Bankrupt!

Album: Bankrupt! (2013)
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Songfacts®:

  • This is the title track of the fifth studio album by the French alternative rock band Phoenix. The record was recorded on the same mixer as Michael Jackson's 1982 LP Thriller after guitarist Laurent Brancowitz bought the Harrison 4032 console on eBay for $17,000. It was purchased from Clayton Rose, who owns a Christian music studio in California and shipped to Paris for the recording sessions where the group originally toyed with naming the record "Alternative Thriller."

    "The most mysterious part to me was that no one else - no nerd or music engineer or memorabilia freak - seemed to want it," said singer Thomas Mars.

    He added that they purchased the equipment because they "liked the idea of working with a consecrated artefact, as well as having something strange upon which to fixate between albums."
  • Phoenix told Radio.com that the title's punctuation was deliberately used to add a little mystique. "The exclamation point changes it," frontman Thomas Mars said. "It makes it a headline... It makes it artistic."
  • Guitarist Laurent Brancowitz called the title's punctuation, "a Warhol exclamation point." He added that the album cover's illustration showing a perfectly pixelated drawing of a peach is a nod to Andy Warhol. Specifically the American pop artist's unique talent for taking mundane objects and turning them into pop art, such as his famous 1962 screenprint, Campbell's Soup Can (Tomato). "Now we know it as this mystique of Fifties design [but] back in the day it was just a can of soup," he explained to Radio.com. "I think it's the same idea...You just pick it and put it in another context and then hopefully it becomes art."
  • The recording process for Bankrupt! included a session with a team of drummers after Phoenix had finished a tour in Australia. The demos ended up on both this song and "Entertainment."

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