Weapon of Choice (song)

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"Weapon of Choice"
Weaponofchoice 2010.jpg
2010 re-release cover
Single by Fatboy Slim featuring Bootsy Collins
from the album Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars
A-side "Star 69"
Released 23 April 2001 (2001-04-23)
Recorded 2000
Genre Big beat, funk
Length 5:36
Label Skint, Astralwerks
Songwriter(s) Norman Cook
Producer(s) Norman Cook
Fatboy Slim singles chronology
"Star 69" / "Weapon of Choice"
"Song for Shelter" / "Ya Mama"
"Star 69" / "Weapon of Choice"
"Song for Shelter" / "Ya Mama"

"That Old Pair of Jeans"
(2006) That Old Pair of Jeans2006

"Weapon of Choice
(2006) String Module Error: Match not found2006

"Champion Sound"
(2006) Champion Sound2006
Music video
"Weapon of Choice" from YouTube
Audio sample
Alternate cover
Double A-side cover
Double A-side cover

"Weapon of Choice" is a song by English big beat musician Fatboy Slim featuring American funk musician Bootsy Collins; from his third studio album, Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars. It was released as a double A-side single with "Star 69" on 23 April 2001, as well as a standalone single release, and a 2010 re-release with remixes. The single peaked at No. 10 on the UK Singles Chart.[1]

The music video, directed by Spike Jonze, features actor Christopher Walken dancing around a deserted hotel lobby. It won multiple awards at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards and won the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Music Video.


"Weapon of Choice" features Parliament-Funkadelic and Bootsy's Rubber Band bassist Bootsy Collins, who provides the lead vocals on the song. On the album version, Collins's normal vocals are heard through the right audio channel; the same vocals, distorted to a much deeper pitch, are heard through the left. The song features a prominent sample of Sly & the Family Stone's 1968 song "Into My Own Thing", as well as samples from "All Strung Out Over You" by The Chambers Brothers and "Word Play" by The X-Ecutioners, the latter of which was previously sampled on Fatboy Slim's song "Don't Forget Your Teeth", the B-side to his single "Right Here, Right Now", and "Gangster Trippin".

The chorus of the song, "You could go with this, or you could go with that...", is a homage to the Black Sheep song "The Choice Is Yours (Revisited)", which features a similar chorus. The lines "Walk without rhythm/and it won't attract the worm..." as well as "Don't be shocked by the tone of my voice/Check out my new weapon, weapon of choice" are references to the science fiction novel Dune. The line "halfway between the gutter and the stars" refers to a line in Oscar Wilde's play Lady Windermere's Fan: "We are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

The radio edit is referred to as the "Attack Hamster Edit", and is the version featured on Fatboy Slim's greatest hits album The Greatest Hits – Why Try Harder. Collins's vocal tracks, both normal and distorted, remain intact, though the distorted track is now barely audible. It peaked at No. 137 on the UK Singles Chart.[citation needed] The song was briefly featured in the 2001 film Joe Somebody, and was also featured in the Malcolm in the Middle episode "Malcolm vs. Reese".[citation needed] It was used in the E3 Trailer of Skylanders Swap Force.

On the album, the song segues from "Retox" and thus the ending of "Retox" is on this track. At 5:06 on the "single version", the last second (5:05) gets repeated many times until it finishes at 5:36. However, on the album, the last two seconds get repeated until 5:23, and scratching sounds start at 5:14 until the conclusion at 5:45. The single version and album version also have several other differences, including the ordering of vocal snippets towards the five-minute mark.

Music video[edit]

The "Weapon of Choice" video, featuring Christopher Walken, is particularly acclaimed for its choreography.

The song is perhaps best known for its accompanying music video, which was filmed in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel (now the L.A. Hotel) in Los Angeles in December 2000. Directed by Spike Jonze and featuring actor Christopher Walken, who trained as a dancer in musical theatre before his acting career, it features Walken dancing and flying around in the empty hotel to the music.

The "Weapon of Choice" video won six awards at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards.[2] Walken was awarded one of MTV's "Moonmen" for Best Choreography. The clip was also ranked number one in a list of the top 100 videos of all time by VH1 in April 2002 that was compiled from a music industry survey.[3] The Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt has also danced in a version of the music video that was directed by Malik Bendjelloul.[4][5][6] In 2012, British comedian and presenter Rowland Rivron also won charity TV show Let's Dance for Sport Relief with his re-enactment of the video's choreography.[7]

Walken has cited the involvement of Jonze as one of his main motivations for appearing in the video, which he also welcomed as a chance to do "something different". He also noted that as a trained tapdancer, dancing to electronic music actually suited him well.[8]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2001 MTV Video Music Award Video of the Year Nominated
Best Dance Video Nominated
Breakthrough Video Won
Best Direction Won
Best Choreography Won
Best Visual Effects Nominated
Best Art Direction Won
Best Editing Won
Best Cinematography Won
MTV Europe Music Award Best Video Nominated
2002 Grammy Award Best Music Video Won

Track listing[edit]

"Star 69" / "Weapon of Choice"
No. Title Length
1. "Star 69" (full version) 5:57
2. "Star 69" (radio edit) 3:35
3. "Weapon of Choice" 5:38
4. "Weapon of Choice" (video) 3:31
"Weapon of Choice 2010"
No. Title Length
1. "Weapon Of Choice 2010" (Lazy Rich Remix) 6:05
2. "Weapon Of Choice 2010" (Lazy Rich Dub) 5:48
3. "Weapon Of Choice 2010" (Radio Edit) 2:59


"Star 69" / "Weapon of Choice" double A-side chart positions
Chart (2001) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[9] 23
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[10] 14
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[11] 18
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[12] 20
Germany (Official German Charts)[13] 81
Ireland (IRMA)[14] 21
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[15] 85
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[16] 10
Other versions
Chart (2001) Peak
US Modern Rock Tracks (Billboard) 331
US Hot Dance Club Play (Billboard) 32, 103
Chart (2006) Peak
UK Singles (OCC) 1374
  • 1 – "Weapon of Choice"


External links[edit]