You're Beautiful: Wikis

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"You're Beautiful"
Single by James Blunt
from the album Back to Bedlam
Released May 30, 2005 (2005-05-30)
(See release history)
Format CD single (worldwide)
7" single (UK)
Digital download (U.S.)
Genre Pop rock, folk rock
Length 3:34 (Album Version)
3:22 (Single Version)
Label Atlantic records
Writer(s) James Blunt
Sacha Skarbek
Amanda Ghost
Producer Tom Rothrock
Certification Platinum (BPI)
Platinum (RIAA)
James Blunt singles chronology
"Wisemen"
(2005)
"You're Beautiful"
(2005)
"High" (re-release)
(2005)

"You're Beautiful" is a pop rock song co-written by British singer James Blunt, Sacha Skarbek and Amanda Ghost[1] for Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam (2004). It was released as the third single from the album in 2005. In the UK and Australia the song reached number one and number two respectively. When released as the debut single from Back to Bedlam in Canada and the U.S., it reached number one on both charts and received widespread airplay. In 2006, the song won an Ivor Novello Award for airplay,[2] and it holds the honour of being the only song by a British artist to top the Latin America Top 40. The song has sold 625,000 copies in the UK as stated by the Official UK Charts Company.

Contents

Writing and inspiration

Newspapers have claimed that "You're Beautiful" is about a former girlfriend of Blunt's, Dixie Chassay,[3] casting director for the Harry Potter films, although Blunt refuses to confirm or deny this. On 8 March 2006 episode of the Oprah Winfrey program, Blunt said of the song, "It's kind of miserable. It was about seeing my ex-girlfriend on the Underground in London with her new man, who I didn't know existed. She and I caught eyes and lived a lifetime in that moment, but didn't do anything about it and haven't seen each other since."[4] Several versions of the song exist. One lyrical version has an explicit word in it ("She could see from my face that I was fucking high") which was released on Back to Bedlam and most of the "You're Beautiful" singles. The radio edit of the song replaces the explicit lyric, changing it to "She could see from my face that I was flying high". Acoustic, live and DVD versions have also been released. However, because of the word in question, the album was given a Parental Advisory sticker.

When asked about the song, Blunt responded, "It's probably one of the least meaningful songs on the album and by no means people's favourite. The album is like a book covering various aspects of life in a specific order."[5]

In an interview with HitQuarters, co-writer Sacha Skarbek said their collaboration on the song began when Blunt brought the title and the approach of the chorus to a songwriting session. Skarbek's contribution largely focused on the music aspect to the track, contributing chord ideas for the verses, honing the melodies, and making sure the song stuck to, "a couple of key hooks rather than making it too complicated."[6]

The music video for "You're Beautiful" was directed by Sam Brown.The video shows Blunt committing suicide, following a Japanese tradition of removing one's shoes and contents of clothing prior to jumping from a great height.[7] Blunt removes the upper portion of his clothing in a cold, bare, snowy setting and places all of his personal belongings on the ground. Whilst he does this, seagulls circle overhead like buzzards.[8] At the end of the video, he jumps off a cliff and lands into the depths of icy water while he sings the lyrics: "But it's time to face the truth, I will never be with you".

In a poll conducted by Rolling Stone to identify the 10 most annoying songs, this song was ranked seven.[9] In another poll by the British tabloid The Sun it was voted the most irritating song of all time.[10]

Chart performance

"You're Beautiful" is Blunt's most successful single release to date. It was also his first successful single, and reached number one in ten countries across the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Canada, and the Netherlands. The song peaked within the top five in Australia, France, and Germany.

"You're Beautiful" accomplished a feat rarely seen on the modern UK Singles Chart by ascending the chart following its début. Released on 30 May 2005, it entered at number twelve on 5 June and reached number one six weeks later where it remained for five consecutive weeks. The last song to début outside of the top ten and climb to number one was The Outhere Brothers' "Boom Boom Boom" (1995). The highest position "You're Beautiful" reached in Australia was number two, where it stayed for two consecutive weeks.

In November 2005, "You're Beautiful" was released in North America where it achieved widespread success. In Canada, it ascended to number one (where it remained for four consecutive weeks) twenty-two weeks following its début on the BDS Airplay chart. In the United States, it débuted at number eighty-eight before reaching number one seventeen weeks later. It replaced Beyoncé's "Check on It" and itself was replaced by Ne-Yo's "So Sick".[11] The song became the first non-urban or American Idol song to reach the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 since Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" in 2001. However, "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani has also been credited for that accomplishment, but due to its hip-hop based influences, it's been disputed. This also became the first single by a British artist to reach number one since Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997" (1997).[12] It achieved success on the Billboard Pop 100, Hot Digital Songs, Adult Contemporary, and Adult Top 40 formats.

It has been certified six-fold platinum in the U.S. for digital sales of 1,200,000 copies.[13]

Awards

At the 2007 Grammy Awards this single received three nominations: Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance [2] winning none. For the video the singer won the MTV Award for Best Male Video and Best Cinematography.

Parodies

A parody of the song was made by the British sketch-show Dead Ringers. Entitled "It's Bloody Cold", it featured Jon Culshaw as Blunt sitting in the snow and jumping into a swimming pool in an attempt to be seen as cool by the other major British singers (Robbie Williams, Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Morrissey and Craig David are explicitly named among these). It also claimed that the name "James Blunt" is Cockney rhyming slang.

"Weird Al" Yankovic composed and recorded a parody of "You're Beautiful" entitled "You're Pitiful", intended for release on his twelfth album. Yankovic had done so with permission from Blunt himself. However, Blunt's label, Atlantic Records, chose to forbid Yankovic from releasing his parody. Yankovic removed the song from his album to avoid conflict with the record label, and in June 2006 posted it as a free download on his own website. [3]

The Internet Sketch Comedy show Moron Life did a parody of the song entitled "My Testicles".

The song and video were parodied on the sketch show, MADtv. Nicole Parker played a narcissistic James Blunt and wore a prosthetic male torso when it came time to strip off her shirts during the song. MADtv renamed the song to "I'm Beautiful".

The song has also been parodied in an office setting: "My Cubicle", created by comedy website Morning Sidekick. Several versions are circulating, one audio-only, one with a video showing the lyrics on a blank background, and several fan-created music videos in which an actor acts out the actions in the lyrics. [4]

The Amateur Transplants performed a parody to the song for their album Unfit to Practise, entitled "Beautiful Song".

Jared Leto and Shannon Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars joked around with the song in a clip for MTV2 while inside a car. Jared sang the song as "I'm Beautiful"

Blunt has recorded an appearance for Season 38 of Sesame Street, in which he sings a parody entitled "My Triangle."

Music video by Kevin Sage named "She Was Beautiful" is a parody of the song.

A parody of the song titled 'You're Beauteous' appeared on Cartoon Network. It uses scenes from The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.

Formats and track listings

Problems listening to this file? See media help.

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "You're Beautiful".

  • UK CD1
  1. "You're Beautiful"
  2. "Fall at Your Feet" (Acoustic)
  • UK CD2 / Australian/New Zealand CD single
  1. "You're Beautiful" (Clean Edit)
  2. "High" (Acoustic)
  3. "You're Beautiful" (CD-Rom Making of Video)
  4. "You're Beautiful" (CD-Rom Video)
  • UK 7"
  1. "You're Beautiful"
  2. "So Long Jimmy" (Acoustic)

Cover versions

  • The song was covered by the company Wavegroup for the game Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore.
  • The song is usually covered by Denver-based piano rock band The Fray during live performances. Lead singer and pianist Isaac Slade sings a refrain from the song while performing the song Look After You.

Release history

Country Release Date
United Kingdom May 30, 2005 (2005-05-30)
Worldwide May 2005 (2005-05)
United States December 13, 2005 (2005-12-13)

Charts

Chart (2005/2006) Peak
position[14]
Australian Singles Chart 2
Austrian Singles Chart 6
Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart 1
Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart 3
Canadian Singles Chart 1
Danish Singles Chart 4
Dutch Singles Chart 1
French Singles Chart 5
German Singles Chart 2
Irish Singles Chart 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 4
Norwegian Singles Chart 1
Swiss Singles Chart 2
Swedish Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 1
U.S. Adult Contemporary 1
U.S. Hot Adult Contemporary 1
U.S. ARC Weekly Top 40 1
Chart (2000-2009) Peak
position
UK Top 100 Songs of the Decade 39[15]
Preceded by
"Check on It" by Beyoncé featuring Bun B and Slim Thug
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
11 March 2006
Succeeded by
"So Sick" by Ne-Yo
Preceded by
"Check on It" by Beyoncé featuring Bun B and Slim Thug
Billboard Pop 100 number-one single
11 February 2006 - 4 March 2006
Succeeded by
"So Sick" by Ne-Yo
Preceded by
"Ghetto Gospel" by 2Pac featuring Elton John
UK number one single
17 July 2005 – 14 August 2005
Succeeded by
"I'll Be Ok" by McFly

References

  1. ^ http://www.bucksmusicgroup.com/composers/details/det4.html?Show=News
  2. ^ Ivors Rediredt
  3. ^ "Varsity" (PDF). Dixie Chassay, Page 22. http://www.varsity.co.uk/archive/645.pdf. Retrieved October 1, 2008.  
  4. ^ "Oprah.com". Blunt: It's kind of miserable. http://www.oprah.com/tows/slide/200603/20060308/slide_20060308_350_104.jhtml. Retrieved September 23, 2006.  
  5. ^ "ContactMusic.com". Blunt: "You're Beautiful" not meaningful. http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/entertainment/music/audioandvideo/s/159/159996_watch_james_blunts_youre_beautiful_video.html. Retrieved March 11, 2006.  
  6. ^ "Interview With Sacha Skarbek", HitQuarters, 13 July 2009.
  7. ^ [1]"BlogCritics.org". Keep an Eye on James Blunt. http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/12/07/042837.php. Retrieved March 11, 2006.  
  8. ^ "ManchesterOnline.co.uk". Watch James Blunt's "You’re Beautiful" video — what it's about. http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/entertainment/music/audioandvideo/s/159/159996_watch_james_blunts_youre_beautiful_video.html. Retrieved March 11, 2006.  
  9. ^ Annoying songs
  10. ^ http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/article238748.ece
  11. ^ "Billboard". Ne-Yo Completes Chart Takeover With "So Sick". http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/search/google/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002155677. Retrieved March 12, 2006.  
  12. ^ "Billboard". Blunt Leapfrogs Beyoncé to Claim No. 1. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/search/google/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002114916. Retrieved March 11, 2006.  
  13. ^ "RIAA.com". Recording Industry Association of America Searchable Gold & Platinum Database. http://www.riaa.com/gp/database/default.asp. Retrieved March 11, 2006.  
  14. ^ "James Blunt's You're Beautiful: Chart Positions". http://www.musicsquare.net/charts/song/2117. Retrieved May 30, 2006.  
  15. ^ Radio 1 Official Chart of the Decade, as broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on Tuesday 29th December 2009, presented by Nihal
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