Misery Business

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"Misery Business"
Misery Business-Paramore single.jpg
CD single cover art
Single by Paramore
from the album Riot!
ReleasedJune 4, 2007
StudioThe House of Loud
(New Jersey)
LabelFueled by Ramen
Producer(s)David Bendeth
Paramore singles chronology
"All We Know"
"Misery Business"
Alternative cover
iTunes download 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). The song impacted radio on May 22, 2007.[6] "Misery Business" peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 26 (for the week of January 12, 2008), 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 with more than 20,000 copies created within less than a year of the song's debut. It also succeeded 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.[7][8][9] 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.[10]

On September 7, 2018, Hayley Williams announced during a concert that the band will play the song "for the last time for a really long time", mainly due to a line from the second verse that was deemed sexist and anti-feminist.[11]


The phrase, "Misery Business", was first heard in 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.[12] However, on the band's blog, Williams claims the song was written about a past experience involving a male friend who 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".[13] Later, Williams addressed the lyrics in the chorus:

But God does it feel so good
'Cause I got him where I want him now
And if you could then you know you would
'Cause God it just feels so
It just feels so good

Williams joked on Twitter on May 27, 2013, that it was about London's Heathrow Airport.[14]

Chart performance[edit]

At the time of the release of "Misery Business", Paramore was a guest on MTV's "Discover and Download" which gave the band time in the spotlight to reach out and explain the purpose of their album and how they wish to see it grow. This song 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. It was 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 whereas Ain't It Fun never succeeded on alternative radio due to the band's change of style as well as not having the staying power "Misery Business" had, despite charting higher; leaving "Misery Business" as 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.[15][16] It has sold 2,464,000 copies in the US as of June 18, 2014.[17]

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 and has cut scenes of Paramore performing the song with an assortment of "RIOT!"s (a reference to the album's name) in the background all throughout the video. At the same time, a girl (Amy Paffrath),[18][19] presumably the "whore" as subject in the song, ensues terror onto students at a high school. She pushes aside cheerleaders, cuts off another girl's braid, further injures a boy in an arm sling, and ruins a relationship between a couple by kissing the boy right in front of the girl. In the end, the band members themselves confront her and Williams gives her a taste of her own medicine by taking out her chicken fillets and wiping the make-up off her face, thus revealing the girl's true identity and putting an end to her egotistical reign at the high school.

As of November 2020, the song has 200 million views on YouTube.

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."[20]

Fueled by Ramen (FBR+) also released an alternate cut of the video that removes the high school clips and features only performance segments.[12]

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.

US/Europe CD single
1."Misery Business"3:18
2."Stop This Song (Love Sick Melody)"3:23
Vinyl 1
1."Misery Business"3:18
2."My Hero" (Electronic Mix) (Foo Fighters cover)3:39
Vinyl 2
1."Misery Business"3:18
2."Sunday Bloody Sunday" (U2 Cover)4:20
Vinyl Disc
1."Misery Business" 
2."This Circle" 

Charts and certifications[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In various media[edit]


Other references[edit]

Release history[edit]

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


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  2. ^ "20 Essential Pop Punk Tracks Everyone Should Know". NME. June 2, 2011. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
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  4. ^ "Paramore Announce 2017 North America Tour - Audio Ink Radio". audioinkradio.com. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
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  10. ^ a b "American single certifications – Paramore – Misery Business". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 15, 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  11. ^ "Paramore will no longer perform Misery Business live due to slut-shaming lyrics". Metro. September 10, 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  12. ^ a b "FBR+". fbrplus. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2008.
  13. ^ "redemption. it's a long story". paramoreband.livejournal. Retrieved October 12, 2007.
  14. ^ Hayley from Paramore [@yelyahwilliams] (May 27, 2013). "Misery Business was written about the London Heathrow airport" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  15. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - March 29, 2013". RIAA. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  16. ^ Grein, Paul (December 22, 2010). "Week Ending Dec. 19, 2010: Michael Wouldn't Have Liked This | Chart Watch - Yahoo! Music". New.music.yahoo.com. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  17. ^ Grein, Paul (June 18, 2014). "Chart Watch: PSY & Snoop Attack Your Brain Cells". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  18. ^ "GETTING DIRTY WITH AMY PAFFRATH". Hydrogen Mag. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  19. ^ Paffrath, Amy [@amypaffrath] (May 16, 2018). "It was SOOOOO much fun! One of my first big jobs. I LOVE their music. Still a huge fan. Xo" (Tweet). Retrieved December 3, 2019 – via Twitter.
  20. ^ "Kerrang Awards 2007: The Winners". Digital Spy. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
  21. ^ "ARIA Report Issue 910 - August 13, 2007" ARIA Top 100 Singles. National Library of Australia. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
  22. ^ "Paramore Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
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  25. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Paramore – Misery Business". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  26. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 8, 2008" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  27. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  28. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  29. ^ "Paramore Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  30. ^ "Paramore Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  31. ^ "Paramore Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  32. ^ "Paramore Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  33. ^ "Alternative Songs - Year-End 2007". Billboard. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  34. ^ "British single certifications – Paramore – Misery Business". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 3, 2020. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Misery Business in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  35. ^ "Music from Degrassi: The Next Generation". AllMusic. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  36. ^ Lee Wilson. "Top 5 Best Paramore Songs". Redbull. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  37. ^ "THQ Unveils Saints Row 2's Complete Soundtrack". Kyle Stallock. October 7, 2008. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  38. ^ "NHL 08 Soundtrack Review". soundcentral.wordpress. January 10, 2008. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  39. ^ paramoreband (paramoreband) wrote, April 23, 2008 21:26:00 (April 23, 2008). "paramoreband: ]M[etal as ]H[ell". Paramoreband.livejournal.com. Retrieved March 29, 2013.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  40. ^ "Misery Business". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2011.

External links[edit]