Vow (Garbage song)

Vow (Garbage song)

Infobox Single
Name = Vow

Artist = Garbage
from Album = Garbage
B-side = "Subhuman"
"#1 Crush"
"Vow (Torn Apart)" (UK & US)
Released = March 20, 1995 (UK)
June 20, 1995 (Worldwide)
Format = 7", CD maxi, cassette single
Recorded = March - November, 1994
Smart Studios,
Madison, Wisconsin
Genre = Alternative rock
Length = 4:30
Label = Discordant (UK)
Almo Sounds (North America)
Mushroom (Worldwide)
Writer = Garbage
Producer = Garbage
Reviews =
Last single =
This single = "Vow"
Next single = "Subhuman"
Misc = Extra album cover 2
Upper caption = Alternate cover
Type = Single

Lower caption = South African cover

"Vow" is a song by Garbage, released as their debut single in 1995. It first appeared on a "Volume" magazine compilation in December, 1994, and picked up by BBC Radio 1 DJs Steve Lamacq and John Peel. "Vow" generated significant buzz and word-of-mouth that it was eventually chosen as Garbage's first single release. ["Vow" press release, Discordant, March 1995 (Retrieved 2008-02-05)]

Released worldwide after a low-key independent record label pressing in the United Kingdom, "Vow" went on to top the alternative charts in Australia and reach the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Garbage hadn't initially planned it's release as a single, or it's inclusion on their debut album, 1995's "Garbage"."Musician" magazine, January 1996 issue (Retrieved 2008-02-05)]

In 2007, "Vow" was remastered and included on Garbage's greatest hits album "Absolute Garbage".cite web|url=http://www.garbage.com/news/news.php?uid=336| title="New Best Of Album"|publisher="Garbage.com"|accessdate=2008-02-05]

ong profile

"Vow" began in rough demo form in January, 1994, during sessions between band members Butch Vig, Duke Erikson and Steve Marker located in wither Marker's basement recording studio or at their own Smart Studios business in Wisconsin university town Madison. ["Q" (issue 09/01/1996)" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05)] After Marker saw Shirley Manson's group Angelfish on "120 Minutes", the band invited Manson to Smart Studios to sing on a couple of tracks. After a dreadful first audition, she returned to Angelfish."Garbage: Behind The Music", VH1, aired March 31, 2002"(Retrieved - 2008-02-05)] Manson eventually returned to Smart for a successful second time, where she began to work on the then-skeletal "Queer" and "Vow" (ad-libbing the lyric "like Joan of Arc coming back for more"). [""Modern Life Is Rubbish", "Melody Maker" magazine, March 18, 1995 issue (Retrieved 2008-02-05)]

The genesis of "Vow" came from a newspaper article Vig had read about a sado-masochistic couple who couldn't keep away from each other, [""Modern Life Is Rubbish", "Melody Maker", issue dated March 18, 1996" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05] an intense relationship showing that violence can come from psychological stand point. Garbage had even joked to journalists the song was about John and Lorena Bobbitt. [cite web|url=http://garbage.net/garbage/articles/@dock.htm| title="Butch Vig: In The Dock"|publisher="RAW magazine" (reproduced @ Garbage.net)|accessdate=2008-02-05] Lyrically, Manson claimed "'Vow' is about having feelings [of vengeance] . You have to face your feelings of revenge and work out why you feel that way. It's about that conundrum when you're really angry but in reality your in a pitiful state. Angry, twisted, but deep down, vulnerable" [""Vig's Atomic Dustbin", "Melody Maker", issue dated August 12, 1996" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05]

Halfway through the recording sessions for "Garbage", Mushroom's Rob Jefferson secured the band a "Volume" compilation inclusion.""Vig and "Vow" pile up the Garbage", (James Delingpole) "The Sunday Telegraph" issue 10/01/95" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05)] The only song the band had finished in any shape or form was "Vow".cite web | url=http://web.archive.org/web/19991014042851/www.cafemomo.com/inprint/9411volume.shtml | title="Volume" Issue 11/01/94 | publisher=Cafemomo.com | accessdate=2008-02-05] When the "Volume" compilation was released in December, 1994, "Vow" began to receive radio airplay on XFM and from Radio 1 DJs Steve Lamacq, John Peel and Johnnie Walker. Word-of-mouth on "Vow" took the track back to the U.S. By May, 1995, alternative radio in the U.S. had picked up on the track, and it began to receive heavy rotation nationwide.

ingle release

The terms of the licensing deal regarding "Vow"'s inclusion on "Volume" meant that the single could only be released on a limited basis. Mushroom wanted to issue "Vow" commercially to gauge reaction to the Band's music.""Butch Vig Goes Commercial", (Leo Finlay) "Music Week" issue 30/09/95" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05)] Concerned that their label was only known in the U.K. for the "Neighbours" theme,"Record Collector" #209" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05)] to move away from the association, Mushroom founded the Discordant label for the sole purpose launching Garbage.""Only Happy When It Rains" sell-in sheet, Mushroom, September 1995)" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05)]

Prior to commercial release "Vow" had already topped "NME"'s playlist chart for 5 weeks"Garbage" press release, Mushroom, September 1996" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05)] and received "Single of the Week" status in seven publications,"Garbage" advance Almo Sounds promo disc sleeve notes" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05)] including "NME" and "Melody Maker". On March 20, "Vow" was released in a 7" vinyl format, backed with a remix of the title track and packaged in an aluminium sleeve. 1,000 copies were pressed, of which only 934 were made available to buy, barely enough to reach the U.K. Top 100. "Vow" sold out in one day.

"Vow" debuted on Hot Modern Rock Tracks at #39, where it climbed over the following weeks peaking at #26 twice.cite web | url=http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=377&cfgn=Singles&cfn=Hot+Modern+Rock+Tracks&ci=3020448&cdi=6951242&cid=06%2F17%2F1995 | title=Garbage "Vow" - Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks Listing For The Week Of June 17, 1995 | publisher=Billboard.com | accessdate=2008-02-04] "Vow" was released commercially in the U.S. on June 20 on CD maxi and cassette formats. "Vow" bubbled under for two weekscite web | url=http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=344&cfgn=Singles&cfn=Bubbling+Under+Hot+100+Singles&ci=3020690&cdi=6960183&cid=07%2F15%2F1995 | title=Garbage "Vow" - Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Listing For The Week Of July 15, 1995 | publisher=Billboard.com | accessdate=2008-02-04] before it spent two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 staying at #97 both weeks.cite web | url=http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=379&cfgn=Singles&cfn=The+Billboard+Hot+100&ci=3020793&cdi=6964189&cid=07%2F29%2F1995 | title=Garbage "Vow" - Billboard Hot 100 Listing For The Week Of July 29, 1995 | publisher=Billboard.com | accessdate=2008-02-04]

Mushroom and Discordant licensed "Vow" for distribution internationally, releasing the single on June 20, with two brand new b-sides, "Subhuman" and "#1 Crush". For Australia and New Zealand, White, in addition to CD and cassette, issued a limited edition CD format packaged in a rubber wallet. In Australia, after four weeks "Vow" peaked at #32,cite web | url=http://australian-charts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Garbage&titel=Vow&cat=s | title=Garbage - Vow (Song) | publisher=Australian-charts.com | accessdate=2007-11-07] topping their alternative charts, while in New Zealand, "Vow" reached #41.cite web | url=http://charts.org.nz/showitem.asp?interpret=Garbage&titel=Vow&cat=s | title=Garbage - Vow | publisher=Charts.org.nz | accessdate=2007-11-07] "Vow" was also released by BMG in Europe and South Africa.

Track listings

*UK 7" vinyl Discordant CORD001
*US CD-maxi Almo Sounds AMSDS-88000
*US cassette Almo Sounds AMSCS-89000

# "Vow" - 4:30
# "Vow (Torn Apart)" - 5:09

*European CDS Mushroom/BMG 74321 29596 2
*South African CDS Mushroom/BMG CDBMGS(WS)901
*Australian CDS White D1138
*Australian cassette White C1138

# "Vow" - 4:30
# "Subhuman" - 4:36
# "#1 Crush" - 4:52


For it's U.K. and North American release, "Vow" was backed with "Vow (Torn Apart)", a remix produced by Garbage themselves. [""Vow" sleeve credits] For the international release of the single "Vow" was backed with "Subhuman" and "#1 Crush". "Subhuman" had only ever been intended as a b-side for the "Vow" single, but on August 7, 1995, it was released as "Vow"'s follow-up single in the U.K., as Mushroom considered it a strong song. In October, 1996, a remix of "#1 Crush" by Nellee Hooper was released on the soundtrack to Baz Luhrman movie "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet". Airplay of the track resulted in it, on January 4, 1997, reaching #1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, staying for four weeks. It also reached #29 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart.cite web | url=http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/retrieve_chart_history.do?model.vnuArtistId=138644&model.vnuAlbumId=670290 | title=Single Chart History: Garbage | publisher=Billboard.com | accessdate=2008-02-05]

Both "Vow" and "#1 Crush" were released on the b-side to "Subhuman".

pecial edition packaging

The U.K. release of "Vow" was in a 7" vinyl format packaged in an aluminum metal case, the first of six specially packaged singles Mushroom Records released between 1995 and 1996. Each single cost the label, making a 70p per unit loss on each single, but the investment paid off as each subsequent single became bigger hits. Second single "Subhuman" followed in a rubber sleeve, "Only Happy When It Rains" in a hologram-stickered rain-effect card sleeve, "Queer" in a perspex case, "Stupid Girl" in both red and blue cloth bags and finally "Milk" in a rippled card sleeve with a 16-frame 3-D image mounted on front. Each release became instant collectors items: by the time second single "Subhuman", was released, copies of "Vow" were selling for £100. ["Subhuman" press release, Mushroom Records, August 1995 (Retrieved 2008-02-05)]

The idea behind the packaging reconciled with the eighteen-month marketing strategy behind the launch of the band. The packaging was tailored around the artwork designs for the six singles and the label's plan to brand the "G" logo. After each single, the sleeve artwork would go up a stage; the "Vow" and "Subhuman" artwork was two-colour, "Only Happy When It Rains" and "Queer" were three colour with gold embossing on "Queer" and "Stupid Girl" had four colour artwork. After the release of "Milk", CIN banned sales of specially packaged singles from counting towards the U.K. Singles Chart, which meant "Milk" was the last in the run of special edition Garbage 7" singles. [""Garbage" Class of '96", "Record Collector" #208" (Retrieved - 2008-02-06)]

Music video


Garbage, who had at first had no plans to tour, changed their mind while filming the video. Filming the "Vow" video was the first time they had played together in the one room. "We set up amps and played guitars. Butch was pounding away and Shirley had a live mike. After the first run-through, we all looked at each other and said, 'This feels really good.'" Erikson later recalled.

The "Vow" video was first commercially released on VHS and Video-CD on 1996's "Garbage Video". [""The Screens Are Full of Garbage", "Melody Maker", issue dated December 7, 1996" (Retrieved - 2008-02-05] A remastered version was later included on Garbage's 2007 greatest hits DVD "Absolute Garbage".

Critical reception

Upon it's release, "Vow" received an overwhelmingly positive response from music critics. James Delingpole of "Sunday Telegraph" wrote "'Vow' displays a maturity, inventiveness and originality way beyond the powers of your average pop newcomer", "The Times" described it as "the missing link between Courtney Love and PJ Harvey" ["The Times", September 19, 1995 issue (Retrieved 2008-02-05)] while Paul Yates of "Q" magazine said "Garbage's signature lies in songs like 'Vow', good pop tunes dealt a rough treatment and brazen vocals". ["Q" magazine, issue 11/01/1995 (Retrieved - 2008-02-05)] "NME"'s Emma Morgan wrote "it's the simplicity of the lyrics that strikes the winning goal", ["NME", Emma Morgan, "Garbage" review, September 23, 1995 (Retrieved 2002-02-05] while earlier in the year "NME" had made "Vow" it's Single of the Week, writing " ["Vow" is] a shape-shifting squalling epic. It shimmers like Siouxsie's 'Christine'. It's a credit to the band's producing skills that such an ambitious thing is lashed together at all" ["NME", "Vow" Single of the week review, March 25, 1995 (Retrieved 2002-02-05] "Melody Maker" stated "this has classic written all over it"; ["Melody Maker", December 9, 1995 issue (retrieved 2008-02-05] they too had named "Vow" their Single of the Week, writing the song "is surreal pop heaven mixed with industrial nightmares". ["Melody Maker" "Vow" Single of the Week review, March 11, 1995 issue (retrieved 2008-02-05] "Kerrang!" magazine's Paul Rees described "Vow" as "edgy dislocated pop with a sparkling chorus" ["Kerrang!", "Subhuman" review, August 5, 1995 issue (Retrieved 2008-02-05] and "the most brilliant pop song of 1995". ["Kerrang!", "Garbage" review, September 29, 1995 issue (Retrieved 2008-02-05] Select's Ian Harrison liked the song, but felt that it "pilfers from The Smiths "How Soon Is Now?"". ["Garbage" review, "Select, October 1995 issue (retrieved 2008-02-05)]

"Vow" also appeared in a number of year-end lists: #45 in John Peel's Festive Fifty, [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/johnpeel/festive50s/1990s/1995/|title="Keeping It peel: Festive 50's "1995""|publisher=BBC.co.uk|accessdate=2008-02-05] #15 in Triple J's "Hottest 100 of 1995", [cite web|url=http://www.rocklists.com/jjj-1995.html|title=Triple J "Hottest 100 of 1995"|publisher= [http://www.rocklists.com/ Rocklists.com] |accessdate=2008-02-05] and #66 in KROQ's "Top 106.7 of 1995". [cite web|url=http://www.rocklists.com/kroq-1995.html|title=KROQ's "Top 106.7 of 1995"|publisher= [http://www.rocklists.com/ Rocklists.com] |accessdate=2008-02-05]

Credits and Personnel

*Shirley Manson – vocals, guitar
*Steve Marker – guitars, bass, samples and loops
*Duke Erikson – guitars, keyboards, six-string and fuzz bass
*Butch Vig – drums, loops, noise and efx

*Written by Garbage
*Copyright 1995 Vibecrusher Music / Irving Music, Inc (BMI) / Deadarm Music (ASCAP)

*Recorded & produced by Garbage
*Recorded at Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin, USA
*Second engineer: Mike Zirkel
*Mastered: Howie Weinberg (Masterdisk)
*Editing & post production: Scott Hull (Masterdisk)

"Vow (Torn Apart)"
*Remix by Garbage

Comprehensive charts


External links

* [http://www.garbage.com/ Garbage official website]
* [http://www.garbage.com/exclusives/video.php/ "Vow" promo video]
* [http://www.garbage.com/discog/?v=so&a=1&id=11/ "Vow" lyrics]
* [http://www.garbage-discography.co.uk/vow_discography.php/ "Vow" release discography]

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