The Freshmen (song)
|Single by The Verve Pipe|
|from the album Villains|
|Released||January 27, 1997|
|Format||CD single and Cassette|
|Genre||Alternative rock, post-grunge|
|Writer(s)||Brian Vander Ark|
|Producer(s)||Donnie Brown (original)
Jerry Harrison (album)
Jack Joseph Puig (single)
|The Verve Pipe singles chronology|
"The Freshmen" is a song by American alternative rock group The Verve Pipe. First recorded in 1992, the song was later re-recorded and became the band's breakthrough hit in early 1997. It remains the group's highest charting single to date.
Background and content
According to the FAQ on "Verve Pipings", guitarist and lead singer Brian Vander Ark wrote the song in 1991 about the guilt he felt from his ex-girlfriend committing suicide. However, according to an external interview site, Vander Ark revealed that the suicide was a poetic license; the real incident which inspired the song was when his pregnant girlfriend had an abortion.
The song was first featured, in acoustic style, on their 1992 album I've Suffered a Head Injury. It was recorded a second time and released on the band's 1996 album Villains. Later that year, the band recorded the song again, this time with producer Jack Joseph Puig, for release as a single. The single was released on January 27, 1997. Subsequent pressings of Villains replaced the original album version with the single version. "The Freshmen" peaked at number 5 in the United States.
In addition, a slightly modified single version was released to radio, featuring Brian Vander Ark singing the final lyrics of the second verse ("thinks about her now and how he never really wept") in the same melodic sequence as he sings the homologous lyrics at the end of the first verse ("stop a baby's breath..."), as opposed to his higher-pitched, almost yelled rendering of these lyrics in the version that appeared on the album.
Charts and certifications
|Netherlands (Mega Top 100)||
|US Billboard Hot 100||5|
|US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)||7|
|US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)||9|
|US Alternative Songs (Billboard)||1|
|US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)||7|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||21|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||600,000|
- Mustard Plug covered this song for a Michigan radio station. It does not appear on any of their albums.
- In 2004, Skott Freedman released a piano version of the song on his album Judge a Book.
- In 2005, then-Boston Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo covered the song on his debut covers album Covering the Bases.
- In 2010, Jay Brannan released a soft indie version of the song as a single "The Freshmen".
- In 2011, The Warriors of Heavy covered the song in the album Heavy Metal Vol. 5, an album of only cover songs.
- Verve Pipeings FAQ
- Carlini, Anne. (n.d.). "Brian Vander Ark: What’s Lurking Underneath." Exclusive Magazine. Retrieved October 28, 2007.
- International peaks
- "The Verve Pipe – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for The Verve Pipe.
- "The Verve Pipe – Chart history" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for The Verve Pipe.
- "The Verve Pipe – Chart history" Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs for The Verve Pipe.
- "The Verve Pipe – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for The Verve Pipe.
- "The Verve Pipe – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for The Verve Pipe.
- "Top Singles - Volume 66, No. 15, December 15, 1997". RPM. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- "Billboard Top 100 - 1997". Retrieved 2010-08-28.
- "American single certifications – Verve Pipe, The – The Freshmen". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
- "Best-Selling Records of 1997". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 110 (5): 76. January 31, 1998. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 31, 2015.