Virtual Insanity

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"Virtual Insanity"
Single by Jamiroquai
from the album Travelling Without Moving
B-side Bullet
Released 19 August 1996 (1996-08-19) (UK)
Format CD, 12", Cassette
Genre R&B, acid jazz
Length 5:40 (Album Version)
4:04 (Single Version)
3:46 (Radio Version)
Label Sony Soho Square
Writer(s) Jay Kay, Toby Smith
Producer(s) Jamiroquai, Al Stone
Jamiroquai singles chronology
"Do You Know Where You're Coming From?"
"Virtual Insanity"
"Cosmic Girl"

"Virtual Insanity" is the second single from British funk/acid jazz band Jamiroquai's third studio album, Travelling Without Moving. The song reached No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart. The song also charted at No. 38 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart upon the single's release in America in 1997.

Music video[edit]

"Virtual Insanity" is Jamiroquai's best known music video. At the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards in September 1997, it earned ten nominations, winning four awards, including "Breakthrough Video" and the "Best Video of the Year." In 2006, it was voted 9th by MTV viewers in a poll on music videos that 'broke the rules.' It was directed by Jonathan Glazer. The single was released in the U.S. in 1997. At the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, Jamiroquai performed the song, recreating the famous floor moving concept with two moving walkways on the stage floor, going in different directions, for Jay Kay to use to dance on.

Video description[edit]

Jay Kay in the "Virtual Insanity" music video

The video consists mainly of Jamiroquai's singer, Jay Kay, dancing and performing the song in a bright white room with a grey floor. Throughout the video, there are several combinations of couches and easy chair, which are the only furniture in the room. The video earned recognition from critics for its special effects: the floor appears to move while the rest of the room stays still. At some points the camera tilts up or down to show the floor or ceiling for a few seconds, and when it returns to the central position, the scene has completely changed. Other scenes show a crow flying across the room, a cockroach on the floor, the couches bleeding and the other members of Jamiroquai in a corridor being blown away by wind. This became the second video released by Jamiroquai to be successfully done in one complete, albeit composited, shot; Space Cowboy being the first. In a short making-of documentary, director Jonathan Glazer describes how the walls move on a stationary grey floor with no detail, to give the illusion that the floor is moving. In several shots, chairs or couches are fixed to the walls so that they appear to be standing still, when in fact they are moving. In other shots chairs remain stationary on the floor, but the illusion is such that they appear to be moving. The moving walls were not completely rigid and can be seen in some shots to wiggle slightly.

Single information[edit]

The first B-side of the single is the song "Do You Know Where You're Coming From", which features M-Beat. It was released as a single earlier in 1996.[citation needed] The second B-side of the single, "Bullet", is probably one of the most mysterious Jamiroquai tracks ever written. The song starts with a 3-second percussion intro, and switches into a longer, very claustrophobic introduction. During this part, very faint vocals can be heard in the background, while the melody progresses.

In popular culture[edit]

"Virtual Insanity" was parodied in the music video for Austin Mahone's "Mmm Yeah".

Track listing[edit]

UK CD No. 1 single (663613 2)
  1. "Virtual Insanity" – 4:04
  2. "Do You Know Where You're Coming From?" (Original Mix) – 4:59
  3. "Bullet" – 4:19
  4. "Virtual Insanity" (Album Version) – 5:40
UK CD No. 2 single (663613 5)
  1. "Virtual Insanity" – 4:04
  2. "Space Cowboy" (Classic Radio) – 4:01
  3. "Emergency On Planet Earth" (London Rican Mix) – 7:10
  4. "Do You Know Where You're Coming From" – 4:59
US CD promo No. 1 (OSK 0857)
  1. "Virtual Insanity" (Peace of Mind Edit)
  2. "Virtual Insanity" (Radio Edit)
  3. "Virtual Insanity" (Album Version) – 5:40
  4. "Virtual Insanity" (Peace of Mind Mix)
US CD promo No. 2 (OSK 9857)
  1. "Virtual Insanity" (Radio Edit)
Cassette (663613 4)
  1. "Virtual Insanity" – 4:04
  2. "Virtual Insanity" (Album Version) – 5:40
  3. "Virtual Insanity" (Unreality Mix) – 3:54

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1996/1997) Peak
Belgian Singles Chart (Wallonia)[1] 15
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[2] 64
Finnish Singles Chart[1] 7
French Singles Chart[1] 15
German Singles Chart[3] 63
Irish Singles Chart 7
Italian Singles Chart[4] 1
Swedish Singles Chart[1] 32
UK Singles Chart[5] 3
U.S. Billboard Pop Songs[6] 39
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[7] 38
U.S. Billboard Adult Top 40[8] 37
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play[9] 34


  1. ^ a b c d Steffen Hung. "Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity". Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  2. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 65, No. 22, August 04 1997". RPM. Retrieved 2012-02-26. 
  3. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  4. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: J". Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  5. ^ "Jamiroquai - Virtual Insanity". Chart Stats. 1996-08-31. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  6. ^ "Jamiroquai : Chart History". Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  7. ^ "Jamiroquai : Chart History". Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  8. ^ "Jamiroquai : Chart History". Retrieved 2013-07-26. 
  9. ^ "Jamiroquai : Chart History". Retrieved 2013-07-26. 

External links[edit]