Cuts You Up

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"Cuts You Up"
Peter murphy cuts uk.jpg
Single by Peter Murphy
from the album Deep
Released01/1990
Format
GenreAlternative rock
Length5:24 (album version)
4:13 (radio edit)
LabelBeggars Banquet
Songwriter(s)
  • Peter Murphy
  • Paul Statham
Producer(s)Simon Rogers
Peter Murphy singles chronology
"The Line Between the Devil's Teeth (And That Which Cannot Be Repeat)"
(1989)
"Cuts You Up"
(1990)
"A Strange Kind of Love"
(1990)

"Cuts You Up" is a song by English musician Peter Murphy, from his third solo studio album, Deep (1989). It was released as a single in 1990 through Beggars Banquet Records. The song became Murphy's most successful release, topping at Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, as well as charting on Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks charts.

The live versions of the song appear in on the b-side of "You're So Close" (1992) single and Alive Just for Love live album, released in 2001.[1]

Background and recording[edit]

"Cuts You Up" features a melodic violin line over a bed of acoustic guitars, keyboards, percussion, and bass guitar.[2] Peter Murphy described the song as "having a very driving, acoustic quality to it and lots of sort of hooky, melodic overtones to it with a not-so-straight lyric." Producer Simon Rogers stated that "Murphy brought the song to the sessions in more-or-less its final form," describing it as "pretty much exactly like the demo."[1]

Murphy also visualized the violin part that runs through the performance and used a sample. Rogers recruited a viola player to play the line. Nevertheless, he wasn't satisfied with the live recording of the strings, stating that "it didn't have the atmosphere and was too moody." The sample was eventually retained for the finished release.[1]

Reception[edit]

Commercial[edit]

"Cuts You Up" was the second single from the record. It became a modern rock hit in United States in 1990, spending seven weeks at the top of the Modern Rock Tracks charts. It also charted on Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks, peaking at number 55 and number 10, respectively.[3] The single also sold over 250,000 copies in three weeks.[1] Following its success, Deep reached number 44 on the Billboard 200 album chart.[3]

Acclaim[edit]

Ned Raggett of Allmusic described the song as "a love song with solid energy and an inspired vocal" and "a perfect calling card for the album as a whole."[4] Allmusic staff editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine also labeled the song as "Bowie-esque."[3]

Annie Zaleski of Billboard.com described the song as "striking and mysterious" and "Lyrically, the song is poetic and elliptical, with vague references to something profoundly transformative that provokes soul-searching."[5]

The track was listed as number 9 on Billboard's Greatest of All Time Alternative Songs chart.[6][7]

The track was also featured as number 40 on PopMatters' "The 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the ‘80s" list.[8]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Cuts You Up" (Edit)4:13
2."Roll Call (Reprise)"8:20
3."Cuts You Up"5:24
4."A Strange Kind of Love" (Version II)5:20

Personnel[edit]

The Hundred Men
  • Terl Bryant – drums, percussion
  • Eddie Branch – bass
  • Paul Statham – guitar, keyboards
  • Peter Bonas – guitar
Technical personnel
  • Simon Rogers – production, acoustic guitar; mixing (2-4)
  • Ian Grimble – engineering
  • Steve Rooke – mastering
  • Alastair Johnson – recording
  • Roland Herrington – recording
  • Nick Rogers – mixing (1)

Chart performances[edit]

Chart (1990) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 55
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[10] 1
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[11] 10

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Thompson, Dave. "Peter Murphy - Cuts You Up". Allmusic. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Peter Murphy - Deep". CD Review. 6 (7–12): 180. 1990.
  3. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Peter Murphy". Allmusic. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  4. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Peter Murphy - Deep". Allmusic. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  5. ^ Annie Zaleski (October 12, 2018). "Why Peter Murphy's 'Cuts You Up' Was One of the Biggest Alternative Hits of the Pre-'Nevermind' '90s". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Greatest of All Time Alternative Songs". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  7. ^ Annie Zaleski (October 12, 2018). "Why Peter Murphy's 'Cuts You Up' Was One of the Biggest Alternative Hits of the Pre-'Nevermind' '90s". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved 14 October 2018. When flashing back to the idea of '90s alternative, one song that might not come immediately to mind is Peter Murphy's "Cuts You Up." However, the second single from the ex-Bauhaus frontman's 1989 album Deep was a massive hit. "Cuts You Up" spent seven weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart (then called Modern Rock Tracks) starting in February 1990 -- back when the chart was still in its very early days -- and ended up ranked No. 9 on Billboard's all-time Alternative Songs chart.
  8. ^ Gerard, Chris (October 1, 2015). "The 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the '80s". PopMatters. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  9. ^ "Peter Murphy - Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Peter Murphy - Modern Rock Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Peter Murphy - Mainstream Rock Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 14 April 2014.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]