|Single by Fiona Apple|
|from the album Tidal|
|B-side||Never Is a Promise|
|Released||July 1, 1996|
|Format||CD single, Maxi single|
|Recorded||Ocean Way Recorders
(Los Angeles, California)
|Fiona Apple singles chronology|
"Shadowboxer" is a song written and performed by American alternative singer-songwriter Fiona Apple. It was released on July 1, 1996 by Work Records and Columbia Records as her debut single from her debut studio album Tidal (1996).
Background and release
Apple recorded the song with collaborator Jon Brion in 1995 immediately after being signed to a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment. Its lyrical content mainly explores the themes of the dangers of desire and vulnerability. It was then released as her debut and lead single from her forthcoming debut studio album on July 1, 1996. A music video of the song directed by Jim Gable was released. Apple performed "Shadowboxer" in various events, most notably at the 22nd season of Saturday Night Live and on the television special MTV Unplugged: Fiona Apple.
The song charted inside the Top 40 of 2 different Billboard charts. It spent six weeks on the Alternative Songs chart, peaking at number 34. It fared much better on the Adult Pop Songs, peaking at number 32 and spent over 15 weeks on the chart.
"Shadowboxer" has received critical acclaim from music critics, with many of them comparing Apple's voice to Nina Simone and her lyrical talent to Carole King. Steven Mirkin of Entertainment Weekly gave the song an A-, he wrote, "Singing to a former lover, her slurred, smoky vocals float above a loping, gospel-tinged piano, vibes, and string arrangement, making her "Shadowboxer" sound like Nina Simone covering early Elton John. Although she's only 18, she has the poise of a seasoned singer." Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic described the song as "haunting", remarking that while "it strives to say something deep and important, much of the lyrics settle for clichés."
- CD single
- "Shadowboxer" - 5:26
- "Never Is a Promise" - 5:56
- Maxi single
- "Shadowboxer" (radio edit)
- "Shadowboxer" (album version)
- "Never Is a Promise"
- "Carrion" (Live)
Credits lifted from the liner notes of Tidal;
- Bass – Greg Richling
- Drums – Danny Frankel
- Organ [Chamberlain] – Patrick Warren
- Vibraphone, Piano [Tack] – Jon Brion
- Vocals, Piano – Fiona Apple
|US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)||32|
|US Alternative Songs (Billboard)||34|
|United States||July 1, 1996||CD single||Work Records, Columbia Records||WRK 663482 1|
|France||Sony Music Entertainment||WRK 663482 1|
|Austria||WRK 663482 2|
|United Kingdom||Columbia Records||SAMPCD 3535|
- "Fiona Apple - Tidal". Soundstage.com. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Saturday Night Live - Robert Downey Jr.-Fiona Apple - Season 22, Episode 6". TV.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "MTV Unplugged - Fiona Apple". TV.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Shadowboxer - Fiona Apple - Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Helligar, Jeremy (25 November 1996). "Apple's Way". People (Time Inc.). Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Mirkin, Steven (23 August 1996). "Music Review: Fiona Apple, Shahowboxer' (1996)". Entertainment Weekly (Time Inc.). Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Thomas Erlewine, Stephen (23 July 1996). "Fiona Apple - Tidal - Review". AllMusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "Fiona Apple - Shadowboxer". Discogs. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Fiona Apple - Tidal". Discogs. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- "Fiona Apple – Chart history" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Fiona Apple.
- "Fiona Apple – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for Fiona Apple.