Queer (song): Wikis


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Single by Garbage
from the album Garbage
B-side "Girl Don't Come" (OZ & EU)
"Sleep" (OZ & EU)
"Trip My Wire" (UK & France)
"Butterfly Collector" (UK)
Released October 30, 1995 (Germany)
November 20, 1995 (UK)
May 5, 1997 (UK 12" remixes)
Format 7", 12",
CD maxi, cassette single
Recorded 1994 - 1995
Smart Studios,
Madison, Wisconsin
Genre Alternative rock/Trip rock
Length 4:36
Label Mushroom Records (UK)
Almo Sounds (North America)Mushroom/BMG (Worldwide)
Writer(s) Garbage
Producer Garbage
Garbage singles chronology
"Only Happy When It Rains"
"Stupid Girl"

"Queer" is a song released by Garbage, which appears on their eponymous first album. It was written and recorded at Smart Studios during the 1994-1995 sessions for the debut album.

With its suggestive title and subdued trip-hop feel, "Queer" quickly became a word-of-mouth success for the fledgling band. The song samples the drum beat from Single Gun Theory's "Man of Straw". The band had wanted to use a Frank Sinatra sample for "Queer", but the idea was abandoned because it would have been too expensive.

Bass on "Queer" was played by Mike Kashou, additional drums by Clyde Stubblefield and clarinet by Les Thimming.


Single release

"Queer" was issued as a single in Australia and Europe as an EP in October 1995, and the following month the song was issued in the UK on a 2xCD set and vinyl to coincide with the band's debut UK show. The song was also issued as an airplay single in the US in late 1995.

"Queer" was the band's first top 20 UK single, peaking at number 13 in December 1995 & remained on the UK chart for 8 weeks. At one point in the midweeks charts the single had hit the UK Top Ten, but by the end of the week sales had levelled off and settled at the #13 spot.

Continuing the special packaging for Garbage's vinyl formats, the "Queer" 7" came in a stickered perspex case (with an embossed "G" logo on both sides). [1] The original idea for the vinyl format was package for in a jade velvet wallet with Garbage and Queer burned onto the velvet. [2] Initial copies of the 7" were packed in a bubble-wrap bag. Accompanying the vinyl was a two disc CD single set. [1]


  • UK CDS Pt. 1 Mushroom D1237
  1. Queer - 4:04
  2. Trip My Wire - 4:29
  3. Queer (The Very Queer Dub Bin) - 5:12
  4. Queer (The Most Beautiful Woman in Town Mix) -5:36
  • UK CDS Pt. 2 Mushroom DX1237
  1. Queer - 4:04
  2. Butterfly Collector - 3:41
  3. Queer (F.T.F.O.I. Mix) - 7:17
  4. Queer (Danny Saber Mix) - 5:39
  • UK 7" single Mushroom SX1237
  1. Queer - 4:04
  2. Queer (The Very Queer Dub Bin) - 5:12
  • European CDS Mushroom 74321 32776 2
  • Australian CDS White/Mushroom D1211
  • Australian cassette White/Mushroom C1211
  1. Queer - 4:05
  2. Girl Don't Come - 2:33
  3. Sleep - 2:31
  • French CDS Mushroom/BMG 74321 38220 2
  1. Queer - 4:05
  2. Queer (F.T.F.O.I. Mix) - 7:17
  3. Trip My Wire - 4:29

Music video

Butch Vig, Steve Marker, Shirley Manson and Duke Erikson in the "Queer" video.

The music video for "Queer" was filmed in July, 1995 in Los Angeles and directed by Stéphane Sednaoui for Propaganda Films. Manson chose Sednaoui as director after she saw his video for Björk's "Big Time Sensuality".[3] Two edits of the "Queer" video exist; the second has a fade out to obscure Manson blinding the protagonist. It premiered on August 5, and was certified a Buzz Clip by MTV, and given heavy airplay.[4] "Queer" was nominated at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1996 within the Breakthrough Video category.[5]

"He doesn't just take an idea an apply it to different artists, he seems to be able to figure out where the artist is coming from and make the photographs and the videos unique to that group. He really defined for us who we were visually. Stéphane was able to look at the band and listen to the music and figure out what was the perfect visual partner for the band. People think we're a very stylish band, and it's all to do with him. I'm really proud of "Queer", I think it's one of our best videos."

The concept for the video came from Sednaoui's personal experience of being "shredded into pieces" by a beautiful woman, and the band loved his storyboard for the song, feeling it matched the track. [3] Filmed in black-and-white, and from a first person perspective, as a young male follows Manson into an old house, where she is joined by the rest of Garbage in holding him captive, removing his clothing, blinding him with gaffa tape, and shaving his head. Later, he laughs at his reflection in a mirror, before Manson drags him outside. Sednaoui operated the camera for the whole shoot.[3] The final scene of the video is in full colour, and shows the man leaving the street.

The "Queer" video was first commercially released on VHS and Video-CD on 1996's Garbage Video[6], and later on the 2005 DVD The Work of Director Stéphane Sednaoui (which also has an interview with Sednaoui and Manson talking about making the video, and its impact on the band's image. A remastered version of the fade-out edit was included on Garbage's 2007 greatest hits DVD Absolute Garbage.[7]


Track title Length Remixer/Producer Commercial release
"Queer (The Very Queer Dub Bin)" 5:12 Adrian Sherwood & Simon Mundey Yes
"Queer (The Most Beautiful Woman In Town mix)" 5:36 Martin Gore, Paul Freeguard, Jones Yes
"Queer (F.T.F.O.I. mix)" 7:17 Rabbit in the Moon Yes
"Queer (Heftybag mix)" 9:10 Yes
"Queer (Danny Saber mix)" 5:39 Danny Saber Yes

"Queer" was the first Garbage single to be serviced to clubs with remixes from outside artists and producers. One of the remixers, Martin Gore, is a member of Depeche Mode, whom Butch Vig had worked on tracks with prior to the formation of Garbage. Four of the remixes saw inclusion on the 1995 U.K. release of "Queer", and in 1996 on Australian pressings of "Stupid Girl".[8] One of these mixes, the F.T.F.O.I. mix, includes a sample of dialogue taken from a 1986 Prisoner episode.

Danny Saber's remix was then used on Garbage Video[9], while an additional "Queer" remix from Rabbit in the Moon ("Heftybag mix") was released in 1997 on the Queer Remixes 12" in the U.K.[8] In 2007, the Heftybag mix was remastered and included on the Absolute Garbage bonus disc Garbage Mixes.[7]

Live performances

"Queer" was first performed live at Garbage's first gig in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 5 November 1995. For the 1996 tour the song was remixed for live concerts and that version was performed throughout the 'Garbage' and 'Version 2.0' tours.

"Queer" was not played during the 'beautifulgarbage' tour, but Shirley performed a verse and a chorus of the song a cappella at some concerts.

On the 'Bleed Like Me' tour, "Queer" was re-introduced to the set as the show opener, to the delight of most Garbage fans. The version they band played on the tour was closer to the album version than the version they had played since 1996.

On some live performances Shirley introduced this song by either dedicating the song to the crowd at the show, or by saying "A's queer 'cept thee and me and sometimes even thee's queer, but most of the time, I'm completely bonkers!"

"Queer" had also been performed live on UK music show Top Of The Pops.

Queer quote, unquote

Butch Vig: "With "Queer", I was reading this novel about this woman who was hired to go and make this guy's son "a man". The kid is missing a few marbles. But then he realises that the woman who came to his room is also fucking his father."


Chart (1995/1996) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 57
U.S. Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks 12
UK Singles Chart 13
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 55
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 37
Belgium Walonia Singles Chart 24


  1. ^ a b "Record Collector #209" (Retrieved - 2008-02-06)
  2. ^ "Butch Vig, as told to Here Be Monsters at "Gar-barge" press conference, July 25, 1995 (Retrieved 2008-02-06)
  3. ^ a b c d "Shirley Manson, as told on The Work of Director Stéphane Sednaoui (Retrieved 2008-02-17)
  4. ^ "Queer" promotional video press release
  5. ^ ""1996 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS"". RockOnTheNet.com. http://www.rockonthenet.com/archive/1996/mtvvmas.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-18.  
  6. ^ ""The Screens Are Full of Garbage", Melody Maker, issue dated December 7, 1996" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05
  7. ^ a b ""New Best Of Album"". Garbage.com. http://www.garbage.com/news/news.php?uid=336. Retrieved 2008-02-17.  
  8. ^ a b ""Garbage: "Stupid Girl" discography"". Garbage-discography.co.uk. http://www.garbage-discography.co.uk/stupid_girl_discography.php. Retrieved 2008-07-24.  
  9. ^ ""The Screens Are Full of Garbage", Melody Maker, issue dated December 7, 1996" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05

External links


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