Romeo (Basement Jaxx song)
|Single by Basement Jaxx|
|from the album Rooty|
|Released||4 June 2001|
|Format||CD single, digital download, vinyl, 12"|
|Genre||Nu-disco, disco, house|
|Writer(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 six in their native UK, and also scored a top ten in countries like the US, Norway and New Zealand, where that was certificated gold there. The song also had an accompanying music video, where it featured 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 was 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 influences, and house music.
The song was used in many independent and mainstream soundtracks. It was featured in the UK series of Now That's What I Call Music! and the Ministry of Sound soundtrack. 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 singles release.
Another version 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 song was first written with Buxton singing the lyrics "I used to be your Romeo".
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" was known as one of Basement Jaxx's signature songs. The song had debuted at number six on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the group's third top ten hit in their native country. The song was also released in the United States, where that peaked at number five on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play and number fourteen on the Canadian Singles Chart.
The song had international success as well. The song had debuted at number forty-one on the New Zealand Singles Chart, until it rose to number nine, staying in the charts for fourteen weeks. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ), shipping over 7,500 copies. It also scored the top ten single in Norway, debuting at number nine on the Norwegian Singles Chart. However, the song had some less success in some European countries. It peaked at number seventy-four in France and number eighty-two on the Dutch Top 40. But did manage to scrape the top fifty in Sweden, peaking at number forty-one and the top twenty in Denmark, peaking at number twenty.
A music video for the accompanying single was released as well. The music video was shot in an old-day style. The music video starts with an interlude of a billboard which says "Music by Basement Jaxx ROMEO Bollywood Blockbuster," then carries on 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. As they get in a car and run away, she later goes home crying because of him. But 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.
Charts, peaks and positions
|Belgium Flanders (Ultratop)||31|
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||14|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||82|
|New Zealand (RIANZ)||9|
|United Kingdom (The Official Chart Company)||6|
|UK Dance Chart (The Official Chart Company)||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play||5|
- Entertainment Weekly - Rooty review
- McLean, Craig (June 25, 2001). "All right Jaxx". Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
- ALlmusic review of Rooty
- NME - Romeo | Basement Jaxx Track Review
- Basement Jaxx - Rooty review Popmatters.com
- Rolling Stone New Music Report: Basement Jaxx.
- Rooty - Pitchford Media.
- Billboard Charts
- New Zealand Certification RIANZ
- Charts of Romeo by Basement Jaxx Suitable for each chartin country