Chi-Town

Album: In the Belly of the Brazen Bull (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • This was the first track to be played from The Cribs' fifth studio album, In the Belly of the Brazen Bull. The LP was recorded at London's Abbey Road and Chicago's EAR studio with famed lo-fi rock engineer Steve Albini and Tarbox Road studio in New York with David Fridmann (Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips). The song was debuted on February 14, 2012 by Radio 1 Zane Lowe on his radio show and the DJ ended up playing the song three times that evening.
  • During the early days of The Cribs, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Jarman planned to move to Chicago so he could hang around with American musician Bobby Conn, who produced their debut album. Jarman spent a few months in the Windy City, before moving back to England. He told NME regarding this tune: "It kind of bothered me that I didn't go through with my plan to stay. The Cribs got signed. But I got a song about it now."
  • The brazen bull was a life-size hollow bronze that the pre-Christian Sicilian tyrant Phalaris used to lock his victims in before lighting a fire beneath it, causing them to roast to death inside. So why name an album after its belly? Ryan explained to NME: "Everyone always says 'in the belly of the beast' when you're really involved in something. And we have been. This record's not something I've taken lightly - we've lived and breathed it for a year. I guess we are sort of in the belly of the brazen bull. Bassist/vocalist Gary Jarman added that he, "liked the 'b' alliteration."
  • The song tells the story of a woman that Ryan came close to marrying before the Cribs got signed. During an interview with Chart Attack the Cribs guitarist was asked how much the band think about lives that they almost lived, or could have lived? He replied: "Pretty much all the time. That's all I spend my time doing. I'm always melancholy, always thinking of things that may have happened or wanting to get back to different times of my life."

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