Misery Business

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"Misery Business"
Single by Paramore
from the album Riot!
B-side "Stop This Song (Lovesick Melody)"
"My Hero"
"Sunday Bloody Sunday"
Released July 15, 2007
Recorded 2007; The House of Loud
(New Jersey)
Length 3:31
Label Fueled by Ramen
Producer(s) David Bendeth
Certification 3x Platinum (RIAA)[1]
Paramore singles chronology
"All We Know"
"Misery Business"
Alternative cover
iTunes download cover

"Misery Business" is a song by American rock band Paramore and serves as the lead single from their second studio album, Riot! (2007). It peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 26, making it the band's highest-charting single until "Ain't It Fun" reached No. 10 in 2014. It also peaked at No. 3 on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart. "Misery Business" was the group's first charting single in the UK, and was a success in many countries including Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. The song is considered the band's "breakthrough" hit and is crediting with introducing the band to a mainstream audience.[2][3][4] The video for "Misery Business" was the third to be directed by Shane Drake for the band, and Alternative Press named "Misery Business" the Video of the Year in 2007.

On July 25, 2015, the song was certified triple-platinum in the United States, the first of the band's songs to have sold three million units.[1]


The phrase, "Misery Business", was first heard on a Stephen King adaptation psycho-thriller film, Misery (1990).

The origin of the song is ambiguous with Williams giving conflicting explanations. The Fueled by Ramen website reports that Williams wrote the song based on feedback the band received after a question she posted on the band's LiveJournal asking what people were ashamed of.[5] However, on the band's blog, Williams claims the song was written about a past experience involving a male friend whom she felt was being manipulated by a girl, and later on when Williams and her friend began to date, she penned the lyrics to "finally explain my side of the story and feel freed of it all".[6] Later, Williams addressed the lyrics in the chorus:

Williams joked on Twitter on May 27, 2013, that it was about London's Heathrow Airport.[7]

Chart performance[edit]

"Misery Business" is the group's first single to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart. During the week of June 25, 2007, it debuted at #99 on the chart and reached #75 two weeks later before dropping off the chart in the following week. Due to increased digital downloads during the month of August 2007, it re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 during the chart week of September 6, 2007 at #34. It reached its peak position of #26 during the chart week of January 12, 2008, making it the band's highest-charting single at that time, prior to the release of "Ain't It Fun" in 2014, but "Misery Business" still remains the band's most-played song on the radio to date and more crossover success whereas Ain't It Fun never made a success to alternative radio stations due to the band's change of style and it didn't stay as long as "Misery Business" on the charts despite charting higher still leading "Misery Business" to be their most popular song to date. It peaked at #3 on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart. It also attained moderate crossover success, reaching #12 on Pop Songs chart and #31 on Adult Pop Songs chart. The song was certified Platinum in the U.S on September 17, 2008, with over 1,000,000 digital downloads. In December 2010 the song topped the two million mark in paid downloads.[8][9] It has sold 2,464,000 copies in the US as of June 18, 2014.[10]

The single was re-released in the UK Accorto Record Store on February 11, 2008 and included three vinyl records. To date, it has peaked at #17 on the UK Singles Chart. It is also the group's first charting single in the UK. It was a success in many countries including Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and others. It debuted on the Dutch Top 40 peaking at #28 and in Finland at #23.

In 2009, the song was certified Platinum in Australia. Selling over 15,000 copies in New Zealand, the song was certified Gold on February 1, 2008, with the shipment of over 7,500 copies.

Music video[edit]

The music video was filmed at Reseda High School in Reseda, California. Directed by Shane Drake, who also directed Paramore's videos for "Pressure" and "Emergency", it features a band performance at a school.

The video starts out with the band playing the song with an assortment of "RIOT!"s (a reference to the album's name) in the background. It switches to the band playing at a high school, where a girl in a blue dress and heavy makeup walks in. She pushes the school cheerleaders aside as she walks into the hallway and cuts off another girl's braid with scissors, showing it to her. Later, as she is walking down the hall, a boy comes out of the nurse's office, his arm in a sling. She proceeds to push him into the wall, further injuring him. The band continues to play, and the girl walks up on a girl and a boy together who are obviously in love. She pushes the girl's face out of the way and passionately kisses the boy. She then leaves, grinning smugly. It switches, again, to the band playing, then the band comes out of a classroom together. Hayley Williams and the girl confront each other in the hall. Williams reaches into the girl's bra and pulls out false pads, then uses a towel to wipe the girl's makeup off, exposing her for what she is. The video ends as the band finishes the song; and they walk away as drummer Zac Farro taunts her as the girl breaks down, humiliated.

The video was nominated for the "Best Video" award at the Kerrang! Awards 2007 but lost to Fall Out Boy's "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race."[11]

Fueled By Ramen (FBR+) also released an alternate cut of the video that removes the high school clips and features only performance segments.[5]

Track listings[edit]

A CD and two 7" singles were released in the UK on June 18, 2008. The CD single features a new song, "Stop This Song (Love Sick Melody)", and the two vinyls feature two covers: an electronic remix of "My Hero" by the Foo Fighters, and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2.

U.S. CD single
No. Title Length
1. "Misery Business"   3:18
2. "Stop This Song (Love Sick Melody)"   3:23
Australian CD single
No. Title Length
1. "Misery Business"   3:18
2. "My Hero" (Electronic Mix) (Foo Fighters cover) 3:39
3. "Stop This Song (Love Sick Melody)"   3:23
Vinyl 1
No. Title Length
1. "Misery Business"   3:18
2. "My Hero" (Electronic Mix) (Foo Fighters cover) 3:39
Vinyl 2
No. Title Length
1. "Misery Business"   3:18
2. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (U2 Cover) 4:20
Vinyl Disc
No. Title Length
1. "Misery Business"    
2. "This Circle"    

Release history[edit]

Country Date Version
United States July 10, 2007 Original
Ireland January 6, 2008 Re-release
United Kingdom


Chart (2007–08) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[12] 65
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[13] 67
Germany (Official German Charts)[14] 79
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[15] 28
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[16] 17
US Billboard Hot 100[17] 26
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[18] 31
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[19] 3
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[20] 12


Country Certification
(sales thresholds)
United Kingdom Silver[21] 200,000
United States 3x Platinum[1] 3,000,000[1]

In popular culture[edit]

In various media[edit]


Other references[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "RIAA". RIAA. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  2. ^ Haruch, Steve. "Paramore broke the Nashville Curse and never looked back". Nashville Scene. SouthComm Communications. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Maura. "Paramore Hold On To Their Smarts". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Cantor, Brian. "Chart Story: Paramore's "Ain't It Fun", MKTO's "Classic" Enter Top 50". Headline Planet. Cantortainment. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "FBR+". fbrplus.com. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  6. ^ "redemption. it's a long story.". paramoreband.livejournal.com. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  7. ^ "Hayley Williams tweet".  Hayley from Paramore @yelyahwilliams Misery Business was written about the London Heathrow airport
  8. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - March 29, 2013". RIAA. Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  9. ^ Grein, Paul (2010-12-22). "Week Ending Dec. 19, 2010: Michael Wouldn’t Have Liked This | Chart Watch - Yahoo! Music". New.music.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  10. ^ Grein, Paul (June 18, 2014). "Chart Watch: PSY & Snoop Attack Your Brain Cells". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Kerrang Awards 2007: The Winners". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  12. ^ "ARIA Report Issue 910 - August 13, 2007" ARIA Top 100 Singles. National Library of Australia. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
  13. ^ "Paramore – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Paramore. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Paramore – Misery Business". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 8, 2008" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  16. ^ "Archive Chart: 2008-02-23" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  17. ^ "Paramore – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Paramore. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  18. ^ "Paramore – Chart history" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Paramore. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  19. ^ "Paramore – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for Paramore. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  20. ^ "Paramore – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Paramore. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  21. ^ "Gold and Platinum Database - Paramore". bpi.co.uk. Retrieved 2008. 
  22. ^ "THQ Unveils Saints Row 2's Complete Soundtrack". Kyle Stallock. 10/07/2008. Retrieved 2008-11-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  23. ^ paramoreband (paramoreband) wrote, 2008-04-23 21:26:00 (2008-04-23). "paramoreband: ]M[etal as ]H[ell". Paramoreband.livejournal.com. Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  24. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]