Amnesia (Chumbawamba song)

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"Amnesia"
Chumbawamba amnesia.jpeg
Single by Chumbawamba
from the album Tubthumper
Released 19 January 1998
Recorded February 1997 at Woodlands Studio, Castleford, UK
Length 3:34
Label EMI
Writer(s) Chumbawamba
Producer(s) Chumbawamba & Neil Ferguson
Chumbawamba singles chronology
"Tubthumping"
(1997)
"Amnesia"
(1998)
"Drip, Drip, Drip"
(1998)

"Amnesia" is the second single from Chumbawamba's album Tubthumper, released on January 28, 1998. The song's lyrics address the sense of betrayal that English leftists felt during the rise of New Labour; an accompanying music video was released. The song was a Top 10 hit in Canada and the UK, and reached number one on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.

Background and release[edit]

"Amnesia" lyrically explores the dishonesty of politicians and the ignorance of voters who continue to vote them into office. Chumbawamba's Alice Nutter told MTV that the group "wrote "Amnesia' before the general election in England, and we basically wrote it about Blair's new labor," adding that the song has a universal message, noting that "people forget that what Bill Clinton says before he gets elected is not what Bill Clinton will do when he's in office, and that's not about Bill Clinton, that's about all politicians."[1]

The song was released as a CD Single; the standard edition featured five versions of the song: a single mix, the album version, an acoustic version, and two remixes (titled the "Done Lying Down Version" and the "Jimmy Echo Version").[2] A CD single of the song was later released in the US, featuring "Tubthumping" as its B-side.[3] A full-page ad, featured in Spin magazine, for the song's parent album mentioned the inclusion of "Amnesia" on the album, accompanied by partial lyrics.[4] At the end of the album version of the song, there is an interlude that samples a UK public service announcement on mad cow disease.[5] The song was mentioned in the book The Eightfold Way: The Beauty of Klein's Quartic Curve.[6]

Commercial performance[edit]

The song was a successful follow-up to "Tubthumping," reaching the Top 10 in the UK and Canada. In Canada, "Amnesia" debuted on the RPM Singles chart on the issue dated 2 February 1998.[7] It reached its no.7 peak on the chart dated 27 April.[8] The song spent a total of 27 weeks in the Canadian Top 100.[9] In the UK, the song was similarly successful, debuting and peaking on the UK Singles Chart dated 31 January 1998.[10]

Though the song failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100, it reached number 1 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart (the equivalent of number 101 on the Hot 100), spending 2 weeks overall on the chart.[11] It also entered the Top 20 on the Pop Songs chart,[12] and number 60 on the overall airplay chart.[13]

Music video[edit]

A music video for the song, featuring the members of the group performing in a theater, with the audience dancing. As the video progresses, the audience members leave until a janitor is the only one still watching.[14] The video was put into rotation on MTV Europe[15] and MuchMusic.[16][17]

Media usage[edit]

The radio edit of the song, which removed the heavy guitars present in the original version, was included on the original TV soundtrack for "Sabrina the Teenage Witch."[18]

Track listings[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[25] 34
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[26] 15
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[8] 7
Germany (Official German Charts)[27] 83
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[28] 96
UK Singles (OCC)[10] 10
US (Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles)[11] 101
US Billboard Adult Top 40[29] 38
US Billboard Mainstream Top 40[12] 19
US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay[13] 60

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chumbawamba Talks About Political "Amnesia"". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Chumbawamba - Amnesia". Discogs. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Saniford-Waller, Theda. "Hot 100 Singles Spotlight". Google Books. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "SPIN Mar 1998 (page 24)". Google Books. Spin Media. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  5. ^ Chumbawamba FAQ's... Sort of Thing at the Wayback Machine (archived 2 December 1998)
  6. ^ Levy, Silvio. "The Eightfold Way: The Beauty of Klein's Quartic Curve". Google Books. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  7. ^ "RPM Singles: 2 Feb 1998". Library and Archives Canada. RPM. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "RPM Singles: 27 April 1998". Library and Archives Canada. RPM. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  9. ^ "RPM Singles: 3 August 1998". Library and Archives Canada. RPM. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "Chumbawamba chart history UK". Official Charts. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "Chumbawamba chart search". Billboard.biz. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "Chumbawamba Pop Songs chart history". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  13. ^ a b "Chumbawamba - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  14. ^ "Official Music Video". YouTube. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  15. ^ "Billboard Video Monitor (Feb 21, 1998)". Google Books. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  16. ^ "Billboard Video Monitor (Mar 28, 1998)". Google Books. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  17. ^ "Billboard Video Monitor (Mar 21, 1998)". Google Books. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  18. ^ "Sabrina the Teenage Witch [Original TV Soundtrack] track listing". AllMusic. RhythmOne. Retrieved 24 February 2017. 
  19. ^ "US CD Single Track listing". Discogs. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  20. ^ "UK Cassette Single track listing". Discogs. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  21. ^ "UK CD1 Single track listing". Discogs. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  22. ^ "UK CD2 Single track listing". Discogs. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  23. ^ "German CD Single Track listing". Discogs. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  24. ^ "Amnesia [Japan] track list". AllMusic. RhytmOne. Retrieved 24 February 2017. 
  25. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Chumbawamba – Amnesia". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  26. ^ "Ultratop.be – Chumbawamba – Amnesia" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  27. ^ "Musicline.de – Chumbawamba Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  28. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Chumbawamba – Amnesia" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  29. ^ "Chumbawamba Adult Pop Songs chart history". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 

External links[edit]