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Crazy by Seal
Album: SealReleased: 1991Charted:
After coming to the public's attention as the featured vocalist on Adamski's UK chart topper "Killer
," Seal signed to ZTT Records and released this as his first single. It became an international hit and won Seal a number of awards including the 1992 Ivor Novello award for songwriting. Seal also won the 1992 BRIT Awards for Best Video and Best Album.
This song was inspired by the crazy events of 1989-90, in particular the fall of the Berlin Wall. The lyrics, "And through a fractal on a breaking wall, I see you my friend, and touch your face again" appears to be a reference to the Berlin Wall coming down.
"Fractal" is an interesting word you don't hear very often in lyrics. It's a mathematical term for an image constructed by the rule of a formula, such that it will generate a complex, self-similar design using just a few simple rules. In computer graphics, fractals are most useful for quickly generating natural objects, such as ferns, snowflakes, clouds, lightning, coastlines, and mountain ranges. At the time of this song's release, fractals were a hot topic in the news, because of the second wave of the home computer revolution plus the increasing use of computer graphics in video work. Many screensavers of this era were simply fractal generators. Seal could have meant "fracture" (he was talking about the Berlin Wall, getting knocked down in 1991), but on the other hand "fractal" has a poetic sense to it too, as a simple act produced spiraling repercussions that are still felt in history today.
Alanis Morissette covered this for a 2005 Gap advertisement and a remixed version was included on her 2005 compilation album Alanis Morissette: The Collection. It was released as a single peaking at #65 in the UK & #3 in Italy. In an interview with Songwriter Universe, Morissette said: "It's a song that I was obsessed with as a teenager, and when I did the Gap campaign, the lovely folks there asked me to submit a list of my favorite songs. 'Crazy' was one of the first I chose because it brings back so many memories of my teenaged years. The main line, 'You're never going to survive unless you get a little crazy' is to me one of the simplest yet most profound statements. Seal and I exchanged sweet emails when I was about to cover his song."
This song was also covered by Mushroomhead on their 2003 album XIII. (thanks, Ian - Chilli, OH)
Seal wrote the lyrics to "Crazy," and his producer Guy Sigsworth arranged the music. Sigsworth has production credits working with such superstar talent as Madonna, Britney Spears, and Alanis Morissette.
TV series and movies to have this song in the soundtrack include: The Devil Wears Prada, Beverly Hills, 90210, Baywatch, Cold Case, Eli Stone, and Clockers.