|Single by Placebo|
|from the album Without You I'm Nothing|
|B-side||"Mars Landing Party" "the innocence of sleep"|
|Released||3 August 1998|
|Format||CD single, 7", 12", cassette|
|Recorded||Real World Studios, 1998|
|Length||3:59 (single version)|
|Songwriter(s)||Steve Hewitt, Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal|
|Placebo singles chronology|
"Pure Morning" is the first single from British alternative rock band Placebo's second album Without You I'm Nothing. The single was very successful in the United States, reaching #19 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, and it also reached #4 on the UK Singles Chart. The song has been featured often in British television advertisements. In 1999, it was featured in an advert for the Lexus IS200.
"Pure Morning" was also included as Track 12 on Big Shiny Tunes 3. The song was included on the soundtrack to the film The Chumscrubber (2005). The intro is also featured in an episode of the spin off of Beavis and Butt-head, Daria Just Add Water. The song was covered by the project of Johnathon Sharp, Biotek, on their album Punishment for Decadence.
Writing and recording
"Pure Morning" was a last minute addition to Without You I'm Nothing, being recorded as the band prepared B sides for the album in May, under "Nancy Boy" producer Phil Vinall. After playing with a guitar loop, they decided to develop it into a full song. Brian Molko said the lyrics were written "off the top of my head", so he only noticed their significance after recording.
Molko said the it was overall "a song about friendship", starting from the situation of "coming down when the rest of the world is waking up", such as when clubgoers get home as the sun rises and everyone else is going to work. The feeling of dislocation, "that point you feel like your life is the least sorted ever", would be solved by someone to "slip their arm around you and make slumber easier."
The music video, directed by Nick Gordon, and shot in slow motion at the junction of Savoy Street and Savoy Hill in London, focuses on the character of a suicidal man played by Brian Molko. Police and authorities attempt to stop him from jumping from a building to end his life. Shots of the rest of the band consist of them being arrested for unseen crimes.
News crews report on the scene and a single police officer runs through the building to attempt to convince the suicidal man from jumping. Molko eventually leans forward, causing many characters to react in sadness and anguish as if he has jumped; but instead of falling all the way, he impossibly starts walking vertically down the side of the building to about halfway down the building, to the astonishment of all.
Molko wears a black polo neck shirt with holes at the shoulders, and black nail polish on his fingers and toes. He also wears tight black leggings, and has his makeup done in his usual androgynous style.
Live performance history
The song was a staple of the band's setlist from 1998, through to 2005. After playing it on a number of shows during the band's stint on the Projekt Revolution tour of 2007, it was not performed between 2008 and 2016. In November 2013, in an interview, Brian Molko stated that although he still likes the music, the lyrics of the song nauseate him. In October 2016, the song returned to the setlist, and has opened almost every Placebo live set since.
- "Pure Morning" (single edit) – 4:00
- "Mars Landing Party" – 1:45
- "Leeloo" – 5:19
- "Pure Morning" – 4:14
- "Needledick" – 1:13
- "The Innocence of Sleep" – 3:46
- Technical personnel
- Phil Vinall – production
- Paul Corkett – additional engineering
- Jake Davies – mixing assistant
- Phelan Kane – programming
- Teo Miller – engineering
- Bunt Stafford-Clark – mastering (at Townhouse Studios, London)
- Segal, Victoria. "No More Charlie Angels". NME, August 1998
- The Modern Age, Billboard
- on YouTube
- "Interview "Interview: Brian Molko", Nov'13 - LJ Placebo Russia Archive". www.placeborussia.ru. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
- "Placebo Concert Setlist at 6 Music Live 2016 #1 on October 3, 2016". setlist.fm. Retrieved 19 September 2018.