Born To Be Strangers

Album: Natural Rebel (2018)

Songfacts®:

  • Not everyone gets Richard Ashcroft. From his early years fronting The Verve, he has come off as at times as brilliant, sullen and capricious, but he's most often misunderstood. In a Songfacts interview with Ashcroft, he said this song reflects "That sense of how it's very difficult to be an artistic person in a business like this."

    Here, instead of trying to get others to understand him, he accepts that some people will never meet eye-to-eye - they are born to be strangers.
  • The fight with fame is running theme for Ashcroft, who has had the attention of the British press for quite some time. He talked about it in his Songfacts interview. "You learn to live life like Spinal Tap, so you remove yourself from many situations in life and look down on it," he said. "The Bee Gees called it 'first fame.' They said first fame can crush nearly everyone, but if you survive and come through it like they did, you'll be OK. Before Saturday Night Fever, they split up for a bit, and then they went on for their second fame. In a way I understand that.

    The problem with me is I'd have been more comfortable living in a place like Jamaica where sitting down and talking it through is part of the culture. I like to get to the bottom of whatever's going down, so when you get to the bottom of this you see the explosion in fame for fame's sake."
  • Ashcroft's wife, Kate Radley, bought him a vintage LinnDrum machine that he put to use on the Natural Rebel album. "'Born To Be Strangers' has got that strut because I wrote that riff with the LinnDrum machine with my Telecaster," he said. "It's got that groove because I just programed this simple beat and the way it was swinging just brought this riff out of me."

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