Children (Robert Miles song)

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Robert Miles - Children (Cover).jpg
Single by Robert Miles
from the album Dreamland
B-side Remix
  • 14 November 1995 (Germany)
  • 12 February 1996 (UK)
Recorded November 1994[1]
  • 3:49 (radio edit)
  • 7:21 (original version)
Writer(s) Roberto Concina
Producer(s) Miles
Robert Miles singles chronology
Music sample

"Children" is a song by Italian trance composer Robert Miles. It was first released in Italy in January 1995 as part of the EP Soundtracks on Joe Vanelli's DBX label, but it did not chart.[1] Vanelli brought the track to a nightclub in Miami where it was heard by Simon Berry of Platipus Records. Berry worked with Vanelli and James Barton (of Liverpool's Cream nightclub) to release the song in November 1995 as the lead single from his album Dreamland.[1] The song is Miles' most successful single, being certified Gold and Platinum in several countries and it reached number one in more than 12 countries.

Background and writing[edit]

Miles has stated two motives for the writing of "Children". One was as a response to photographs of child war victims his father had brought home from a humanitarian mission in the former Yugoslavia;[2] the other, inspired by his career as a DJ, was to create a track to end DJ sets, intended to calm rave attendants prior to their driving home as a means to reduce car accident deaths.[1]

"Children" is one of the pioneering tracks of dream house, a genre of electronic dance music characterized by dream-like piano melodies, and a steady four-on-the-floor bass drum. The creation of dream house was a response to social pressures in Italy during the early 1990s: the growth of rave culture among young adults, and the ensuing popularity of nightclub attendance, had created a weekly trend of deaths due to car accidents as clubbers drove across the country overnight, falling asleep at the wheel from strenuous dancing as well as alcohol and drug use. In mid-1996, deaths due to this phenomenon, called strage del sabato sera (Saturday night slaughter) in Italy, were being estimated at around 2000 since the start of the decade. The move by DJs such as Miles to play slower, calming music to conclude a night's set, as a means to counteract the fast-paced, repetitive tracks that preceded, was met with approval by authorities and parents of car crash victims.[3]

Critic Boris Barabanov claimed a similarity between "Children" and Russian singer Garik Sukachov's song "Гарик Сукачев – Напои меня водой" ("Napoi menia vodoi"), and says the song was written before "Children". Sukachov explained that he gave his consent for the melody to be used.[4]

Music videos[edit]

Billboard ascribes the final stage of the song's promotion to the airing of its music video on music television networks such as MTV Europe and Germany's VIVA.[1] Two videos were produced, the first being the one Billboard discusses: black-and-white footage of a small girl riding in a car through a diverse range of landscape which was directed by Matt Amos. The locations are London (Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square), Paris (The Eiffel Tower can be seen), Geneva (place du Molard, rue Coutance) and countryside in Switzerland (Robert Miles's home country), and France and Italy near the Mont-Blanc Tunnel.

The second video, filmed in colour, alternates between images of Miles DJing at a nightclub rave and images of children at play, thereby touching upon both of the themes of the song.

Critical reception[edit]


Billboard magazine attributes the song's widespread success to its melodic nature, characterized by an "instantly recognizable" piano riff (which, ironically, was not found in the track's original version). They identify this factor as making the song accessible to a broader audience beyond clubbers and fans of electronic dance music alone by means of radio airplay.[1], which identifies the song as being written on a Kurzweil K2000, calls this the "dream house piano" sound, consisting of "standard piano, syn bass and string/pad sounds bathed in delay and reverb".[5]

Upon including the track on 2002's The Very Best of Euphoria compilation, TheManAdam, co-creator of the Euphoria series of trance DJ mix albums, said that the song "had a major influence on [his] generation of remixers and producers when [they] all at first started making trance".[6]

Chart performance[edit]

"Children" was first released in Italy in January 1995 on Joe T. Vanelli's DBX imprint label, as part of the Soundtracks EP. Subsequently, following exposure at a gathering of DJs and record producers in Miami, the track was licensed by the UK-based Platipus Records who were represented by UK licensing agency Dynamik Music. In conjunction with Miles' manager, Gavin Prunas, the track was licensed to Deconstruction Records; it was then licensed to more than a dozen additional record labels in Europe through DBX, Deconstruction as well as appearing on the Platipus Records Volume 2 compilation released worldwide via Dynamik Music.[1]

"Children" was a success worldwide peaking at number one in more than 12 countries and holding that position for several weeks. "Children" reached number one in the following countries: Austria (six weeks), Belgium, Denmark, Finland (three weeks), France (11 weeks), Italy, Norway (five weeks), Germany, Spain, Sweden (seven weeks) and Switzerland (13 weeks); beyond that, according to Billboard magazine, it reached the top five in "every European country that has a singles chart".[1] It spent 13 weeks at number one on the Eurochart Hot 100, reached number two on the UK[7] staying 17 weeks on the chart, and it reached number 21 in the US, holding that position for four weeks. Along with U2 members Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr.'s reworking of the Mission: Impossible theme, it marked the first time since November 1985 that two instrumentals had simultaneously charted in the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100.[8]

French nightclubs began playing the imported record from Italy in 1995, making France one of the first countries to popularize the track. Spreading through the underground from clubs to, eventually, the radio, it was licensed there by an independent record label in November 1995. Spain and Italy itself were the other early adopters that brought the track into clubs. Club charts in these countries signalled "Children"'s popularity to other countries: In Denmark, club and radio play followed the single's release, while in Belgium radio play only followed by crossing over from club play, and in the Netherlands radio play was the primary factor in the single's promotion. In Germany, a domestic release came after demand built up from club play through promotional releases from the UK and Italy.[1]

In the United Kingdom, BBC Radio 1 did not play the song on its daytime playlist at first,[2] though Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong did play it for three weeks in a row on his Essential Selection program in 1996. Tong's appointing it Essential Tune of The Week each week for three weeks in a row culminated in a frenzied bidding war amongst UK major record companies.[9] Meanwhile, Kiss FM was among the first to play the song, even using it in one of the station's minute-long television commercials.[1] Still, "Children" reached the number two position on the UK Singles Chart prior to promotion and marketing.[10]

Track listings[edit]

CD single[edit]


  1. "Children" (eat me edit) – 4:03
  2. "Children" (dream radio) – 4:00

CD maxi[edit]

Belgium, Netherlands

  1. "Children" (radio edit) – 3:49
  2. "Children" (dream version) – 7:30
  3. "Children" (original mix) – 7:21


  1. "Children" (eat me edit) – 4:03
  2. "Children" (dream radio) – 4:00
  3. "Children" (dream club version) – 7:34
  4. "Children" (original guitar mix) – 7:16
  5. "Children" (message version) – 6:52


  1. "Children" (dream version) – 7:30
  2. "Children" (original version) – 7:21
  3. "Children" (message version) – 6:50

UK, US, Mexico, Japan, South Africa

  1. "Children" (eat me edit) – 4:00
  2. "Children" (dream version) – 7:30
  3. "Children" (guitar mix) – 7:21
  4. "Children" (message version) – 6:50



  1. "Children" (dream radio) – 4:00
  2. "One and One" – 4:00

12" maxi[edit]


  1. "Children" (dream version) – 7:50
  2. "Children" (original version) – 6:50
  3. "Children" (message version) – 6:50


  1. "Children" – 7:30
  2. "Children" (vocal mix) – 6:50
  3. "Children" (guitar mix) – 7:21


  1. "Children" (full length mix) – 7:30
  2. "Children" (radio edit) – 4:00
  3. "Children" (guitar mix) – 7:21
  4. "Children" (message version) – 6:50


  1. "Children" (eat me edit) – 4:00
  2. "Children" (guitar mix) – 7:21
  3. "Children" (eat me edit) – 4:00
  4. "Children" (guitar mix) – 7:21

Charts and sales[edit]

Chart successions[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
"Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio featuring L.V.
"Macarena" by Los Del Rio
Swiss number-one single
February 18, 1996 – May 5, 1996 (12 weeks)
May 19, 1996 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Macarena" by Los Del Rio
Preceded by
"Spaceman" by Babylon Zoo
Belgian (Wallonia) number-one single
March 23, 1996 – April 13, 1996 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Soirée disco" by Boris
Preceded by
"Spaceman" by Babylon Zoo
Eurochart Hot 100 number-one single
March 23, 1996 – June 21, 1996 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Macarena" by Los Del Rio
Preceded by
"Soirée disco" by Boris
French SNEP number-one single
March 23, 1996 – June 1, 1996 (11 weeks)
Succeeded by
"The X-Files" by Mark Snow
Preceded by
"Firestarter" by The Prodigy
Norwegian VG-Lista number-one single
16/1996 – 20/1996 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Lemon Tree" by Fools Garden
Preceded by
"Firestarter" by The Prodigy
Finnish number-one single
18/1996 – 20/1996 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Until It Sleeps" by Metallica
Preceded by
"California Love" by 2Pac featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman
Swedish number-one single
April 12, 1996 – May 24, 1996 (7 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Until It Sleeps" by Metallica
Preceded by
"Macarena" by Los Del Rio
Austrian number-one single
April 28, 1996 (1 week)
May 12, 1996 – June 9, 1996 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Macarena" by Los Del Rio
"Coco Jamboo" by Mr. President
Preceded by
"America (I Love America)" by Full Intention
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
June 15, 1996 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Wrong" by Everything but the Girl
Preceded by
"Killing Me Softly" by The Fugees
Canadian RPM Dance chart number-one single
June 24, 1996 – July 22, 1996 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Wrong" by Everything but the Girl

Cover versions and samplings[edit]

In 2001, the trance project 4 Clubbers covered the song and it spent two weeks on stage one in the German Dance Charts (number one). The string quartet Escala, most famous notably from Britain's Got Talent, covered the song for their debut album which was released in May 2009. The song also served as inspiration for one of the songs in the video game Garou: Mark of the Wolves, notably the theme of protagonist Rock Howard.

DJ Calvin West released a cover version of the song on March 2, 2011, on Spinnin' Records. On March 28, 2016, Keanu Silva released his cover also on Spinnin' through the SPRS imprint.

On April 20, 2017, Armin Van Buuren premiered at his weekly radio show A State of Trance the new version of the classic, produced by the one and only David Gravell, that, one day later, was released on the label A State of Trance. Also, this track is part of the album A State of Trance 2017 (Mixed by Armin Van Buuren), with tunes from other artists like Gaia, Rodg, Super8 & Tab, Gareth Emery, Orjan Nilsen, First State, MaRLo, etc.

  • Sampling

In 2004, the song was sampled for "Do You Know (I Go Crazy)" by Angel City, reaching number one on the UK Dance Charts. In 2009, it was sampled for "Rollin' (Remix)" on the Kid Cudi mixtape Dat Kid from Cleveland. The song was sampled by Jackie Chain on his upcoming EP Ain't Slept in Weeks for fall 2010 release. The track is also sampled on Natalie Bassingthwaighte's track "Could You Be Loved?", from the album 1000 Stars.

In 2012, the song is sampled in (and forms the basis of) musician Dot Rotten's dubstep and rap single, "Overload",[46] released digitally as a single on June 3.[47] The prominent piano part is present from the beginning of the song and recurs throughout.

In 2015, rapper Tyga sampled the song in his single "Stimulated". In the song, "Children"'s recognizable piano intro is sampled and repeated with the addition of a kick drum. The irony of sampling a song titled "Children" in a rap song defending statutory rape wasn't lost on the general public, due to the controversy the artist is facing dating underage reality television personality Kylie Jenner.

4 Clubbers version[edit]

4Clubbers - Children single.jpg
Single by 4 Clubbers
B-side Remix
Released July 2001
Genre Trance
Length 3:38
Label Dropout
Writer(s) Roberto Concina
4 Clubbers singles chronology

In 2001, German trance group 4 Clubbers remixed the song and released it as a single. It reached the top 20 in Spain and charted in France, Germany, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Children" (Club Radio Edit) – 3:38
  2. "Children" (FB vs. JJ Radio Edit) – 3:28
  3. "Children" (Club Mix) – 9:00
  4. "Children" (Future Breeze vs. Junkfood Junkies Mix) – 7:49

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (2002) Peak
France (SNEP)[48] 72
Germany (Official German Charts)[49] 39
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[50] 47
Spain (AFYVE)[51] 18
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[52] 86
United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company)[53] 45

Jack Holiday and Mike Candys version[edit]

"Children 2012"
Single by Jack Holiday and Mike Candys
from the album Smile
Released 3 February 2012
Format CD
Genre Electro house
Length 3:07
Writer(s) Roberto Concina
Jack Holiday and Mike Candys singles chronology
"Around the World"
"Children 2012"
"2012 (If the World Would End)"

In 2012, Jack Holiday and Mike Candys remixed the song and released it as a single.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Children" (Radio Edit) – 3:07
  2. "Children" (Christopher S Radio Edit) – 3:08
  3. "Children" (Original Higher Level Mix) – 5:00
  4. "Children" (Christopher S Remix) – 5:35
  5. "Children" (Mike'N'Jack Club Mix) – 4:56
  6. "Children" (Steam Loco Mix) – 4:57

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[54] 54
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[55] 22
France (SNEP)[56] 54

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Pride, Dominic; Crouch, John; Spahr, Wolfgang; Dezzani, Mark; Llewellyn, Howell; Maes, Mark; Tilli, Robbert; Strage, Frederick; Ferro, Charles (May 4, 1996), "Miles' 'Children' gives birth to a European craze", Billboard, 108 (18), p. 11, ISSN 0006-2510 
  2. ^ a b "Robert Miles - Biography". S:alt Records. 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-10-18. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  3. ^ Bellos, Alex; Hooper, John (June 2, 1996), "Italy's ravers dance down road to death", The Observer, p. 19 
  4. ^ Dostoyanie Respubliki:

    Мне позвонили (то ли итальянский исполнитель, то ли группа), которые хотели бы использовать мелодию из песни "Напои меня водой" в каком-то семпле там (или что-то такое). Я сказал "да, милости просим, почему нет".
    They phoned me (either an Italian performer, or a group) and they asked me whether they can use the melody from the song "Napoi menia vodoi" in their sample (or something like that). I answered "yes, it's ok, why not".

  5. ^ "Famous Sounds". SynthMania. 2004–2006. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  6. ^ The Very Best of Euphoria (tray insert). Matt Darey. Telstar Records. 2002. 
  7. ^ Zywietz, Tobias (March 22, 2005). "Chart Log UK: Mew - Monty Python". Chart Log UK. The Official Zobbel Website. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  8. ^ Anonymous (June 14, 1996), "Entertainment briefs: Instrumentals crack top 100", St. Petersburg Times, p. 4G 
  9. ^ "Pete Tong's Essential Selection - 26.1.96, 2.2.96, 16.2.96". The Aimless Essential Selection Index. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  10. ^ Sharkey, Alix (March 2, 1996), "Dream on", The Independent, p. 67 
  11. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  12. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  13. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  14. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^ Canadian dance peak
  16. ^ Canadian peak
  17. ^ Billboard April 27, 1996. Billboard. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  18. ^ "Robert Miles: Children" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  19. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children" (in French). Les classement single.
  20. ^ " – Robert Miles Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  21. ^ Irish Single Chart Archived 2009-06-03 at WebCite (Retrieved April 14, 2008)
  22. ^ a b c d e f Billboard (Retrieved July 30, 2008)
  23. ^ Irish Single Chart Oricon website, artist charts info (Retrieved 2 November 2012)
  24. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Robert Miles search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  25. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children". Top 40 Singles.
  26. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children". VG-lista.
  27. ^ "Archive Chart: 1996-02-18". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  28. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children". Singles Top 100.
  29. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children". Swiss Singles Chart.
  30. ^ "Archive Chart: 1996-02-18" UK Dance Chart.
  31. ^ "Archive Chart: 1996-03-23" UK Singles Chart.
  32. ^ 1996 Australian Singles Chart Archived November 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  33. ^ 1996 Austrian Singles Chart (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  34. ^ 1996 Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  35. ^ 1996 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  36. ^ Canada Top 50 Dance Tracks of 1996
  37. ^ 1996 French Singles Chart (Retrieved April 19, 2010)
  38. ^ 1996 Swiss Singles Chart (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  39. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Archived from the original on 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  40. ^ French certifications Archived May 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved July 30, 2008)
  41. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Children')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved July 19, 2008. 
  42. ^ Norwegian certifications Archived June 26, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved July 30, 2008)
  43. ^ Swedish certifications (Retrieved September 11, 2008)
  44. ^ Swiss certifications Archived July 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved July 30, 2008)
  45. ^ UK certifications Archived March 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved September 25, 2008)
  46. ^ "Dot Rotten's sample of Robert Miles's Children". WhoSampled. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  47. ^ "Dot Rotten - Overload ft. TMS (official video)". VEVO. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  48. ^ " – 4 Clubbers – Children" (in French). Les classement single.
  49. ^ " – 4 Clubbers Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  50. ^ " – 4 Clubbers – Children" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  51. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 8480486392. 
  52. ^ " – 4 Clubbers – Children". Swiss Singles Chart.
  53. ^ UK Singles Chart Archived 2012-08-25 at WebCite (Retrieved April 14, 2008)
  54. ^ " – Jack Holiday & Mike Candys – Children 2012" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  55. ^ " – Jack Holiday & Mike Candys – Children 2012" (in French). Ultratip.
  56. ^ " – Jack Holiday & Mike Candys – Children 2012" (in French). Les classement single.