You're Beautiful

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For the South Korean television drama, see You're Beautiful (TV series).
For the Roger Whittaker song, see The Last Farewell.
"You're Beautiful"
Single by James Blunt
from the album Back to Bedlam
Released 30 May 2005 (2005-05-30)
(See release history)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2004
Genre Folk rock
Length 3:34 (album version)
3:22 (single edit)
3:24 (radio edit)
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) James Blunt, Sacha Skarbek, Amanda Ghost
Producer(s) Tom Rothrock
James Blunt singles chronology
"Wisemen"
(2005)
"You're Beautiful"
(2005)
"Goodbye My Lover"
(2005)
Music sample

"You're Beautiful" is a song co-written by British singer James Blunt, Sacha Skarbek, and Amanda Ghost[1] for Blunt's debut album, Back to Bedlam (2004). It was released as the third single from the album in 2005. In the United Kingdom and Australia the song reached number one and number two respectively. When released as the debut single from Back to Bedlam in Canada and the United States, it reached number one on both charts and received widespread airplay. In 2006, the song won an Ivor Novello Award for airplay.[2] The song has sold 625,000 copies in the United Kingdom as stated by the Official UK Charts Company, and by October 2012 over 3,000,000 in the United States.[3] It remains Blunt's biggest hit single in the United States to date, and his only one to reach the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. In 2012, a new version of the single was issued in Japan. The Q;indivi+ Remix, featuring Japanese performer Keri, was issued on 28 March 2012.[4][5]

Writing and inspiration[edit]

Newspapers have claimed that "You're Beautiful" is about a former girlfriend of Blunt's, Dixie Chassay,[6][7] casting director for the Harry Potter films, although Blunt refuses to confirm or deny this. On 8 March 2006 on Oprah, Blunt said of the song, "It's kind of miserable. It was about seeing my ex-girlfriend on the Underground in London with her new man, who I didn't know existed. She and I caught eyes and lived a lifetime in that moment, but didn't do anything about it and haven't seen each other since."[8] Several versions of the song exist. One lyrical version has an explicit word in it ("She could see from my face that I was fucking high") which was released on Back to Bedlam and most of the "You're Beautiful" singles. The radio edit of the song replaces the explicit lyric, changing it to "She could see from my face that I was flying high". Acoustic, live and DVD versions have also been released. However, because of the word in question, the album was given a Parental Advisory sticker. When asked about the song, Blunt responded, "It's probably one of the least meaningful songs on the album and by no means people's favourite. The album is like a book covering various aspects of life in a specific order."[9] In an interview with HitQuarters, co-writer Sacha Skarbek said their collaboration on the song began when Blunt brought the title and the approach of the chorus to a songwriting session. Skarbek's contribution largely focused on the music aspect to the track, contributing chord ideas for the verses, honing the melodies, and making sure the song stuck to, "a couple of key hooks rather than making it too complicated."[10]

In the beginning of the song, Blunt sings the first line twice (My life is brilliant). The mistimed delivery was left in the final recording, but omitted in radio versions. This is parodied in "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "You're Pitiful": After the initial start, he says "What, was I too early? Oh, sorry. Should I...Do you wanna start over? Or, keep going? Okay. Now? Now?" and then begins the song.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "You're Beautiful" was directed by Sam Brown. The video shows Blunt committing suicide, following a Japanese tradition of removing one's shoes and contents of clothing prior to jumping from a great height.[11][12] Blunt removes the upper portion of his clothing in a cold, bare, snowy setting and places all of his personal belongings on the ground. While doing this, seagulls circle overhead like buzzards.[13] At the end of the video, he jumps off a cliff and lands into the depths of icy water while he sings the lyrics: "But it's time to face the truth, I will never be with you". The video was filmed in Mallorca, Spain. The video has been parodied in a Dead Ringers spoof, with Jon Culshaw impersonating Blunt, singing the song with different lyrics where he explains how he can be cool. Blunt also appeared on the television programme 'Sesame Street' singing a reworded version of the song called 'My Triangle' intended to educate children about geometry.

Critical reception and ubiquity[edit]

About.com gave the song 4 and a half stars out of 5, saying "The simple power of Blunt's songwriting is effective at conveying the pain of realizing he will never be with the object of his affections."[14]

"You're Beautiful" was ranked number seven in a poll conducted by Rolling Stone to identify the 10 most annoying songs.[15] VH1 ranked it number 95 on its list of the 100 Greatest Songs of the '00s.[16] In October 2014 the singer himself admitted the song had become so ubiquitous that it was "force-fed down people's throats."[17]

Chart performance[edit]

"You're Beautiful" is Blunt's most successful single release to date. It was also his first successful single, and reached number one in ten countries across the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Canada, and the Netherlands. The song peaked within the top five in New Zealand, No. 4, Australia, No. 2, France, and Germany. "You're Beautiful" accomplished a feat rarely seen on the modern UK Singles Chart by ascending the chart following its début. Released on 30 May 2005, it entered at number twelve on 5 June and reached number one six weeks later where it remained for five consecutive weeks. The last song to début outside of the top ten and climb to number one was The Outhere Brothers' "Boom Boom Boom" (1995). The highest position "You're Beautiful" reached in Australia was number two, where it stayed for two consecutive weeks.

In November 2005, "You're Beautiful" was released in North America where it achieved widespread success. In Canada, it ascended to number one (where it remained for four consecutive weeks) 22 weeks following its début on the BDS Airplay chart. In the United States, it débuted at number 88 before reaching number one 17 weeks later. It replaced Beyoncé's "Check on It" and itself was replaced by Ne-Yo's "So Sick".[18] The song became the first non-urban or American Idol song to reach the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 since Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" in 2001. However, "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani has also been credited for that accomplishment, but due to its hip-hop based influences, it's been disputed. This also became the first single by a British artist to reach number one since Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997" (1997).[19] It achieved success on the Billboard Pop 100, Hot Digital Songs, Adult Contemporary, and Adult Top 40 formats. It has been certified double platinum by the RIAA for digital,[20] and has sold over 3 million in the United States.[3]

Awards[edit]

The song received three nominations at the 2007 Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.[21]

Release[edit]

The single was released on four official physical formats. CD1 includes an exclusive acoustic recording of "Fall at Your Feet", a cover taken from the BBC Radio 1 live lounge sessions. CD2 includes an exclusive acoustic version of "High", plus the video for "You're Beautiful" and "Making-Of" footage. The 7" Vinyl includes an exclusive acoustic version of "So Long, Jimmy". The fourth physical format was an exclusive version of CD1, only available at HMV, which includes an additional third track, in the form of an acoustic version of "You're Beautiful". This version was also sold in Australia.[22]

Track listing[edit]

UK CD single no. 1
  1. "You're Beautiful" (Edit) – 3:22
  2. "Fall at Your Feet" (Acoustic) – 2:25
UK CD single no. 2
  1. "You're Beautiful" (Edit) – 3:22
  2. "High" (Acoustic) – 4:03
  3. "You're Beautiful" (The Making of the Video) – 3:00
  4. "You're Beautiful" (Video) – 3:23
UK 7" single
  1. "You're Beautiful" (Edit) – 3:22
  2. "So Long, Jimmy" (Acoustic) – 4:14
Australian CD single
  1. "You're Beautiful" (Edit) – 3:22
  2. "Fall at Your Feet" (Acoustic) – 2:25
  3. "You're Beautiful" (Acoustic) – 3:35
Japanese CD single[5]
  1. "You're Beautiful" (The Q;indivi+ Remix) (featuring Keri) - 3:28

Release history[edit]

Country Release date
United Kingdom 5 May 2005 (2005-05-05)
Worldwide 30 May 2005 (2005-05-30)
United States 13 December 2005 (2005-12-13)
Japan (The Q;indivi+ Remix) 28 March 2012 (2012-03-28)

Charts[edit]

Chart (2005-2006/2012) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[23] 2
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[24] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[25] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[26] 3
Canada (Nielsen SoundScan) 1
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100 Oficiální) 1[27]
Denmark (Tracklisten)[28] 4
France (SNEP)[29] 5
Germany (Media Control Charts)[30] 2
Ireland (IRMA) 1
Italy (FIMI)[31] 1
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[32] 28
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[33] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[34] 4
Norway (VG-lista)[35] 1
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 20)[36] 3
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[37] 43
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[38] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[39] 2
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 1
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Billboard Mainstream Top 40 5
US Billboard Adult Top 40 1
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 1
US Billboard Pop 100 1

Year-end charts[edit]

End of year chart (2005) Position
German Singles Chart[40] 16
Swiss Singles Chart[41] 11
UK Singles Chart[42] 4
End of year chart (2006) Position
Swiss Singles Chart[43] 34
UK Singles Chart[44] 123
US Billboard Hot 100 4

Decade-end charts[edit]

Chart (2000–2009) Peak
position
German Singles Chart[45] 85
UK Singles Chart[46] 39
US Billboard Hot 100[47] 86

Certifications[edit]

Country Certification
Australia[48] Platinum
Austria[49] Gold
Belgium[48] Gold
Canada[50] 2× Platinum
Germany[51] Platinum
Italy[52] Platinum
Japan[53] Platinum
Sweden[54] Platinum
Switzerland[55] Gold
United Kingdom[56] Platinum
United States[55] 2× Platinum

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ [2][dead link]
  3. ^ a b Grein, Paul (24 October 2012). "Week Ending Oct. 21, 2012. Songs: Maroon 5′s "Nixon Moment"". Chart Watch (Yahoo Music). Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  4. ^ James Blunt - You're Beautiful(Q;indivi+ Remix with KERI) on YouTube
  5. ^ a b "JAMES BLUNT You're Beautiful Q;indivi+ remix Japanese CD single". eBay. 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  6. ^ "Varsity" (PDF). Dixie Chassay, Page 22. Retrieved 1 October 2008. 
  7. ^ Nicholl, Katie (18 June 2006). "How James Blunt betrayed me, by his ex". Daily Mail (London). 
  8. ^ "Oprah.com". Blunt: It's kind of miserable. Retrieved 23 September 2006. 
  9. ^ "ContactMusic.com". Blunt: "You're Beautiful" not meaningful. Archived from the original on 5 March 2006. Retrieved 11 March 2006. 
  10. ^ "Interview With Sacha Skarbek". HitQuarters. 13 July 2009. 
  11. ^ Gordenker, Alice (2006-01-17). "Suicide | The Japan Times". Search.japantimes.co.jp. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  12. ^ "BlogCritics.org". Keep an Eye on James Blunt. Retrieved 11 March 2006. 
  13. ^ "ManchesterOnline.co.uk". Watch James Blunt's "You’re Beautiful" video – what it's about. Archived from the original on 5 March 2006. Retrieved 11 March 2006. 
  14. ^ "James Blunt - You're Beautiful". Top40.about.com. 2014-03-05. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  15. ^ "10 most annoying songs". Rediff.com. 2004-12-31. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  16. ^ Anderson, Kyle (29 September 2011). "U2, Rihanna, Amy Winehouse, Foo Fighters fill out VH1's '100 Greatest Songs of the '00s'". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  17. ^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/james-blunt-apologizes-youre-beautiful-743242
  18. ^ "Billboard". Ne-Yo Completes Chart Takeover With "So Sick". Retrieved 12 March 2006. 
  19. ^ "Billboard". Blunt Leapfrogs Beyoncé to Claim No. 1. Retrieved 11 March 2006. 
  20. ^ "American digital certifications – blunt". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select ', then click SEARCH
  21. ^ "Grammy Awards: Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  22. ^ "James Blunt – You're Beautiful (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 3 August 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  23. ^ "Australian-charts.com – James Blunt – You're Beautiful". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  24. ^ "Austriancharts.at – James Blunt – You're Beautiful" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – James Blunt – You're Beautiful" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  26. ^ "Ultratop.be – James Blunt – You're Beautiful" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  27. ^ "Splašený obojživelník už zase válcuje obchody". musicserver.cz. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  28. ^ "Danishcharts.com – James Blunt – You're Beautiful". Tracklisten.
  29. ^ "Lescharts.com – James Blunt – You're Beautiful" (in French). Les classement single.
  30. ^ "Chartverfulgong > James Blunt > You're Beautiful – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  31. ^ "Italiancharts.com – James Blunt – You're Beautiful". Top Digital Download.
  32. ^ "James Blunt Album & Song Chart History" Japan Hot 100 for James Blunt. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  33. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – James Blunt search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  34. ^ "Charts.org.nz – James Blunt – You're Beautiful". Top 40 Singles.
  35. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – James Blunt – You're Beautiful". VG-lista.
  36. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 20. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  37. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – James Blunt – You're Beautiful" Canciones Top 50.
  38. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – James Blunt – You're Beautiful". Singles Top 60.
  39. ^ "Swisscharts.com – James Blunt – You're Beautiful". Swiss Singles Chart.
  40. ^ [3][dead link]
  41. ^ Steffen Hung. "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 2005". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  42. ^ "The Official UK Singles Chart : 2005". Ukchartsplus.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  43. ^ Steffen Hung. "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 2006". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  44. ^ "The Official UK Singles Chart : 2006". Ukchartsplus.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  45. ^ "Die ultimative Chart Show | Hits des neuen Jahrtausends | Download". RTL.de. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  46. ^ Radio 1 Official Chart of the Decade, as broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on Tuesday 29 December 2009, presented by Nihal
  47. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100 Singles & Tracks – Decade Year End Charts". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  48. ^ a b "Ultratop Belgian Charts". ultratop.be. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  49. ^ http://www.ifpi.at/?section=goldplatin
  50. ^ "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum – January 2005". Cria.ca. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  51. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('You're Beautiful')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  52. ^ "Italian single certifications – James Blunt – You're Beautiful" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved 20 September 2013.  Select Online in the field Scegli la sezione. Select Week -- and Year ----. Enter James Blunt in the field Artista. Click Avvia la ricerca
  53. ^ レコード協会調べ 1月度有料音楽配信認定 <略称:1月度認定> [Record Association report: February 2014 digital music download certifications (Abbreviation: 2013 Certifications)]. RIAJ (in Japanese). February 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  54. ^ [4][dead link]
  55. ^ a b "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  56. ^ [5][dead link]

General sources[edit]

  • "Amazon.com". James Blunt – releases and track listings. Retrieved 12 March 2006. 
  • "ARIA.com". Australian airplay and sales charts. Retrieved 11 March 2006. 
  • "Billboard". Billboard Hot 100 chart. Retrieved 11 March 2006. 
  • "Dot Music". United Kingdom sales chart. Retrieved 11 March 2006. 
  • "IFop.com". French sales chart. Archived from the original on 6 March 2006. Retrieved 11 March 2006. 
  • "Jam.canoe.ca". Canadian airplay and sales charts. Retrieved 11 March 2006.