For What Its Worth

Album: Battle For The Sun (2009)
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Songfacts®:

  • This was the lead single from English alternative rock band Placebo's sixth studio album, Battle For The Sun.
  • A toy keyboard was played on this track. Drummer Steve Forrest explained to Clickmusic that the use of such an unusual instrument was down to the easy-going atmosphere generated by producer Dave Bottrill (Tool, Silverchair, dEUS) whilst working on Battle For The Sun. Said Forrest: "There was a lot of creative freedom; I think a lot of that came from working with Dave Bottrill as well, you never felt odd or stupid. It was like, we could try everything and we would come into the studio every day and have a hug, a laugh and a fag and then we would sit down and do some writing together." He added: "I think all that created this easy-going atmosphere, which actually in turn was a lot more productive - you didn't have any arguments with someone saying 'no, I don't want to do that'. So with those little noises we have like the toy keyboard it was just like 'why not, let's try it.'"
  • Bassist Stefan Olsdal discussed the song's lyrics with Click Music. He explained that frontman and chief songwriter Brian Molko described them as "being quite optimistic but if you listen to them on face value, 'got no friends, got no lover', it's like 's--t, you're in the gutter' but to him the song is like a celebration of life. It's that dichotomy of what you see and what you hear not always being what is actually there."
  • Olsdal told Click Music about the song's music video: "We worked with one of our favourite video directors, Howard Greenhalgh, who has been working with us for a long time. He has done loads of stuff for us including 'Nancy Boy' 'Bruise Pristine' and 'The Bitter End,' so we had a long relationship with him that enabled us to feel more relaxed, especially now we are introducing a new member to the public. We wanted it to be quite performance based and the tags were basically about the fact that sometimes what you see, is not what is real. We wanted to play with that. People like to portray themselves as something that is completely the opposite of what is inside of them."
  • Battle For The Sun marked some significant changes for the band. Recorded at Metalworks Studios in Canada, it was the first Placebo album recorded outside of the UK. It was also their first album to feature their new drummer, Steve Forrest, who replaced longtime member Steve Hewitt. Molko recalled to Vice in 2017: "There had been a recent personnel change in the band, and we'd gone from making an album that had been very claustrophobic, and we now wanted to make a record that was quite cinemascope and anthemic. It ended up being very much an album about drums and guitars. I guess it's very much the sound of a band trying to find a new identity."
  • Molko started writing this on a tour bus between New York and Boston. He recalled in a BBC Scotland radio interview: "It's a song borne out of boredom, and the need to do something creative, and its a song that, well I hope, is infused with a kind of lust for life. It's lustful and it's celebratory."

Comments: 1

  • Jon from Enumclaw , WaI freaking love this song!! I've heard it on the radio and I just love it.
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