Lights by Ellie Goulding (official video - Bassnectar Remix) is a pop electronica song.
Song Title: Lights (official video)
Artist: Ellie Goulding
Album: Bright Lights
Genre: electronica, pop, adult contemporary, EDM, synthpop, indie pop, indietronica
Composer: Copyright © 2008 Ellie Goulding, Richard Stannard, Ash Howes
Musical key: G♯ Major
Lead Vocals: Ellie Goulding
Guitar: Ellie Goulding
Keyboards: Ash Howes, Richard Biff Stannard
Programmer/programming: Steven Malcolmson
Bass: Richard Biff Stannard
Drums: Ash Howes
Director: Sophie Muller
Producer: Richard Biff Stannard, Ash Howes
Mixer: Ash Howes, Richard Biff Stannard
Released: 13 March 2011
Format: digital download
B-side: Only Girl in the World
Number of listens: 25218
U.S. Billboard Hot 100: #38, last week #38, missing week, #27, 51 weeks on chart, peak #2 (two)
Pop: peak #1 (one), 2012
Adult Contemporary: #30, down from last week #25, missing week, #20, 19 weeks on chart, peak #17
Radio Songs: #39, down from last week #38, missing week, #21, 33 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
Digital Songs: peak #5 (five), 2012
On-Demand Songs: #24, down from last week #22, missing week, #18, 40 weeks on chart, peak #1 (one)
Canadian Hot 100: peak #7 (seven), 2012
Billboard information for the week of Dec 22, 2012
Billboard chart listings courtesy of Billboard Magazine
Summary quotation from Wikipedia:
Lights is a song by English singer and songwriter Ellie Goulding from Bright Lights (2010), the reissue of her debut studio album, Lights (2010). Written by Goulding, Richard Stannard and Ash Howes, the song was inspired by Gouldings childhood fear of the dark. It was released on 13 March 2011 as the albums sixth single overall, and second from Bright Lights. Originally a bonus track on the iTunes edition of Lights, the song was re-edited for inclusion on Bright Lights in late 2010, serving as the single version.
Lights received positive reviews from most music critics, who praised the songs production and Gouldings ethereal vocals. The song was also a commercial success, reaching the top 20 in several countries. In the United States, Lights was a sleeper hit, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 after 33 weeks on the chart, and becoming one of the few songs to have spent more than a year on the Hot 100. The song has been certified five-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Background and release
Lights was originally announced as a single on 8 September 2010 on Gouldings official Twitter page, with a release date scheduled for 1 November 2010. It was to be released as the lead single from the albums repackaging as Bright Lights. However, this plan was scrapped in favour of releasing Your Song in order to capitalise on the John Lewis Christmas advert that it was featured in. This was followed by the reissue of the album Lights as Bright Lights.
It was once again announced in January 2011 that the single version of Lights would be released. A digital EP was released in the UK on 13 March 2011, containing Gouldings acoustic cover version of Rihannas Only Girl (in the World) as performed on BBC Radio 1s Live Lounge on 10 December 2010.
American rapper Lupe Fiasco sampled the Bassnectar remix of Lights for his song Lightwork, from his 2011 mixtape Friend of the People: I Fight Evil. Lights also appears as a bonus track on the international edition of Gouldings second album, Halcyon. The song is included on the soundtrack to the 2012 film Spring Breakers and is played during the ending credits. American new wave band Blondie performed the song as an intro to Atomic in 2012 and 2013 while on tour. It was honored as Song of the Year by ASCAP Pop Awards.
According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Lights is written in the key of G-sharp minor with a moderate pop tempo of 120 beats per minute. Gouldings vocals span from F♯3 to D♯5 while the song follows a chord progression of G♯m-F♯-E-C♯m7. Lyrically, the song discusses the fear of the dark that Goulding had as a child, and how she could only sleep with the lights on. In an interview with 97.1 AMP Radio in late July 2012, Goulding stated, Sometimes if Ive had a couple of drinks and I come back and just like lie on my bed and fall asleep I wake up and realize that there isnt a light on and I have to turn a light on. She also explained, It can be seen as something like a lighthouse that kind of always guides you home. Ive always felt comfort sleeping with the light on, and Ive always felt comfort being with my siblings.
Lights received mostly positive reviews from critics. Horatia Harrod of The Daily Telegraph commented that the song is threaded with dark thoughts, but set to an airy pop production bordering on polite. Her voice is the real star. She has the magical ability, not unlike her heroine, Björk, to sing with a sort of controlled tremulousness: her voice aches with vulnerability but never breaks. The Guardian reviewer Johnny Dee described the song as a welcome return to her patented folky-pop-with-some-tasteful-drum-and-bass-wobble sound.
Genevieve Koski of The A.V. Club was also positive of the song, giving it an A- and praising the songs organic-sounding production and Gouldings ethereal, restrained vocals, while Steven Hyden of The A.V. Club gave it a C, claiming that Goulding sounds too restrained and aloof to the point of emotional constipation. About.coms Bill Lamb rated the song three-and-a-half out of five stars, calling it a pleasing, catchy slice of electro-pop and noting that Gouldings voice has an edge of sadness and vulnerability that sets the song apart from standard dance pop, but concluded, In a pop music world dominated by distinctive vocalists, it is too easy for a song like Lights to feel polite and get lost in the shuffle.
Lights debuted at number 111 on the UK Singles Chart for the week ending 18 December 2010, based on digital sales from Bright Lights. Three months later, during the week ending 12 March 2011, the single entered the top 100 for the first time at number 91. The following week, it rose to number 64, eventually peaking at number 49 in its sixth week on the chart.
On the issue dated 20 August 2011, Lights debuted at number 85 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number 89 on the Canadian Hot 100, becoming Gouldings first single to chart in North America. The song re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 99 for the week of 14 January 2012. When Lights reached number 40 in its 19th week, on the issue dated 12 May, the song attained the third slowest climb to the top 40 by a female artist, after Norah Joness Dont Know Why and KT Tunstalls Suddenly I See. In its 29th week, the song made Hot 100 history by achieving the longest climb to the charts top five not aided by country-to-pop crossover success or multiple releases. The single reached number two in its 33rd chart week, on the issue dated 18 August 2012, and held that position for two weeks, behind Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen and Whistle by Flo Rida, respectively, making it Gouldings most successful single.
Lights ascended to number one on the Radio Songs chart on the issue dated 25 August 2012, making Goulding the first female solo artist to send a debut Radio Songs entry to number one since Adele led the list in 2011 and 2012 with her singles Rolling in the Deep, Someone Like You and Set Fire to the Rain. The song also topped the Mainstream Top 40 during the same week, matching Pinks U + Ur Hand (23 weeks, 2006–07) for the longest climb to number one by a woman in the charts almost-20-year history. The single also made a re-entry on the Canadian Hot 100 on 28 April 2012, reaching a peak position of number seven on 22 September. In late December 2012, Lights spent its 52nd week on the Hot 100 at number 43, becoming the 30th in the charts history to spend a year on the tally. In June 2013, it became the fifth best-selling digital song by a British female solo artist in the US. Lights was certified five-times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on 13 July 2015.
Lights saw moderate success in mainland Europe, charting at number one in Poland, number eight in Austria, number 10 in Belgium and Slovakia, number 11 in Germany, number 14 in Switzerland, number 22 in the Czech Republic and number 29 in France. In New Zealand, the song debuted at number 25 on the RIANZ Singles Chart on 25 June 2012, reaching number 16 in its fifth and ninth weeks on the chart.
The music video for Lights was filmed by Sophie Muller in late September 2010 before the lead single from the Bright Lights re-release was changed to Your Song. It was officially released on Gouldings YouTube channel on 20 January 2011. The video shows Goulding dancing, playing the drums and the tambourine whilst different lighting effects including lasers surround her as she sings. It also shows her in numerous scenes swinging different hand-held lights and torches around giving the impression of a light painting, whilst the camera produces a bullet time effect like those used in The Matrix. The lighting rig in the video was created by a small group of students from Middlesex University.
Goulding performed the song live on Alan Carr: Chatty Man on 21 February 2011. She performed a Saturday Session on Dermot OLearys BBC Radio 2 afternoon show on 26 February 2011, where she sang Lights. She also performed Lights on BBC Radio 1s Live Lounge on 12 March 2011, along with a cover of José Gonzálezs version of The Knifes Heartbeats.
As part of promotion in the United States, Goulding performed the song on Saturday Night Live on 7 May 2011, along with Your Song. She also performed both Lights and Your Song on The Early Show on 30 July 2011. On 18 January 2012, she performed the single on Late Show with David Letterman. On 11 April 2012, she performed it on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
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