Spitting Games

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"Spitting Games"
Spitting games cd.jpg
Single by Snow Patrol
from the album Final Straw
Released 15 September 2003
12 July 2004 (Re-release)
Format 7" vinyl, CD
Recorded February 2003 at Britannia Row/The Diving Bell
Genre Alternative rock, power pop
Length 3:48
Label Black Lion
Fiction/Interscope (Re-release)
Writer(s) Gary Lightbody, Mark McClelland, Nathan Connolly and Jonny Quinn
Producer(s) Jacknife Lee
Snow Patrol singles chronology
"One Night is Not Enough"
"Spitting Games"
Alternative covers
Re-release cover
Snow Patrol singles chronology
"Spitting Games" (re-release)
"How to Be Dead"

"Spitting Games" is the lead single from Snow Patrol's third album, Final Straw, released on 15 September 2003.[1]

It was featured on the video game MVP Baseball 2004 and numerous Club Football 2005 titles. The track was also featured in "Everything Changes", the first episode of the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, and later in the episode "Greeks Bearing Gifts", in 2006. It was featured on an episode of the second season of the teen drama One Tree Hill and in the movie Boy Eats Girl.

Original release[edit]

Snow Patrol released the song during their first UK Tour during the Final Straw Tour. To mark the release, the band made a previously unheard track for free download on their official site, titled "Half the Fun of It".[2]

Snow Patrol were one of the acts chosen in AOL Music's "Breakers" in December 2003, a program to promote bands for months leading up to the release of their respective albums in the United States.[3] During the time of the band's promotion, lead UK single "Spitting Games" was downloaded a million times, and was released as a stand-alone single in March 2004 in the week of the band's appearance at South by Southwest Festival.[4]

Track listing[edit]

  • CD:
  1. "Spitting Games" – 3:48
  2. "Steal" – 2:44
  3. "Brave" – 4:12
  4. "Spitting Games" (Video)
  • 7" Vinyl:
  1. "Spitting Games" – 3:48
  2. "Steal" – 2:44


Music Week reviewed the single positively, calling it a classic indie song. It praised the "British chugging guitar" and "bittersweet melodies".[5] IrishCentral called the song an alternative rock "masterpiece" and said it had made the band "cool".[6]


"Spitting Games" was re-released on 12 July 2004, on both E-CD and 7" formats. The enhanced CD featured a cover of Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love", which was first performed on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show and another cover of Will Oldham's "New Partner", again from a Radio 1 Session for Steve Lamacq in 2002.[7] The song made the A lists of BBC Radio 1,[8] BBC Radio 2 and 95.8 Capital FM radio station of London.[9] Due to heavy airplay by the radio stations, the single peaked at #6 on the UK Airplay Chart. It helped the album Final Straw's sales, which reached #5, its highest chart placing after 23 weeks.[10]

Track listing[edit]

  • CD:
  1. "Spitting Games" - 3:48
  2. "Crazy In Love" (BBC Live Version) - 4:25
  3. "New Partner" (BBC Live Version) - 4:05
  4. "Spitting Games" (Video version 2)
  • 7" Vinyl:
  1. "Spitting Games" - 3:48
  2. "Wow (Acoustic)" - 3:09
  • Promo CD
  1. "Spitting Games (AAA Mix)" - 3:28


Yahoo! Music's Simon Ward reviewed the single positively, awarding it 7 stars out of 10, though he criticized the song for being "an indie anthem of the kind Ash used to make ten years ago." He praised the song's "nagging 'do-doo harmonies and driving guitars" though said that it wasn't "going to rewrite rock history." He still felt "it's competent indie-pop that will doubtless signal skies full of water and bouncing moshpits at the rest of the summer's festivals. Which is, frankly, all that's asked of it."[11]


Chart (2003-04) Peak
UK Singles Top 75[12] 54
UK Singles Top 75[13] 23
UK Airplay Chart[10] 6
Ireland Singles Top 50 41
US Modern Rock Tracks[14] 39


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Snow Patrol 'splitting news'!". NME. 26 August 2003. Archived from the original on 2009-10-04. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  3. ^ "America Online Introduces Music's Next Big Stars with This Season's Breaker Artists on AOL Music". AOL. 8 December 2003. Archived from the original on October 31, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  4. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (1 May 2004). "Snow Patrol storms U.S. shores". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 116 (18): 10. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  5. ^ "Snow Patrol Spitting Games (Black Lion/Polydor 9809350)". AccessMyLibrary. Music Week. 6 September 2003. Retrieved 2009-10-19.  Appears as: "When it comes to indie classic status, few songs make the grade, including this one. Nevertheless, it comes within spitting distance, what with its unmistakably British chugging guitar sound and bittersweet melodies. It trails their third album and major label debut, Final Straw."
  6. ^ Farragher, Michael (18 November 2009). "Fall in love with Snow Patrol all over again with greatest hits album". IrishCentral. Archived from the original on November 20, 2009. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  7. ^ [2][dead link]
  8. ^ "Snow Patrol: Spitting Games". AccessMyLibrary. Music Week. 3 July 2004. Retrieved 2009-10-19.  Appears as: "This excellent track was the first single to be lifted from Snow Patrol's Final Straw album, and is now re-released to benefit from the band's subsequent success. It sounds more independent than other singles, but is nevertheless A-listed at Radio One."
  9. ^ "Radio playlists (Upfront)". AccessMyLibrary. Music Week. 24 July 2004. Retrieved 2009-10-19.  BBC Radio 2: "Beverley Knight Affirmation (album); Jamelia See It In A Boy's Eyes; * Kealer Cry; Lenny Kravitz California; Morrissey First Of The Gang To Die; Snow Patrol Spitting Games; The Charlatans Try Again Today; The Streets Dry Your Eyes; Tom Baxter This Boy". Capital FM: "...* Natasha Bedingfield Single; Natasha Bedingfield These Words; Rachel Stevens Some Girls; Scissor Sisters Laura; Shapeshifters Lola's Theme; Shaznay Lewis Never Felt Like This Before; Snow Patrol Spitting Games; * Stonebridge Put 'em High; * Sugababes Caught In A Moment; The Rasmus In The Shadows; The Streets Dry Your Eyes; Usher Burn; Will Young Friday's Child."
  10. ^ a b "The UK radio airplay chart: Shapeshifters' Lola's Theme proves strong enough to hold off the threat from Jamelia for another week while Scissor Sisters, Usher and Snow Patrol gain in the Top 10 (Radio)". AccessMyLibrary. Music Week. 31 July 2004. Retrieved 2009-10-19.  Appears as: "Snow Patrol's Spitting Games leaps 17-6 on the airplay chart, primarily because it is getting massive support form the BBC, with 32 plays from Radio One, where it tops the most-played list, and 18 from Radio Two. These 50 plays between them provide more than 82% of Spitting Games' total audience, though it received a further 677 plays elsewhere, including a phenomenal 91 from Kerrang! Digital and 65 from Storm. It certainly helps the group's album Final Straw, which climbs to five, its highest placing for 23 weeks."
  11. ^ "Snow Patrol - 'Spitting Games'". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  12. ^ "UK Singles Chart runs". Polyhex.com. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  13. ^ "Snow Patrol - Spitting Games - Music Charts". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  14. ^ "Snow Patrol - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 

External links[edit]