Children (Robert Miles song)

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Single by Robert Miles
from the album Dreamland
B-side Remix
Released 14 November 1995 (Germany)
12 February 1996 (UK)
Format CD single, CD maxi,
12" maxi, cassette
Recorded November 1994[1]
Genre Dream trance, dream house
Length 3:49 (radio edit)
7:21 (original version)
Label Arista (US), Deconstruction (UK), Motor Music (Germany), BMG (Japan)
Producer(s) Miles
Certification Platinum (BPI)
Platinum (Germany)
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 claims similarity between "Children" and Garik Sukachov's song "Napoi menia vodoi", and admits song "Napoi menia vodoi" was written before "Children". Russian singer Garik Sukachov explained that he gave consent on using his melody by Italian counterparties.[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]

Chart performances[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 Deconstruction Records; it was then licensed to more than a dozen additional record labels in Europe through DBX and Deconstruction.[1]

"Children" was a success worldwide peaking at #1 in more than 12 countries and holding that position for several weeks. "Children" reached #1 in the following countries: Austria (6 weeks), Belgium, Denmark, Finland (3 weeks), France (11 weeks), Italy, Norway (5 weeks), Germany, Spain, Sweden (7 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 #1 on the Eurochart Hot 100, reached #2 on the UK[6] staying 17 weeks on the chart, and it reached #21 in the U.S., holding that position for 4 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.[7]

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 promote it through his Essential Selection program, including it as part of the show-opening "Essential Seven" several times at the start of 1996.[8] 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.[9]

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, U.S., 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 1 in the German Dance Charts (#1). 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.


In 2004, the song was sampled for "Do You Know (I Go Crazy)" by Angel City, reaching #1 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 "Aint 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/rap single, "Overload",[45] released digitally as a single on June 3.[46] The prominent piano part is present from the beginning of the song and recurs throughout.

4 Clubbers version[edit]

Single by 4 Clubbers
B-side Remix
Released July 2001
Format CD single, CD maxi
Genre Trance
Length 3:38
Label Dropout
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)[47] 72
Germany (Official German Charts)[48] 39
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[49] 47
Spain (AFYVE)[50] 18
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[51] 86
United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company)[52] 45

Jack Holiday & Mike Candys version[edit]

"Children 2012"
Single by Jack Holiday & Mike Candys
from the album Smile
Released 3 February 2012
Format CD single
Genre Electro house
Length 3:07
Jack Holiday & 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)[53] 54
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[54] 22
France (SNEP)[55] 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): 11, ISSN 0006-2510 
  2. ^ a b "Robert Miles - Biography". S:alt Records. 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  3. ^ Bellos, Alex; Hooper, John (June 2, 1996), "Italy's ravers dance down road to death", The Observer: 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. ^ Zywietz, Tobias (March 22, 2005). "Chart Log UK: Mew - Monty Python". Chart Log UK. The Official Zobbel Website. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  7. ^ Anonymous (June 14, 1996), "Entertainment briefs: Instrumentals crack top 100", St. Petersburg Times: 4G 
  8. ^ "Pete Tong's Essential Selection - 26.1.96, 2.2.96, 16.2.96". The Aimless Essential Selection Index. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 
  9. ^ Sharkey, Alix (March 2, 1996), "Dream on", The Independent: 67 
  10. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  11. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  12. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  13. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  14. ^ Canadian dance peak
  15. ^ Canadian peak
  16. ^ Billboard April 27, 1996. Billboard. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  17. ^ "Robert Miles: Children" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  18. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children" (in French). Les classement single.
  19. ^ " – Robert Miles Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  20. ^ Irish Single Chart (Retrieved April 14, 2008)
  21. ^ Irish Single Chart Oricon website, artist charts info (Retrieved 2 November 2012)
  22. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Robert Miles search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  23. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children". Top 40 Singles.
  24. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children". VG-lista.
  25. ^ "Archive Chart: 1996-02-18". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  26. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children". Singles Top 60.
  27. ^ " – Robert Miles – Children". Swiss Singles Chart.
  28. ^ "Archive Chart: 1996-02-18" UK Dance Chart.
  29. ^ "Archive Chart: 1996-03-23" UK Singles Chart.
  30. ^ a b c d e Billboard (Retrieved July 30, 2008)
  31. ^ 1996 Australian Singles Chart (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  32. ^ 1996 Austrian Singles Chart (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  33. ^ 1996 Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  34. ^ 1996 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  35. ^ Canada Top 50 Dance Tracks of 1996
  36. ^ 1996 French Singles Chart (Retrieved April 19, 2010)
  37. ^ 1996 Swiss Singles Chart (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  38. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  39. ^ French certifications (Retrieved July 30, 2008)
  40. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Children')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved July 19, 2008. 
  41. ^ Norwegian certifications (Retrieved July 30, 2008)
  42. ^ Swedish certifications (Retrieved September 11, 2008)
  43. ^ Swiss certifications (Retrieved July 30, 2008)
  44. ^ UK certifications (Retrieved September 25, 2008)
  45. ^ "Dot Rotten's sample of Robert Miles's Children". WhoSampled. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  46. ^ "Dot Rotten - Overload ft. TMS (official video)". VEVO. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  47. ^ " – 4 Clubbers – Children" (in French). Les classement single.
  48. ^ " – 4 Clubbers Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  49. ^ " – 4 Clubbers – Children" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  50. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 8480486392. 
  51. ^ " – 4 Clubbers – Children". Swiss Singles Chart.
  52. ^ UK Singles Chart (Retrieved April 14, 2008)
  53. ^ " – Jack Holiday & Mike Candys – Children 2012" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  54. ^ " – Jack Holiday & Mike Candys – Children 2012" (in French). Ultratip.
  55. ^ " – Jack Holiday & Mike Candys – Children 2012" (in French). Les classement single.