Swear It Again

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"Swear It Again"
Swearcd1.jpg
Standard European artwork
Single by Westlife
from the album Westlife
B-side"Forever"
Released
  • 19 April 1999 [1] (UK)
  • 25 February 2000 (US)
Format
Recorded
  • September 1996
  • Rokstone Studios (London)
GenrePop
Length4:07
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Steve Mac
Westlife singles chronology
"Swear It Again"
(1999)
"If I Let You Go"
(1999)
Music video
"Swear It Again" on YouTube
Music video
"Swear It Again (Car Wash Version)" on YouTube

"Swear It Again" (Alternate title: "Swear It All Over Again"[2]) is a song by Irish boy band Westlife. It was released on 19 April 1999 in the United Kingdom,[3] and on 25 February 2000 in the United States as the first and only single from their self-titled debut album Westlife (1999). This is the best-selling debut single of all-time from an Irish citizen. It peaked at number one in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in May 1999.[4] It moved to 182,000 units in the first two weeks of its release, and spent 13 weeks on the charts.[5] This made it the first of fourteen UK number-one singles. To date, "Swear It Again" is Westlife's only single to have charted in the US, peaking at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and ranking number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end charts, in 2000. The song was performed live on Miss Teen USA 2000.

The single has sold over 600,000 copies to date[when?] in the UK and the US and also achieved gold status there.[6][7] It is the band's ninth most streamed song, fifth best selling single in combined sales category and seventh best selling single in paid-for sales category in the United Kingdom as of January 2019.[8][9] While it is their fifth most streamed song of all time from their home country, the Republic of Ireland as of 2 April 2019.

Background[edit]

"Swear It Again" is notable for being, along with "Flying Without Wings", one of the first two songs that Steve Mac wrote for both Westlife and Simon Cowell. The success of the two tracks led to Mac becoming Cowell's first choice producer and songwriter.[10] It was revealed that Cowell let his late father Eric Cowell listened to all of the songs recorded by the band at that time and decide what will be the debut single and "Swear It Again" was his choice. Significantly, his father died during the premiere week of the release of the single.

The song's B-side, "Forever", was a significant choice because it was the song - as originally recorded by Damage - that first alerted Cowell to the talent of Steve Mac and then led to the producer working with Westlife.[10] It was composed in the traditional verse–chorus form in A major, with Filan and Feehily's vocal ranging from the chords of B3 to F#5.[11]

It was supposed to be released in 26 March 1999 but was pushed back to 12 April 1999.

An exclusive live track version of the single was included in the Arista Records 25th anniversary compilation album in 2000.[12]

Music video[edit]

The British music video features the band members in a mini theatre and singing on a stage fitted with lighting panel flooring while they face a screen with black-and-white videos of their studio recording process. This version was directed by Wayne Isham and aired in May 1999. The video was shot at Pinewood Studios in March 1999.[13] The video on YouTube has 49 million views as of June 2019.[14]

The American music video features the band members at a car wash and subsequently washing a white car as they're singing the song. This version was directed by Nigel Dick and aired in June 2000.[13] The American version of the video has 1.8 million views on YouTube as of June 2019.[15]

Tours performed at[edit]

Track listing[edit]

  • United Kingdom
CD1
  1. "Swear It Again" (Radio Edit) - 4:04
  2. "Forever" - 5:05
  3. "Interview" (Video)
CD2
  1. "Swear It Again" (Radio Edit) - 4:04
  2. "Swear It Again" (Rokstone Mix) - 4:07
  3. "Interview" (Audio) - 3:36
  • Japan
  1. "Swear It Again" (Radio Edit) - 4:04
  2. "Until the End of Time" - 3:12
  3. "Forever" - 5:05
  4. "Everybody Knows" (Demo Version) - 4:09
  5. "Let's Make Tonight Special" - 4:57
  6. "Don't Calm the Storm" - 3:47
  7. "Interview" (Audio) - 3:36
  • America
  1. "Swear It Again" (Radio Edit) - 4:04
  2. "Album Snippet Medley" - 4:55

Charts and certifications[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Honours and awards[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Result
2001 BMI Awards Pop Award Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official Chart dated 25 April 1999 proving the song was released on 19 April 1999".
  2. ^ "Work title: SWEAR IT AGAIN".
  3. ^ (Nicky Byrne says release date is April 19th on YouTube)
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 633. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  5. ^ "WESTLIFE | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  6. ^ [1] Archived 12 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Westlife | Official Top 20 | MTV UK". Mtv.co.uk. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  8. ^ "Westlife | Official Top 20". MTV. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  9. ^ Copsey, Rob (12 January 2019). "Westlife's Top 20 biggest songs on the Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Interview With Steve Mac". HitQuarters. 12 April 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  11. ^ "25 Years of #1 Hits - Arista Records 25th Anniversary Celebration".
  12. ^ "Swear It Again BY WESTLIFE - DIGITAL SHEET MUSIC".
  13. ^ a b "Westlife artist videography". mvdbase.com. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  14. ^ westlifeVEVO (3 October 2009), Westlife - "Swear It Again" (Official Music Video), retrieved 11 June 2019
  15. ^ westlifeVEVO (3 October 2009), Westlife - "Swear It Again" (Official US Video), retrieved 11 June 2019
  16. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Westlife – Swear It Again". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Westlife – Swear It Again" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  18. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 7187." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  19. ^ Billboard - Google Books. 22 May 1999. Retrieved 1 February 2014 – via Google Books.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Westlife – Swear It Again" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  21. ^ "Charts.nz – Westlife – Swear It Again". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  22. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  23. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Westlife – Swear It Again" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  24. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Westlife – Swear It Again". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  25. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Westlife – Swear It Again". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  26. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  27. ^ "Westlife Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  28. ^ "Westlife Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  29. ^ "Westlife Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  30. ^ "End of Year Charts 1999". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  31. ^ "Romanian Top 100: Top of the Year 1999" (in Romanian). Romanian Top 100. Archived from the original on 22 January 2005.
  32. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1999 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  33. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Westlife – Swear It Again". Recorded Music NZ.
  34. ^ "British single certifications – Westlife – Swear It Again". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Swear It Again in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  35. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 2000". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 113 (6): 64. 10 February 2001. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  36. ^ "American single certifications – Westlife – Swear It Again". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.