Dakota

Album: Language. Sex. Violence. Other? (2005)
Charted: 1

Songfacts®:

  • This was the Stereophonics 1st ever UK #1. They became the first all-Welsh group to top the UK charts since the Manic Street Preachers hit #1 in the first few weeks of 2000. It also became the Stereophonics first single to chart on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart peaking at #34.
  • British music columnist James Masterton called this his single of the year in 2005.
  • The title "Dakota" does not appear anywhere in the lyrics of the song. It is is titled after the state (South Dakota) Kelly Jones was staying in when he wrote the lyrics. The Dakota is also the name of the building in New York where John Lennon lived at the time of his death.
  • The title of the album, Language. Sex. Violence. Other? refers to the classification code used for movies and DVDs with mature content. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above
  • David Bowie played a part in the song's conception when the Stereophonics toured with him in 2003. Speaking to the crowd before performing "Dakota" at their March 6, 2020 London O2 Arena concert, Kelly Jones explained that the late rock legend would attend their soundcheck ahead of each show.

    "David Bowie would be watching, so we didn't want to waste too much of his time," he said. "So we'd play a song for maybe 45 seconds, and then another song for like a minute, and then maybe another song for a minute, and then maybe 30 seconds of a song."

    "And then I would walk off the stage and I would walk towards the dressing room," Jones continued. "[Bowie] would put his arm on my shoulder and he would walk with me and say, 'You know, if you extended a few of those songs, you might be f---ing onto something.'"

    "So I wrote this song, this is called Dakota."
  • The album version, featuring an extended outro, clocks in at 4 minutes 57 seconds. The band cut the outro for the song's radio edit, which runs 4:01.
  • Kelly Jones started writing "Dakota" in a Paris hotel room on a winter's day in 2004. He was staying in the French capital while Stereophonics were on a promo tour for their You Gotta Go There To Come Back album and was trying to find a new sound. He told The Guardian: "You sing lots of gobbledegook when you're writing songs, whatever comes out of your mouth. But sometimes your subconscious delivers a cool phrase. 'You make me feel like the one' just came out."

    Jones left the song on his Dictaphone, and a month later, while Stereophonics were on tour in the United States, he wrote the lyrics in the South Dakota city of Vermillion. He explained: "I was thinking about who had made me feel like "the one." It's part biographical and part imagination. You know, teenage relationships, when things were brand new: the smell of grass and chewing gum, my first car and driving to the next town with a girl you'd met in college. The 'Dakota' lyric is a bit like The Bridges of Madison County, where you have this amazing romance, then you don't see each other ever again. And if you ever did, what would happen?"
  • All 11 tracks on Language. Sex. Violence. Other? have one-word titles inspired by Pearl Jam's 10 album. This song was originally named "Vermillion," but after Slipknot released a single entitled "Vermilion" and Mercury Rev dropped their Secret Migration album with a track also called "Vermillion," Stereophonics changed the title to "Dakota."

Comments: 9

  • Laura from San FranciscoDakota *is* named after "that state in America". (For the record, there are two separate states in America that include the word Dakota, both of which are larger alone than many European countries so I'm not sure they would appreciate being lumped in together as a single entity.) With that said, the song's original name was "Vermilion", after the college town in South Dakota where the group stayed whole in your in the U.S. The music video was filmed in South Dakota and contains several references to landmarks in the state..
  • Francesco from Somewhere In ItalyI've discovered this song after playing a soccer video game, and maybe for that reason every time I hear it I think at my youthness, specifically the one that I didn't enjoyed because I was just a poor classy nerd.
    When I hear Dakota I dream of having 16 years and live those 16 years, maybe jumping and singing with a girlfriend in a Stereophonics concert.
  • Reese from Kharkov, UkraineGosh, Martin, your comment is just a piece of art. Thanks a lot.
    My interestng fact will sopund like this probably:I've been listening to it million times for the past 4 years. And now I'm finding myself in the same sort of state. It's funny how we catch up with the songs we thought would never get prophetic.
  • Anna K from Mexico City, MexicoI've red that many rock bands like The Stereophonics' music so much, like U2 and Oasis. Is that true?
  • David from Grimsby, EnglandLove it,named my horse after it.she is american
  • Jose from BrisbaneTop song, loved it as soon as I heard it...
  • Ben from Whittier, Casounds fantastic !
  • Kirsti from Perth, AustraliaThis is a very good song, very catchy
  • Martin from Brisbane, Australiahaha wow i always assumed that dakota was about the state in america. but this is better. you can imagine my dismay when i saw no comments here. i hold this song in the aboslute highest regard. its a brilliant composition, and so personal. haha probably cos i first heard it after i got my heart broken, but i still have positive connotations attached to it. anyway my interpretation of this, and its pretty obvious in the lyrics, but its a bloke reminiscing about a reckless young love he once had. the lyrics faintly portay a beautiful relationship based on nothing but wild passion between two young lovers, that ended with uncertainty and heartbreak. the ultimate beauty of the song however, and the thing which makes it a genius composition, is the way in which the music, hand-in-hand with the lyrics, conveys the rollercoaster ride of the storytellers emotions. the fiery aspect of the relationship of the two venturous young lovers is made life-like with the louder, yet gentle guitars, and the singer half screaming "you made me feel like the one, you made me feel like the one", as if he were proclaiming his love to the heavens. underneath the overwhelming lust the protagonist feels, between these chorus', the versus portray the pure, and intimate side of the relationship, through the soft beat, harmonious melody, and gentle vocals. the next feeling is that of a lack of direction, and foundation for such a powerful love. it is a loud, uncertain exclaimation of "i don't know where we are going now". finally, after this almost frustrating peak, the mood turns to sorrow. the noise dies in an instant, and goes back to the soothing sounds of the versus, only now his love has left him, probably because drinking and sleeping in the back of cars was not enough to fulfill her hopes and dreams. as the lines "you made made me feel like the one" and "i don't know where we are going now" are eerily repeated, a sense of past tense, and regret, and then frustration, and even anger are felt, but to finish, after the screaming vocals and overlap of instruments stop, it seems the ultimate notion is self pity. something that has occured to me since first trying to break this song down, is one of its most remarkable aspects. it really is left unfinished, and unanswered. whether he is now an old man, alone, miserable, and paranoid; a successful middle aged, married businessman; or still a young man embarking on a new reckless relationship, the line "take a look at me now" leaves you guessing.
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