Empire (Kasabian song)

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Empire single.jpg
CD cover
Single by Kasabian
from the album Empire
B-side "Black Whistler", "Ketang"
Released 24 July 2006
Format CD, 10", DVD
Genre Indie rock, psychedelic rock, electronic rock
Length 3:53 (album version)
3:24 (single version)
Label RCA
Writer(s) Sergio Pizzorno, Chris Karloff
Producer(s) Jim Abbiss, Kasabian
Kasabian singles chronology
"Club Foot (reissue)"
"Shoot the Runner"
Alternative cover
DVD and 10" cover

"Empire" is a song by English rock band Kasabian and is the title track for their second album, Empire. It was released 24 July 2006 as the lead single from that album on CD (see 2006 in British music). The single became popular immediately, entering the UK Singles Chart at #9, its peak position, making it the band's third UK Top 10 single. It was still in the charts in 2007, at #65 before dropping off later in January. On 21 August 2006, 10" and DVD versions of the single were released.

The song was available as a pre-order on the band's website which also included a free download of their cover of David Bowie's "Heroes", which was used for ITV's coverage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. It was also used during series 9 of Top Gear. The album version of the song features backing vocals from Joana Glaza, lead singer of Joana and the Wolf.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Empire" was directed by W.I.Z. with casting by Sorin Tarau, and featured on the DVD single. It portrays the members of Kasabian as troopers of the 11th Hussars Regiment (of the famed Charge of the Light Brigade) during the Crimean War. The video was shot on location outside Bucharest.

The video features the general sitting at the table with a bottle of John Courage beer.

Matching the strong anti-war message of the song, the "Empire" video presents a look of fiery death and destruction caused by the war. The video opens with a boy messenger delivering a message to the band, stationed on the frontlines (a reference to the band's second single "Shoot the Runner"). The boy is shot by an unseen attacker and killed. The band decides to remove itself from the front line and head back to the generals' station while passing their regiment which is disembarking for an attack. After the firing squad refuses to shoot the last survivor of the band (Tom), the commanding officer steps in and shoots him for refusing to enter the battlefield. The video closes with a sardonic use of the Latin phrase, Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori (roughly translated into English as: "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country."), well known as part of the famous anti-war poem written by First World War soldier Wilfred Owen. It also bears some similarity to the famous novels and TV series; Sharpe.

The beginning of the album title track for Empire has a recording that was left on one of the band members mobile phone answering service. Currently the person is unknown and seems to have mis-dialed accidentally calling the band member and leaving a very strange message; so strange and incoherent that the band felt it should be included in the track. The message goes something like "This is a call Tom at (Nowkay?) Avenue; I just wanna log on when he tells me, okay?"

Track listings[edit]

  • 2-track CD PARADISE36 / 828768770627
  1. "Empire" – 3:24
  2. "Black Whistler" – 3:40
  • 10" PARADISE40 / 828768873816
  1. "Empire" (Single Edit) – 3:24
  2. "Empire" (Jagz Kooner Remix)
  • DVD PARADISE41 / 828768873892
  1. "Empire" – 3:24
  2. "Ketang" – 2:12
  3. "Empire" (EPK video) – 9:44
  • Download
  1. "Heroes" (David Bowie, Brian Eno) – 2:30

External links[edit]