Beloved Freak

Album: Not Your Kind of People (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • One of the themes of Garbage's fifth album, Not Your Kind of People, is being a misfit in today's self-conscious society, a topic that is especially pronounced on this torch ballad. "It is really ironic because when the band [initially] started taking off, I thought, 'Wow, I'm no longer a geek! I'm cool! I'm hip! I'm popular!' " said vocalist and lyricist Shirley Manson to Spin magazine. "And of course, the feelings [of being an outsider] never went away."
  • Asked by Artist Direct where the song came from, Manson replied: "In a funny way, I think that's a song to ourselves. As a band, we've always felt a little misunderstood, and we realize, even with this new record, it's sort of the same situation. We're just oddballs, and we always will be. At this point in our lives, rather than feel like victims of being left out, we're like, 'F--k it!' We're renegades. We're doing things on our own terms, and that's fine.

    Whenever you do choose to live in a way that's different from other people, they're very fast to call you a freak, weirdo, or oddball. That can feel very exclusive. As a human being, you have to invert that idea and say, 'We're doing things on our own terms. This is how we see things. I will do what I think is right not what everybody else tells me is right, and that's okay.'"
  • The song borrows from "Valentine's Day" by German countertenor Klaus Nomi. It was guitarist and synth player Steve Marker who brought the tune to the band, having played some piano chords around the sample. Drummer Butch Vig told MusicRadar.com how the band fleshed out the song. "We layered some more opera bits over it," he recalled. "I think Shirley added some vocal effects to try and gel the whole thing together. It's very amorphous and floaty; it almost sounds like you're drifting and falling off a ledge when Klaus' vocal comes in."

    "At first, the sample was very dominant," he continued, "but as the track developed, we realized that the song had to be a song, so the sample started to take more of a backseat; we used it more as color. I think it's an absolutely gorgeous song."

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