The Distance (song)

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"The Distance"
Single by Cake
from the album Fashion Nugget
ReleasedOctober 15, 1996
RecordedSeptember 1996 (1996-09)
Songwriter(s)Greg Brown
Cake singles chronology
"I Will Survive"
"The Distance"
"Frank Sinatra"
Live performance (on band's Vevo channel)
Music video
”The Distance” on YouTube
Audio sample
"The Distance"

"The Distance" is a song by the American alternative rock band Cake. Released in 1996, "The Distance" was the second single from the band's second album Fashion Nugget, and considered one of their most popular songs.[3] It was written by the band's guitarist at the time, Greg Brown.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Distance" - 3:00
  2. "Multiply the Heartaches" - 2:49
  3. "Jolene" (Live) - 8:25
  4. "It's Coming Down" - 3:44


The song is based around Cake's standard guitar, bass, and drums setup, with flourishes of solo trumpet, and John McCrea's characteristically deadpan, driving vocals. The song does not employ McCrea's rhythm guitar, but does feature some overlaid synthesized and other non-traditional sounds. In the official music video, a glimpse of the melodica can be seen.

Music video[edit]

The video for "The Distance" features footage of the members of the band performing the song in a busy office lobby, mixed with footage of a businessman who inexplicably starts to run off into the sunset; first he runs from his office building (the same one the band is performing in) to the suburbs, then into the country and a forest, and finally into the sea. While the man is running, various people in humorous animal costumes cheer him on. It takes place in downtown San Francisco and other Northern California locations and first aired in September 1996.

In popular culture[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
Canadian RPM Alternative 30[5] 5
UK Singles Chart[6] 22
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 35
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[7] 38
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[7] 4


  1. ^ Steininger, Alex (July–August 1997). "Cake: Fashion Nugget". In Music We Trust. Retrieved October 23, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "The best car songs for 2019". Digital Trends.
  3. ^ "Cake | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links". AllMusic.
  4. ^ MOUTH MOODS Website. Retrieved February 21, 2019
  5. ^ "Rock/Alternative - Volume 64, No. 18, December 16, 1996". RPM. Retrieved 2011-02-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Chart Log UK: Chris C. – CZR".
  7. ^ a b "Cake—Artist Chart History".