Trouble In Paradise

Album: Unfollow The Rules (2019)

Songfacts®:

  • This wry romp finds Rufus Wainwright taking the persona of a high-ranking member of the fashion industry. The fashion mogul reflects while driving her car on the true price of glamour, and her future legacy.

    There's always trouble in paradise
    Don't matter if your drinks are neat or on ice
    There's always trouble in paradise
    Don't matter if you're good or bad or mean or awfully nice


    Wainwright told Mojo magazine that "Trouble in Paradise" is "about the fashion world, but the basic premise is, things aren't going well no matter how pretty they look."
  • The video, directed by the Canadian photographer and filmmaker Mia Donovan, sees Wainwright transformed into the bob-haired fashion doyenne, Anna Wintour.
  • Both the song and video are inspired by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Wainwright had met Wintour before; he told The Independent he is convinced she doesn't mind. "I wouldn't be surprised if she's slightly flattered as well," he said.
  • Wainwright initially composed the song for a musical collaboration with Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren. "I had this quasi-villainous person who, in the end, everybody loves," he told The Independent. "But Viktor and Rolf didn't want to piss off Anna."
  • Wainwright released this song in November 2019, eight months ahead of his album Unfollow The Rules. His previous album of pop material was Out Of The Game, released in 2012. In the interim, he released an opera and a musical adaptation of Shakespeare sonnets. These were challenging, rewarding projects, but not as much fun as traditional songwriting, which he returned to with Unfollow The Rules.

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