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Album: The Young And The HopelessReleased: 2002Charted:
With allusions to hometown ne'er do wells OJ Simpson and Marion Barry, Good Charlotte talks about materialism in Hollywood and how money can corrupt the legal system in some cases. Also mentioned are movie stars and singers who are always complaining about their lives.
Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous was the name of a syndicated TV show that provided an inside look at the lives of celebrities. Hosted by a very loud Robin Leach, it showed famous people enjoying expensive cars, jewelry, and other luxury items that most of us can't afford.
Vocalist Joel Madden told Kerrang! January 29, 2011: "We wrote the whole of The Young & the Hopeless in about three weeks, and that song was one that came towards the end of the process. There was a bench in front of the studio so, while the band were doing their thing inside, me and Benji would sit there and write songs - we wrote 'Lifestyles' in about 10 minutes! We're not really precious about our song writing unless it's something that's really precious to us; we mostly just write songs that make us feel good. I never thought this one was particularly special but it was probably the best thing we ever did for our career. It was the song that broke us, it changed everything."
Joel Madden told Kerrang! why he thought the song struck a chord: "I think it's something nearly everyone can relate to. We came out to LA to make the record after touring non-stop for two years and we saw a lot of things we weren't used to - people with a lot of money, famous people. We tended to notice how unhappy a lot of them were. You'd hear all this complaining and we were like, 'Well, if it's making you unhappy we'll take it.' The point of the song often gets misconceived: we're not criticizing, we're saying we'd happily live that life if you don't want it - and there are a lot of people thinking exactly the same thing. Singing it every night reminds me to be grateful."
The video, directed by Bill Fishman, shows the band taking over a Beverly Hills mansion and going to jail for their deeds. It did very well on MTV at a time when they still played at least some videos.
The dog that appears in the video was Benji Madden's pooch Cashdogg. The guitarist reportedly bought him with his first-ever band paycheck when Good Charlotte got signed in 1999.