SOS (Rihanna song): Wikis


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Single by Rihanna
from the album A Girl like Me
Released February 7, 2006 (2006-02-07) United States
April 3, 2006 (2006-04-03) France
Format 12" maxi single, digital download, CD single
Recorded 2006
Genre Dance-pop, electropop
Length 4:00
Label Def Jam/SRP
Writer(s) J. R. Rotem, Evan "Kidd" Bogart, Ed Cobb
Producer J. R. Rotem
Rihanna singles chronology
"If It's Lovin' that You Want"
Audio sample
file info · help

"SOS" is a dance-pop song written by Evan "Kidd" Bogart and J. R. Rotem for Barbadian pop singer Rihanna's second studio album, A Girl like Me (2006). It samples the key section, bass line, and drum beat from Soft Cell's 1981 single "Tainted Love", written by Ed Cobb.

"SOS" was released as the album's lead single in 2006 (see 2006 in music). The song reached number one in Australia and the United States and the top five in other music markets such as Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom.


Writing and recording

The song was primarily written by producer J. R. Rotem and Evan "Kidd" Bogart, son of Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart. Label mate Christina Milian was originally asked to record the song for her third album, So Amazin', but the singer turned it down and Island Def Jam CEO L.A. Reid instead offered "SOS" to Rihanna.[1][2] Milian commented that the song was too "pop" for an R&B artist and that she wasn't asked to record it, which she confirmed in her official forum.

The line "You got me tossin' and turnin' and I can't sleep at night" in the refrain is a quote from the 1964 Ed Cobb song "Tainted Love", where the line goes "And I've lost my light for I toss and turn - I can't sleep at night." The line, "Just hold me close boy cos I'm your tiny dancer" is a reference to the 1971 Elton John song "Tiny Dancer". The bell-like synth sounds in "SOS" are sampled from Soft Cell's 1981 version of "Tainted Love."

The song's theme is based around the song's protagonist crying out for help as she becomes besotted with a lover mentioned in the song. Because she is unaccustomed to feeling this way, she believes that she is out of character, and states "'cause you on my mind, it's got me losing it." Remixes were provided by Jason Nevins, who has produced remixes for artists such as Madonna, Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte, Kelly Clarkson, LL Cool J and Pink. This song was used in the film, True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet.

Chart performance

In the United States, "SOS" hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Pop 100, Hot Dance Music/Club Play, Hot Dance Airplay, Hot Digital Songs and Hot Digital Tracks; the song also hit number two on the Pop 100 Airplay, but could not get past the massive airplay of Sean Paul's single "Temperature". The song was made available as a digital download upon the release of the album and its first week of digital sales prompted a dramatic jump from number thirty-four to number-one, becoming one of the biggest jumps to the number one position in Billboard history. The single remained at number-one for three weeks. The reason for the large jump was that "SOS" was kept off most digital download services until her album was released to stimulate more album sales.

Internationally, "SOS" became Rihanna's first number-one hit in Australia. It stayed at the top for eight consecutive weeks, making it the singer's biggest hit in Australia. The song also reached number two on the UK and German singles charts, number four on the Dutch chart, and number seven in Italy. In Romania the song competed with both "If It's Lovin' That You Want" and "Unfaithful" since "SOS" was pushed back due to the good performance of "If It's Lovin' That You Want", and when finally released, "Unfaithful" had already start gaining heavy radio airplay. "SOS" reached number twenty-eight in the Romanian Singles Chart.

"SOS" was removed from the UK charts after thirteen weeks because there was a remix of "SOS" contained on the "Unfaithful" single. Due to UK chart rules, a new single cannot have a remix of a previous single if the original song is still charting, which is why the song left the charts at twenty-seven. However, the song was still a smash hit, being the UK's ninth best-selling single of the year.[3] The song also hit number-one for two weeks on ECD:UK.

Music video

The song spawned three music videos; one of them being an Agent Provocateur promotional video which features Rihanna walking into a hotel which turns into a nightclub. Another promotional video was done for Nike, featuring a dance contest in a gym. The official version was shot for music and music-related television stations and premiered on MTV's Total Request Live and MuchMusic's MuchOnDemand on March 23, 2006. The video reached number one on Total Request Live for the first time on April 14, 2006 and stayed on the countdown for twenty days.

In this clip, directed by Chris Applebaum, Rihanna wears a bikini and the video has her telling a guy she's going to call for help due to the desperate feelings caused by their relationship. She also uses a Nokia 3250 cellular phone, and she apparently seems to be listening to "Pon De Replay," and "Tainted Love," the song sampled in "SOS", as Soft Cell's album cover can be seen on the display.

Track listing and formats

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "SOS". Ironically, in some formats, "Break It Off" was released as the B-side to "SOS", even though it ended up being released as a single on its own later on.

Canadian/U.S. CD Maxi-single
  1. "SOS" (Radio Edit) - 4:00
  2. "SOS" (Nevin's Electrotek Club Mix) - 7:08
  3. "Break It Off" (with Sean Paul) - 3:33
  4. "SOS" (CD-ROM Video) - 4:00
UK CD single
  1. "SOS" (Radio Edit) - 4:00
  2. "SOS" (Nevin's Glam Club Mix) - 4:56
European/Australian CD Single
  1. "SOS" (Radio Edit) - 4:00
  2. "Let Me" - 3:56
Nevin's Electrotek Single
  1. "SOS" (Nevin's Electrotek Edit) - 4:56
UK 12" vinyl single

Side A

  1. "SOS" (Radio Edit) - 4:00
  2. "SOS" (Instrumental) - 4:00

Side B

  1. "SOS" (Nevin's Electrotek Club Mix) - 7:08
Official Version & Remixes
  1. Radio Edit - 4:00
  2. Moto Blanco Remix - 8:37
  3. Nevin's Glam Club Mix - 7:08
  4. Nevin's Electrotek Club Mix - 7:05
  5. Nevin's Electrotek Edit - 4:56
  6. Nevin's Future-Retro Club - 8:11
  7. Nevin's Future-Retro Radio - 4:11
  8. Digital Dog Remix - 6:22


Chart (2006)[4][5] Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 1
Austrian Singles Chart 4
Belgian Singles Chart 2
Canadian Singles Chart 2
Dutch Top 40[6] 6
Finnish Singles Chart 3
French Singles Chart 1
Greece Top 40 5
German Singles Chart 2
Irish Singles Chart 3
Italian FIMI Singles Chart 7
New Zealand Singles Chart 3
Norwegian Singles Chart 3
Russian Airplay Chart[7] 18
Swedish Singles Chart 12
Swiss Singles Chart 3
UK Singles Chart 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 1
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 1

Chart procession and succession

Preceded by
"Forever Young" by Youth Group
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
April 23, 2006 - June 18, 2006
Succeeded by
"Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean
Preceded by
"Bad Day" by Daniel Powter
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
May 13, 2006 - May 27, 2006
Succeeded by
"Ridin'" by Chamillionaire featuring Krayzie Bone
Preceded by
"Bad Day" by Daniel Powter
Billboard Pop 100 number-one single
May 13, 2006 - June 3, 2006
Succeeded by
"Bad Day" by Daniel Powter
Preceded by
"Be Without You" by Mary J. Blige
Billboard Hot Dance Airplay number-one single
April 17, 2006 - June 19, 2006
Succeeded by
"What's Left of Me" by Nick Lachey
Preceded by
"It Makes a Difference" by Kim English
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
May 13, 2006
Succeeded by
"I Want More (Cling on to Me)" by Amuka


  1. ^ " - Black Entertainment". June 13, 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-13.  
  2. ^ Lelinwalla, Mark (June 12, 2006). "Island Def Jam Drops Christina Milian :". Vibe (magazine). Retrieved 2009-08-13.  
  3. ^ Top 40 Singles of 2006, from BBC Radio 1 website
  4. ^ "Rihanna - SOS: Charts". Music Square. Retrieved May 31, 2007.
  5. ^ "A Girl Like Me > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved May 31, 2007.
  6. ^ - Rihanna - SOS
  7. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Russian; see Help:Cite error.

External links


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