When the Pawn...

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When the Pawn...
Fiona apple when the pawn.jpg
Studio album by Fiona Apple
Released November 9, 1999 (US)
Recorded 1998–1999
Andora Studio; Chateau Brion Studio; Nrg; Ocean Way Studio; One On One South; Preasence Studio Westport; Woodwinds
Length 42:39
Label Clean Slate / Epic
Producer Jon Brion
Fiona Apple chronology
When the Pawn...
Extraordinary Machine
Singles from When the Pawn...
  1. "Fast as You Can"
    Released: November 20, 1999
  2. "Limp"
    Released: 2000
  3. "Paper Bag"
    Released: November 21, 2000
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
CNN Favorable[2]
Entertainment Weekly A[3]
Heat 4/5 stars[4]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[5]
Mademoiselle 4/4[6]
MTV Favorable[7]
Newsweek Favorable[8]
Pitchfork Media 8.0/10[9]
PopMatters Favorable[10]
Q 4/5 stars[11]
Robert Christgau A-[12]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[13]
Spin 8/10 stars[14]
TIME Favorable[15]
Time Out Favorable[16]
Uncut 5/5 stars[17]

When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He'll Win the Whole Thing 'fore He Enters the Ring There's No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might so When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You'll Know That You're Right (commonly shortened to simply When the Pawn...) is the second album by American singer-songwriter Fiona Apple, released by Epic Records in the United States on November 9, 1999.[18] In 2010, Spin magazine named the album the 106th greatest of the last 25 years.[19] A year later, Slant Magazine named it the 79th best album of the 1990s.[20]


The album title is a poem Apple wrote on tour after reading the readers' negative letters about her in the December 1997 issue of Spin magazine.[21]

The album's long title has become a source of trivia, and when it was released held the world record for longest album title at 444 characters (previously held by one of the volumes in The Best... Album in the World...Ever!). Rolling Stone magazine made fun of the title/poem, calling it, "When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Oh the Hell With It".[13] However, in October 2007 Soulwax released their remix album Most of the Remixes, which has 100 characters more in its title. This was later surpassed in 2008 by the Chumbawamba album The Boy Bands Have Won..., whose full title contains 865 characters of text.

The first single, "Fast as You Can", was fairly popular and received moderate radio and video airplay. It reached the top 20 on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and became Apple's first top 40 hit on the UK Singles Chart. The follow-up singles, "Limp" and especially "Paper Bag", which was nominated for a Grammy Award, were less successful. Apple's boyfriend at the time, filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, directed videos for all three singles.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Fiona Apple

  1. "On the Bound" – 5:23
  2. "To Your Love" – 3:40
  3. "Limp" – 3:31
  4. "Love Ridden" – 3:22
  5. "Paper Bag" – 3:40
  6. "A Mistake" – 4:58
  7. "Fast as You Can" – 4:40
  8. "The Way Things Are" – 4:18
  9. "Get Gone" – 4:10
  10. "I Know" – 4:57

Japanese edition bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "Across the Universe" (Lennon–McCartney)
  2. "Never is a Promise" [live]




Chart (1999) Peak
UK Albums Chart 46
US Billboard 200 13
US Billboard Top Internet Albums 1
Title Chart (1999) Peak
"Fast as You Can" UK Singles Chart 33
US Billboard Adult Top 40 29
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 20


External links[edit]