Amnesia (Chumbawamba song)

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"Amnesia"
Chumbawamba amnesia.jpeg
Single by Chumbawamba
from the album Tubthumper
Released 1998
Recorded February 1997 at Woodlands Studio, Castleford, UK
Length 3:34
Label EMI
Songwriter(s) Chumbawamba
Producer(s) Chumbawamba & Neil Ferguson
Chumbawamba singles chronology
"Tubthumping"
(1997)
"Amnesia"
(1998)
"Drip, Drip, Drip"
(1998)
"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; an accompanying music video was released. The song was met with favorable reception from critics, who regarded the song as a highlight from Tubthumper.

The song was a Top 10 hit in Canada and the UK, giving the group their final top 20 entries in both countries. The song also reached number one on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, becoming the group's final US chart entry.

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 UK and Canada. In Canada, "Amnesia" debuted on the RPM Singles chart on the issue dated 2 February 1998.[8] It reached its no.7 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 also somewhat successful, although it was far less so than "Tubthumping."[12] 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.[13] It also entered the Top 20 on the Pop Songs chart,[14] and number 60 on the overall airplay chart.[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]

Chart (1998) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[28] 34
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[29] 15
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[9] 7
Germany (Official German Charts)[30] 83
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[31] 96
UK Singles (OCC)[11] 10
US (Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles)[13] 101
US Billboard Adult Top 40[32] 38
US Billboard Mainstream Top 40[14] 19
US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay[15] 60

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 2017-02-23. 
  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 "RPM Singles: 27 April 1998". Library and Archives Canada. RPM. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  10. ^ "RPM Singles: 3 August 1998". Library and Archives Canada. RPM. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "Chumbawamba chart history UK". Official Charts. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  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 search". Billboard.biz. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  14. ^ a b "Chumbawamba Pop Songs chart history". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  15. ^ a b "Chumbawamba - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  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. ^ "UK CD1 Single track listing". Discogs. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  23. ^ ""Chumbawamba - Amnesia - CD (not vinyl)" product overview". Amazon. Retrieved 6 April 2017. 
  24. ^ ""CD Single" Amnesia overview". 45 Worlds. Retrieved 6 April 2017. 
  25. ^ US "Amnesia" CD Single liner notes
  26. ^ "Amnesia [Japan] track list". AllMusic. RhythmOne. Retrieved 24 February 2017. 
  27. ^ "Amnesia" Japan mini-album liner notes
  28. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Chumbawamba – Amnesia". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  29. ^ "Ultratop.be – Chumbawamba – Amnesia" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  30. ^ "Musicline.de – Chumbawamba Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  31. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Chumbawamba – Amnesia" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  32. ^ "Chumbawamba Adult Pop Songs chart history". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 

External links[edit]