Twist in My Sobriety

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"Twist in My Sobriety"
Tanita tikaram twist in my sobriety.jpg
Single by Tanita Tikaram
from the album Ancient Heart
B-side "Friends"
"The Kill in Your Heart"
"For All These Years"
Released 1988
Format 7" single, 12" maxi, CD maxi
Recorded 1988
Length 3:53
Label WEA
Songwriter(s) Tanita Tikaram
Producer(s) Peter Van Hooke, Rod Argent
Tanita Tikaram singles chronology
"Good Tradition"
"Twist in My Sobriety"
"Cathedral Song"
"Good Tradition"
"Twist in My Sobriety"
"Cathedral Song"

"Twist in My Sobriety" is a song written and recorded by Tanita Tikaram. Released as a single in 1988 from her debut album, Ancient Heart, it was Tikaram's biggest international success, achieving top 10 placings in several European countries.[citation needed]


The first line of the song, "All God's children need traveling shoes", is the title of a book by writer/poet Maya Angelou.

Speaking about the somewhat obscure and enigmatic lyrics, Tikaram has offered different views on their meaning, but said it's mostly about the particular relationship with the world one feels when entering adulthood. "the song is really about not understanding - when you're 18, you've got a very particular emotional relationship with the world, you feel very isolated, and everybody else is so distant and cold. And I think I was singing about not feeling anything or not being moved by things around. I think this is a strong feeling when you're just after adolescence."[1]

Malcolm Messiter plays the oboe on the song, which is featured prominently on the song's chorus, as well as being used on instrumental solos throughout the song. A rarity on pop songs, the use of the oboe was favourably remarked by several reviewers[who?], citing that it made the song unique and distinct from other charts hits of the time.[citation needed]

In 2001, the song appeared on the soundtrack of the film Bandits.[citation needed]

Release and reception[edit]

Released as the second single from her debut album Ancient Heart, the song was edited for its single release, eliminating the last verse of the song. Despite heavy promotion, the single was a moderate hit in the UK, peaking at #22, and to date it is Tikaram's last top 40 hit in her home country.[citation needed]

The song was a bigger success when released in Europe, and was a top 10 hit in several countries, including Ireland (#10), France (#6), Norway (#6), Germany (#2), Switzerland (#6) and Austria (#2). It mostly charted within the top 40 in other European countries and was a big airplay hit all around Europe in 1988-89. The single was Tikaram's only chart hit in the USA charts, peaking at #25 on the Modern Rock charts, and was a hit on college radio stations. The song featured prominently during the 1988 Miami Vice episode "The Lost Madonna".[citation needed]


In 1996, a new remixed house version by Ramp (Simon Rogers and Shem McCauley) with a much faster tempo was included on the compilation The Best of Tanita Tikaram and was released as a single to promote the album. The single peaked at #82 in the UK.

In 1998, Tikaram issued a new version of the song as a b-side to her single "Stop Listening". This version, with re-recorded vocals, has an ambient house/downtempo sound.

A new acoustic version was released on the special edition of Tikaram's 2012 album Can't Go Back.[citation needed]

Music video[edit]

The sepia-colored music video was directed by Gerard de Thame and premiered in the autumn of 1988. Shot on location on the Altiplano Plateau in Bolivia, the video shows various residents of a destitute village interacting with each other amidst their daily struggles. Interspersed throughout these scenes are shots of Tanita Tikaram singing in a darkened room with only one light shining on her face.[2][3][4]

Track listing[edit]

7" single
No. Title Length
1. "Twist in My Sobriety" (edit) 3:53
2. "Friends" 2:13
12" maxi
No. Title Length
1. "Twist in My Sobriety" (full length version) 4:51
2. "Friends" 2:13
3. "For All These Years" 5:13
CD maxi
No. Title Length
1. "Twist in My Sobriety" (edit) 3:55
2. "Friends" 2:16
3. "The Kill in Your Heart" 3:43
4. "For All These Years" 5:12
1996 remixes
No. Title Length
1. "Twist in My Sobriety" (Tikaramp Radio) 4:23
2. "Twist in My Sobriety" (Phil Kelsey Vocal) 9:40
3. "Twist in My Sobriety" (Extended Bumps Fluidity Mix) 5:10
4. "Twist in My Sobriety" (Tikaramp Vocal) 6:48
5. "Twist in My Sobriety" (SFX Sobriety Mix) 6:55

Charts and sales[edit]

Szidi Tobias version[edit]

"Závoj tkaný touhami"
Song by Szidi Tobias
from the album Ohrožený druh
Language Czech
Released 2008 (2008)
Genre Folk, jazz
Length 4:45
Label Sony BMG
Composer(s) Tanita Tikaram
Lyricist(s) Michal Horáček (Czech version)
Audio sample
"Závoj tkaný touhami"

In 2008, a Czech version of Tikaram's song was recorded by Slovak chanteuse Szidi Tobias under title "Závoj tkaný touhami" ("A Veil Woven of Desires"). Featuring alternate lyrics by Michal Horáček, the composition was released on his Anděl Awards-winning album[14] Ohrožený druh,[15] being classified as the highest selling album of a music band in the Czech Republic in 2008.[16]

Credits and personnel

Other covers[edit]


In 2011, Sebastian, Krieg and Strobe sampled "Twist in My Sobriety" in their Strobe Club Mix.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Songfacts". 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-12-22. 
  2. ^ Twist In My Sobriety by Tanita Tikaram Songfacts. Retrieved on 2016-03-11.
  3. ^ Tanita Tikaram - "Twist in my sobriety [version 1]". Retrieved on 2016-03-11.
  4. ^ Tanita Tikaram -Twist in my sobriety. YouTube (2012-03-16). Retrieved on 2016-03-11.
  5. ^ "Tanita Tikaram Album & Song Chart History |". Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g " – Tanita Tikaram – Twist In My Sobriety". Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Tikaram,Tanita / Single". Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Retrieved 5 June 2011.  Search for "Twist in My Sobriety"
  9. ^ "Chart Stats – Tanita Tikaram – Twist In My Sobriety". Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  10. ^ 1989 Austrian Singles Chart (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  11. ^ 1989 Swiss Singles Chart (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  12. ^ "French single certifications – Tikaram Tanita – Twist in My Sobriety" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select TIKARAM TANITA and click OK
  13. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Tanita Tikaram; 'Twist in My Sobriety')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  14. ^ "Ceny Anděl 2008". Akademie populární hudby (in Czech). APH. 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  15. ^ Various artists (2008). Ohrožený druh (Liner Notes) (Compact Disc) (in Czech). Michal Horáček & VA. Czech Republic: Sony BMG. 
  16. ^ Marešová, Iva (2009-02-12). "Desky roku? Ohrožený druh..." T-Mobile (in Czech). T-Mobile Czech Republic. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 

External links[edit]