Road Rage (Catatonia song)

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"Road Rage"
Catatonia Road Road Single.jpg
UK single release
Single by Catatonia
from the album International Velvet
Released 1998
Format CD, 7", cassette
Genre Britpop[1]
Length 5:09 (album version)
4:02 (single edit)
Label Blanco y Negro
Songwriter(s) Mark Roberts
Producer(s) Catatonia
Catatonia singles chronology
"Mulder and Scully"
(1998)
"Road Rage"
(1998)
"Strange Glue"
(1998)
"Mulder and Scully"
(1998)
"Road Rage"
(1998)
"Strange Glue"
(1998)

"Road Rage" is a song recorded by the Welsh band Catatonia, taken from their second studio album, International Velvet. It was written by band member Mark Roberts, with the production credit given generally to the band. "Road Rage" was released as the third single from the album, following their break-out success with the song "Mulder and Scully". The title "Road Rage" was based on the murder of Lee Harvey by his girlfriend Tracie Andrews in December 1996, something for which singer Cerys Matthews later apologised to Harvey's mother.

"Road Rage" was received positively by the press, with particular praise given to the way that Matthews rolled the r's in the chorus of the song. Commercially, the song peaked at number 5 on the UK Singles Chart, eventually gaining silver certification from the British Phonographic Industry. It also reached the top 30 in Ireland and the top 40 in Australia. It received nominations for best song at the Brit Awards, and the Ivor Novello Awards, winning at the Q Awards.

Recording and release[edit]

"Road Rage" was released as a follow-up to the success of their single "Mulder and Scully",[2] which became their break-out hit.[3] "Road Rage" was the third single from the album International Velvet.[4]

"Road Rage" was also included on the American release of the album Equally Cursed and Blessed in March 2000.[5] It later appeared on the best of collection by their label Blanco y Negro Records, Catatonia Greatest Hits.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Ian Hyland gave "Road Rage" a rating of nine out of ten in his review for the Sunday Mirror. He said that if "Matthews sounded any more Welsh she'd be a dragon but this is a very excellent tune in any language."[7] Richard Wallace called the single "magnificent" in an article for the Daily Mirror and praised the "seductive rolling Rs in the chorus".[8] Paul Cole, for the Sunday Mercury, described "Road Rage" in 2002 as the best of Catatonia's greatest hits and "the perfect pop song".[9]

In 2002, "Road Rage" was ranked as the third best song by a Welsh artist of all time, behind "Delilah" by Tom Jones and "Sixty Eight Guns" by The Alarm, in a list compiled for the Guinness World Records British Hit Singles book. However, none of these songs featured in the overall top 20.[10]

"Road Rage" was nominated for several major music awards. It won the Best Single award at the Q Awards in 1998, with Matthews picking up the award on the night.[11] It was nominated for Best British Single at the 1999 Brit Awards, but lost out to "Angels" by Robbie Williams.[12] "Road Rage" was also nominated for Best Contemporary Song at the 1999 Ivor Novello Awards. After the award was given to Tin Tin Out instead, Matthews left the ceremony but later returned.[13]

Composition[edit]

The title of "Road Rage" was based on the murder of Lee Harvey by his girlfriend Tracie Andrews in December 1996. She stabbed him more than 30 times with a penknife, claiming originally that this had been committed by a stranger in a road rage-type attack. As a result of the song's release, Lee's mother Maureen said that "It is disgusting that people are trying to make money from such a tragedy. My son did not die in a road rage attack, he was killed by Tracie Andrews. We simply do not need songs like this". Catatonia's lead singer Cerys Matthews said that while the title of the song was based on the case, the lyrics were about advances in technology.[14] In her book Pure Evil, Maureen Harvey stated " . . . at least the group's singer Cerys Matthews had the decency to return my call and explain that she hadn't intended to cause any offence. She tried to convince me that the song showed how Tracie had gone crazy and that it didn't actually do her any favours."[15]

Live performances[edit]

Catatonia played at the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow, Scotland, shortly after the release of "Road Rage" as the support act for Travis. Neil Cooper at The Scotsman said that "the way [Matthews] rolls her R's" on "Road Rage", "you can forgive her anything."[16] A similar comment was received in the Birmingham Evening Mail for the performed at the Wellington Rooms, Liverpool, saying "the way she rasped and rolled her R's on Road Rage was delightful".[17]

Returning to the Barrowland Ballroom in March 1999, the audience joined in with the rendition of "Road Rage", causing the review in the Daily Record to describe the atmosphere as not "all that different to some huge, back-of-the-bus knees-up".[18] At the London-based show shortly afterwards, the song was sung with "more force than finesse" according to Adrian Thrills of the Daily Mail.[19] After the breakup of Catatonia, Matthews performed "Road Rage" solo at the Inspirations for Barretstown Camp concert on 30 March 2012.[20]

Track listing and formats[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Everhart (23 April 2014). "Caught By The Buzz: A Look Back At Britpop’s B-List". Stereogum. Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  2. ^ Dixon, Katrina (10 July 1998). "Catatonia". The Scotsman. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ "Cerys Matthews: Rise of a Star.". Europe Intelligence Wire. 22 September 2002. Retrieved 28 June 2012. (Subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. London: Rough Guides. p. 179. ISBN 978-1-843-53105-0. 
  5. ^ Jenkins, Mark (29 March 2000). "Catatonia: Time to Wake America". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ "Parting is such Sweet Catatonia". South Wales Echo. 30 August 2002. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ Hyland, Ian (19 April 1998). "World Cup Songs Will Turn Top Ten into Singalong XI". The Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ Wallace, Richard (1 May 1998). "Cerys takes us into the valley of cool". The Daily Mirror. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  9. ^ Cole, Paul (1 September 2002). "Living Play: CD Reviews". Sunday Mercury. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  10. ^ "Just Look Who's Missing from List of Favourite Singles". Western Mail. 9 May 2002. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  11. ^ Wright, Matthew (31 October 1998). "Matthew Wright's column: Wales – and moans". The Daily Mirror. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  12. ^ Wright, Matthew (17 February 1999). "Matthew Wright at the British Awards: The Winners". The Daily Mirror. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  13. ^ Wright, Matthew (28 May 1999). "Matthew Wright's Column: Ivor Novello Songwriting Awards: Moody Matty". The Daily Mirror. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  14. ^ "Lee's parents attack road rage song". The Birmingham Post. 6 April 1998. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ Harvey, Maureen (2007). Pure Evil – How Tracie Andrews Murdered My Son. London: John Blake. ISBN 978-1-843-58928-0. 
  16. ^ Cooper, Neil (24 March 1998). "Travis/Catatonia/Idlewild Barrowland, Glasgow". The Scotsman. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  17. ^ "Space above and beyond Space, Wolverhampton Civic Hall". Birmingham Evening Mail. 27 March 1998. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  18. ^ "Cerys Is Princess of Wails". Daily Record. 19 March 1999. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  19. ^ Thrills, Adrian (26 March 1999). "Catatonia Turn on the Charm". Daily Mail. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  20. ^ "All Hail the Emotional at Inspired Charity Gig". The Mail on Sunday. 1 April 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  21. ^ "Catatonia – Road Rage". Discogs. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  22. ^ "Catatonia – Road Rage". Discogs. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  23. ^ "Catatonia – Road Rage". Discogs. Retrieved 1 April 2016. 
  24. ^ Steffen Hung. "Catatonia – International Velvet". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "Search the Charts". The Irish Charts. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  26. ^ "Catatonia". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 29, 2013. 
  27. ^ "British single certifications – Catatonia – Road Rage". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Road Rage in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search

External links[edit]