This Picture (song)

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"This Picture"
Single by Placebo
from the album Sleeping with Ghosts
Released9 June 2003
GenreAlternative rock
Producer(s)Jim Abbiss
Placebo singles chronology
"The Bitter End"
"This Picture"
"Special Needs"

"This Picture" is a single by British alternative rock band Placebo, from their fourth studio album, Sleeping with Ghosts, released on 9 June 2003. It was the second single off of the album.

"This Picture" was remixed by Junior Sanchez for the bonus remix CD of Once More with Feeling.


It tells the story of a relationship involving sadomasochism and an abusive female in a position of dominance. In the lyrics, the phrase "ashtray girl" is meant to refer to a woman who uses her partner as an "emotional ashtray"; "cigarette burns on my chest" makes reference to a supposed particular fetish of James Dean. As singer/lyricist Brian Molko commented, prior to its performance at a concert,

There's an old story that somebody told me once about James Dean. For those of you who don't know this yet, James Dean was gay. Yes, I'm sorry, it's true. He had a particular fetish where he liked to have cigarettes stubbed out on his chest. That's kind of an image that's always stayed with me, and part of the inspiration for this song.[citation needed]


This Picture was released by Hut Recordings on 9 June 2003. Dale Price of Drowned in Sound regarded it as one of the best songs on Sleeping with Ghosts and compared it favourably to the band's earlier single "You Don't Care About Us".[1] The single peaked at no. 23 in the UK Singles Chart.[2]

Music video[edit]

The music video features the Italian actress Asia Argento[3].

Track listings[edit]


1."This Picture" 
3."Where Is My Mind? (XFM Live Version)" 

Australian CD version

1."This Picture" 3:36
2."Soulmates" 3:23
3."Where Is My Mind? (XFM Live Version)" 3:56
4."Daddy Cool"Boney M3:21
5."Teenage Angst (Piano Version)" 3:34


1."This Picture" 
2."Where Is My Mind? (XFM Live Version)" 


  • "This Picture" (video)
  • Interview footage
  • "This Picture" (acoustic version recorded by RTL2 France)
  • "Jackie" - audio track


  1. ^ Price, Dale (7 June 2003). "Placebo – This Picture". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Placebo". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  3. ^ (in Italian) Asia Argento: video con i Placebo