|Single by Little Mix|
|from the album Salute|
|Released||23 April 2014|
|Length||3:56 (album version)
3:07 (single version)
|Little Mix singles chronology|
"Salute" is a song recorded by British girl group Little Mix for their second studio album of the same name (2013). It was released on 30 May 2014 as the album's third and final single. It was co-written by the group (Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall) with TMS (Thomas Barnes, Peter Kelleher and Ben Kohn) and Maegan Cottone, and produced by TMS. Lyrically, "Salute" is a girl-power song, being called "a call to arms for women everywhere to stand up and fight whatever imaginary enemy is standing in their way," with military metaphors, war sirens, and hip hop and trap influences, drawing comparisons to Destiny's Child and Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)". The backing track samples Xzibit's Paparazzi.
Music critics gave the song positive reviews, with most praising its empowering lyrics and military-inspired drum beats. Some even noticed it would fit perfectly as an opening song for the tour, as well as being one of the strongest tracks of 2013. The song became a top-ten hit on the charts of Scotland and United Kingdom, becoming the band's sixth top-ten single in the UK, while reaching the top-twenty in Ireland and top-forty in Belgium. A music video for the song features the band dancing in an underground warehouse with an entourage of male dancers, some of whom are on leads. To promote the song, the band performed in many TV shows, including Britain's Got Talent and the Today Show.
Background and release
After winning the eighth series of The X Factor UK, British girl-group Little Mix released their debut album, DNA, in November 2012. The album received generally favorable reviews from music critics, while also being a success on the charts, besides spawning the number-one single "Wings", as well as the top-three hit "DNA" and the top-twenty singles "Change Your Life" and "How Ya Doin'?". A few months later, the group stated that they were working on a new album, stating: " I think we probably might mature slightly for this album, but we want to keep the kind of uplifting message we had on the last one. [...] We’re just gonna make it better; step it up." "It's definitely matured more and it's a bit more R&B," they completed in another interview. The girl group recorded material in Los Angeles with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, as well as TMS, who produced their number-one single "Wings". The production team produced six tracks on the album, including "Salute", which also became the album's title. On 5 April 2014, the group announced the track as the album's third single. They teased their single announcement with a video of them rehearsing a dance routine to the track alongside their backing dancers. Later, on 19 April 2014, the group revealed the single's cover art.
Composition and lyrics
"Salute" was written by band members Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall, with Thomas Barnes, Peter Kelleher, Ben Kohn and Maegan Cottone, while production was done by TMS. Cottone recorded their vocals, while also providing vocal arrangement, while Barnes was also responsible for drums, Kelleher provided keyboards and Kohn also contribute with bass. It was recorded at Starlight Sound. "Salute" features war sirens, stinging guitars and military chants, featuring hip hop beats and a trap experimentation. It starts with "an air raid siren – a warning and call to action - building to a frantic and frenetic climax," as noted by Jamie Clarke of So So Gay. Rachel McGrath of Entertainment Wise wrote that the song draws comparisons to Beyoncé and Destiny's Child, claiming that it has "Run The World (Girls)"-esque chant and strong beat. Harriet Gibsone of The Guardian also saw similarities, calling it a "Beyoncé boot-camp stomp." Phil Mongredien of The Observer wrote that the song "turns into 'Battlestar' by 90s boyband Five as it reaches its chorus."
Lyrically, "Salute" brims with girl-power motifs dressed up in military metaphors, affirming that being a woman is about more than just looking good: "You think we're just pretty things/You couldn't be more wrong/We're standing strong, carry on," they sing. Mongredien called it "a call to arms for the world's women." As noted by Nick Barnes of Unreality TV, "the girls try and recruit all the women out there to salute and join their army." Janelle Tucknott of Renowned for Sound went on to explain that the song "is all about women empowerment and joining together to fight a war, assumedly that of bullying and negativity and the struggle for equal rights." "You think we’re just pretty things. You couldn’t be more wrong," the girls sing, sending a message not only to any sexist standing out there but also to every woman who just needs a little motivation to believe in themselves," Kadeen Griffiths of Bustle noted. "We’re standing strong. We carry on... can't stop a hurricane. Ladies, it's time to awake!."
Jon O'Brien wrote for Yahoo! that the song is "a perfect attitude-laden statement of intent." Lewis Corner of Digital Spy noted that the "Blitzkrieg siren and fierce attitude on female empowerment call-out 'Salute' is primed for an arena tour intro," while McGrath of Entertainment Wise called it "one of the strongest openers of 2013." Mongredien of The Observer thought that "it shouldn't work, but is delivered with such chutzpah that it has a certain ludicrous charm", while Clarke of So So Gay named it a "perfect, in-your-face opening track." Nick Barnes of Unreality TV was very positive, writing that the song "has everything you’d want in a track," noting that "Salute" "would serve as an amazing opening to the girls’ tour to get the audience really pumped and it would, strangely, work as a single as it’s very infectious."
"Salute" debuted at number 74 on the UK Singles Chart week of 11 May 2014, becoming the "greatest gainer" the following week, climbing to number 51. It cracked the top-forty in its third week, climbing to number 35. After falling to number 40, the song climbed once again to number 24. The song peaked at number 6 the following week, on 21 June 2014, becoming the band's sixth top-ten single.
The music video for the song was directed by Colin Tilley. It premiered on YouTube on 2 May 2014  and has over 100 million views as of November 2016. It features the band dancing in an underground warehouse with an entourage of male dancers, some of whom are on leads. As noted by Kadeen Grifiths of Bustle, band members Nelson and Edwards "even march with the men on leashes at one point. And yet they are next to her rather than behind her or beneath her, dancing with her rather than against her or in front of her, as if the girls wanted to be clear that men and woman are equal, but it’s the women who are in control right now."
Little Mix performed "Salute" live for the first time on Britain's Got Talent. They also performed on the Today Show on 18 June 2014. The band also performed the track during the Summertime Ball 2014. It also became the opening track for their Salute Tour.
- Digital EP
| 30 May 2014
- "Salute" (Single Version) – 3:08
- "Salute" (TroyBoi Remix) – 3:36
- "Salute" (Anakyn Remix) – 5:12
- "Move" (acoustic) – 2:57
- "Who's Lovin' You" (a cappella) – 1:09
- "Salute" (Single Version) (Instrumental) – 3:03
|Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)||27|
|Scotland (Official Charts Company)||5|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||6|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
|United Kingdom||30 May 2014||Digital download||Syco Music|
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