Shadow (Ashlee Simpson song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Single by Ashlee Simpson
from the album Autobiography
B-side "Sorry"
Released November 8, 2004 (2004-11-08)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2004
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:59
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Ashlee Simpson, Kara DioGuardi, John Shanks
Producer(s) John Shanks, Pete Lorimer
Ashlee Simpson singles chronology
"Pieces of Me"
"La La"
Audio sample
file info · help

"Shadow" is the second single by American recording artist Ashlee Simpson, taken from her debut album, Autobiography (2004). The single peaked at #57 in the United States, becoming Simpson's second Billboard Hot 100 entry; it also peaked at #31 in Australia.

Song information[edit]

"Shadow" was written by Ashlee Simpson, Kara DioGuardi and producer John Shanks. It is three minutes and fifty-seven seconds long, and is the third track on Autobiography.

The song is about feelings Simpson had (when she was about 15 or 16 years old), according to one interview[1] of living in the shadow of the dreams and accomplishments of her famous older sister, Jessica, and finding her own identity. Although "Shadow" is noted for having somewhat dark lyrics, [2] it concludes with a positive message, as Simpson sings that "everything's cool now" and "the past is in the past." Simpson has said that it is "about loving yourself and coming to terms with who you are";[3] also, in an interview on Live with Regis and Kelly on September 22, 2004, Simpson explained the song's meaning:

"Shadow" was called the "best and most personal song" on the album in a People magazine review.[4] There has, however, also been criticism of the song's lyrics for seeming excessively dramatic in light of Simpson's apparently loving family and fortunate circumstances.[5]

Asked in one interview about the unhappiness she expresses in "Shadow" about her childhood, and whether it's "just for the song," Simpson replied:

Simpson also related, on another occasion, that "[w]hen my sister heard the song she cried and said, 'That's the most beautiful song I've ever heard!'"[7]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Shadow", directed by Liz Friedlander, also deals with the theme of the song. In the video, Simpson plays two different versions of herself, blonde and brunette, who live in separate "worlds" which exist side by side. The world of the blonde Ashlee appears happy and perfect, while the brunette Ashlee seems to have more negative feelings—at one point she shoves a bowl of cereal prepared by the blonde Ashlee off a kitchen table—but eventually it is revealed that the blonde Ashlee is not as happy as she seems. At the end of the video, shadows are seen leaving the brunette Ashlee. These scenes are intercut with Simpson singing in a living room setting with her band.[8]

The "Shadow" music video premiered on MTV's Total Request Live on September 13, 2004, and debuted on the countdown the next day at number ten. In its fourth day on the countdown, 20 September, it reached its peak at number two; Simpson herself also visited the show on this day, but did not perform due to illness. The video spent 22 total days on the countdown, with its last day being October 21.[9]

Chart performance[edit]

"Shadow" debuted at number 20 on VH1's Top 20 Countdown for the week of October 6–12, 2004,[10] and it rose the next week to number 15.[11] It reached number 11 for the week of 27 October–2 November[12] and then fell to number 16 the next week.[13]

On September 22, Simpson performed "Shadow" on two U.S. shows: Live with Regis and Kelly (she also gave an interview, quoted above) and The Tonight Show.

"Shadow" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in September at number 68[14] and reached a peak of number 57. It was unable to match the popularity of Simpson's first single, "Pieces of Me", which reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100.[15] "Pieces of Me" also reached number one on the Billboard Top 40 Tracks, but "Shadow" reached only number 27. In Australia, "Shadow" was Autobiography's second single, and it reached number 31 on the ARIA singles chart in November 2004; in the same week, "Pieces of Me" was still ahead of it on the chart, at number 30. In early January 2005, after some time spent out of the ARIA top 50, "Shadow" rebounded to number 34. In the United Kingdom, the song "La La" (which was the third single in the U.S. and Australia) was the second single instead of "Shadow".

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Shadow" - 03:59
  2. "Pieces of Me" (29 Palms Remix Vocal Edit) - 04:05
  3. "Sorry" (Non LP Version) - 03:45
  4. "Shadow" (Video)


Chart (2004-05) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[16] 31
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[17] 60
Germany (Media Control AG)[18] 42
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[19] 30
US Billboard Hot 100[20] 57
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[21] 14


  • Vocals – Ashlee Simpson
  • Drums – Kenny Aronoff
  • Guitars, bass, keyboards – John Shanks
  • Piano, organ – Jamie Muhoberac
  • Chamberlin – Patrick Warren
  • String arrangement – David Campbell
  • Background vocals – Ashlee Simpson and Kara DioGuardi

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
Germany December 20, 2004 CD single[22] Universal Music Group
Digital download[23]
Maxi single[24]


  1. ^ Spence D., "Ashlee Simpson Interview",, July 29, 2004, page 3.
  2. ^ "Shadow by Ashlee Simpson Songfacts". Retrieved 2017-01-25. 
  3. ^ Joe D'Angelo, "Ashlee Simpson To Play An Actress In 'Wannabe' Flick", MTV News, September 23, 2004.
  4. ^ Autobiography album review, People, 2 August 2004, page 41.
  5. ^ Spence D., Autobiography album review,, September 17, 2004, page 1.
  6. ^ Virginia Heffernan, "Ashlee Simpson, Platinum Brunette", The New York Times, August 1, 2004. Interview.
  7. ^ MSN Live chat with Ashlee Simpson, July 19, 2004.
  8. ^ Jennifer Vineyard, "Blondes Have More Fun In Ashlee Simpson's New Video", MTV News, August 9, 2004.
  9. ^ TRL Archives - September 2004 and October 2004,
  10. ^ VH1's Music Radar,, October 6, 2004.
  11. ^ VH1's Music Radar,, 14 October 2004.
  12. ^ VH1's Music Radar,, October 27, 2004.
  13. ^ VH1's Music Radar,, November 3, 2004.
  14. ^ Margo Whitmire, "Ciara Keeps 'Goodies' Perched On Top",, September 23, 2004.
  15. ^ Artist chart history for Ashlee Simpson,
  16. ^ " – Ashlee Simpson – Shadow". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
  17. ^ " – Ashlee Simpson – Shadow" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
  18. ^ "Single - Ashlee Simpson, Shadow". Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  19. ^ " – Ashlee Simpson – Shadow". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ "Ashlee Simpson – Autobiography Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  22. ^ "Shadow (Pock It): Musik". 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  23. ^ : (2004-12-20). "Shadow (International Version) (2004) | Ashlee Simpson | MP3 Musikdownloads 7digital Deutschland". Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  24. ^ "Shadow: Musik". 2009-09-09. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 

External links[edit]