My Immortal by Evanescence (official video) is a gothic rock song.
Song Title: My Immortal (official video)
Genre: piano rock, gothic rock, power ballad, piano ballad
Composer: Copyright © 2003 Amy Lee, Ben Moody, David Hodges
Musical key: A Major
Lead Vocals: Amy Lee
Guitar: Ben Moody
Piano: Amy Lee, David Hodges
Keyboards: Amy Lee, David Hodges
Bass Guitar: Francesco DiCosmo
Percussion: Ben Moody
String arrangement: David Hodges, David Campbell, Graeme Revell
Director: David Mould
Producer: Dave Fortman
Recorded: 2002–2003, NRG Recording Studios, California
Released: 8 December 2003
Number of listens: 24388
Current rank: 38 (updated weekly)
Highest rank: 38 (play the video all the way through to register a vote for this song)
Summary quotation from Wikipedia:
My Immortal is a song by American rock band Evanescence from their debut studio album Fallen (2003). It was released by Wind-up Records on December 8, 2003 as the third single from the album. The song was entirely written by guitarist Ben Moody, with the exception of the bridge, which was later written by lead singer Amy Lee, and it was produced by Dave Fortman. My Immortal was included on their EP release Mystary (2003) and on the demo album Origin (2000). The version originally from Origin was later included on Fallen. The single version of the song was called band version because of the additional band performing the bridge and final chorus of the song.
My Immortal is a piano rock song written in slow and free tempo. Moody was rumored to have been inspired to write it after the death of his grandfather. Lyrically, it talks about a spirit staying with you after its death and haunting you until you actually wish that the spirit were gone because it wont leave you alone. Critical reception towards the song was positive, with critics complimenting its piano melody. In 2005 it received a nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 47th Grammy Awards. The song was also commercially successful, peaking within the top ten in more than ten countries. It also peaked at number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100 and topped the charts in Canada, Greece and the US Adult Pop Songs chart. The single was certified gold in the US, and platinum in Australia.
An accompanying music video directed by David Mould was filmed entirely in black-and-white in Gothic Quarter, Barcelona on October 10, 2003. The video shows Lee sitting and singing on various locations, but never touching the ground. Shots of Moody are also shown but he is never together with his band or Lee. The video was nominated in the category for Best Rock Video at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards. The song was performed by the band during their Fallen Tour and The Open Door Tour. It was also performed live during some of their television appearances and award ceremonies such as the Billboard Music Awards.
Thats the difference between us, Ben [Moody] tends to write like a storyteller, and its not necessarily from any kind of personal experience. I cant bring myself to write about anything I dont understand completely. For me, writing is always about some specific thing thats happened, so sometimes I feel a little distanced singing the song, but I still love it.
The song was written by Ben Moody and produced by Dave Fortman; it was the fourth song to be written for Evanescence. Amy Lees vocals and the piano parts of the song were recorded in NRG Recording Studios, California. My Immortal was mixed at Conway Recording Studios in North Hollywood while it was mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound in New York City. The orchestral parts in the song were arranged by the composer Graeme Revell.
Amy Lee talking about My Immortal.
The first known recording of My Immortal was made for the bands self-titled EP, which solely featured Lees vocals accompanied by an acoustic guitar and a piano, and slightly different lyrics. The song was cut from the EP before it was released. In 2000, the song was re-recorded for the bands demo album, Origin, which contains a rearranged piano melody and lyrics, including the bridge added by Lee. It was again recorded for the bands debut full-length debut studio album, Fallen where the vocals of the demo version (that were recorded by Lee at 18 years old) were accompanied by slightly different instrumentation. It is also featured on the bands 2003 EP, Mystary, which is much similar to the band version. Wind-up Records preferred the Origin version, which is why the exact vocals recorded from 2000 are again included in the songs album version. The version that was recorded and released as a single is moderately alternative to that of the album version, and is often referred to as the band version because of the additional band performing the bridge and final chorus of the song. The later pressings of Fallen contain the single version (or band version) of My Immortal as a hidden track. Lee expressed some dissatisfaction with the early versions of the song saying, Its not even a real piano. And the sound quality is bad because we had to break into the studio to record it late at night when no one was around because we couldnt afford a real session.
My Immortal is a piano and power ballad written in the key of A major. It was described as a goth-meets-pop song. According to the sheet music published by Alfred Music Publishing on the website Musicnotes.com, the song is set in common time and performed in slow and free tempo of 80 beats per minute. Lees vocal range for the song runs from the musical note of A3 to C♯5 Her vocals are accompanied by a simple piano. Adrien Begrand of PopMatters concluded that in My Immortal, Lee is doing her McLachlan/Tori Amos schtick. The song was also compared with some of Enyas material.
The lyrics of the song refer to a spirit that haunts the memory of a grieving loved one. Similar to several other songs written by Moody, the lyrics of the song are based on a short story he had previously written. According to Lee, it was Ben [Moody]s song. Moody said that the song talks about a spirit staying with you after its death and haunting you until you actually wish that the spirit were gone because it wont leave you alone. He also stated in the booklet of Fallen that he dedicated the song to his grandfather, Bill Holcomb. In My Immortal, Lee expresses her feelings through the line, Though youre still with me / Ive been alone all along. A writer for IGN said that My Immortal is a song of pain and despair caused by the loss of a family member or very close friend and how it drove her [Lee] to the edge of insanity. Talking about the composition and the meaning of the song, Tom Reynolds of The Guardian said, [My Immortal is] A whimpering post-breakup tune in which lead singer Amy Lee pitifully mourns the end of a relationship over a piano accompaniment that sounds like Pachelbel after the Prozac wore off. My Immortal closely follows the quantum tragedy paradigm: the shorter the time two people spent together as a couple, the more overwrought the song is that describes their break-up. Judging by the lorry-load of anguish Lee spews out, she split from someone she dated for about an hour (if her lyrics are to be believed, the guy was a real freak, too).
While reviewing the bands second studio album The Open Door (2006), Alex Nunn of the website musicOMH showed incredulity that the angelic-vocalled woman who wrote the moving/emotive/whatever My Immortal could churn out such dross as Call Me When Youre Sober. Kirk Miller of Rolling Stone said that My Immortal lets Lee wail about her personal demons over simple piano and some symphonic dressings its a power ballad that P.O.D. and Tori Amos fans could both appreciate. Chris Harris of the same publication found it to be a song thats become something of an Alanis Morissette-like battle hymn for her [Lees] goth disciples over the last few years. Richard Harrington of The Washington Post called My Immortal a majestic song that helped the band win a Grammy Award. Blair R. Fischer from MTV News described the song as a delicate, heartfelt ballad. IGNs Ed Thompson concluded that My Immortal was one of the first and best songs Evanescence ever wrote. Jordan Reimer, a writer of The Daily Princetonian found a haunting beauty in the song. Bill Lamb of About.com put the song at number 61 on his list of Top 100 Pop Songs of 2004. Tom Reynolds of The Guardian put the song at number 24 on his list Sad songs say so much. In 2005 the band was nominated in the category for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 47th Grammy Awards for the song.
The song is considered the bands second most successful single of all time, generally peaking within the top 20 of more than 10 countries internationally. On the chart issue dated April 10, 2004, My Immortal peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100, while on the Pop Songs chart it peaked at number two on March 27, 2004. It has peaked at number nineteen on the Adult Contemporary chart as well. On February 17, 2009, My Immortal was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling more than 500,000 copies in the United States. The song managed to top the charts of Canada, Greece and Billboards Adult Pop Songs in the United States. It also helped Fallen to move from number nine to number three on the Billboard 200 chart, selling another 69.000 copies. On the Billboards Radio Songs chart, the song peaked at number seven on April 10, 2004. Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems placed the song at number six on the list of most played radio songs in 2004 with 317,577 spins.
On the Australian Singles Chart, My Immortal debuted at number four on January 25, 2004 which later became its peak position. The next eleven weeks, it remained in the top ten of the chart, and it was seen on the chart at number forty-four for the week ending June 13, 2004. The single was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). On December 20, 2003, My Immortal debuted at number seven on the UK Singles Chart which later became its peak position. On February 14, 2004 the song dropped out of the chart, and it later re-entered at number eighty-four on July 18, 2008. After spending several weeks on different positions on the UK Rock Chart, on August 27, 2011, it peaked at number one. The next week, My Immortal moved to number two being replaced by the bands single What You Want (2011), and one week later it returned at number one on the chart. That achievement helped the song to re-enter on the UK Singles Chart at number eighty-one on August 27, 2011 and at number eighty-nine on October 22, 2011.
A music video directed by David Mould was filmed entirely in black-and-white in Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic), Barcelona on October 10, 2003. Lee described the place of the filming during an interview with MTV News: We did it in a cool, old area of town.[
] We shot some of it at this scenic point, and there was a rooftop where you could see Barcelona below. It was really neat. The version of the song used on the video is different from the one off the record, with the band entering the song at the end of the bridge and a string arrangement by David Campbell. Evanescence wanted the band version to be on the album as well, but the label was stuck on the demo and wouldnt let us use the version we really wanted.[
] We fought back and forth about it and finally we gave in, but we were all so angry about it. The video was filmed two weeks before Ben Moodys departure from the band. Amy Lee admitted that the visuals in the video were striking in retrospect, but added that the similarities between what was filmed and Moodys departure were coincidental: We shot it in Barcelona about a week before Ben left the band unexpectedly. I think none of us knew, including him, that he was going anywhere. And when we got the video back and watched it, it was right after he had left. And its bizarre how much the video is about that. We all sat there with goose bumps, like, Holy crap. Weve got to watch that again. In an interview with the British magazine Rock Sound, Lee further explained the concept which was related with his departure:
You know what? When you see the video its really amazing. Obviously we filmed it before this [Ben Moodys departure] happened and its amazing irony, how much it makes sense. Were all separated and wandering the streets looking like its the day after a funeral, with Ben in a suit and bare feet, and Im never touching the ground. Im sitting on a phone booth or lying on a car, to hint that Im dead, that Im singing from the dead. Its all about separation. Its almost like the director knew what was going to happen, but he cant have known. Its just one of those fate things.
The music video for My Immortal begins with Lee next to a fountain. Her legs and arms are covered with bandage, and she puts them in the water. Shes wearing a long white dress. While she walks around the fountain, behind her are shown children jumping on a skipping rope and playing soccer. Shots of Moody follow, who appears to be sullen and withdrawn. He is wearing a suit and his feet are bare. His shoulders sag and his head slumps forward as he delicately plays piano, and later he picks up his jacket as if hes about to leave. When the bridge starts, the band is shot performing in one room while Moody is in another, with only his piano. Throughout the video, Lee is never filmed on ground level. She walks along the ledge of a fountain, sits in a tree and sings lying on top of a building. She also lies atop scaffolding and on the hood of a car surrounded with leaves.
The video for the song was nominated in the category for Best Rock Video at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards. According to Jon Wiederhorn from MTV News, the shots of the video are evocative and artistic, resembling a cross between a foreign film and a Chanel advertisement. Joe DAngelo of MTV News said that Lees disconnection in the video shows a distressed and emotionally wrought heroine. Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone praised the video saying that Lee looked like a teen-misery titan and that she tiptoed through a marble castle of pain. He also concluded that she could have borrowed the dress from Stevie Nicks. During an interview with Spin in 2011 Lee said that it was weird for her to watch the old videos of the band including the one for My Immortal. She explaind, Just watching our oldest videos, its weird. I definitely remember watching My Immortal, like, That was not some dream where it was really somebody else. Ive totally had a couple of those moments. Its cool.
Evanescence performed the song at the 2004 Billboard Music Awards on December 8, 2004. The band was joined by an eight-piece string section during the performance and a stage backdrop of knotted, decaying trees were placed on stage in order to showcase the powerful vocals by Amy Lee as stated by a writer of Billboard. The band additionally performed the song at Late Show with David Letterman in March, 2004.
The band performed My Immortal on August 13, 2003 in Chicago during the Nintendo Fusion Tour. It was also part of the set list on the bands first Fallen Tour. Evanescence also performed the song at the Webster Hall in Manhattan, New York City in September, 2003. My Immortal was the closing song of the concert, and Lee performed it after asking the fans Just promise not to fall asleep. During the performance, she wore an Alice in Wonderland dress covered with scrawled words, including the words dirty, useless, psycho and slut. She explained that there was a story behind the dress. The last time she had come to New York, she had met a D.J. from the radio station K-Rock, who had made what she described as horrible comments about exactly how much pleasure he had derived from the picture of her face on the Fallen album cover. She had felt too ashamed to say anything, she went on, so she decided to respond through the dress, which represented something innocent thats been tainted.
My Immortal was also part of the set list during the bands second tour, called The Open Door Tour in support of their second studio album The Open Door (2006). Evanescence also played the song live at their secret New York gig which took place on November 4, 2009. They also performed the song during the 2011 Rock in Rio festival on October 2, 2011. The song was later added on the set list of their third worldwide tour in support of their third self-titled studio album Evanescence (2011). A live version of the song from Le Zénith, Paris is featured on their first live album, Anywhere but Home (2004). Johnny Loftus of Allmusic praised the live version saying that Lee takes a softer approach while performing My Immortal and added that it becomes a singalong moment for 5,000 souls.
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