Romeo (Basement Jaxx song)
|Single by Basement Jaxx|
|from the album Rooty|
|Released||4 June 2001|
|Format||CD, digital download, vinyl, 12"|
|Genre||Nu-disco, disco, house|
|Songwriter(s)||Felix Buxton, Simon Ratcliffe|
|Producer(s)||Felix Buxton, Simon Ratcliffe|
|Basement Jaxx singles chronology|
"Romeo" is a song by British electronic music duo Basement Jaxx, which was released on their second studio album Rooty (2001). The single was released on 4 June 2001 as the first single from the studio album. The song received acclaim from music critics, with many referring it as one of the best dancefloor anthems to date. Some of the critics have even listed the song on their best lists and top lists. The song also had good commercial success, becoming one of Basement Jaxx's top international hits, peaking at number 9 in their native United Kingdom, and also scored a top 10 in countries such as Norway and New Zealand. The song also had an accompanying music video, which features an Indian background.
After the success of the group's first album Remedy, the group had decided to record and compose a new studio album. "Romeo" was one of the first songs recorded, composed and produced by the group. The production of the song was held off because the group had just released their unreleased compilation album Jaxx Unreleased in 1999. "Romeo" was released on 4 June 2001 as the first single of the duo's best-to-date album Rooty (2001). The vocals of the song were sung by fellow British R&B singer Kele Le Roc. The song was produced and written by Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe themselves. Romeo is a dance-pop song, which shares a lot of disco and house music influences and samples "Don't let the rainbow pass me", a 1981 Disco single by Cloud One. The song was first written with Buxton singing the lyrics "I used to be your Romeo".
The song was used in many independent and mainstream soundtracks. The song was also featured on the PlayStation game series SingStar. The song is available as a music video format on iTunes. Before the studio version was recorded and released, there was an acoustic version which was released on the groups EP called Xxtra Cutz (2001), which also featured the B-sides to the single's release.
Another version of "Romeo" was recorded at the BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. This acoustic version was featured on the group's third single off the album, "Where's Your Head At?", as a bonus remix. The B-side track of the single, "Bongoloid", is a UK garage song featuring voices of two 11-year-old boys from Streatham who pitched up at their record label Atlantic Jaxx after looking them up in Yellow pages.
"Romeo" was acclaimed by many music critics. John Bush from Allmusic highlighted the song as an album highlight, as he had said ""Romeo," is groovy and luscious enough to be the next single from Destiny's Child". David Browne from Entertainment Weekly had complimented the track as he agreed liking its "old school disco" music. Lou Thomas from BBC Music had said ""Romeo" is still a bittersweet pop classic and will break your heart or make you dance in one frantic twitch." NME gave it a very positive and achievable review, saying "Romeo' is a fantastic single from a good album, 'Rooty'; a frisky slip of spicy feminine pop perfectly tailored for maximum radio rotation." They also finished "Never complacent and always striving to be inventive, if it feels good, the Jaxx say, do it." Andy Herman from Popmatters referred the song as a "Signature Jaxx dancefloor anthem". He also said "complete with a sassy disco-diva vocal, cornball lyrics, and cheesy new wave synths and background vocals that quickly establish the duo's obsession with retro kitsch." MusicOMH had also described the song as "terrific" and a "summer hit". Rolling Stone had described the song as "synthetic but warm hit".
Malcolm Seymour from Pitchfork Media was the dissenting critical voice; he gave it a mixed review. He said "the creepily Janet-esque "Romeo," commences the program on a bitter note. Featured diva Kele Le Roc's mindless lyrics spill over the predictable, shallow melodies, bland beats and clichéd basslines." Pitchfork later listed the song at number 50 on their The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s. Stylus Magazine had listed the song at number 47 on their Top Singles of the Decade. As an album review, Stylus said ""Romeo" is vindicated in a glorious Bollywood-esque example of pop music." But as a ranking review, they had describe it as "joyful", "bouncy", "cheerful" and "catchy". Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine had listed the song at number 116 on their Rest of the Best of the Aughts Top 500. The Word Press had listed the song at number 46 on their The Best Songs Of The Naughties Top 100 and said "But paradoxically it's Basement Jaxx's less manic approach to production that makes Romeo so addictive.".
"Romeo" is known as one of Basement Jaxx's signature songs[by whom?]. The song debuted at number 6 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the group's third top 10 hit in their native country. It also topped the UK Dance Chart and the UK Indie Chart. The song released in North America as well, where it peaked at number 5 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart and number 10 on the Canadian Singles Chart.
The song experienced success in mainland Europe and New Zealand as well. The song debuted at number 41 on the New Zealand Singles Chart, then rose to number 9 eight weeks later, staying in the charts for 14 weeks in total. It also reached the top 10 in Norway, debuting and peaking at number 9 on the Norwegian Singles Chart; however, the song had less success in other European countries. It peaked at number 74 in France and number 82 in the Netherlands, but it did manage to reach the top 50 in Sweden—peaking at number 41—and the top 20 in Denmark—peaking at number 20.
The music video is a tribute to old 1960s and 1970s Indian Bollywood films. The music video starts with an interlude of a billboard which says "Music by Basement Jaxx ROMEO Bollywood Blockbuster," showing a traditional Bollywood movie poster of 'Romeo' featuring the video's main characters. The video then tells the story, showing places of India, where it shows Divya Dutta, an Indian actress, in a sari. When the verse starts, she and a group of dancers dance to the song in a Bollywood style. It also shows her with a man that she loves, and another man who loves her as well. As they get in a car and run away, she later goes home crying because of him. The two men fight for her love, a car chase follows with one eventually being the victor, and at the end, it features a group of them and her love, dancing in front of an Indian Temple, where it features fountains, flowers and fireworks. It then ends when she is with her love at sunset. In the music video, the actors do different genres of dances in the video from a traditional Indian dance to a more pop culture style.
UK and US CD / US 12-inch single
Australia and New Zealand CD / UK 12-inch single
France CD / UK enhanced CD single
Sweden CD single
US maxi CD
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