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Give It All

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"Give It All"
Cover art for the single "Give It All" by Rise Against.
Single by Rise Against
from the album Siren Song of the Counter Culture
ReleasedOctober 12, 2004
StudioPlumper Mountain Sound
(Gibsons, British Columbia)
The Warehouse Studio
(Vancouver, British Columbia)
GenreHardcore punk
Songwriter(s)Rise Against
Producer(s)Garth Richardson
Rise Against singles chronology
"Give It All"
"Swing Life Away"

"Give It All" is a song by American rock band Rise Against. It was originally recorded for the 2004 compilation album Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1, while a slightly altered version appeared on the band's third studio album Siren Song of the Counter Culture later that year. It is a hardcore punk song, with lyrics that are about "being a punk rocker in today's world," according to lead vocalist Tim McIlrath. It was released as Siren Song of the Counter Culture's first single in October 2004.

Despite receiving minimal coverage from music critics who reviewed Siren Song of the Counter Culture, "Give It All" has become one of Rise Against's most widely recognized songs, and is credited as the band's breakthrough single. It has been featured on multiple lists of the best Rise Against songs, and peaked at number thirty-seven on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. The accompanying music video has the band perform in a crowded subway car, while other people travel throughout the city of Chicago vandalizing and defacing billboards and posters, with the intention of raising social and political awareness.

Background and composition[edit]

After spending several years as an underground band,[1] in which they released two albums with Fat Wreck Chords, Rise Against signed a recording contract with Geffen Records in 2003.[a][4] This deal was criticized by some fans, who felt that a major record label would hinder the band's creative process and negatively impact their music.[4] The first song the band released following their signing to Geffen was "Give It All", which was featured on the 2004 compilation album Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1.[b][6] The band liked the song, and decided to record a slightly altered version for their third studio album Siren Song of the Counter Culture later that year.[6]

"Give It All" is a short hardcore punk track,[7] with a fast pace and a slow bridge, and in the key of A major (although the verses, pre-chorus, and bridge start with F-sharp minor). Lead vocalist Tim McIlrath commented that the song is "kind of a punk rock anthem about being a punk rocker in today’s world; like what being a human being in today’s world is like."[8] Scott Heisel of felt that the Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1 version maintained the band's distinctive sound, and signing to a major record label had not changed the band's music.[9] Davey Boy of Sputnikmusic noted that the Siren Song of the Counter Culture version reminded him of a harder version of songs by the Offspring, and that it was controlled enough to appeal to casual rock fans.[7]

Reception and legacy[edit]

"Give It All" began playing on radio stations in October 2004,[10] as the first single from Siren Song of the Counter Culture.[11] Commercially, "Give It All" became the first Rise Against song to reach the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, peaking at number thirty-seven on January 1, 2005.[12]

Upon the release of Siren Song of the Counter Culture, "Give It All" received almost no coverage from music critics who reviewed the album,[13] aside from Justin Donnelly of Blistering, who described the piece as "a little generic and forgettable".[14] Despite the lack of coverage, it has become one of the band's most widely recognized songs,[15] and John J. Moser of The Morning Call credits it as Rise Against's breakthrough single.[16] Dave Kim of WGRD-FM listed "Give It All" as the fourth best Rise Against song,[17] while listed it as the band's best song.[15] also ranked it as number ten on their list of the ten decade defining hard rock and heavy metal songs of the 2000s.[1]

Music video[edit]

In the music video, Rise Against performs the song inside a crowded subway car.

The accompanying music video was directed by James Cox, and filmed in Chicago.[18] In the video, Rise Against performs inside a subway car on the Chicago "L". Passengers begin boarding the car in large quantities, and engage in a mosh pit, while the band continues to perform.[17] Simultaneously, other passengers leave the car and travel throughout the city at night, vandalizing and defacing billboards and posters with the intention of raising social and political awareness. In the morning, the vandals change into suits, and go to work.[17]

The band was given a small budget to film the music video.[18] McIlrath remarked that the band did not want to make a video that felt "really cheesy or overproduced", and instead wanted to incorporate the song's message.[8] The night before filming began, the band performed at a local venue, and asked the audience members to star in the video; several audience members came the following day.[18] The subway car featured in the video continued to make its regular stops, while the band and the actors performed.[18] During one scene in the video, the vandals sneak into the local zoo, and deface a tiger cage with a sticker that says "I've spent my entire life trapped in a cage". The zoo had not given permission for the band to film the tiger cage, out of fear it would damage their reputation. The filming crew chose to instead sneak into the zoo at night to film the scene.[19]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Siren Song of the Counter Culture.[20]


Chart (2005) Peak
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[12] 37



  1. ^ Rise Against had originally signed with DreamWorks Records in 2003,[2] but when DreamWorks Records folded into Geffen Records, the band was forced to switch labels.[3]
  2. ^ The Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1 version also appears on the 2013 compilation album Long Forgotten Songs: B-Sides & Covers 2000–2013.[5]


  1. ^ a b Crilly-Mckean, Alex. "Top 10 Decade Defining Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Songs: 2000s". Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  2. ^ White, Adam (September 10, 2003). "Rise Against Signs To Dreamworks". Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  3. ^ Sculley, Alan (November 16, 2006). "Entertainment: Rising Stars / Rise Against Joins Thursday At Showboat's House Of Blues". The Press of Atlantic City. Pleasantville, New Jersey. p. 19.
  4. ^ a b Donnelly, Justin. "Rise Against". Blistering. p. 1. Archived from the original on November 20, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  5. ^ Childers, Chad (October 25, 2013). "Enter to Win a Rise Against Prize Pack + Check Out the 'Long Forgotten Songs' Album Sampler". Loudwire. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Rosen, Steven (November 11, 2014). "Tim McIlrath: 'I Never Had a Very Careerist Attitude Towards Rise Against's Music and Message'". Ultimate Guitar Archive. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Boy, Davey (June 16, 2008). "Review: Rise Against – Siren Song of the Counter Culture". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Gorman, Bobby (April 14, 2005). "Rise Against". The Punk Site. Archived from the original on April 7, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  9. ^ Heisel, Scott (April 20, 2004). "Rock Against Bush Vol 1 (2004)". Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  10. ^ "FMQB Airplay Archive: Modern Rock". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Incorporated. Archived from the original on March 22, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  11. ^ "Give It All" (CD single)|format= requires |url= (help) (Media notes). Rise Against. Geffen Records. 2004. |access-date= requires |url= (help)CS1 maint: others (link)
  12. ^ a b "Rise Against Album & Song Chart History – Alternative Songs". Billboard. p. 2. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  13. ^ Reviews that did not assess “Give It All” in a critical manner include:
  14. ^ Donnelly, Justin. "Rise Against - Siren Song Of The Counter Culture (Geffen Records)". Blistering. Archived from the original on April 17, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Stuhr, Brandon. "Top 10 Rise Against Songs". Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  16. ^ Moser, John J. (October 2, 2014). "Review: Rise Against at Tower Theatre shows it's far more than hardcore". The Morning Call. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  17. ^ a b c Kim, Dave (September 23, 2012). "10 Best Rise Against Songs". WGRD-FM. Archived from the original on March 11, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  18. ^ a b c d Garner, George (February 15, 2015). "The Ultimate Rise Against Videography". Kerrang!. Archived from the original (select Give It All slide) on April 7, 2016. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  19. ^ Paul, Aubin (December 8, 2006). "Interviews: Tim McIlrath (Rise Against)". Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  20. ^ Siren Song of the Counter Culture (liner notes). Rise Against. Geffen Records. 2004.CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]