Amnesia (Chumbawamba song)

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"Amnesia"
Chumbawamba amnesia.jpeg
Single by Chumbawamba
from the album Tubthumper
Released1998
RecordedFebruary 1997 at Woodlands Studio, Castleford, UK
Length3:34
LabelEMI
Songwriter(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 in 1998. The song's lyrics address the sense of betrayal that English leftists felt during the rise of New Labour. The song was met with favorable reception from critics, who regarded the song as a highlight from Tubthumper.

The song was a top-ten hit in Canada and the United Kingdom, giving the group their final top-twenty entries in both countries. The song also reached number one on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100, becoming the group's final US chart entry. An accompanying music video was also released.

Background and writing[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 [sic]," 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] 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.[2]

Release[edit]

The song was released as a CD single in the UK.[3] A CD single of the song was later released in the US, featuring "Tubthumping" as its B-side.[4] A full-page ad featured in Spin magazine, for the song's parent album mentioned the inclusion of "Amnesia" on the album, was accompanied by partial lyrics.[5]

Reception[edit]

Critical[edit]

The song was well-received by music critics, many of whom felt the song was one of the better tracks on Tubthumper. Both music critic Robert Christgau[6] and AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine[7] noted "Amnesia", as well as "Tutbthumping", as a highlight of Tubthumper.

Commercial[edit]

The song was a successful follow-up to "Tubthumping", reaching the top 10 in the United Kingdom and Canada. In Canada, "Amnesia" debuted on the RPM Top Singles chart on the issue dated 2 February 1998.[8] It reached its number-seven peak on the chart dated 27 April.[9] The song spent a total of 27 weeks in the Canadian Top 100.[10] In the UK, the song was similarly successful, debuting and peaking at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart dated 31 January 1998.[11]

In the United states, the song was somewhat successful, although it was far less so than "Tubthumping".[12] Though the song failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100, it reached number one on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart (the equivalent of number 101 on the Hot 100), spending two weeks overall on the chart.[13] It also peaked at number 19 on the Mainstream Top 40[14] and number 38 on the Adult Top 40.[15] The song was released to modern rock radio stations, on which "Tubthumping" had received much play; however, "Amnesia" was unsuccessful on that format.[12]

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.[16] The video was put into rotation on MTV Europe[17] and MuchMusic.[18][19]

Media usage[edit]

The radio edit of the song was included on the original TV soundtrack for Sabrina the Teenage Witch.[20]

Track listings[edit]

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chumbawamba Talks About Political "Amnesia"". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Chumbawamba FAQ's... Sort of Thing". Archived from the original on 2 December 1998. Retrieved 23 February 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ ""Amnesia" at AllMusic". AllMusic. RhythmOne. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  4. ^ Saniford-Waller, Theda. "Hot 100 Singles Spotlight". Google Books. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  5. ^ "SPIN Mar 1998 (page 24)". Google Books. Spin Media. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (15 October 2000). Chumbawamba: Tubthumper (revised ed.). London: Macmillan. p. 56. ISBN 0312245602. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  7. ^ Thomas Erlewine, Thomas. "Review: Tubthumper - Chumbawamba". AllMusic. RhythmOne. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  8. ^ "RPM Singles: 2 Feb 1998". Library and Archives Canada. RPM. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Top RPM Singles: Issue 3529." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  10. ^ "RPM Singles: 3 August 1998". Library and Archives Canada. RPM. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  12. ^ a b Carter, Kevin; Coveney, Janine; Ross, Sean (April 18, 1998). "Radio, Labels Debate 'Ownership'". Billboard. 110 (16): 70–71. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Chumbawamba Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Chumbawamba Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Chumbawamba Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Official Music Video". YouTube. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Billboard Video Monitor (Feb 21, 1998)". Google Books. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Billboard Video Monitor (Mar 28, 1998)". Google Books. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Billboard Video Monitor (Mar 21, 1998)". Google Books. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  20. ^ "Sabrina the Teenage Witch [Original TV Soundtrack] track listing". AllMusic. RhythmOne. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  21. ^ ""Amnesia" product overview". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  22. ^ ""Chumbawamba - Amnesia - CD (not vinyl)" product overview". Amazon. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  23. ^ ""CD Single" Amnesia overview". 45 Worlds. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  24. ^ US "Amnesia" CD Single liner notes
  25. ^ "Amnesia [Japan] track list". AllMusic. RhythmOne. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  26. ^ "Amnesia" Japan mini-album liner notes
  27. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Chumbawamba – Amnesia". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  28. ^ "Ultratop.be – Chumbawamba – Amnesia" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  29. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 3506." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  30. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Chumbawamba – Amnesia". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  31. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (15.1 – 22.1. 1998)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 16 January 1998. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  32. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Chumbawamba – Amnesia" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  33. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  34. ^ "Chumbawamba Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  35. ^ "RPM's Top 100 Hits of '98" (PDF). RPM. Vol. 68 no. 12. 14 December 1998. p. 20. Retrieved 28 August 2019.

External links[edit]