Suddenly I See

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"Suddenly I See"
Single by KT Tunstall
from the album Eye to the Telescope
B-side "Girl & the Ghost"
"Moment of Madness"
"Get Ur Freak On"
Released 29 August 2005
Format 7", CD, DVD
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:21
Label Relentless Records
Writer(s) KT Tunstall
Producer(s) Steve Osborne
KT Tunstall UK singles chronology
"Other Side of the World"
"Suddenly I See"
"Under the Weather"
KT Tunstall US singles chronology
"Black Horse and the Cherry Tree"
"Suddenly I See"
"Other Side of the World"
Alternative covers
Vinyl cover

"Suddenly I See" is a song by Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall and is featured on her debut album, Eye to the Telescope. It was released on 29 August 2005 as the third single (second single in United States) from the album, charting at number 12 in the UK Singles Chart (see 2005 in British music). The single was a hit in Australia where it charted at number six on the ARIA Singles Chart. It was also certified gold by ARIA for sales of 35,000 copies.

The song is Tunstall's highest charting in the United Kingdom, and spent 26 weeks in the Top 75 Singles. It won her an Ivor Novello Award in 2006 in the category of Best Song Musically and Lyrically. It is inspired by New York singer and poet Patti Smith, whose album cover for Horses also inspired Tunstall's album cover for Eye to the Telescope.

Music and lyrics[edit]

The song itself is a tribute to "female power",[1] inspired by and about American musician/songwriter Patti Smith.[2] As described in the lyrics, Tunstall was inspired to a career in music through looking at a black and white picture of a woman. Admiring her strength and accomplishments, she suddenly realised what she wanted to do with her life. Tunstall explained in an interview that the song was "about the photograph of Patti Smith on the cover of Horses",[3] Commenting on the song's later use in Devil Wears Prada, Tunstall said: "I didn't realize the lyrics could perfectly fit a chick flick, and it could sound like I was singing about wanting to be a fucking model!"[3]

The music has been described as featuring a "chugging rhythm" with a "guitar-bass focused beat",[1] as "compelling", and with "urgency", and having a "shiny production".[4] Although the real focus might be on her "clear vocals",[1] "it's in the growls...that Tunstall truly commands attention".[5] Stylistically, it has been described as a "blues-country-pop hybrid".[1] It also has a blue-eyed soul sound.

Media use[edit]

In the summer of 2006, "Suddenly I See" became popular in the United States after being featured prominently at the beginning of the movie The Devil Wears Prada. The song also features at the end of the film Blind Dating, which was released in the same year, starring Chris Pine. It was also the farewell music for female contestants eliminated from the television show So You Think You Can Dance, featured on the season finale of the MTV show The Hills, at the end of a Ghost Whisperer season two episode, and the series premiere of Ugly Betty. It was also featured in the second episode of the second season of the TV series Grey's Anatomy. Jennie Garth and Derek Hough performed a quickstep to a cover of the song for their performance in week 2 of season 5 of Dancing with the Stars. Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas performed a quickstep to a cover of the song for their performance in week 2 of season 11 of Dancing with the Stars. Tunstall also performed the song live on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The song was one of the candidates for Hillary Clinton's campaign song for her 2008 presidential campaign.[6] It features in the Torchwood episode "Greeks Bearing Gifts". The song is featured on the soundtrack of the game Thrillville in the park radio stations. It was used in the 2014 film Love, Rosie.[7]

The song came to be satirised in an episode of Best Week Ever, which mocked the concept of how films and television shows frequently played it during uplifting, feminist scenes, and went on to play the song while contrastingly depicting degrading images of women working in sweatshops and strip clubs. It also appears as an on-disk track in the game Lego Rock Band, in the PlayStation 2 version of Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA 2, as well as in Brazilian soap opera Belíssima (2006), and the Nintendo DS version of Band Hero. It was also on the game Imagine: Fashion Designer New York

The song has also been used in a series of commercials for Walmart, as well as for Best Buy. The song was also heard briefly in the background during the last year of the CBS soap opera As the World Turns.

In 2008, Kate Ceberano recorded a version for her album So Much Beauty.

Music video[edit]

There are three different music videos, one for Britain, one for the USA, and one animated.

The British version, directed by Big TV!, is a simple performance video in which Tunstall and her band play across from another set of Tunstall and her band.

The American version, directed by Patrick Daughters features Tunstall in different situations involving a circus in Romania. Filmed in Bucharest, the video was produced by Black Dog Films and serviced by local production company Domino Productions with producer Catalin Neagu. This version aired for a short time in the US and has seemingly been replaced in rotations by the animated version.

The animated version, directed by Honey (i.e., the husband-and-wife directorial team of Laura Kelly and Nicholas Brooks), features Tunstall walking around an animated pop-up fantasy world, and engages in activities such as walking up giant guitars, riding miniature trains, and drifting off into space.

Track listings[edit]

In the UK, the song was released on three formats for the single release. In the US, it was released only to radio.

  • 7" REL21
  1. "Suddenly I See" (single version)
  2. "Moment of Madness" (live)
  • CD RELCD21
  1. "Suddenly I See" (single version)
  2. "Girl & the Ghost"
  1. "Suddenly I See" (video)
  2. "Miniature Disasters" (live at Glastonbury video)
  3. "Get Ur Freak On" (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge)
  • Europe CD
  1. "Suddenly I See" (single version)
  2. "Girl & the Ghost"
  3. "Moment of Madness"
  4. "Get Ur Freak On" (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge)
  • Australia CD
  1. "Suddenly I See" (single version)
  2. "Other Side of the World" (single version)
  3. "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" (single version)
  4. "Get Ur Freak On" (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge)
  • iTunes Single
  1. "Suddenly I See" (single version)
  2. "Suddenly I See" (live at Webster Hall)
  • Promo CD
  1. "Suddenly I See" (radio version) 3:11
  2. "Suddenly I See" (instrumental) 3:11

Charts and certifications[edit]


Chart (2005–07) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[8] 6
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[9] 48
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[10] 9
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[11] 39
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[12] 19
France (SNEP)[13] 66
Germany (Official German Charts)[14] 89
Ireland (IRMA) 25
Italy (FIMI)[15] 36
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[16] 17
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[17] 5
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[18] 46
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 12
US Billboard Hot 100[19] 21
US Billboard Pop Songs 33
US Billboard Adult Pop Songs 5
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 10


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[20] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[21] 2× Platinum 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[22] Silver 200,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone



  1. ^ a b c d Lamb, Bill. "KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See". Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  2. ^ "Suddenly I See Life's Great: KT Tunstall bean playing in coffee". Sunday Herald. 4 December 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  3. ^ a b Collis, Clark (20 September 2007). "KT Tunstall: Not Going to 'F--- It Up'". Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Eye to the Telescope > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 29 June 2008. 
  5. ^ Jonathan Keefe (22 January 2006). "KT Tunstal: Eye To The Telescope | Music Review". Slant Magazine. Archived from the original on 2010-02-01. 
  6. ^ Giese, Rachel (1 June 2007). "Rock the vote - Hillary Clinton’s YouTube adventure". CBC. Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  7. ^ Lodge, Guy (October 18, 2014). "Film Review: ‘Love, Rosie’". Variety. Retrieved February 14, 2015. 
  8. ^ " – KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  9. ^ " – KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  10. ^ " – KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  11. ^ "KT Tunstall – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for KT Tunstall. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  12. ^ "KT Tunstall: Suddenly I See" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  13. ^ " – KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  14. ^ " – KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  15. ^ " – KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – KT Tunstall search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  17. ^ " – KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  18. ^ " – KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  19. ^ "KT Tunstall: Artist Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 23 July 2006. 
  20. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2007 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  21. ^ "Canadian single certifications – KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See". Music Canada. 
  22. ^ "British single certifications – KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See". British Phonographic Industry.  line feed character in |title= at position 57 (help) Enter Suddenly I See in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search

External links[edit]