher was hip-hop song The Nosebleed Section by the Hilltop Hoods, which contains a line from These Days is sung in hip-hop style early in its lyrics.
A music video was produced to promote the single.
A 19 second sample from Powderfinger's "These Days" (Two Hands version)
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
There are two distinct studio versions of "These Days." The first is the version used in the film Two Hands. The second version is the re-recording used on Odyssey Number Five.
Original version releases
- "Passenger" single - B-Side (1998)
- Two Hands Soundtrack - Feature song from soundtrack (1999)
- Triple J Hottest 100 - #1 (1999)
- Fingerprints: The Best of Powderfinger, 1994-2000 - (2004)
Odyssey Number Five release
- Odyssey Number Five (2000)
- Internationalist P2K Disk - Live performance (1998)
- These Days: Live in Concert - Live performance (2004)
- Powderfinger (Fanning, Middleton, Haug, Collins, Coghill, et al.) (2004). Fingerprints: The Best of Powderfinger, 1994-2000 companion booklet. Page 3.
- Carmine Pascuzzi (1999). "Primed for the P2K tour". Powderfinger Central. Retrieved 2007-11-10.
- Christie Eliszer (September 2000). "Five Easy Pieces". Sain Magazine. Powderfinger Central. Retrieved 2007-11-10.
- Kelsey Munro (February 2001). "The Odyssey Continues". Esky Magazine. Powderfinger Central. Retrieved 2007-11-10.
- Soundtrack Collector (1999), Two Hands Soundtrack, retrieved on 12 June 2007.
- Iain Shedden (10 /11 July 1999). "Up Close (And Not Too) Personal". The Weekend Australian. Powderfinger Central. Retrieved 2007-11-10. Check date values in:
- Rod Yates (September 2000). "Trusty Old Jackets". Massive Magazine. Powderfinger Central. Retrieved 2007-11-10.
- Pennie Dennison (September 2000). "Odyssey Number Five Is Born". Sain Unlimited Magazine. Powderfinger Central. Retrieved 2007-11-10.
- Andrew Weaver. "Ben Lee: That indie kid that could...". FasterLouder. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
- Transport Accident Commission (2005), New TAC Campaign Unveils The Hidden Toll, retrieved on 12 June 2007.
- Shannon Harvey (9 February 2008). "Friends remember much-loved Heath". PerthNow. news.com.au. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- Wendy Caccetta, Nicole Cox (10 February 2008). "Tear-jerking farewell to Heath". Mercury. news.com.au. Retrieved 2008-02-10.[dead link]
- Iain Shedden (18 September 2008). "Magazine's 20 best songs poll results". The Weekend Australian. Retrieved 2008-10-09.[dead link]
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