Rocket (Goldfrapp song)

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Single by Goldfrapp
from the album Head First
Released 8 March 2010 (2010-03-08)
Format CD single, digital download
Genre Synthpop, electropop
Length 3:51
Label Mute
Writer(s) Alison Goldfrapp, Will Gregory
Producer(s) Alison Goldfrapp, Will Gregory, Pascal Gabriel
Goldfrapp singles chronology

"Rocket" is a synthpop song by English duo Goldfrapp from their fifth studio album, Head First. Written and produced by Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory, with additional production by Pascal Gabriel, the song was released as the album's lead single on 8 March 2010.[1][2] To promote the single release, the duo performed the song on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 26 March 2010.[3] The music video features Alison driving a truck hauling a rocket with someone entirely wrapped in duct tape who is then taped to the rocket when it is launched at the end.

The track was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 2011 Grammy Awards, but lost to Rihanna's "Only Girl (In the World)".[4]

Critical reception[edit]

"Rocket" was met with positive reviews from music critics. Heather Phares of Allmusic said that the song's "driving minor-key verses and huge, shimmering choruses tap into the brain's pleasure center as efficiently as possible", dubbing it one of Goldfrapp's most irresistible songs yet.[5] Barry Nicolson from the NME described it as "a sleek, synth-powered ballistic missile that's high on Pat Benatar's hairspray and in possession of a chorus so cheesy and ebullient."[6] DJ Ron Slomowicz of wrote that the track "represents the best of the 80's and Goldfrapp's take on glitzy power pop. The energy is palpable and so is the vitriol as there is no mistaking Alison's intent, despite the soaring and beautiful melodies."[7] Pitchfork Media's Marc Hogan commented that "Rocket" "shows Head First at its best, but it's also a reminder of where some of the other songs fall short."[8]

Several critics noted the song's heavy influence of '80s music and culture, with both The Independent and The Times pointing out the similarity between the synths used for "Rocket" and those Van Halen used for their 1984 chart-topper "Jump".[9][10] BBC Music's Ian Wade felt that the song "couldn't be more 80s if it arrived sweaty from a Jane Fonda workout, dressed in a neon legwarmers and a fashionably ripped Van Halen t-shirt. If it doesn't knock the top ten for six, that'll be a mystery for future generations to mull."[11] Digital Spy music editor Nick Levine wrote that "'Rocket' finds [the duo] channelling early '80s radio pop—hands up who hears Van Halen?—while an empowered Alison gives her cheating ex the elbow."[12] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian stated that the song "carries the influence of Olivia Newton-John and the Electric Light Orchestra's 'Xanadu'. The kind of euphoric we've-just-won-the-World-Cup synthesiser fanfares that power both Van Halen's 'Jump' and PhD's 'I Won't Let You Down' abound, there's the occasional hint of Tango in the Night-era Fleetwood Mac, and you're never that far from a conjunction of wobbling electronics and anthemic chorus that recalls Phil Oakey and Giorgio Moroder's 'Together in Electric Dreams'."[13]

During an interview with music website Popjustice based on questions made by fans, Alison commented on the comparisons drawn between "Rocket" and "Jump" by saying: "I'm not very familiar with Van Halen as a band, I'm afraid, but I think we were definitely inspired by that sound. It's not exactly the same sound as the sound but it's definitely been inspired by it."[14]

Chart performance[edit]

"Rocket" debuted and peaked at number forty-seven on the UK Singles Chart on 14 March 2010—the duo's first lead single not to debut within the UK top forty since their 2000 debut single "Lovely Head"—, falling to number seventy-six the following week. In its third week on the run, the same week its parent album Head First debuted in the top ten, the single made a sixteen-spot leap on the chart to number sixty. So far it has spent four weeks in the top one hundred. In Ireland, "Rocket" debuted at number forty on the Irish Singles Chart during the week of 11 March 2010, dropping off the chart the following week before making a re-entry at its peak position of number thirty-six the week after. The track also earned Goldfrapp their fourth chart-topper on the US Hot Dance Club Songs for the issue dated 1 May 2010. Elsewhere "Rocket" saw moderate success in Central Europe, peaking at number nineteen in Hungary, number thirty in Slovakia, number thirty-two in Germany, number thirty-eight in Austria and number fifty in Switzerland and on the European Hot 100 Singles chart.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Rocket" was directed by Kim Gehrig and filmed in January 2010.[15][16] The main idea behind the video is that Alison Goldfrapp is a truck driver who wants to send an ex-boyfriend into outer space.

The video begins with Alison Goldfrapp driving a transport truck through a desert. She is accompanied by a male in a full-body cast. As the chorus begins it is revealed that the truck is pulling a giant purple rocket. She stops the truck to dance in the desert and is joined by a group of females. Keyboardist/synthesizer Will Gregory makes a cameo appearance in the video as a petrol station attendant. The video concludes with Alison Goldfrapp and the dancers taping the male passenger to the rocket and launching it into outer space by counting backwards from 5.

Track listing[edit]

  • UK CD single and iTunes EP[17]
  1. "Rocket" – 3:51
  2. "Rocket" (Tiësto Remix) – 6:53
  3. "Rocket" (Richard X One Zero Remix) – 7:00
  4. "Rocket" (Penguin Prison Remix) – 6:31
  5. "Rocket" (Grum Remix) – 6:38




  1. ^ Dombal, Ryan (1 December 2009). "Goldfrapp Announce New Album". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  2. ^ "Rocket single launched 8th March". Mute Records. 26 February 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Series 18, Episode 10". BBC One. BBC Online. 26 March 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards nominees". Grammy Awards. The Recording Academy. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Phares, Heather. "Head First – Goldfrapp – Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  6. ^ Nicolson, Barry (19 March 2010). "Album Review: Goldfrapp – 'Head First' (Mute)". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  7. ^ Slomowicz, Ron (20 March 2010). "Song of the Day: Goldfrapp "Rocket"". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  8. ^ Hogan, Marc (25 March 2010). "Goldfrapp: Head First". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  9. ^ Gill, Andy (19 March 2010). "Album: Goldfrapp, Head First (Mute)". The Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  10. ^ Paphides, Peter (12 March 2010). "Goldfrapp: Head First". The Times. Times Newspapers. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  11. ^ Wade, Ian (12 March 2010). "Review of Goldfrapp – Head First". BBC Music. BBC Online. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  12. ^ Levine, Nick (8 March 2010). "Goldfrapp: 'Rocket'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  13. ^ Petridis, Alexis (18 March 2010). "Goldfrapp: Head First". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  14. ^ "Goldfrapp answer your questions". Popjustice. 26 February 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  15. ^ Goldfrapp, Alison (25 January 2010). "Hello". Retrieved 7 June 2010. 
  16. ^ Knight, David (11 March 2010). "Goldfrapp's Rocket by Kim Gehrig". Promo News. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  17. ^ "Rocket by Goldfrapp". iTunes Store UK. Apple Inc. Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  18. ^ "Goldfrapp – Rocket" (in German). IFPI Austria. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  19. ^ "Goldfrapp – Rocket" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  20. ^ "Goldfrapp – Rocket" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  21. ^ "Goldfrapp Album & Song Chart History – European Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  22. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Goldfrapp / Single" (in German). Media Control. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 24 March 2010. 
  23. ^ "Global Dance Songs: May 15, 2010". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista – 2010. 14. hét" (in Hungarian). Mahasz. Retrieved 18 April 2010. 
  25. ^ "Top 50 Singles, Week Ending 25 March 2010". Irish Recorded Music Association. Chart-Track. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  26. ^ "Goldfrapp Album & Song Chart History – Japan Hot 100 Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  27. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Dance Top 50. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  28. ^ "RADIO TOP100 Oficiálna – Goldfrapp – Rocket" (in Slovak). IFPI Slovakia. Retrieved 24 March 2010. 
  29. ^ "Gaon International Digital Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Chart. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  30. ^ "Goldfrapp – Rocket". Media Control. Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  31. ^ "Pop" (in Ukrainian). FDR Music Charts. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  32. ^ "Chart Stats – Goldfrapp – Rocket". The Official Charts Company. Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2010. 
  33. ^ "Goldfrapp Album & Song Chart History – Dance/Electronic Digital Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  34. ^ "Goldfrapp Album & Song Chart History – Dance/Club Play Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  35. ^ "Hot Singles Sales: May 27, 2010". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  36. ^ "2010 Year End Charts – Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Heartbreak on Vinyl" by Blake Lewis
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs number-one single
1 May 2010
Succeeded by
"Video Phone" by Beyoncé featuring Lady Gaga