The Starting Line

Album: Strangeland (2012)
Play Video


  • Tim Rice-Oxley started this song in the back of the band's touring bus on a boiling hot day in Boston in the summer of 2010. He explained: "It was right after the show, and I was first on the bus so I cracked open a cold beer and picked up the guitar, and this spilled out straight away. That's my idea of heaven. We were in Lincoln, Nebraska a couple of days later and everyone had gone off to get some rest in the hotel. The tour bus was parked up outside for the day so I thought I would go on there and be able record the piano and vocal for the demo without disturbing anyone. Anyway I was singing away merrily when I felt the bus pull away and before I knew it I was heading out of town - I ended up doing most of the demo outside a Walgreens in the back-end of nowhere. I'm not sure the bus driver ever realised I was on board."
  • Lyrically, the song considers the ease with which the idealistic youth can turn a bad situation around. "Forget the ghosts that make you old before your time," exhorts vocalist Tom Chaplin. "I like the idea of having to almost make a physical effort to get back on track sometimes," explained Rice-Oxley, "if you get really low or things just aren't going right. It's a very sympathetic song, and I think it a good articulation of the human sympathy that is a big part of what ties the album together."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Best Band Logos

Best Band LogosSong Writing

Queen, Phish and The Stones are among our picks for the best band logos. Here are their histories and a design analysis from an expert.

Incongruent Opening Acts

Incongruent Opening ActsSong Writing

Here's what happens when an opening act is really out of place with the headliner, like when Beastie Boys opened for Madonna.

Don Dokken

Don DokkenSongwriter Interviews

Dokken frontman Don Dokken explains what broke up the band at the height of their success in the late '80s, and talks about the botched surgery that paralyzed his right arm.

Jon Anderson

Jon AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Jon Anderson breaks down the Yes classic "Seen All Good People" and talks about his 1000 Hands album, which features Chick Corea, Rick Derringer, Ian Anderson, and many other luminaries.

Eric Clapton

Eric ClaptonFact or Fiction

Did Eric Clapton really write "Cocaine" while on cocaine? This question and more in the Clapton edition of Fact or Fiction.

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," Kiss

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."