Such Great Heights

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"Such Great Heights"
The Postal Service-Such Great Heights.jpg
Single by The Postal Service
from the album Give Up
B-side "There's Never Enough Time"
Released January 21, 2003 (2003-01-21)
Format CD
Recorded 2002
Length 4:26
Label Sub Pop
Producer(s) The Postal Service
The Postal Service singles chronology
"Such Great Heights"
"The District Sleeps Alone Tonight"
"Such Great Heights"
"The District Sleeps Alone Tonight"

"Such Great Heights" is a song by American indie pop band The Postal Service. It was released as the lead single from their debut studio album, Give Up, on January 21, 2003 through Sub Pop Records. The single includes a previously unreleased track, "There's Never Enough Time", and two cover tracks by The Shins and Iron & Wine of "We Will Become Silhouettes" and "Such Great Heights", respectively.

The song was featured on a 2004 episode of Veronica Mars, and has also been used in several television commercials for organizations such as, Kaiser Permanente, Target, UPS, M&M's, and Telstra. The song was also featured in the trailer for the 2004 film Garden State and the Iron & Wine cover version was featured in the film and its soundtrack. An instrumental version of the song was featured as part of UPS's "Whiteboard" ad campaign, which was launched 6 January 2007, almost four years after the song was officially released.[1] The song was the original theme song to Grey's Anatomy, and appears on its season one soundtrack, Grey's Anatomy Original Soundtrack Volume 1. In Chile, the song was featured Bank commercial of BCI in 2017.[2]

"Such Great Heights" ranked 27 on Rolling Stone's 100 Best Songs of the Decade list, and was consistently ranked in the weekly top 5 most frequently played tracks on social music site for almost two years during 2005 and 2006.[3][4]


The song was written by Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello, and recorded in early 2002. The final recordings include backing vocals in the studio recording by Jen Wood, whose other collaborations include work for The Black Heart Procession and Joan of Arc. The single for "Such Great Heights" was the first CD released by The Postal Service, featuring cover artwork designed by Kozyndan. The release of the single served as a preview for the band's album, Give Up, which was released a month later.

Music video[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [5]
*Pitchfork Media (6.3/10)[6]

The music video for "Such Great Heights" was directed by Josh & Xander, and premiered in April 2003.

Set in the clean room of a semiconductor fabrication plant, where, as the machinery assembles devices, two workers in bunny suits cast longing glances at each other. For most of the song, we primarily see the two workers, interspersed with shots of the machinery working on silicon wafers. When the bridge comes, the video leaves the two workers as one is carefully taking a wafer from the other, and dives into a sequence of shots of machines assembling wafers; then zooms in on a bank of chips; then zooms out to show the chips are inside of a satellite; then zooms in on the Earth and down to the city block containing EnergySolutions Arena (now the Vivint Smart Home Arena), in Salt Lake City, however the block has been replaced with a computer circuit; from there, a match cut is made to a monitor in the factory displaying a similar looking computer chip; and this is the end of the sequence, cutting back to the two workers handing over the wafer.

The video was filmed inside a real fabrication plant run by Skyworks Solutions[7] When the video premiered on iTunes, the Skyworks Solutions name and logo were blurred out during some scenes.

Josh & Xander later created a commercial for Apple Computer Inc. (now Apple Inc.) and Intel using similar footage.[8][9] While strikingly similar to the music video, the commercial did not contain imagery of The Postal Service or a recording of its music. On January 19, 2006, Ben Gibbard stated on the band's website, "It has recently come to our attention that Apple Computers' new television commercial for the Intel chip features a shot-for-shot recreation of our video for 'Such Great Heights' made by the same filmmakers responsible for the original." In response, the band came out with the following statement: "We did not approve this commercialization and are extremely disappointed with both parties that this was executed without our consultation or consent."

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Such Great Heights" – 4:27
  2. "There's Never Enough Time" – 3:33
  3. "We Will Become Silhouettes" (cover by The Shins) – 3:01
  4. "Such Great Heights" (cover by Iron & Wine) – 4:10

Cover versions[edit]

  • Ben Folds covered "Such Great Heights" on Australian radio station Triple J using a piano, forks, tin foil, and glass. He also played the song live during his Fall 2006 tour, including once in his MySpace webcast on October 24, 2006, and on his Summer 2007 tour. He again played it on his Fall 2009 tour in Northampton Massachusetts, St. Louis, MO, Indiana University, and in May 2010 in San Francisco to close the show.
  • Iron & Wine did a cover of the song which was featured on the soundtrack for Garden State. It was released as one of the B-sides of the original Postal Service single.
  • Teddy Geiger did a cover of the song "Such Great Heights" exclusively in a live performance for Boston radio station KISS 108.
  • Firebrand Boy recorded a chiptune version of the song.[10]
  • Matt Nathanson has often covered part of "Such Great Heights" as an outro to his song "Bent".[11]
  • Rilo Kiley did a live cover version.
  • Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls has performed "Such Great Heights" solo on keyboard at live concerts, as well as releasing a ukulele version with Kim Boekbinder in 2011.[12][13][14]
  • The Scene Aesthetic did a live cover on tour. They also recorded their version for the 2010 compilation "Rockin Romance II."
  • The Wrong Trousers did a cover of Such Great Heights [15] on their album One and Counting.[16]
  • FrankMusik, a UK artist, also covered "Such Great Heights" and was a B-Side to his 2009 Confusion Girl (Shame Shame Shame) single.
  • The New Standards covers it on their 2008 album "Rock and Roll".
  • Progressive ska band Tip the Van from Connecticut covers this song at concerts.
  • Streetlight Manifesto covered this song on their album "99 Songs of Revolution: Vol. 1".
  • The Section Quartet covered this song on their album "Fuzzbox".[17]
  • Hong Kong rock band Mr. covered this song on their album "People Sing For People".
  • Fingerstyle guitarist Gareth Pearson covered this song on his October 2012 album "Urban Echoes Vol 2".
  • Confide covered this song on the remake album "Shout The Truth", incorporating screaming into the verses.
  • Joy Kills Sorrow released a cover on their EP "Wide Awake".[18]
  • Modern Ritual released a cover on their 2014 EP, "Mimicry".
  • Postmodern Jukebox arranged the song with Kiah Victoria as lead vocalist.[19]
  • Anderson .Paak covered this song on his 2013 mixtape "Cover Art".


  1. ^ "Whiteboard Advertising Campaign". United Parcel Service. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-02-27. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "100 Best Songs of the 2000s". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  4. ^ "Top Track Charts –". 2008-11-21. Archived from the original on 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  5. ^ "allmusic ((( Such Great Heights > Overview )))". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  6. ^ "The Postal Service: Such Great Heights & The District Sleeps Alone Tonight EPs: Pitchfork Review". 2003-08-07. Archived from the original on 2006-04-11. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  7. ^ "Fab Video". Skyworks Solutions, Inc. Archived from the original on 2005-03-01. Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  8. ^ "Apple - Intel Chip Switch". YouTube. 2008-01-04. Archived from the original on November 23, 2011. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  9. ^ Apple Ad vs The Postal Service "Such Great Heights" video
  10. ^
  11. ^ "2005-10-02 Cornell University Ithaca, NY". Retrieved 2007-12-25. 
  12. ^ Such Great Heights Archived 2011-09-24 at the Wayback Machine. on Bandcamp, accessed 2011-12-05.
  13. ^ Rydin, Brent (August 15, 2011), Amanda Palmer and Kim Boekbinder Hit "Such Great Heights", Cover Me .
  14. ^ Barnes, Amelia (August 24, 2011), Kim Boekbinder & Amanda Palmer - Such Great Heights (2011 Single), The AU Review, retrieved 2011-12-05 .
  15. ^ “”. "the wrong trousers "such great heights" on fm94/9 san diego". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  16. ^ "Discover Music". CDBaby. 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  17. ^ "My Space". 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  18. ^ Lawless, John (2013-08-16). "Such Great Heights video from Joy Kills Sorrow". Bluegrass Today. Retrieved 2017-01-22. 
  19. ^ "Such Great Heights - Jackson 5 - Style The Postal Service Cover ft. Kiah Victoria". Retrieved 2016-02-19. 

External links[edit]