Cupid's Chokehold

Album: The Papercut Chronicles (2005)
Charted: 3 4

Songfacts®:

  • This is a reworking of a 1979 Supertramp song called "Breakfast In America." In the original song the "ba-ba-da-da" appears at the end. "Breakfast In America" was also sung as a pop song instead of the rap style used by Gym Class Heroes. The group's drummer Matt McGinley told Songfacts in a 2011 interview: "That song was kind of an accident that it even happened. We wrote it in our old bass player's (Eric Roberts) bedroom one afternoon, and it was really unintentional. We were just going to rehearse for our show. We didn't sit down and say, 'Okay, let's write a song.' That song just sort of happened.

    Our friend Sie One had the Supertramp Breakfast in America record. And so he put that on and he would play that line, 'Take a look at my girlfriend, she's the only one I got.' Then drop it, and we would try to keep playing. So we wrote our own verses and our own bridge and stuff, and every time the chorus would come around we would just drop that as the chorus. So that song happened really, really quickly. And then we went and recorded it for under $300 in probably three or four hours. And we've been writing our latest album for two years."
  • When Songfacts spoke with Supertramp founder Roger Hodgson in 2012, we asked him how he felt about his song being reinterpreted by Gym Class Heroes. Roger's reply: "Initially I had words with them, because they didn't ask me. But that was a technical thing. Funny enough, normally I don't like my compositions being tampered with, but there was something just very infectious about what they did, and I actually enjoyed what they wrote juxtaposed against what I wrote."
  • Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy sings on this track. Gym Class Heroes were signed to Decaydance Records, run by Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, so there was lots of musical intermingling with the groups. Stump ended up producing the As Cruel As School Children album.
  • Gym Class Heroes re-recorded the song with female backing vocals for the re-release of their 2006 album As Cruel as School Children. This second version of the song was the hit, climbing to #4 in the US in March 2007. They scored again in 2011 with "Stereo Hearts," a collaboration with Adam Levine.
  • Gym Class Heroes knew very well that Supertramp was a popular '70s band, and not just a nickname for Paris Hilton. Many of their influences were big in the '70s and '80s, with artists like Billy Joel, Hall & Oates, Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen topping their list. When Sie One played them the "Breakfast In America" clip, they were familiar with it.
  • Two music videos were made. The first Andrew Paul Bowser-directed clip was shot in rural Maryland and has Travis McCoy bringing home a female robot to fulfill his every whim. When the robot goes haywire, he throws her off a bridge, but she meets fellow robot Patrick Stump and falls in love.

    The second video, directed by Alan Ferguson, follows McCoy through a series of ill-fated relationships thanks to Cupid's arrows making him fall in love with the wrong girls. By the end, real-life girlfriend Katy Perry makes a cameo appearance as "the one."
  • McCoy told MTV News that this song "was written about probably one of the best relationships I've ever been in in my life." Many believe that McCoy wrote it about a pre-famous Katy Perry whom he dated for a long time. McCoy also penned "Need You" for his Lazarus solo album about the "California Gurls" songstress.
  • Gym Class Heroes played this at all of their shows, as it's their most popular song. They would keep it fresh by changing the arrangement, so over the years the live rendition sounds very different from when they first started performing it. MattMcGinley told Songfacts: "I think musicians are just sort of impatient people. You want to constantly be creating new challenges and new excitements for yourself. So that song has changed quite a bit."

    The group went on hiatus in 2012 and started making limited appearances again in 2018.
  • The original version released on The Papercut Chronicles in 2005 was produced by Doug White; the second version, on As Cruel As School Children in 2006, was produced by White and Sam Hollander.

    Also in 2006, a group called Cobra Starship was hatched to record the "theme song to the movie Snakes On A Plane." That song was a writing collaboration between Hollander, Dave Katz, and Gabe Saporta, who was the only actual member of the group at the time. They brought in Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes to do a rap on the song, and also had William Beckett of the band The Academy Is... and Maja Ivarsson of The Sounds sing on it. After that release, Saporta put a group together with other musicians to be Cobra Starship.

Comments: 8

  • Amanda from Lantana, Flis KATY PERRY in this video? Anyone?
  • Joe from Chicago, IlI agree 100% with Tyler.
  • Ashley from Geneva, NyThis song was written by the Lead Singer Travis McCoy for his long time Girlfriend. They're now broken up, but at the concert i saw him at he said he still loved her and now she has a song about her.
  • Tyler from Toronto, CanadaWell just to let Shannon know, they actually do play the instruments like The Roots, k-os, and Crown City Rockers do. And also Lia, one can enjoy both Breakfast in America AND Cupids Chokehold as I do. Crazy world innit?
  • Shannon from Bakersfield , CaF**k this song!I'm a young teenager and i'll tell you this,Breakfast in america by supertramp is WAYYY better!Gym class heros are hip hop and don't even play intruments.I'd like to see that guy sing without a microphone.
  • Mjn Seifer from Not Listed For Personal Reason, EnglandThe "ba-ba-da-da" WAS in the Supertramp version. It's towards the end.
  • J from Jackson, GaNever heard supertramp. But this song is good.
  • Lia from Toronto, CanadaThis song is a disgrace to Supertramp. I can't believe anybody would listen to this instead of Breakfast in America!!!!
see more comments

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