Lightning Bolt (song)

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"Lightning Bolt"
LightningBoltsong.jpg
Single by Jake Bugg
from the album Jake Bugg
Released 27 April 2012
Format Digital download
Recorded 2011
Genre Indie folk, skiffle[1]
Length 2:23
Label Mercury Records
Songwriter(s) Iain Archer, Jake Bugg
Producer(s) Iain Archer
Jake Bugg singles chronology
"Country Song"
(2012)
"Lightning Bolt"
(2012)
"Taste It"
(2012)
"Country Song"
(2012)
"Lightning Bolt"
(2012)
"Taste It"
(2012)

"Lightning Bolt" is a song by English singer-songwriter Jake Bugg. It was released on 27 April 2012 in the United Kingdom via digital download, the third from his self-titled debut studio album Jake Bugg (2012).

Released as a single on 24 December 2012,[2] it reached No. 26 in the UK Singles Chart in the week beginning 13 January 2013. It was Bugg's first UK Top 40 single and remains one of his biggest hits and more recognisable songs.

Style and content[edit]

The "Lightning bolt" of the title represents a sudden and unexpected situation in which the singer finds himself, a burst of fortunate events. The chorus describes the singer as someone who takes everything that has been put on his plate for him, he doesn't force it "I just stand by and I wait my time". But he will take the chance when it comes his way "when I see the signs I jump on that lightning bolt". He doesn't want to be one of those people who "walk with gritted teeth", "toe the line", the ones who don't take chances and believe there aren't any answers.

The lightning bolt could also represent love at first sight:

"Met her as the angels parted for her
She only brought me torture
That’s what happens
When it’s you that's standing in the path of a lightning bolt."

So by "taking chances" the listener could assume he means "taking chances in love".

The song has been described as "reminiscent of early Beatles hits"[3] and as "was likened to Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash and early Dylan."[4] Writing for the Sabotage Times, Joe Mardon said:

It chugs along with a quick acoustic beat matched by an instantly classic vocal delivery of fast paced lyrics, recalling "Subterranean Homesick Blues". You know straight away that Bugg's got something and repeat the song, twice last night, a further three times this morning. The smile returns every time.

Quick research reveals that Jake Bugg, bred on one of the UK's largest council estates in Nottingham, has only just turned eighteen. It's a fact that is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

He's a wordsmith in the Dylan sense of the word, painting pictures of the estate he grew up in, and the hope of getting out.[5]

Music video[edit]

An accompanying music video, lasting two minutes and thirty seconds, was first released on YouTube on 18 May 2012. By September 2017 it had received over 15 million hits.[6]

The video was shot in Amsterdam, Netherlands, with some scenes in Brussels, Belgium, and was directed by Michael Holyk, who also directed the video for Bugg's "Trouble Town".[7]

In popular culture[edit]

The song gained prominence in the UK after it was used as the backing-track to a recording of the 100m win by Usain Bolt at the 2012 London Olympics.[8] Interviewed in October 2012 on BBC Radio Nottingham, Bugg confirmed that the song "had no relevance to the Olympics", but that he thought "it was great that they used it".[9]

In April 2013 Bugg performed the song live at the offices of Billboard'[10]

Track listings[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Lightning Bolt" 2:23

Musicians[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom 27 April 2012[18] Digital download Mercury Records
United States 19 March 2013[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nicolson, Barry (12 October 2012). "Jake Bugg - 'Jake Bugg'". NME.com. IPC Media Entertainment. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Pithers, Ellie (24 December 2012). "Jake Bugg interview: 'I’ve achieved what I wanted to'". Telegraph. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Kaitlin Ebersol (14 March 2014). "Simple As This: Is Jake Bugg the New Bob Dylan?". Highbrow Magazine. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Nick Duerden (21 July 2012). "Jake Bugg: The Simpsons, Bob Dylan and me". The Independent. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  5. ^ Joe Mardon (22 October 2012). "Jake Bugg: The Council Estate Dylan Who Just Topped The Charts". Sabotage Times. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "Jake Bugg - Lightning Bolt - Official Video". YouTube. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  7. ^ Wilson, Jared. "Jake Bugg's Music Video Director Michael Holyk - LeftLion". leftlion.co.uk. Retrieved 5 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "Jake Bugg". Tone Deaf. 30 July 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  9. ^ beatvisuals (13 October 2012). "Jake Bugg - Lightning Bolt & Two Fingers". YouTube. Retrieved 5 October 2016. 
  10. ^ Gary Trust (19 April 2013). "Jake Bugg's 'Lightning Bolt' Strikes U.S. Charts (Exclusive Video)". Billboard. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Jake Bugg – Lightning Bolt" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  12. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201314 into search. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Jake Bugg – Lightning Bolt" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  14. ^ "Archive Chart: 2013-01-19". Scottish Singles Top 40. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  15. ^ "Archive Chart: 2013-01-19" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  16. ^ "Jake Bugg – Chart history" Billboard Adult Alternative Songs for Jake Bugg. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  17. ^ "Triple A Songs: 2013 (Year-End)". Billboard. Retrieved 13 May 2014. (Subscription required (help)). 
  18. ^ "iTunes - Music - Country Song - Single by Jake Bugg". Itunes.apple.com. Archived from the original on 24 June 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "iTunes - Music - Lightning Bolt - Single by Jake Bugg". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 

External links[edit]