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Fitzpleasure by Alt-J

Album: An Awesome WaveReleased: 2012
  • This song was inspired by a chapter from Hubert Selby, Jr.'s 1964 controversial novel about the brutality of urban life, Last Exit to Brooklyn. Lyrical allusions include "Tralala," (the title character of a prostitute character in the book) and "broom-shaped pleasure," (the chapter ends with a particularly gruesome gang rape of Tralala involving a broom).
  • The song title does not feature in the lyrics. Speaking with Secret Sound Shop, frontman Joe Newman explained: "Basically the phrase is 'in your snatch fits pleasure, broom shaped pleasure,'" he said, "so fits and pleasure and Fitz like a second name, like Fitzpatrick so we thought Fitzpleasure, so more subtle."
  • Newman explained to Secret Sound Shop why he chose such a shocking subject matter for the song: "I always believe that you write about what moves you," he said, "and although that gang-rape scene is horrible... it really moved me, it's really well written, you don't really know which way is up after that chapter. I thought it was a really powerful thing to write about."
  • Another link between Last Exit to Brooklyn and rock music is that The Smiths titled their 1986 album, The Queen Is Dead, after a different chapter in the novel.
  • Mentioned both in this song ("Dead in the middle of the C-O-double M-O-N" ) and "Bloodflood," The Common is a park in Southampton, the South England city where Newman grew up.
  • The lyric, "Dead in the middle of the C-O-double M-O-N" was inspired by a line from Puerto-Rican/American rapper Big Punisher's 1998 track "Twinz," which goes: "Dead in the middle of Little Italy. Little did we know that we riddle some middlemen who didn't do diddle." Newman explained to NME: "There's a gang in Southampton called The Mandela Boys. We were scared s---less of them when we were kids. The (next) line, 'Little did I know then that the Mandela Boys soon become Mandela Men' is me wondering whether they're still in the gang or if they've just all got jobs and kids now."
  • The song has been used in several TV series, including Weeds, Suits and Homeland.
  • This was used by Miley Cyrus to soundtrack a video interlude featuring the scantily clad singer during her Bangerz tour. Alt-J drummer Thom Green commented to GQ: "Straightaway I thought 'Wow, that's weird, she's a huge celebrity! Then I thought it's not actually that weird. I knew she'd tweeted about us in the past and just because she's hugely famous it doesn't make it any different from anyone else liking it."
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