Demons (Imagine Dragons song)

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"Demons"
Imagine Dragons - "Demons" (Official Single Cover).jpg
Single by Imagine Dragons
from the album Night Visions
ReleasedJanuary 28, 2013
FormatDigital download
Recorded2011–12
StudioWestlake Recording Studios (West Hollywood, California)
Length2:57
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Alex da Kid
Imagine Dragons singles chronology
"Hear Me"
(2012)
"Demons"
(2013)
"On Top of the World"
(2013)

"Demons" is a song by American rock band Imagine Dragons. It was written by Imagine Dragons and Alex da Kid, and produced by Alex da Kid. The song appears on their major-label debut extended play Continued Silence and also makes an appearance on their debut studio album Night Visions as the fourth track. "Demons" was solicited to American triple-A radio stations on January 28, 2013 and to modern rock stations on April 1 and serves as the album's overall fifth single and was released as the third single from Night Visions in the United States,[1][2][3] and was later released to contemporary hit radio stations on 17 September 2013 as an official single.[4] The lyrics portray the protagonist warning the significant other of his or her flaws.

The song was a commercial success, becoming their second top ten single after "Radioactive". It spent twelve weeks in the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100, four of which were spent at its number six peak. It is Imagine Dragons' second song to stay more than one year on the Hot 100 (61 weeks). Within two years of its release, more than 4.1 million copies were sold in the United States, making it the eighth most downloaded song in rock history.[5] It has also been a moderate commercial success worldwide, charting in several countries. The song won a MuchMusic Video Award for International Video of the Year – Group (2014) and an iHeartRadio Music Award for Alternative Rock Song of the Year (2014).

Composition[edit]

The song is written in E-flat major with a slow-moderate tempo.[6]

Music video[edit]

An MTV report on the "Demons" music video stated that it would "fit nicely with the artful imagery of 'It's Time' and the thoroughly out-there puppet grappling of 'Radioactive'."[7] Released on May 7, 2013 and shot in Las Vegas, Nevada at the band's performance at The Joint on February 9, 2013, the video features a mix of live footage of the band and a companion narrative.[3] Various characters with personal hardships are depicted, including a grieving daughter, a man with Marfan syndrome who stares at himself in a mirror, a victim of parental abuse and a military veteran.[3][8]The meaning imposed is that most don't see beyond the face that everyone puts on for the public. The clip ends with a dedication to Tyler Robinson (1995–2013), a fan of the band who died at the age of 17 in March 2013 following a battle with cancer.[3]

Cover versions[edit]

Latvian-born American singer Masha covered "Demons" on her YouTube channel. Ryan Seacrest's official website described her cover as "a soulful ballad by replacing the studio version's heavy rock beats with the soft, resonating sound of a piano — showcasing her powerful vocals and truly capturing the powerful meaning behind the cryptic lyrics."

In March 2016, Chris Daughtry and Jencarlos Canela performed a cover of the song during the Fox television special The Passion. It was sung in the story where Judas Iscariot (Daughtry) betrays Jesus (Jencarlos) and gives his reasons, and Jesus seems to be sympathetic to Judas; the lyrics are modified to alternate between first-person and second-person tenses as they sang.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No.TitleLength
1."Demons" (Imagine Dragons Remix)3:16
2."Demons" (KIDinaKORNER Remix)3:19
3."Demons" (Dzeko & Torres Remix)3:51
4."Demons" (Acoustic Live in London)3:07
5."Demons" (Music Video)3:56
US promotional single
No.TitleLength
1."Demons"2:57

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[71] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[72] 8× Platinum 640,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[73] Platinum 30,000^
Germany (BVMI)[74] Platinum 300,000^
Italy (FIMI)[75] 5× Platinum 250,000double-dagger
Mexico (AMPROFON)[76] Platinum+Gold 90,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[77] Platinum 15,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[78] 2× Platinum 20,000*
Sweden (GLF)[79] 4× Platinum 160,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[80] Gold 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[81] Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[82] 5× Platinum 4,606,468[83]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Accolades[edit]

Year Ceremony Award Result
2014 Billboard Music Awards Top Rock Song Nominated
iHeartRadio Music Awards Alternative Rock Song of the Year Won
MTV Video Music Awards Best Rock Video Nominated
MuchMusic Video Awards International Video of the Year – Group Won
Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Nielsen SoundScan United States The 15 Most Downloaded Songs in Rock History[84] 2015 8

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United States January 28, 2013 Adult album alternative radio[85] Interscope Records
April 1, 2013 Modern rock radio[86]
September 16, 2013 Hot adult contemporary radio[87]
September 17, 2013 Contemporary hit radio[88]
Mexico October 22, 2013 Digital download (remixes)[89][90]
  • Interscope Records
  • KIDinaKORNER
United States
Italy November 29, 2013 Contemporary hit radio[91] Universal Music

Personnel[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • J Brownz – additional guitar, additional bass

References[edit]

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