Who'd Have Known

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"Who'd Have Known"
Single by Lily Allen
from the album It's Not Me, It's You
Released30 November 2009
Producer(s)Greg Kurstin
Lily Allen singles chronology
"Who'd Have Known"
"Just Be Good to Green"

"Who'd Have Known" is the fifth and final international single (fourth and final in the United Kingdom) by British recording artist Lily Allen from her second studio album, It's Not Me, It's You. Written by Allen and Greg Kurstin, while interpolating Take That's single "Shine", the song was released as the fifth and final single from the album on 30 November 2009 by Regal Recordings. Contemporary critics complimented the song and Allen's warm vocals, while the music video portrays her as a groupie of Elton John.

The song is prominently sampled in American rapper T-Pain's 2011 song "5 O'Clock", on which Allen is credited as a featured artist.

Background and composition[edit]

Before the release of the album, Allen posted the song, then titled "Who'd of Known", on her MySpace account, revealing that she sampled Take That's single "Shine" and wrote: "I ripped off the chorus from Take That and can't be bothered with the paperwork.",[1] for which the single was almost not included on It's Not Me, It's You.[2] The singer pointed out in an interview that "Greg [Kurstin] just played the chords and I sang and we were like, 'That's great, really hooky.' Then when we played it back to someone, they pointed it out that it was, essentially, 'Shine'", and, while the band did not agree to sing on it, they gave her permission to record it, as they liked the song.[3] The group was also credited as co-writer.

Musically, "Who'd Have Known" is set in common time and has a metronome of 84 beats per minute.[4] It is played in the key of F major and follows the chord progression FFmaj7/AE♭E♭5Gm7F, while the piano and guitar are used for the background music.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

When reviewing the album, Jody Rosen from Rolling Stone magazine called the song a potential single, being "the ballad with the album's most surefire hook".[5] Neil McCormick from The Daily Telegraph noticed the song in particular, claiming it to be a "tender evocation of friendship turning to love", while Allen's vocals highlight affection. He also added that, on tracks such as this, "Allen still sounds like a real person telling us the most intimate details of her real life, only with better hooks".[6] Drowned in Sound reporter James Skinner suggested that the song "lucidly details the furtive thrills and giddy excitement that lie at the outset of a romantic endeavour" and, in comparison with "Shine", "in slowing the tempo some though, substituting its vapid generalities and platitudes with a warmth both insightful and agreeable, she bests the original considerably".[2] Ryan Dombal from Pitchfork Media concluded that the song "is prime Lily 2.0, growing up without the heavy-handed, 2D 'maturity'; it's a knowing ode to early love and all the uncertainty, excitement and irrationality that goes along with it".[7]

Commercial performance[edit]

The single debuted at number 64 on the UK Singles Chart in the issue of 22 November 2009 and rose to number 49 the next week. The song entered the top 40 at number 39 making "Who'd Have Known" Allen's lowest charting single since 2006's Littlest Things.

Music video[edit]

Allen and the Elton John lookalike in the music video for "Who'd Have Known".

The music video for "Who'd Have Known" captures Allen as an obsessed fan of Elton John. It starts off with her character lying in bed, watching Elton John's concert on television, while DVDs and magazines portraying him are scattered throughout her room, with a big poster of him on her wall.[8] John, portrayed by an actor, receives a letter from the singer declaring her love, accompanied by a badly photoshopped picture of the two of them, but ignores it. Upon exiting his home, he gets in a car to discover that Allen is in fact the driver. She locks the car doors, kidnaps him, and takes him to her home, where she ties him to a chair.[8] There, she plays piano, drinks wine, skims magazines, hugs him, makes him eat and draws a portrait of him. Afterwards, she puts a telephone to his ear and makes him say "I want you to know that I have fallen deeply in love with Lily" to an unknown receiver, using scripted cards she has written (paying homage to the movie, The King of Comedy - even holding one of the cards upside down).[8] Afterwards, they both sit on the sofa, watching John perform at the piano on TV. As Allen falls asleep, he manages to wriggle free from the tied ropes on his feet. The video ends with John taking a final glance at Allen asleep before escaping from the building and running off.[8]

Track listing[edit]

  • UK CD Single (Cardsleeve)[9]
  1. "Who'd Have Known" — 3:51
  2. "Who'd Have Known" (Instrumental) — 3:48
  • EU / UK Promo (Standard Case)[9]
  1. "Who'd Have Known" — 3:51
  2. "Who'd Have Known" (Instrumental) — 3:48
  • Digital Download [10]
  1. "Who'd Have Known" — 3:48
  2. "Who'd Have Known" (Instrumental) — 3:51
  3. "The Fear" (Death Metal Disco Scene Vocal Remix) — 5:42

Credits and personnel[edit]


Chart (2009) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[11] 54
Israel (Media Forest)[12] 8
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40 Tipparade)[13] 4
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[14] 41
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15] 39


  1. ^ Harmsworth, Andrei. "Lily admits: I ripped off Take That". Metro (Associated Metro Limited). Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  2. ^ a b Skinner, James (3 February 2009). "Review/Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You/Releases". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Who'd Have Known by Lily Allen Song Facts". Songfacts. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Lily Allen: Who'd Have Known Sheet Music". musicroom.com. Music Sales. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  5. ^ Rosen, Jody (4 February 2009). "It's Not Me, It's You Review". Rolling Stone Magazine. Jann Wenner. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  6. ^ McCormick, Neil (22 February 2009). "Lily Allen – It's Not Me, It's You: Pop CD of the week review". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  7. ^ Dombal, Ryan. "Album Review: Lily Allen: It's Not Me, It's You". Pitchfork Media. pitchfork.com. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
  8. ^ a b c d "Lily Allen - Who'd Have Known". 95.8 Capital FM. Global Radio. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
  9. ^ a b "Lily Allen - Who'd Have Known". SwissCharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  10. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/whod-have-known-ep/id340237589
  11. ^ http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/23790/20100105-0000/issue1033.pdf
  12. ^ "Media Forest: Airplay chart". mediaforest.biz.
  13. ^ "Tipparade-lijst van week 11, 2010" (in Dutch). Megacharts. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  14. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 June 2018.

External links[edit]