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This tender love song about getting by with just you and your beloved is a band composition with lyrics by lead singer Gary Lightbody, who called it "the most pure and open love song I've ever written."
This was used in the TV shows One Tree Hill and Grey's Anatomy, two programs with a penchant for reflective tunes that can ramp up the emotional output of a scene. This exposure was a huge boost to the band in America, where they were still unknown.
Frontman Gary Lightbody wrote this in the garden of producer Garret "Jacknive" Lee's cottage one night in "a blur of red wine and Percocet." He says he wrote about 10 songs that night, and when he looked at them the next day nine of them were terrible, but "Chasing Cars" stood out like "a diamond in the s--t."
This remains the only Top 40 hit for Snow Patrol in America, but they have had numerous hits in the UK. Lead singer Gary Lightbody is from Bangor, Northern Ireland, and formed the group formed the group in 1994 with Jonny Quinn and Mark McClelland, who he met at Dundee University in Scotland. Their first two albums sold poorly, but their third, Final Straw
, sold over 5 million copies in the UK and produced the hit "Run
They had several more UK hits, but "Chasing Cars" proved to be their American zenith.
"Chasing Cars" topped the Adult Top 40 chart. It arrived in pole position in its 35th chart week, the longest climb to #1 in the history of this tally. The previous longest climb to the summit had been held by Five For Fighting, whose "Superman (It's Not Easy)
" rose to the top in its 28th chart week in December 2001.
In the UK, this song has won numerous awards. In December 2006, it was voted the Best Song of All time by listeners to UK's Virgin Radio. It was voted as the Best Song of the Decade in a poll by the UK's Channel 4, in December 2009, and Q magazine honored it with their Classic Song Award in 2011.
This did better in the Billboard Hot 100 than any other single by a British group in 2006.
The music licensing company's music reporting department PPL named this as the most played and used song in the UK of the last decade. Lightbody commented that he believes the success of the song is down to one thing: "I think that the song has worked because it has an emotion that people can relate to," he said. The second and third placed songs in the PPL poll were also released in 2006. They are Take That's "Shine
" at two and "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'
" by Scissor Sisters at three.
This was the last song to be performed live on BBC's long running music program Top Of the Pops.
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