Too Close (Alex Clare song)

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"Too Close"
Single by Alex Clare
from the album The Lateness of the Hour
B-side Nadastrom Remix
Released 15 April 2011
Recorded 2010
  • 4:16 (album version)
  • 3:43 (radio edit)
Label Island
Alex Clare singles chronology
"Up All Night"
"Too Close"
"Treading Water"

"Too Close" is a song by British singer Alex Clare. The track was first released in the United Kingdom on 15 April 2011 as the second single from Clare's debut studio album, The Lateness of the Hour (2011).[1] The track was written by Alex Clare and Jim Duguid and produced by Diplo and Switch (the collaborative members of reggae band Major Lazer), with co-production from Ariel Rechtshaid and Mike Spencer. Lyrically, the song describes the protagonist who is not ready for a committed relationship and he must end things with his love interest in good terms.

The song became popular after it was used in an advertising campaign for Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9. "Too Close" was a number-one hit in Germany and a top-ten hit in multiple countries, including the UK, where it peaked at number 4, and the U.S., where it peaked at number 7. The song has also been certified double platinum by the RIAA.[2] The song was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Single at the 2013 Brit Awards.[3]


Clare said "Too Close" was inspired by a particular relationship with a close friend that turned romantic. He said, "One thing led to another, but it didn't really work out and that felt too close."[4]

The song was first released in the UK on 15 April 2011 as the second single from the album. In March 2012, it was selected as the soundtrack to Microsoft's advertisement for Internet Explorer 9, released the following month.[5] The exposure propelled the song to international success. This marked a turnaround in Clare's musical career and fortunes. Prior to it entering the UK Singles Chart, he had been forced to take a job as an estate agent after being dropped by his record label due to poor sales of his album.[6] Soon after its success on the chart, Universal Republic Records signed Clare to a distribution deal that allowed The Lateness of the Hour to be released in the US.[7]

Chart and sales performance[edit]

In the weeks after the premiere of the Microsoft advertising campaign where the song was featured, "Too Close" sold more than 100,000 digital downloads,[7][8] and it made its debut at number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its third week of release.[9] It reached the top-ten in September after a boost in download due to it being featured in Fox TV's So You Think You Can Dance, with 127,000 downloads sold for the week.[10] The song peaked at number 7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.[11] The song has sold over 3 million digital downloads in the US as of May 2013.[12]

In the UK, the song sold 70,000 copies in the weeks after the Microsoft advertising campaign premiered.[6] The song peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart and at number-one in Germany.[13] It was the eighteenth best-selling single of 2012 in the UK with sales of 557,000.[14]

Music video[edit]

A music video to accompany the release of "Too Close" was first released onto YouTube on 15 March 2011 at a total length of four minutes and eighteen seconds. The video contains Clare singing in a chair intermixed with scenes of a heavily dramaticized representation of a Kendo match between two heavily-padded athletes in black uniforms. The fight takes place in an urban setting resembling a deserted factory building. Alex Clare said that he originally wanted samurais cutting each other up in the music video, but the budget did not permit it, so he had to settle for kendo fighters.[4]

The video opened to very small numbers, but two months after the Internet Explorer 9 advert campaign, it gained much popularity and by 24 February 2013, it had more than 40 million views. It has over 62 million views as of April 2016.[15]

An alternate music video was released to YouTube on 28 August 2012.[16] There is also an official version of the music video with footage from Taken 2.[17]


In October 2012, Leona Lewis performed an acoustic cover of the song during a session with The Sun.[18] Tim Halperin and Macy Maloy also covered the song.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[1]
No. Title Length
1. "Too Close" 4:16
2. "Too Close" (Nadastrom Remix) 4:28
3. "Too Close" (music video) 4:18
Remix single[19]
No. Title Length
1. "Too Close" (Distance Remix) 4:00

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom[1] 15 April 2011 Digital download Island
United States 5 March 2012


  1. ^ a b c "iTunes - Music - Too Close - Single by Alex Clare". iTunes. 
  2. ^ a b "American single certifications – Alex Clare – Too Close". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  3. ^ "Brit Awards: Emeli Sande gets four nominations". BBC News. Retrieved 10 January 2013
  4. ^ a b Kia Makarechi (24 July 2012). "Alex Clare & 'Too Close': Singer Talks New Fame, Working With Diplo & Dating Amy Winehouse". Huffington Post. 
  5. ^ "New Internet Explorer Ad featuring singer Alex Clare". Microsoft. 5 March 2012. 
  6. ^ a b David Whitehouse (19 May 2012). "How a TV ad gave estate agent Alex Clare a second shot at pop". The Guardian. 
  7. ^ a b Maeve McDermott (15 July 2012). "Meet Alex Clare, the voice behind 'Too Close'". USA Today. 
  8. ^ Andrew Hampp (14 April 2012). "Alex Clare Talks Microsoft Ad, Amy Winehouse & Career Re-Start". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Paul Grein (28 March 2012). "Week Ending March 25, 2012. Songs: For fun. And Profit". Chart Watch. Yahoo. 
  10. ^ Paul Willams (13 September 2012). "US charts: Alex Clare breaks into Hot 100 Top 10". MusicWeek. 
  11. ^ Too Close at AllMusic
  12. ^ a b Paul Grein (29 May 2013). "Week Ending May 26, 2013. Songs: "Clouds" Takes Off". Chart Watch. Yahoo Music. 
  13. ^ a b "Archive Chart: 2012-05-19" UK Singles Chart.
  14. ^ a b Dan Lane (2 January 2013). "The Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Singles Of 2012 revealed!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  15. ^ Alex Clare - Too Close. YouTube
  16. ^ "Alex Clare - Too Close (Official Video)". YouTube. 
  17. ^ "Alex Clare - Too Close (Taken 2 version)". YouTube. 
  18. ^ Williott, Carl (8 October 2012). "Leona Lewis Covers Alex Clare's "Too Close": Watch The Unplugged Take". Idolator. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 
  19. ^ "iTunes - Music - Too Close (Distance Remix) - Single by Alex Clare". iTunes. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ " – Alex Clare – Too Close" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  22. ^ " – Alex Clare – Too Close" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  23. ^ " – Alex Clare – Too Close" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  24. ^ "Alex Clare – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Alex Clare.
  25. ^ Canadian Rock/Alt. "Canadian Active Rock & Alt Rock Chart Archive". 
  26. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201226 into search.
  27. ^ " – Alex Clare – Too Close". Tracklisten.
  28. ^ " – Alex Clare – Too Close" (in French). Les classement single.
  29. ^ " – Alex Clare Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  30. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  31. ^ "Chart Track: Week 21, 2012". Irish Singles Chart.
  32. ^ "Luxembourg Digital Songs - May 5, 2012". Billboard. 
  33. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Alex Clare search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  34. ^ "Archive Chart: 2012-05-12". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  35. ^ " – Alex Clare – Too Close". Swiss Singles Chart.
  36. ^ "Alex Clare – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Alex Clare.
  37. ^ "Alex Clare – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for Alex Clare.
  38. ^ "Alex Clare – Chart history" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Alex Clare.
  39. ^ "Alex Clare – Chart history" Billboard Rock Airplay for Alex Clare.
  40. ^ "Alex Clare – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Alex Clare.
  41. ^ "Alex Clare – Chart history" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Alex Clare.
  42. ^ "Alex Clare – Chart history" Billboard Dance/Mix Show Airplay for Alex Clare.
  43. ^ "Alex Clare – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for Alex Clare.
  44. ^ "Alex Clare – Chart history" Billboard Rhythmic Songs for Alex Clare.
  45. ^ "Ascensos de la Semana". Record Report (in Spanish). R.R. Digital C.A. 2012-12-15. Archived from the original on 2012-12-13. 
  46. ^ "Jahrescharts 2012". VIVA. Retrieved 2013-01-05. 
  47. ^ "Best of 2012 - Hot 100 Songs". Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  48. ^ "Triple A Songs: 2012 (Year-End)". Billboard. Retrieved 13 December 2013. (subscription required (help)). 
  49. ^ "Best of 2012 - Adult Pop Songs 31-40". Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  50. ^ "Best of 2012 - Alternative Songs 1-10". Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  51. ^ "Best of 2012 - Rock Songs 11-20". Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  52. ^ "Best of 2012 - Pop Songs 31-40". Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  53. ^ "Best of 2013 - Rock Songs 11-20". Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  54. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Alex Clare – Too Close" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Alex Clare in the field Interpret. Enter Too Close in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  55. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Alex Clare; 'Too Close')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  56. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Alex Clare; 'Too Close')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  57. ^ "British single certifications – Alex Clare – Too Close". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Too Close in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  58. ^ Jones, Alan (20 May 2013). "Official Charts Analysis: Rod Stewart breaks oldies record at the hits No.1". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 3 January 2016. (subscription required (help)). 
  59. ^ "Certificeringer - Alex Care - Too Close" (in Danish). IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 

External links[edit]