Too Close (Alex Clare song)

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"Too Close"
Single by Alex Clare
from the album The Lateness of the Hour
Released 15 April 2011
(See release history)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2010
Genre Dubstep, alternative rock, soul
Length 4:16 (album version)
3:43 (radio edit)
Label Island Records
Writer(s) Alex Clare, Jim Duguid
Producer(s) Diplo, Switch, Ariel Rechtshaid (co), Mike Spencer
Alex Clare singles chronology
"Up All Night"
"Too Close"
"Treading Water"

"Too Close" is a song by British singer-songwriter Alex Clare. The track was first released in the United Kingdom on 15 April 2011 as the second single from Clare's debut studio album, The Lateness of the Hour (2011).[1] The track was written by Alex Clare and Jim Duguid and produced by Diplo and Switch, with co-production from Ariel Rechtshaid and Mike Spencer. Musically, "Too Close" is a dubstep song with breakbeat and soul influences. Lyrically, the song describes the protagonist who is not ready for a committed relationship and he must end things with his love interest in good terms.

The song became popular after it was used in an advertising campaign for Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9. The song peaked at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart, number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and has been certified double platinum by the RIAA.[2] The song was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Single at the 2013 BRIT Awards.[3]


Clare said the song was inspired by a particular relationship with a close friend that turned romantic. He said, "One thing led to another, but it didn't really work out and that felt too close."[4]

The song was first released in the UK in 15 April 2011 as the second single from the album. In March 2012, "Too Close" was selected as the soundtrack to Microsoft's advertisement for Internet Explorer 9, released the following month.[5] The exposure propelled the song to international success. This marked a turnaround in Clare's musical career and fortunes. Prior to it entering the singles chart, Clare had been forced to take a job as an estate agent after being dropped by his record label due to poor sales of his album.[6] Soon after its success on the chart, Universal Republic signed Clare to a distribution deal that allowed The Lateness Of The Hour to be released in America.[7]

Chart and sales performance[edit]

In the weeks after the premiere of the Microsoft advert where the song was featured, "Too Close" sold more than 100,000 digital downloads,[7][8] and it made its debut at No. 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its third week of release.[9] It reached Top 10 in September after a boost in download due to it being featured in Fox TV's So You Think You Can Dance, with 127,000 downloads sold for the week.[10] The song peaked at No. 7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.[11] The song has sold over 3 million digital downloads in the US as of May 2013.[12]

In the UK, the song sold 70,000 copies in the UK after the Microsoft ad premiered.[6] The song peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart and at number 1 in Germany.[13] It was the 18th best-selling single of 2012 in the UK with sales of 557,000.[14]

Music video[edit]

A music video to accompany the release of "Too Close" was first released onto YouTube on 15 March 2011 at a total length of four minutes and eighteen seconds. The video contains Clare singing in a chair intermixed with scenes of a heavily dramaticized representation of a Kendo match between two heavily-padded athletes in black uniforms. The fight takes place in an urban setting resembling a deserted factory building. Alex Clare said that he originally wanted samurais cutting each other up in the music video, but the budget did not permit it, so he had to settle for kendo fighters.[4]

The video opened to very small numbers, but two months after the Internet Explorer 9 advert campaign, it gained much popularity and by 24 February 2013, it had more than 40 million views. It has over 48 million views as of November 2013.[15]

An alternate music video was released to YouTube on 28 August 2012.[16] There is also an official version of the music video with footage from Taken 2.[17]

Use in popular culture[edit]

The song came to prominence after it was used as in Microsoft's advertising campaign for Internet Explorer 9. The song also appears in the end credits of the film Taken 2 and also played in the television show The Vampire Diaries.

Promotional usage by sports teams[edit]

A growing number of Major League Baseball teams are using this song for player entrances. These include the Cincinnati Reds (for Zack Cozart's entrance), the Philadelphia Phillies (for Laynce Nix's entrance), and the Washington Nationals (for Danny Espinosa's entrance).

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[1]
No. Title Length
1. "Too Close"   4:16
2. "Too Close" (Nadastrom Remix) 4:28
3. "Too Close" (music video) 4:18
Remix single[18]
No. Title Length
1. "Too Close" (Distance Remix) 4:00

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom[1] 15 April 2011 Digital download Island Records
United States 5 March 2012


  1. ^ a b c iTunes - Music - Too Close - Single by Alex Clare
  2. ^ a b "American single certifications – Alex Clare – Too Close". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  3. ^ "Brit Awards: Emeli Sande gets four nominations". BBC News. Retrieved 10 January 2013
  4. ^ a b Kia Makarechi (July 24, 2012). "Alex Clare & 'Too Close': Singer Talks New Fame, Working With Diplo & Dating Amy Winehouse". Huffington Post. 
  5. ^ "New Internet Explorer Ad featuring singer Alex Clare". Microsoft. 5 March 2012. 
  6. ^ a b David Whitehouse (19 May 2012). "How a TV ad gave estate agent Alex Clare a second shot at pop". Guardian. 
  7. ^ a b Maeve McDermott (15 July 2012). "Meet Alex Clare, the voice behind 'Too Close'". USA Today. 
  8. ^ Andrew Hampp (14 April 2012). "Alex Clare Talks Microsoft Ad, Amy Winehouse & Career Re-Start". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Paul Grein (March 28, 2012). "Week Ending March 25, 2012. Songs: For fun. And Profit". Chart Watch (Yahoo). 
  10. ^ Paul Willams (13 September 2012). "US charts: Alex Clare breaks into Hot 100 Top 10". MusicWeek. 
  11. ^ Too Close (Alex Clare song) at AllMusic
  12. ^ a b Paul Grein (May 29, 2013). "Week Ending May 26, 2013. Songs: “Clouds” Takes Off". Chart Watch (Yahoo Music). 
  13. ^ a b "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  14. ^ a b Dan Lane (2 January 2013). "The Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Singles Of 2012 revealed!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  15. ^ Alex Clare - Too Close. YouTube
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ iTunes - Music - Too Close (Distance Remix) - Single by Alex Clare
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Alex Clare – Too Close –" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  21. ^ " – Alex Clare – Too Close" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  22. ^ " – Alex Clare – Too Close" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  23. ^ "Alex Clare Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Alex Clare.
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201226 into search.
  26. ^ " – Alex Clare – Too Close". Tracklisten.
  27. ^ " – Alex Clare – Too Close" (in French). Les classement single.
  28. ^ "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.
  29. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ – Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  30. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
  31. ^ "Luxembourg Digital Songs - May 5, 2012". Billboard. 
  32. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Alex Clare search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  33. ^ "Archive Chart". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  34. ^ "Alex Clare – Too Close –". Swiss Singles Chart.
  35. ^ "Alex Clare Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Alex Clare.
  36. ^ "Alex Clare Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Alex Clare.
  37. ^ "Alex Clare Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Alex Clare.
  38. ^ "Alex Clare Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Alternative Songs for Alex Clare.
  39. ^ "Alex Clare Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs for Alex Clare.
  40. ^ "Alex Clare Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Alex Clare.
  41. ^ "Alex Clare Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Alex Clare.
  42. ^ "Alex Clare Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Rock Airplay for Alex Clare.
  43. ^ "Ascensos de la Semana". Record Report (in Spanish). R.R. Digital C.A. 2012-12-15. Archived from the original on 2012-12-13. 
  44. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Alex Clare – Too Close" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Alex Clare in the field Interpret. Enter Too Close in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  45. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Alex Clare; 'Too Close')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  46. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Alex Clare; 'Too Close')". Hung Medien. 
  47. ^ "Best of 2012 - Hot 100 Songs". Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  48. ^ "Best of 2012 - Rock Songs 11-20". Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  49. ^ "Best of 2012 - Alternative Songs 1-10". Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  50. ^ "Best of 2012 - Adult Pop Songs 31-40". Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  51. ^ "Best of 2012 - Pop Songs 31-40". Retrieved 16 January 2013. 

External links[edit]