The Chemicals

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"The Chemicals"
Garbage The Chemicals RSD.png
Single by Garbage
Released April 18, 2015 (2015-04-18)
Format 10" vinyl
Recorded 2015
California, United States
Genre Alternative rock, electronica
Length 4:20
Songwriter(s) Garbage
Producer(s) Garbage
Garbage singles chronology
"Girls Talk"
"The Chemicals"

"Girls Talk"
"The Chemicals"

"The Chemicals" is a stand-alone single released by alternative rock band Garbage for Record Store Day 2015.[1] The song is the first track recorded by the band during sessions for their sixth album to be released. "The Chemicals" features Brian Aubert (of Silversun Pickups) on co-vocals.[2] Drummer Butch Vig described "The Chemicals" as "a very dense Garbage track".[3]

Nylon magazine gave a positive write-up to "The Chemicals", declaring that the song "flaunts Shirley Manson's signature sultry vocals in a simple, building chorus that teems with anticipation, ready to erupt into a burst of head-banging bass and percussion."[4]

Single release[edit]

For Record Store Day 2015, the vinyl "The Chemicals" single was pressed to 10" fluorescent orange vinyl[1] and backed with a new cut titled "On Fire".[5] The sleeve art was designed by Ryan Corey for Smog Design, from a traditional 19th century Mexican retablo depicting the Catholic church iconography of the "anima sola", or lonely soul in purgatory.

In the United States, "The Chemicals" was listed as a ‘Record Store Day Exclusive’ release, and limited to 4,000 units.[1] In terms of sales, the single was the #46 biggest selling RSD release of that year.[6] In the United Kingdom, the pressing was limited to 500 copies,[7] and sold enough copies to debut at #49 on the Physical Singles chart.[8] The following week sales sent the single up to #33,[9] and a debut at #32 on the Vinyl Singles chart.[10] A worldwide digital release of the two tracks followed on June 2,[11] under the title "The Chemicals / On Fire".[12]

"The Chemicals" is the third consecutive single release recorded specially by Garbage for Record Store Day, following their previous years' "Girls Talk", and 2013's cover version of "Because the Night";[13] in 2012, there were also RSD pressings of Not Your Kind of People singles "Blood for Poppies""[14] and "Battle In Me".[15]

Music video[edit]

Acclaimed music video director Sophie Muller created a visual clip for "The Chemicals", by editing together footage of her family and friends shot at a London nightclub with the audio track.[2] Manson and Muller had discussed the aesthetics of small punk rock clubs, and their demise over the prior thirty or so years. Both women had experienced such concerts in their formative years: "sweaty excitement... the sensuality that comes when you cram people in such a tiny space." Muller offered to cut the footage she had to "The Chemicals".[2]

The music video premiered on the Mashable website on April 15, 2015.[2] KROQ commended the use of underground rave imagery, and of the European/Berlin club scene that the visuals evoke, as well as Muller's shots and editing.[16]

Commercial track listings[edit]

  • 10" single STNVOL011 (Record Store Day release)[1][17]
  • Digital single (titled "The Chemicals / On Fire")
  1. "The Chemicals" – 4:20
  2. "On Fire" – 5:07

Release history[edit]

Release date Territory Record label Format
April 18, 2015 United States,[1]
United Kingdom[7]
STUNVOLUME 10" vinyl
June 2, 2015 Worldwide[11] Digital release

Comprehensive charts[edit]

Chart (2015) Peak
UK Physical Singles (The Official Charts Company)[9] 33
UK Vinyl Singles (The Official Charts Company)[10] 32


  1. ^ a b c d e "Special Release; Garbage; The Chemicals". Record Store Day. Retrieved 2015-03-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d Bagish, Corinne (2015-04-15). "Garbage premieres 'The Chemicals' music video for Record Store Day". Mashable. Retrieved 2015-04-15. 
  3. ^ "Producer Butch Vig - Pensado's Place #197". Pensado's Place. 2015-01-29. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  4. ^ Deczynski, Rebecca. "garbage goes punk for record store day". NYLON. Retrieved 2015-04-16. 
  5. ^ Rossignol, Derrick (2015-04-15). "Watch Garbage's Music Video for Record Store Day Release, 'The Chemicals'". Diffuser. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  6. ^ "Record Store Day 2015 Top 100 Best-Selling Titles". BUZZ/INGLE MUSIC. Retrieved 2015-04-21. 
  7. ^ a b "Record Store Day 2015 Exclusive Products". RSD UK. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  8. ^ "Official Physical Singles Chart Top 100: 19 April 2015 - 25 April 2015". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2015-04-21. 
  9. ^ a b "Official Physical Singles Chart Top 100: 26 April 2015 - 02 May 2015". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  10. ^ a b "Official Vinyl Singles Chart Top 40 : 26 April 2015 - 02 May 2015". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  11. ^ a b Cowler, Jasmine (2015-05-21). "GARBAGE ANNOUNCE DIGITAL RELEASE OF BRIAN AUBERT COLLABORATION". Gigwise. Retrieved 2015-05-29. 
  12. ^ "The Chemicals / On Fire - Single". STUNVOLUME. 2015-06-02. Retrieved 2015-05-20. 
  13. ^ "Screaming Females cover Patti Smith for Record Store Day New Brunswick band teams with Garbage for new single". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  14. ^ Watson, Rob (2012-03-15). "Record Store Day 2012". Garbagediscobox. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  15. ^ Watson, Rob. "Press Release: Battle In Me out May 7?". Garbagediscobox. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  16. ^ "Garbage's 'The Chemicals' Video Introduces a New Kind of Gazing". KROQ. 2015-04-16. Retrieved 2015-04-17. 
  17. ^ "The Chemicals / on Fire [Vinyl LP]". Germany. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 

External links[edit]