Pompeii (Bastille song)

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"Pompeii"
Single by Bastille
from the album Bad Blood
B-side "Poet"
Released 11 January 2013[1]
Format
Recorded 2012
Genre
Length 3:34
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Dan Smith
Producer(s)
  • Dan Smith
  • Mark Crew
Bastille singles chronology
"Flaws"
(2012)
"Pompeii"
(2013)
"Laura Palmer"
(2013)

"Of the Night"
(2013)

"Pompeii/Waiting All Night"
(2014)

"Oblivion"
(2014)

"Pompeii" is a song by British indie rock band Bastille. It is the fourth single from their debut studio album Bad Blood and the first to get major airplay and promotion. The song was released as the album's fourth single on 11 January 2013. It reached number 2 in the UK Singles Chart, number 4 in Australian ARIA Chart, and number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Alternative Songs chart. Furthermore, according to the Official Charts Company, it was the UK's most streamed song up to June 2014.[2]

Lyrically, the song is about the Roman town of the same name, which met its fate with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. It was nominated for British Single of the Year at the 2014 BRIT Awards.[3] A mashup of the song with Rudimental and Ella Eyre's "Waiting All Night" was performed live by Rudimental, Eyre and Bastille at the aforementioned ceremony.[4]

Composition[edit]

The song is written as an upbeat rock song that combines indie rock and synthpop.[5][6]

According to the sheet music on Musicnotes.com, the song has a tempo of 128 beats a minute and is written in the key of A major with a chord progression of D-A-F#m-E.[7]

Music video[edit]

The official music video was filmed in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, California. It was directed by Jesse John Jenkins and produced by Tova Dann. The video was first released onto YouTube on 20 January 2013 at a total length of three minutes and fifty-two seconds.[8]

The video follows Bastille frontman Dan Smith, as he wanders about an empty-looking Los Angeles, before realizing the few people around all have unnatural vacant black eyes. He steals a car and drives into the desert to escape them, but the car breaks down and he soon realizes he's been infected as well. He climbs a mountain and looks out at the view, before turning around to reveal his own eyes meanwhile have turned black as well. The story is an allegory for the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii.

Grammy nomination[edit]

A popular dance remix of the track by Audien was nominated for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classic at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. It lost to Tiesto's remix of John Legend's "All of Me".[9]

Track listing[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

The song reached number one in Ireland, and peaked at number two in Italy and the UK.[14] Previously, the single also held the record (now belonging to Clean Bandit's "Rather Be") for the longest time at number one on the Official Streaming Chart, remaining at the peak for seven weeks,[15] and was the second most streamed track of 2013 in the UK.[16] "Pompeii" spent the anniversary of its debut at number 30, having re-entered the top 40 the previous week following a live performance (a mash-up with Rudimental's "Waiting All Night") at the 2014 BRIT Awards.[17]It spent a record 92 consecutive weeks in the top 100 (since matched by "Happy" by Pharrell Williams). With over 26 million streams by June 2014, "Pompeii" became the most streamed song of all time in the UK at that time[2] and has sold 895,000 copies there.[18] The B-side track "Poet" has also managed to chart in the UK at #121.[19]

The song reached number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart in October 2013 and began climbing the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[20] It reached No. 9 in the Hot 100 in January 2014 and reached a million in sales in the US.[21] By March 2014, the song had reached top 5 in the Hot 100 in its 29th week, and has sold over two million digital copies.[22] By the end of its US run, Pompeii had managed to chart for a total of 53 weeks in the top 100 as well as sell 3 million digital sales mark by June 2014.[23] As of December 2014, the song has sold 3.4 million copies in the US.[24]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Bad Blood.

In popular culture[edit]

Media[edit]

The arcade machine featured in the cover art is Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes.

The song is featured in the trailer for the 2014 animated film Mr. Peabody & Sherman. The Kat Krazy remix is featured in the 2013 video game Need for Speed Rivals. It was also featured in the British soap opera Hollyoaks and the TV series Reign in the third episode of the first season, "Kissed".[25] The song also features in the official soundtrack of the mobile game First Touch Soccer 15 as no.1 and PS3 / PS4 Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 as no.3. The song is performed by the cast of Glee as the closing number of the season 5 finale.

Events[edit]

The song is featured in the official trailer of the Earth Hour 2015.


Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[81] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Belgium (BEA)[82] Platinum 30,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[83] 3× Platinum 240,000^
Germany (BVMI)[84] Platinum 300,000^
Italy (FIMI)[85] 3× Platinum 90,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[86] Platinum 60,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[87] Platinum 15,000*
Sweden (GLF)[88] 3× Platinum 120,000x
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[89] Gold 15,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[90] 2× Platinum 895,000[18]
United States (RIAA)[91] 5× Platinum 3,400,000[24]
Streaming
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[92] 2× Platinum 3,600,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[93] Gold 5,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Italy[1] 05 March 2013 Contemporary hit radio EMI
United Kingdom[10][11] 05 February 2013 Digital download Virgin Records
05 February 2013 7" vinyl
United States[94] 25 June 2013 Modern rock radio
Germany[12] 5 July 2013 Compact disc Virgin Records
United States[95][96][97] 9 September 2013 Adult album alternative radio
  • Virgin Records
  • Capitol Records
15 October 2013 Contemporary hit radio
29 October 2013 Hot adult contemporary radio
United Kingdom[13] 19 February 2014 Digital download ("Pompeii/Waiting All Night") Brit Awards Ltd.
United Kingdom[98] 31 March 2014 Digital download (Audien remix) Virgin Records
United States[99]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]