Duchess

Album: The Raven (1979)
Charted: 14

Songfacts®:

  • This song about a a girl claiming to be heiress who had hit hard times was released as the first single from The Raven. It peaked at #14 on the UK singles chart.
  • The supporting music clip featured the band dressed up as choirboys. It received the first video ban by the BBC, as it was deemed blasphemous due to its ecclesiastic setting.
  • When The Manic Street Preachers' 1998 single "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next" was released, many commented on its similarities to this song. Cornwall commented to Classic Rock magazine: "It was bandied around when it came out. I think the publishing companies involved have musicologists who study these things and decide whether to take action. No action was taken, so obviously it didn't resemble it that much. It doesn't bother me. Everyone plagiarises everything anyway. It's the nature of the beast."

    "I mean, you could say The Beatles doing 'Back In The U.S.S.R.' was plagiarizing the Beach Boys," he added. "But they only did it because they loved the Beach Boys. So when does an influence become plagiarism? It's not something I spend a lot of time thinking about."
  • This was covered by My Life Story as part of EMI's centenary celebrations in 1997. Released as a single, it peaked at #39 in the UK.

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