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This article is about the Powderfinger song. For the time of day, see Sunset. For other uses, see Sunset (disambiguation).
Single by Powderfinger
from the album Vulture Street
Released 4 January 2004
Format CD Single
Digital download
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:50
Label Polydor
Universal Records
Producer(s) Nick DiDia
Powderfinger singles chronology
"Love Your Way"
"Since You've Been Gone"

"Sunsets" is a song released as the third single from Australian rock band Powderfinger's fifth studio album, Vulture Street. The single was released on 4 January 2004 in Australia and New Zealand.

"Sunsets" earned a mixed response from reviewers. Some reviewers praised its appeal and aggression, whilst others appreciated the power ballad elements within it. Others, however, described the song negatively as "lumbering". "Sunsets" charted moderately, reaching No. 11 on the Australian singles chart.

Recording and production[edit]

Vulture Street was recorded and developed over a seven-week period in Sydney, Australia. It was during this time that "Sunsets" was written and produced. Nick DiDia produced the album, as he had done on previous Powderfinger albums including Odyssey Number Five. "Sunsets" was mixed in Atlanta, Georgia, by Brendan OBrien, who had previously worked with DiDia. Fanning described the album during production stages as "a much more dry, direct rock", but also noted that "just because I rock, doesn't mean I'm made of stone". In that sense, "Sunsets" (and numerous other songs on Vulture Street) were seen as emotive, combined with the rock elements Fanning described.[1]

In an interview with Undercover magazine, Powderfinger guitarist Darren Middleton described "Sunsets" as one of (songwriter and lead vocalist) Bernard Fanning's older songs. He said it was similar to the acoustic songs on Odyssey Number Five, the band's previous album. Middleton also said the band worked hard to make "Sunsets" heavy, so that it shared the feel of other songs on the album.[2] In an interview with Rove host Rove McManus, Fanning described Vulture Street as the band wanting to "make a change" and "go back to why [they] started playing". He cited rock and roll from the 1970s as a major influence on the album, especially the work of Led Zeppelin and AC/DC.[3]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Sunsets" was created by the animation studio Liquid Animation. It begins with the following dialogue in yellow:

The visual theme for the video is the Chinese legend of Houyi. The video goes on to introduce King Di-Jun, his ten sons (who are also the Celestial Suns), Queen Xi and Warrior Yi. The video shows one of the King's ten sons being strapped to the back of the jade dragon, but breaks free and the sons made life on Earth unbearable, so the King send the warrior who was introduced earlier to kill them. He succeeds in finding them, and kills all but one.[4][5]

(L-R) Middleton, Fanning, and Haug performing an acoustic version of "Sunsets" on the Across the Great Divide tour on 8 September 2007.

An acoustic video for "Sunsets" is also featured on bonus DVDs for Vulture Street, and Dream Days at the Hotel Existence, as well as the Sunsets DVD single and These Days: Live in Concert "low key" DVD. The video features Bernard Fanning and Darren Middleton playing the song in a rehearsal room.


"Sunsets" was received with varying levels of enthusiasm from reviewers. MusicOMH reviewer Simon Evans described "Sunsets" and "Stumblin'" as some of the more "lumbering" moments on Vulture Street, but still said they contained "a certain earthy appeal".[6] In his review of Vulture Street, Sputnikmusic contributor James Bishop agreed, calling "Sunsets" the "most successful single from the album", and praising its emotional impact.[7]

Meanwhile, Allmusic's Vulture Street reviewer, Jason MacNeil, described "Sunsets" as "adorable", and drew comparisons to The Verve's "Lucky Man".[8] Sydney Morning Herald's Bernard Zuel agreed, praising "Sunsets" as "the new definition of power ballad", and saying the song contained "open-hearted feeling and well-constructed progression".[9]


20 second sample from "Sunsets", demonstrating the "power ballad" elements commented on by Bernard Zuel.[9]

Problems playing this file? See media help.
Year (2007) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 11[10]
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 38[11]


Year Organisation Ceremony Award Result
2003 Triple J Hottest 100 N/A #7[12]
2004 ARIA ARIA Music Awards Best Group Nominated[13]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Sunsets"[14]
  2. "Sunsets" (acoustic)
  3. "Rita" (Audio Airlock Demos)
  4. "Not the Only One" (Studio outtake)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Powderfinger – Vulture Street". Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  2. ^ Cashmere, Paul. "Powderfinger, Interview". Undercover. Archived from the original on 12 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  3. ^ "Bernard Fanning interview with Rove McManus". Rove. November 2003. Network Ten. 
  4. ^ a b Sunsets. Universal Music. 
  5. ^ "Sunsets". Releases. Australian Music Online. Archived from the original on 2 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  6. ^ Evans, Simo. "Powderfinger – Vulture Street (V2)". MusicOMH. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  7. ^ Bishop, James (12 December 2006). "Powderfinger Vulture Street". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  8. ^ MacNeil, Jason. "Vulture Street review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  9. ^ a b Zuel, Bernard (11 July 2003). "Powderfinger, Vulture Street". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  10. ^ "Powderfinger – Sunsets". ARIA. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  11. ^ "Powderfinger – Sunsets". RIANZ. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  12. ^ "Hottest 100 History 2003". Triple J. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  13. ^ "Winners by Artist:Powderfinger". History. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  14. ^ "Sunsets [Australia CD]". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 

External links[edit]