Vicarious (song)

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Vicarious Single1.jpg
Single by Tool
from the album 10,000 Days
  • April 17, 2006
  • December 18, 2007 (CD and DVD)
RecordedAugust–December 2005
GenreProgressive metal
Tool singles chronology
"The Pot"
Promotional cover
Vicarious Single2.jpg

"Vicarious" is a song by American rock band Tool. The song is the first single released from their fourth full-length studio album 10,000 Days. Debuting on Maynard's 42nd birthday, April 17, 2006 on commercial radio, the seven-minute song debuted on the Billboard Alternative Songs and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts both at number two.[1] It received a nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards.[2]


The song features a 5/4 riff[3] and describes the vicarious thrill the public receives from living through others in the media eye.[4]

In the June 12, 2008 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, the song was ranked number 100 on the list of top 100 guitar songs of all time.[5]

The song is a playable track in Guitar Hero World Tour.

Music video[edit]

The DVD released on December 18, 2007 contains an extended version of the much-delayed video counterpart for the song.[6] The video is completely made through use of CGI, making it Tool's second full CGI video, as opposed to stop-motion animation, which the band has used in their past videos.

The video was co-directed by guitarist Adam Jones and artist Alex Grey and also features creative input from Chet Zar. Also included on the DVD are short documentaries on the making of the video and on Jones's previous work in film and television, and commentaries on the video from comedian David Cross.


Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[7] 2
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[8] 2
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard) 15


  1. ^ "Modern Rock Singles Chart". Retrieved 2006-05-02.
  2. ^ "SLAYER, LAMB OF GOD, STONE SOUR Among GRAMMY Nominees". December 7, 2006. Archived from the original on September 16, 2007. Retrieved April 25, 2007.
  3. ^ Dan Wohl (2006-05-01). "CD Review: Tool's '10,000 Days' is worth the wait". HighBeam Research University Wire. Retrieved 2007-05-21. 'Vicarious' has everything that makes a classic Tool song: a mind-blowing 5/4 riff by Adam Jones...[dead link]
  4. ^ Theakston, Rob (2006). "Review". 10,000 Days. AllMusic. Retrieved 2006-05-02.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 30, 2008. Retrieved May 30, 2008.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) Retrieved 2011-01-24. "This is as arty as new metal has ever gotten. Guitarist Adam Jones' cadmium-heavy riffs are mostly in 5/4 time (with a few extra rhythmic hiccups), and he batters away at them with inhuman precision. Even though it runs long at seven minutes, the song still became a crossover hit, peaking at number two on modern-rock radio."
  6. ^ "Tool News, 18 October 2007". Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved October 20, 2007.
  7. ^ "Tool Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  8. ^ "Tool Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved August 7, 2017.