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|Single by James|
|from the album Laid|
|Format||7" single, cassette and CD single|
|Genre||Alternative rock, Britpop|
|Writer(s)||Tim Booth, Larry Gott and Jim Glennie|
|James singles chronology|
"Laid" is the title song from Manchester alternative rock band James' 1993 album Laid. Emotionally evocative and featuring the risqué lyrics "This bed is on fire with passionate love, the neighbours complain about the noises above, but she only comes when she's on top", it quickly gained popularity on American college radio and remains the group's best-known song in the USA. The American release of its music video would, however, go on to replace the ending of its opening lyrics with "she only sings when she's on top" (although Tim Booth is seen to lip-sync the original line, and is accompanied by a subtitle reading "hums"). Today, a number of alternative rock stations, including Boston's RadioBDC, WBOS, Maryland's WRNR-FM, Chicago's WXRT and Philadelphia's WRFF will play "Laid" with the original controversial line.
While the song did chart on the Billboard Hot 100, its initial peak was #61. It made it on to the chart thanks to its cult status as a popular college song, which is what helped it to peak at #3 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. The song was much more successful in the band's native United Kingdom, where it peaked at number 25, becoming another Top 40 hit for the band before it was released in the United States.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s the song gained some additional exposure and popularity when it was used as the theme song for the American Pie films starring Jason Biggs and Seann William Scott. A cover by Matt Nathanson was recorded exclusively for the third film, and was later included on the fourth film's soundtrack. When performed by Matt Nathanson live he often creates a lot of banter over the vocals after the second verse, where he encourages the audience to sing along with him. The seventh installment in the franchise, The Book Of Love, contains a new cover of "Laid" by singer Aidan Hawken; as of 2012, it still has yet to be released on any album or as a single. The eighth film, American Reunion, features the original version by James in the film for the first time in the series' history.
In popular culture
The song was featured at the end of an episode of the second series of E4 show My Mad Fat Diary, the film The To Do List and on an episode of Hindsight. Recently it was featured in Episode 4 of the Netflix Original Series Love. It was also featured in 2003's 'American Wedding as well as its 2012 sequel American Reunion.
"Laid" was also covered by New Orleans alt-rock band Better Than Ezra on their 2005 greatest hits compilation. It has been covered by the Butch Walker-led band 1969 on a hidden track on their album Maya, and has also been covered by Thomas Ian Nicholas (an actor playing Kevin Myers in the American Pie franchise) on his Tnb EP. English band Palma Violets performed a version of the song in July 2015 for The A.V. Club's A.V. Undercover series.
|UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)||25|
|US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks||3|
|US Billboard Hot 100||61|
- Modell, Josh (21 July 2015). "Palma Violets cover James". The A.V. Club. Onion, Inc. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- "Australian-charts.com – James – Laid". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
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