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Single by Keane
from the album Perfect Symmetry
Released 4 August 2008
Format Digital download, 7" vinyl
Recorded 2008, Teldex Studios, Berlin
Genre Synthpop, alternative rock
Length 4:19 (album version)
3:26 (radio edit)
Label Island
Songwriter(s) Tim Rice-Oxley
Tom Chaplin
Richard Hughes
Jesse Quin
Producer(s) Keane
Keane singles chronology
"The Night Sky"
"The Lovers Are Losing"

"The Night Sky"
"The Lovers Are Losing"
Audio sample

"Spiralling" is a song released by Keane, on 4 August 2008 at 10:59 (CEST)[1] as the first single of their third album, Perfect Symmetry.[2] It was released in a similar fashion to that of "Atlantic" as a digital download only single; however, it was available as a free download from Keanemusic.com for the first week of release.[3] On 31 July, the message "When we fall in love, we're just falling in love with ourselves" appeared on the band's website in reference to the track. On 11 August 2008, the song was released as an official digital download on various online music stores. The song was said to be inspired by wrestling legend Ric Flair who Tom Chaplin described as a personal hero for his try hard mentality in the ring. His trademark "woo" inspired the song. Frontman Tom Chaplin described the song as "a train of thought about human endeavour, built on an outrageous groove".[4]

The song went on to become the most broadcast song of the world during its first week of release,[5] as well as the fastest-downloading song ever for Universal, reaching 500,000 downloads in less than a week.[6]

Keane performed the song live to an audience for the first time at the 2008 GQ Awards on 2 September 2008.[7]

The song won Best Track at the Q Awards on 6 October 2008, with all three members of the band present at the ceremony to accept the award.[8] In 2013, Christoper McBridge of Drowned in Sound said the song "showcased Keane, for perhaps the only time in their career, in exhilarating day-glo mode. It is a sleek, shiny number which is no doubt one of the great pop singles of the past five years."[9]

Despite Spiralling being one of the biggest hits of 2008, the single only reached number 23 in the UK charts.

Track listing[edit]

UK 7" vinyl[edit]

  1. "Spiralling"
    • A special one-sided limited edition 7" of 1,000 copies of the single was released and sent to members of the messageboard. The single came inside a special box designed to contain the remaining singles of the "Perfect Symmetry era" (similar to the one released with "Atlantic")

US 7" vinyl[edit]

  1. "Spiralling"
  2. "Spiralling" (Diplo vs Keane Mad Spirals Mix)
    • Promo issued on Interscope with the same artwork as the UK version.

Music video[edit]

The robots of the video "Spiralling"

The music video for "Spiralling" was released on the Keane Official Website on 26 September. Composer Tim Rice-Oxley left a note reading "Andras Ketzer has perfectly represented the difference between the idealised dream and the dystopian reality of human existence". It features robots walking in such a manner of the I, Robot film adaptation and shots of lead singer Tom Chaplin staring at TV sets while sitting in a couch. There are also shots of him singing the song from inside a blue room.

Release history[edit]

Country Date
United Kingdom 4 August 2008
Mexico 5 August 2008[10]


On 17 August 2008, the song entered the UK Singles Chart at #28 on downloads alone and peaked at #23 without a video or physical release. The song has spent 10 weeks in the UK Top 40 without entering the Top 20. Despite remaining as Keane's longest lasting single in the UK Top 100 (18 weeks), it became the band's joint-lowest charting single at the time mainly due to it not being physically released. However, it marked the band's ninth consecutive UK Top 40 single.

The song debuted on #26 in the Dutch Top 40 on 23 August 2008 issue and peaked at #12.[11]

On 5 October 2008, the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at #36 and peaked at #23 again.

Chart (2008) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[12] 41
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[13] 22
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 52
European Hot 100 Singles 66
Germany (Official German Charts)[14] 83
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 22
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[16] 12
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[17] 23


Sugababes performed an acoustic cover of "Spiralling" in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge on 9 October 2008 and features on the "No Can Do" Single which peaked also at #23.


  1. ^ Keanemusic countdown; calculated with clock synchronized from UTC.
  2. ^ "Keaneshaped - Spiralling". Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  3. ^ "Music Week: Keane return in Perfect Symmetry". Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
  4. ^ "Keane give away new song for free today (Aug 4)". NME. 4 August 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Keane on Universal Music México". Retrieved 26 September 2008.[dead link]
  6. ^ "Interscope Records". Retrieved 26 September 2008.
  7. ^ "World exclusive! Keane perform for GQ". Retrieved 3 September 2008.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Keane Land Best Track Award - Q Awards 2008". Archived from the original on 9 December 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2008.
  9. ^ McBridge, Christopher (5 November 2013). "Keane: The Best of Keane". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Keane official forum". Archived from the original on 6 August 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2008.
  11. ^ [1] Archived 8 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – Keane – Spiralling" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – Keane – Spiralling" (in French). Ultratip.
  14. ^ "Musicline.de – Keane Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  15. ^ "Chart Track: Week 43, 2008". Irish Singles Chart.
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Keane" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  17. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.

External links[edit]