They Shoot Horses Don't They?

Album: Downtown Tonight (1976)
Charted: 14
  • Pop-Rock band Racing Cars formed in the Rhondda Valley, Wales in 1973. They signed to Chrysalis Records and released their debut album, Downtown Tonight in 1976. The record yielded this dream-like song, which reached #14 in the UK Singles Chart in 1977. Though Racing Cars failed to make any further chart appearances, the band was sufficiently established on the touring circuit to issue two further albums. These never reached the same commercial heights, and Racing Cars split up for the first time in the early 1980s. They subsequently reformed and released two more albums in the 21st century.
  • The song was inspired by the 1969 American film They Shoot Horses, Don't They? about a marathon dance-competition. Keyboard player Simon Davies recalled to Mojo magazine February 2011 that it, "was the perfect pop song at three minutes 45 seconds. The chorus had the perfect hook and I'm sure the success of the film helped tremendously. Even now, when it has airplay, presenters still associate it with the film and claim it was on the soundtrack - it never was."
  • Despite the song's commercial success, the band didn't see it as chart material. "'Horses' was the throwaway song on Downtown Tonight," recalled guitarist Graham Williams to Mojo, who thought of Racing Cars as an album band. "Our manager and the record company thought differently - one day during rehearsals our manager walked in and declared, 'I don't want to hear you in the pursuit of excellence, I just want you to give them something, to sing along to."'
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.

KissFact or Fiction

Kiss is the subject of many outlandish rumors - some of which happen to be true. See if you can spot the fakes.

Benny MardonesSongwriter Interviews

His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss): A History Of Abuse PopSong Writing

Songs that seem to glorify violence against women are often misinterpreted - but not always.

Matthew Wilder - "Break My Stride"They're Playing My Song

Wilder's hit "Break My Stride" had an unlikely inspiration: a famous record mogul who rejected it.

Songs About MoviesSong Writing

Iron Maiden, Adele, Toto, Eminem and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of the artists with songs directly inspired by movies - and not always good ones.