F.E.A.R. (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

F.E.A.R. (Ian Brown single - cover art).jpg
Single by Ian Brown
from the album Music of the Spheres
Released17 September 2001
FormatCD 5", 7", 12"
Songwriter(s)Ian Brown, Dave McCracken, Dave Colquhoun
Ian Brown singles chronology
"Thriller/Billie Jean"

"F.E.A.R." is the first single from Ian Brown's third solo album, Music of the Spheres. Released on 17 September 2001, it placed No. 13 on the UK Singles Chart and was both a commercial and critical success. In late 2002, it won a Muso Award for best single, as voted by his peers in the British music industry. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 67 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[1]


The song incorporates a creative lyric scheme where each verse forms the acrostic "F.E.A.R." (For example, "For each a road" and "Fallen empires are ruling"). In an interview with Clash magazine, Brown indicated that a main influence for "F.E.A.R." was The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which preached the study of etymology, so that one could have "control over people through the use of language." Brown proceeded to create hundreds of acronyms from the word "fear".

Brown revisited the concept in the title of the Solarized track, "Time Is My Everything", which is often abbreviated by with the acronym "T.I.M.E." on concert setlists.

Remixed and instrumental versions of "F.E.A.R." also appeared in the remix album, Remixes of the Spheres. A 30-second clip of the instrumental version appears at the end of the LP version of Music of the Spheres; this is a tribute to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On which also featured a clip of the lead track at the end of the album.

In popular culture[edit]

The song has influenced a fan-made banner on the Stretford End at English football club Manchester United's home stadium Old Trafford. The sign reads "For Everymanc A Religion", a take on the lyric "For everyman a religion". Brown himself is a life-long supporter of Manchester United.

The song appears on the CSI episode "A Night at the Movies" where Nick, Warrick and Sara process the crime scene.

The UNKLE remix of this song is featured in the video game F1 2010.

Track listing[edit]

CD single[edit]

  1. "F.E.A.R." (album version)
  2. "F.E.A.R." (with Dann)[1]
  3. "Hear No See No Speak No"
  4. "F.E.A.R." (CD-ROM video)

7" single[edit]

  1. "F.E.A.R."
  2. "F.E.A.R. (instrumental)"

12" single[edit]

  1. F.E.A.R. (UNKLE remix)

Release details[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalog
United Kingdom 17 September 2001 Polydor CD 587 284-2
United Kingdom 17 September 2001 Polydor 7" 587 284-7
United Kingdom 2001 Polydor CD 5" IBPRO102[2]
Netherlands 2004 white label 12"

Music video[edit]

The music video for "F.E.A.R." marked Brown's directorial debut. It featured footage of the singer slowly riding a bicycle through the busy streets of Soho and Chinatown in London, which was then reversed to give the impression of being ridden backwards. The route followed was from Berwick Street to Gerrard Street.


  • ^ Dann is short for Dan Liebermann.
  • ^ Promotional copy with only one song, "F.E.A.R.".
  • ^ The song was later used as the main soundtrack for The Codemasters game F1 2010 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.


  • "Discogs". Retrieved 17 April 2006.