Work It Out (Beyoncé song)
|"Work It Out"|
|Single by Beyoncé|
|from the album Austin Powers in Goldmember and Dangerously in Love|
|Released||June 11, 2002|
|Format||CD single, digital download, 12" single|
|Genre||R&B, soul, funk|
|Length||4:06 (album version)
3:43 (radio edit)
|Writer(s)||Beyoncé Knowles, Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo|
|Beyoncé singles chronology|
"Work It Out" is a song by American R&B singer Beyoncé. It was released on June 11, 2002, by Columbia Records as the lead single from the soundtrack album of the film Austin Powers in Goldmember, in which Knowles stars as Foxxy Cleopatra. It was later included on the international editions of Knowles' debut album, Dangerously in Love (2003). Composed by Knowles, Pharrell Williams, and Chad Hugo, "Work It Out" is an R&B song which incorporates elements of 1960s and 1970s funk and post-disco.
The song was generally well received by music critics, many of whom complimented its retro style and various influences. It has been credited as the beginning of Knowles' career as a successful solo artist, after finding success as the lead singer of Destiny's Child. "Work It Out" was nominated in the category of Best Original or Adapted Song at the 2003 Black Reel Awards. Commercially, the song failed to make an impact on the US Billboard Hot 100 but managed to find success on a few Billboard component charts, topping the Billboard 's Hot Dance Club Play chart. "Work It Out" also reached the top ten in Norway and the UK.
The song's accompanying music video was shot and directed by Matthew Rolston. The video features Knowles playing Foxxy Cleopatra, and draws inspiration from several 1960's and 1970s motifs. The video was nominated at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan in the category Best Video from a Film. "Work It Out" has been parodied and covered on several live television programs, including American Idol and America's Best Dance Crew. Since its release, the song has been regularly included on several of Knowles' tours and concerts.
- 1 Context and release
- 2 Musical style
- 3 Critical reception
- 4 Chart performance
- 5 Music video
- 6 Live performances
- 7 Cover versions
- 8 Formats and track listings
- 9 Credits and personnel
- 10 Charts and certifications
- 11 Release history
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Context and release
In the 2002 film Austin Powers in Goldmember, Knowles portrays Foxxy Cleopatra, the female protagonist alongside the film's lead character, Austin Powers, portrayed by Canadian film actor and comedian Mike Myers. Cleopatra is a parody to the characters in blaxploitation films such as Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones, both of which are used in her name. Her clothing style is reminiscent of the disco era and her hair is in the afro style of the time. Taking inspiration from her portrayal, Knowles adopted in the song a persona similar to that of Cleopatra. Cleopatra and police officer Get Christie Love! use the slang term "sugar", which Knowles ad-libs and incorporates into the song. Many similarities are seen as she performs under her Cleopatra persona in the music video of "Work It Out". Due to the characters' sassy nature, Knowles performs the song very confidently and assertively. Powers meets Cleopatra at the villain's discothèque in 1975, which attributes to Cleopatra's disco-type fashion and the heavily inspired disco-era music video for "Work It Out".
"Work It Out" was written by Knowles, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, with The Neptunes helming its production. Critically, the song was credited with marking Knowles transition into the music scene as a solo artist, after fulfilling a career as the lead female vocalist of Destiny's Child. Knowles premiered the song on May 23, 2002, via AOL. The song served as the first single from the soundtrack album, Austin Powers: Goldmember, with Britney Spears' "Boys" following as the soundtrack's second single. Additionally, it serves as the album's opening track, and was released on June 11, 2002. "Work It Out" was also intended to serve as the lead single from Knowles' debut album, Dangerously in Love. However, it was eventually replaced by "Crazy in Love", while it was used as a bonus song on the album's international versions.
A 24-second sample of "Work It Out", which features musical elements of the 1970s funk.
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Hal Leonard Corporation, "Work It Out" is a moderately paced R&B, soul, and funk song. Written in the key of G major, it has a moderately slow tempo of 84 beats per minute and incorporates elements of post-disco. The song has been viewed as reminiscent of 1960s and 1970s funk and soul music, with Craig Seymour of Entertainment Weekly describing the tune as a "retro-thumper". Rob Fitzpatrick of New Musical Express commented that the song features "super-heavy funk", and is "an absolutely faultless attempt to re-create on classics by The J.B.'s and Lynn Anderson", while Nick Duerden of Spin magazine described the song as a "stunning '60s soul vamp." Duerden and John Mulvey of New Musical Express recognized that The Netunes paid tribute to James Brown within the song. While making a reference to the fact that the song contains various elements of 1960s and 1970s musical styles, Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine stated that "Work It Out" positioned Knowles as "an MTV generation Tina Turner". Spin echoed Cinquemani's sentiments by describing Knowles as "gritty and sultry", referencing Tina Turner. Knowles has additionally been described as "a 'Rock Steady'-era Aretha Franklin" because of the way she "ambitiously grunts, wails, and moans" in "Work It Out".
"Work It Out" garnered generally positive reviews from critics, most of whom complemented the 1960s and 1970s funk tone featured on the song. While reviewing the Austin Powers in Goldmember 's soundtrack album, Josh Tyrangiel, writing for Entertainment Weekly, gave the song a negative review stating that it was "all shimmy and innuendo". However, while reviewing the single, Craig Seymour of the same publication awarded the song a grade of an A-, calling the track a "funky debut solo tune" and further stating that the song also proves that Knowles, best known "for riding poppy staccato beats, can get deep into a groove". Mark Anthony Neal of PopMatters recognized the success of Destiny's Child and credited it to Knowles, stating, "[Beyoncé Knowles], first stepped out on the solo trip in support of her role as Foxxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers: Gold Member. 'Work It Out' indicated to Neal that Knowles was ready to shed the 'but I'm still not yet a woman' vibe that's earned Destiny's Child multi-platinum status."
The song was considered a "good moment" on the film's soundtrack album by Allmusic 's writer Stephen Thomas Erlewine. Erlewine called it "excellent" and favored it over the tracks of Survivor (2001), Destiny's Child's previous album. Although considered a great transition for Knowles, Vibe disagreed, stating that the song debuted a tepid beginning for Knowles, who had high anticipations for a solo-career. Contactmusic.com named the contributions by Knowles on the movie's soundtrack as a highlight of the album. Rob Boss of Walmart called Knowles "alluring" while reviewing her performance on the soundtrack and comparing it to her performance in the movie itself. Dismissing Knowles' acting by stating "she should stick to singing and leave the acting to the actors," Boss called her performance on the song intense and stated that the opening track "Work It Out" was a reason enough to include Knowles in the film. Rob Fitzpatrick of New Musical Express gave the song a mixed to positive review, writing that it sounds not only like a perfect imitation or replication of classic funk, but also like a derivation of various other sources and motifs. John Mulvey, writing for the same magazine, considered "Work It Out" to be the best tune Knowles had recorded since "Say My Name" (2000), and he further commented, "it's Beyoncé yowling, testifying and wigging out in only slightly-studied retro fashion that's most striking."
Spin magazine included the song on two separate lists of admiration. The first was a playlist of songs that "you need to know", and "Work It Out" was placed at number five for songs to download. The other list included the song on a list of "must-have Beyoncé Knowles songs". In addition to being included on lists, Vibe magazine included the song on a "Vibraters" list which named a number of songs that were on Vibe-staff's current playlists and stated the song was "her true destiny". Yancey Strickler of Flak Magazine wrote that in "Work It Out", Knowles sounds like Pam Grier "taking five from the revolution to let her afro down. Loose and funky (apologies for the overused terminology there, but 'Work It Out' practically defines it), the tune was Beyoncé declaring, 'I am woman, hear you drool.' Self-assured and immune to any of that tired old guff, she's out-of-Huey-Newton's-league untouchable." Following the song's 2002 release, it was included during many post-2003 award ceremonies. During the 2003 Black Reel Awards, the song was nominated in the category Best Original or Adapted Song. However, the song lost to Erykah Badu and Common's "Love of My Life (Ode to Hip-Hop)" from the film Brown Sugar.
"Work It Out" failed to make the United States Billboard Hot 100. Although it did not appear on the main US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, it peaked at number four on the US Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "Work It Out" became a club hit in the US, peaking at number one on the Hot Dance Club Songs, and enjoyed moderate commercial success in European territories. It debuted and peaked at number seven in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2002, charting for a total of 11 weeks. The song managed to peak inside the top thirty of multiple European charts, peaking at number three in Norway, number 12 in Ireland, number 14 in Denmark, number 23 in Sweden, and number 26 in the Netherlands. In Oceania, the single peaked at number 36 in New Zealand on September 8, 2002, while reaching number 23 for two consecutive weeks in late September 2002 in Australia.
The accompanying music video for the song was directed by Matthew Rolston. Shot in New York in early June 2002, behind-the-scenes footage of the shooting of the music video was released on June 7, and the main video officially posted on MTV on June 17. In the video, Jeremiah Alexis takes on the role of the bassist in the background and Knowles singing up-front, with the overall feel inspired by 1970s glamor and the introduction of pop and funk. On the concept of the video, Knowles said, "I wanted it to look different from what we've done. I wanted it to be raw. The look of it is like an old 1970's show." Rolston stated that the video was inspired by shows like Sonny & Cher and The Midnight Special with James Brown, which took place around the beginning of the disco era and the end of the hippy era.
The video begins with Knowles (as Cleopatra) sitting with Powers in a movie theater, a credit to the ending of Austin Powers in Goldmember. As the "movie" starts, Knowles is seen on stage performing with a band playing instruments to the song. After performing a simple choreography, Knowles begins her verse by singing into a microphone that has her name written on it with sparkles, with the scenery of the shot being a stage with a colorful background, and scenes from Goldmember pieced throughout the video. Knowles performs in a cube with disco-scenery shown on the walls, ceiling, and projected onto Knowles, who plays with hula hoops while wearing "Virgo" bedazzled jeans throughout the video. As the video ends, Knowles is seen back on the beginning stage performing a dance-routine with three backup dancers; the video ending with the movie theater cheering for the video, while Cleopatra and Powers smile at each other.
Cynthia Fuchs of PopMatters reviewed the music video, stating: "The video offers up a standard-seeming series of body parts—eye, navel, huge hair—but at the same time emphasizes Beyoncé's frankly awesome power, recalling Aretha and especially Tina Turner as she snuggles up to the mic stand, her ferocious thighs revealed beneath a sequined miniskirt. In her first solo effort, Beyoncé declares herself a singular personality, a body, and a performer. Not to mention a sensation with a hula-hoop." Fuchs added to her comment about Knowles' hoola-hooping skills, referring to them as "sensational" and stated that it gave the video "a giddy, gorgeous turn". Tamar Anitai of MTV News negatively reviewed Knowles' choice in hair-style as "two-tone, too-tight curls". In 2003, the music video was nominated at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan in the category Best Video from a Film. It eventually lost to Eminem's "Lose Yourself" from the movie 8 Mile.
Knowles performed the song on multiple occasions, including the song as part of her set list on the Dangerously in Love Tour, where the performance of the song was recorded and distributed at the Wembley Arena in London, United Kingdom for the Beyoncé: Live at Wembley DVD/CD. The song was also performed live at the Wynn Theatre, in Las Vegas on August 2, 2009, at the I Am... Yours concert, the performance was later recorded as well as distributed in a DVD/CD package entitled I Am... Yours: An Intimate Performance at Wynn Las Vegas on November 23, 2009. During the I Am... Tour, the song was performed in a medley with "Crazy in Love", "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)", "Let Me Clear My Throat", and "Pass the Peas".
Knowles additionally performed the song on many televised appearances. The first televised performance of the song was on New Year's Eve at Nikki Beach, St. Barth. Other televised performances included Rove, 2003's Party in the Park, and Top of the Pops. Reviewing concert performances of the song, Mimi ValdésVibe called Knowles possessed, stating: "Tossing her head around, jerking her body, twirling the microphone stand, she's a new-millennium version of Tina Turner. As human and humble as she is off stage, watching her perform is a quick reminder of why she's a star. She's magnetic."
The Los Angeles based band Vitamin String Quartet, paid tribute to Knowles by doing their own version of "Work It Out" and adding it to their 2003 album, The String Quartet Tribute to Beyoncé. According to Tim Sendra of Allmusic, their version has more than four instruments on it as do most of the tracks, making it "more of a symphonic tribute to Beyoncé". The song has been performed by many reality television shows, which later led to the group or person winning that current challenge. On the fifth season of American Idol, contestant Paris Ana'is Bennett performed the song on March 28, 2006, in which the theme was to perform songs from the past six years. The song later allowed Bennett to pass through to the next round, with judge Randy Jackson stating it was the best of the night, Paula Abdul calling the performance "awesome", and Cowell naming the performance "overly precocious".
During the second week of the fourth season of America's Best Dance Crew, the Massive Monkees were asked to perform the song with the challenge to "dance with hula hoops without accidentally dropping them". The performance later allowed the group to move on to the next round, with judges Lil Mama stating that the group performed with a lot of "charisma", however, JC Chasez negatively reviewed the performance as "elementary". While searching for an all-female band to accompany her on The Beyoncé Experience, Knowles had the candidates perform the single "Work It Out" as a test. An author called Skyy additionally referenced the song in a book of collected short-stories titled "Choices".
Formats and track listings
Credits and personnel
Credits are taken from Dangerously in Love liner notes.
- Beyoncé Knowles – composer, vocals, writing, vocal production
- The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) – composer, writing, producer
Charts and certifications
|United States||June 11, 2002||CD Single||Columbia Records|
|Japan||June 26, 2002|
|Germany||July 1, 2002|
|United Kingdom||July 15, 2002|
|Europe||August 12, 2002|
- Roger Ebert (July 26, 2002). "Austin Powers In Goldmember". Chicago Sun Times (John Barron). Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- "Golden Girl : Beyoncé's Glittering Film Debut Destined To Turn Heads, And Makeup Trends". The Hartford Courant (Richard Graziano). July 26, 2002. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- Dangerously in Love (Media notes). Sony Music BMG Entertainment. 2003.
- Sal Cinquemani (December 13, 2003). "2003: Year in Music | Music". Slant Magazine. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
- Cynthia Fuchs (July 24, 2003). "PopMatters Music Feature | You Gotta Work Your Jelly". PopMatters. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
- Moss, Corey (May 23, 2002). "Beyonce, Britney Serve Up First Singles From 'Goldmember' – MTV Movie News". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
- "Austin Powers in Goldmember (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) by Various Artists – Download Austin Powers in Goldmember (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) on iTunes". iTunes Australia. Apple Inc. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
- "Beyonce Knowles – Discography – Work It Out". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- Verrico, Lisa (June 20, 2003). "Beyoncé: Dangerously in Love – Beyoncé Knowles is growing up, but not too much". The Times. London: Times Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
- "Work It Out digital sheet music (Digital Download)". MusicNotes.com. Hal Leonard Corporation.
- Seymour, Craig (June 14, 2002). "''Work It Out'' | Music". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
- Fitzpatrick, Rob. (July 2, 2003) Review: Dangerously in Love. NME. IPC Media. Retrieved on February 20, 2011.
- Nick Duerden (July 31, 2006). Bedazzled From Destiny's Child to destiny fulfiller, 24-year-old Beyoncé Knowles tops Spin's list. Spin (magazine) (Spin Media LLC). p. 79. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
- John Mulvey. (July 12, 2002) Beyonce Knowles : Work It Out. New Musical Express. IPC Media. Retrieved on February 20, 2011.
- Playlist : The songs you need to know – and the ones that must be stopped. Spin (Spin Media LLC). September 30, 2002. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
- Josh Tyrangiel (July 19, 2002). "Austin Powers in Goldmember | Music". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
- Mark Anthony Neal (July 11, 2003). "Beyoncé: Dangerously in Love – PopMatters Music Review". PopMatters. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
- Thomas, Stephen (July 16, 2002). "Austin Powers in Goldmember [Soundtrack] – Original Soundtrack". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
- The Metamorphosis of Beyoncé Knowles. Vibe (magazine) (InterMedia Partners). October 31, 2002. p. 120. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
- "Gold Member – Soundtrack". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
- "Austin Powers In Goldmember Soundtrack, Soundtrack: Soundtracks". Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. July 16, 2003. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
- "Vibraters". Vibe (magazine) (InterMedia Partners). November 30, 2002. p. 42. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
- Yancey Strickler. "Beyonce – 'Dangerously In Love'". Flak Magazine. J. R. Norton. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
- "Black Reel Awards 2003". Black Reel Awards of 2003. Internet Movie Database. March 2, 2003. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
- "Work It Out". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. August 17, 2002. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
- Moss, Corey (July 22, 2002). "Nelly Hit Forces Change In Plans For Destiny's Child LPs". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- "Chart Archive". The Official Charts Company. July 27, 2002. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
- "Beyonc". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
- "Beyoncé – Work It Out". Swiss Music Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- "Discography Beyoncé". Hung Medien. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- "New Zealand Single Top 40 (September 8, 2002)". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Hung Medien. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
- "Australia Single Top 50 : Beyoncé -Work It Out". ARIA Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
- "Making the Video – Work It Out video premiere : June 7, 2002". Season 9. June 7, 2002. MTV Networks.
- "Video: Work It Out – Beyoncé". MTV Overdrive. MTV Networks. October 25, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- 6/17/02 (February 22, 2007). "Work It Out (From Austin Powers Soundtrack) | Beyoncé | Music Video". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- Michael Caine (July 26, 2002). "Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002): Mike Myers, Beyoncé Knowles, Verne Troyer – PopMatters Film Review". PopMatters. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- "Video: Alicia Keys, 'No One'". MTV News. MTV Networks. October 25, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- "VIDEOS 歴代VMAJアーカイブ 2003年│MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2003" (in Japanese). MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2003. MTV Japan. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- "Live at Wembley – Beyoncé". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. March 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- Beyoncé: Live at Wembley (Media notes). Columbia Records. 2004.
- "World Stage | Beyoncé | Single Ladies, live at Wynn Theatre, Las Vegas|BEYONCE| Music Video | MTV European". MTV. MTV Networks. August 17, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- "Beyoncé Work It Out". WN. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- "I Am...Yours. An Intimate Performance at Wynn Las Vegas(2CD/1DVD): Beyonce: Music". Amazon US. Amazon Inc. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- Ryan Love (November 12, 2010). "Beyoncé tour DVD tracklisting confirmed". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi Médias. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- "Beyoncé New Year's Eve: Performing For Gaddafi Family?". Mediaite. Dan Abrams. January 3, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- "Beyonce Knowles – Work It Out (Live On Rove) | Beyonce Knowles | Hollywood Video". Hollywood Video. Movie Gallery, Inc. February 22, 1999. Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- "Search | Beyoncé Knowles Work It Out (Live Performances)". Nuts (magazine). IPC Media. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- Valdés, Mimi (October 2002). "The Metamorphosis". Vibe (InterMedia Partners) 10 (10): 122. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- Tim Sendra (November 25, 2003). "The String Quartet Tribute to Beyonce". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
- Moss, Corey (March 29, 2006). "'American Idol' Recap: Paris Works Beyonce Song, Chris Digs Up Old Creed – Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- Fame or Shame. Atlanta (magazine) (Emmis Communications). January 31, 2007. p. 62. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- 8/16/09. "America's Best Dance Crew (Season 4) | Ep. 2 | Beyoncé Challenge". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- Jevon Phillips (August 17, 2009). "'America's Best Dance Crew': Beyonce's challenges". Los Angeles Times. Eddy Hartenstein. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- "Billboard Bits: Beyonce, NIN/Bauhaus, Sonic Youth". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
- Skyy (2007-08). Choices. p. 115. ISBN 9780971448995. Retrieved February 25, 2011. Check date values in:
- Work It Out (JPN CD single). Beyoncé Knowles. Japan: Columbia. 2002. SICP 167.
- Work It Out (UK CD single/maxi-single). Beyoncé Knowles. United Kingdom: Columbia. 2002. 672982 2.
- Work It Out (US CD single). Beyoncé Knowles. United States: Columbia. 2002. CSK 59874.
- Work It Out (UK Vinyl, 12", Promo). Beyoncé Knowles. United Kingdom: Columbia. 2002. XPR 3580.
- Work It Out (UK Vinyl, 12", Promo). Beyoncé Knowles. United Kingdom: Columbia. 2002. XPR 3598.
- Work It Out (US Vinyl, 12", 33 ⅓ RPM). Beyoncé Knowles. United States: Columbia. 2002. CAS 59923, CAS 59923-S1.
- Work It Out (NZ CD, Maxi-Single). Beyoncé Knowles. New Zealand: Columbia. 2002. 672773 2.
- Work It Out (UK CD, Maxi-Single). Beyoncé Knowles. United Kingdom: Columbia. 2002. 672982 2.
- Work It Out (US Vinyl, 12"). Beyoncé Knowles. United States: Columbia. 2002. CAS 59180.
- Work It Out (GER CD single). Beyoncé Knowles. Germany: Columbia. 2002. 11515 1.
- Work It Out (Europe CD single/maxi-single). Beyoncé Knowles. Europe: Columbia. 2002. 672687 2.
- "Chartverfulgong > Beyonce > Work It Out – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- "Chart Track: Week 29, 2002". Irish Singles Chart.
- "UK Year-End Chart 2002" (pdf). The Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
- "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2002 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved April 7, 2011.
- "Gold disc certifications" (in Norwegian). International Federation of the Phonographic Industry of Norway. Retrieved February 25, 2011.