Number 1 Crush

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"#1 Crush"
Single by Garbage
ReleasedOctober 29, 1996 (1996-10-29)
StudioSmart Studios
(Madison, Wisconsin)
Garbage singles chronology
"#1 Crush"
"Push It"

"#1 Crush" is a song by American rock band Garbage, released internationally as a B-side to their debut single "Vow" (1995), and in the United Kingdom on the B-side to second single "Subhuman" (1995).

In 1996, the track was remixed by Nellee Hooper and Marius de Vries for the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann's modernised William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet film adaptation. The remix of "#1 Crush" peaked at number one on Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Tracks, where it stayed for four weeks, and is Garbage's sole number-one entry on any US singles chart to date. "#1 Crush" was the first of two hit singles from the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack; "Lovefool" by The Cardigans continued the success of the compilation. In 1997, "#1 Crush" was later nominated for Best Song from a Movie at the MTV Movie Awards.

In 2007, the remix of "#1 Crush" was remastered and included on Garbage's greatest hits album Absolute Garbage.[2]

Song information[edit]

"#1 Crush" was written and recorded between March, 1994 and May, 1995 during sessions between band members Duke Erikson, Shirley Manson, Steve Marker and Butch Vig in either Marker's basement recording studio or at their own Smart Studios in Madison.[3] Manson was concerned that listeners wouldn't realise that the song was about a stalker: "It's about somebody who wasn't quite right. The song however were slightly autobiographical. Everybody's felt obsessive about something or somebody in their life. I've felt crazy about somebody before," she explained, "That feeling - usually when you've split up with somebody - when you're absolutely obsessed with what they are doing. It's all to do with being pathetic".[4]

Reflecting on the lyrics, Manson felt, "All real love is a form of obsession. If you love someone more than anything else, that degree of exclusivity requires an abnormal amount of passion and care. And that can be positive," contrasting with the protagonist of "#1 Crush, "It's just that keeping it short of unhealthy, short of violence, really requires a bit of moderation. You can't let something like that take over all of your thought processes".[5] Butch Vig later described "#1 Crush" as "disturbing".[4]

Garbage's debut international single release "Vow" featured "#1 Crush" on the B-side, and was released in Europe, South Africa and Australasia in June 1995. The August re-release for the United Kingdom saw the track order reversed, with accompanying B-side "Subhuman" released in its own right, with "#1 Crush" remaining as its B-side, and "Vow" being added as a CD single bonus track.[6] In Japan, both "#1 Crush" and "Subhuman" were included as bonus tracks on the Japanese pressings of the band's debut album (titled G in Japan).[7] At the end of 1995, BMG France included "#1 Crush" on an album sampler titled Rare Track Collection to give away free with copies of the debut album purchased in Virgin Megastores.

Nellee Hooper remixed "#1 Crush" for inclusion on the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack, working with producers Marius de Vries and Jim Abbiss. In addition to downplaying the guitars and reworking the percussion and synth elements of the song, Hooper added a distorted vocal sample from Madonna's 1995 single "Bedtime Story".[8]


The Romeo + Juliet soundtrack was released in North America on October 29, 1996, ahead of the movie which opened in cinemas on November 1; "#1 Crush" was the album opener, and began to receive airplay at alternative radio.[9] Romeo + Juliet debuted at number 44 on the Billboard 200.[10] A week later "#1 Crush" debuted on the Modern Rock Tracks chart at number 17 and on the Hot 100 Airplay at number 49.[11] The song had received airplay at 71 monitored radio stations across the United States, and had become the driving force behind the soundtrack which shot up to number 12 on the album chart.[11] In its second week, "#1 Crush" broke into the Modern Rock top 10 (at number eight).[12] At the start of 1997, "#1 Crush" hit number one on the Modern Rock chart.[5] The same week, the song reached a peak of number 29 on the airplay chart. Because "#1 Crush" was an album cut, and would not be commercially available as a domestic single, it was ineligible to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.[11] Due to the song's runaway success, Garbage contemplated filming a music video for it.[13] The song stayed at the top Modern Rock position for an entire month, before dropping to number two at the start of February.[14] Top 40 radio picked up on "#1 Crush" and registered a single week on the Top 40 Mainstream at number 39. During this period, the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack hit number two on the albums chart; the band's debut album also rebounded from the lower-70s into the top 50.[15] By the end of its chart-run in May 1997, "#1 Crush" had spent a total of 16 weeks on the Hot 100 Airplay chart[16] and 22 on the Modern Rock chart.[17]

Critical reception[edit]

"#1 Crush" generated a mostly positive response from music critics and radio programmers. Don O'Neal, PD of KFRR in Fresno, California, praised Garbage for following up the mass-appeal crossover "Stupid Girl" with the "almost gothic" "#1 Crush".[18]

Media appearances[edit]

Actor Lee Pace performed "#1 Crush" in a drag show in the 2003 film Soldier's Girl.[19][20] In 2004, "#1 Crush" became the theme tune to the British television series Hex.[21] Debbie Gallagher sings the song in the 2012 Shameless episode "I'll Light a Candle For You Every Day".[22] The song also appeared in the 2014 episode of "True Blood" titled 'Death Is Not The End'.[23] Over two minutes of the song was featured in opening segment of the season 1 La Femme Nikita episode "Obsessed".

Credits and personnel[edit]


Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United States October 29, 1996 Airplay Capitol
Europe 1997 CD single[34] Mushroom


  1. ^ "Garbage - #1 Crush (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  2. ^ "New Best Of Album". Archived from the original on 2010-05-01. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
  3. ^ "Q (issue 09/01/1996)" (Retrieved - 2008-02-10)
  4. ^ a b Simpson, Dave (1995-08-12). Vig's Atomic Dustbin. UK: Melody Maker.
  5. ^ a b Bambarger, Bradley (1997). The Modern Age. Billboard.
  6. ^ "Vow (Discordant) / Subhuman (Mushroom)". Press release. Mushroom Records UK. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
  7. ^ Watson, Rob. "Garbage BVCP-881 (1st Japanese Pressing)". Retrieved 2011-07-15.
  8. ^ Sandiford-Waller, Theda (1996-12-07). "Hot 100 Singles Spotlight; Wherefore Art Thou". Billboard: 91.
  9. ^ Mayfield, Geoff (1996). Between the Bullets. Billboard.
  10. ^ The Billboard 200. Billboard. 1996. p. 96.
  11. ^ a b c Sandiford-Walller, Theda (1996). Hot 100 Singles Spotlight. Billboard.
  12. ^ Modern Rock Tracks - December 7th, 1996. Billboard. 1996. p. 85.
  13. ^ `Romeo, Juliet' doth climbeth albums chart. Chicago Sun-Times, December 27, 1996 issue. Archived from the original on 2008-02-10.
  14. ^ Modern Rock Chart (Feb 1st 1997). Billboard. 1997.
  15. ^ Billboard 200 (Jan 25, 1997). Billboard. 1997.
  16. ^ Hot 100 Airplay (March 15, 1997). Billboard. 1997.
  17. ^ "Visualiser: "#1 Crush"". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
  18. ^ Carter, Kevin (1997). Maintaining an Acts Modern Base. Billboard.
  19. ^ "Soldier's Girl (TV Movie 20013) - Soundtracks". IMDb. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  20. ^ Lee Pace performing to "No 1 Crush" in Soldier's Girl on YouTube
  21. ^ "Hex (TV Series 2004-2005) - Soundtracks". IMDb. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  22. ^ ""Shameless" I'll Light a Candle For You Every Day - Soundtracks". IMDb. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  23. ^ Woerner, Meredith (14 July 2014). "True Blood Brings Back Everything We Love About This Series". io9.
  24. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9891." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  25. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 9795." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  26. ^ "Íslenski Listinn". DV (in Icelandic). April 25, 1997. p. 16. ISSN 1021-8254. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  27. ^ "Garbage Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  28. ^ "Garbage Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  29. ^ "Garbage Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  30. ^ "RPM '97 Year End Top 50 Alternative Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  31. ^ "Árslistinn 1997". DV (in Icelandic). January 2, 1998. p. 16. ISSN 1021-8254. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  32. ^ "1997 The Year in Music: Hot Modern Rock Tracks". Billboard. Vol. 109 no. 52. December 27, 1997. p. YE-73. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  33. ^ "'Triple J Hottest 100, 1997". Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  34. ^ "#1 Crush" (European CD single). Garbage. Mushroom Records. 1997. 74321 477712.

External links[edit]