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"Centuries" is a song by American rock band Fall Out Boy, released September 9, 2014 as the lead single from their sixth studio album, American Beauty/American Psycho (2015).[3] It was co-written by Fall Out Boy, with two producers. A gladiator-themed music video was created. The single reached No. 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was certified 4x Platinum by the RIAA. It reached first position on the UK Rock and Metal Chart. The song was also the band's fourth top ten hit and first in eight years, since "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" in 2007. In 2015, "Centuries" was nominated for the Kerrang! Award for Best Single.[4] Fall Out Boy has played the song numerous times on televised performances and was used as ESPN's official theme song for sports coverage.

"Centuries"
FallOutBoy-Centuries.png
Single by Fall Out Boy
from the album American Beauty/American Psycho
ReleasedSeptember 9, 2014 (2014-09-09)[1]
FormatDigital download
Recorded2014
GenrePop rock[2]
Length3:48
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Fall Out Boy singles chronology
"Young Volcanoes"
(2013)
"Centuries"
(2014)
"Immortals"
(2014)
Music video
"Centuries" on YouTube

BackgroundEdit

"Centuries" was written by Pete Wentz, Patrick Stump, Joe Trohman, Andy Hurley, J.R. Rotem, Justin Tranter, Raja Kumari and Michael Fonseca in mid-2014 and was produced by Omega and Rotem. Stump originally came forward with the song while Fall Out Boy were on the Monumentour tour with fellow American band Paramore.[5] In an interview with Kerrang!, Wentz described the idea of the song as a "David vs. Goliath story", stating "We wanted to write a song that empowered people who are a little weird."[6]

"Centuries" contains part of the melody from the song "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega. The segment is not a sample, but was actually re-recorded by American singer Lolo for the track.[7] Stump described the inclusion as "a tip of the hat" to "Tom's Diner", a song which the band wanted to "re-inject" into popular culture. Vega is credited as a co-writer for "Centuries."

ReleaseEdit

Days after the ending of co-headlining the Monumentour tour with Paramore, on September 4, 2014, Fall Out Boy released a teaser video depicting the title of the song in Morse code.[8] "Centuries" received its worldwide premiere on BBC Radio 1 on September 8, 2014 before being released worldwide the next day.[9] The song is featured as the second track of Now! 54 (2015).[10]

Critical receptionEdit

"Centuries" has received favorable reviews from music critics. MTV described the song as "The ultimate battle cry of a track".[11]

Music videoEdit

The official music video, which features the band members in a gladiator-style battle, and a cameo from rapper Rick Ross, was released on October 17, 2014.[12] The video features strong Christian imagery and thematic elements, including a scene of a crucified figure, a cross in place of the "T" in the song title, the use of a sling against a "giant" (in reference to the Hebrew story of David and Goliath), and an angelic figure depicted as a human with white wings. The "giant" is portrayed by Canadian actor Jon Ambrose,[13] and the band's gladiator doubles were Simu Liu,[14] Ben Devries,[15] Sebastian Deery [16] and Paul Ebejer.[17] "Centuries" was shot on-site at Fort Henry National Historic Site in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.[18] Prior to the release of an official music video, Fall Out Boy released a video for "Centuries" filmed in Chicago featuring the use of the mobile app Hyperlapse on September 8, 2014.[19][20]

The official video features four gladiators doomed for some unknown reason prior to entering the Colosseum in Rome for the entertainment of the crowds. They are given two lengths of rope, a stone, and a cloth by a mysterious figure. This is followed by scenes of a woman styled as the Virgin Mary opening her arms to a crowd, a lady with two lions behind her, a "Christ" figure, and a decadent pope spreading his arms showing several ladies sitting at his feet. The viewers are then introduced to the ostensibly "crowd favourite", a large, muscular man who destroys the four without much ado, cheered on by the crowd and a laughing emperor. In desperation, the four use their items to create a sling, which is then used to slay the warrior. The video ends as another, unknown challenger enters the ring while the emperor laughs.

Commercial performanceEdit

"Centuries" debuted at No. 22 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 4 on Digital Songs with 133,000 first week sales.[21] It also opened at No. 2 on Hot Rock Songs and No. 14 on Alternative Songs.[22] "Centuries" peaked at No. 4 on Alternative Songs in December on strong airplay, the band's third highest position on that chart behind "Dance, Dance" and "Sugar, We're Goin Down". As a cross-over radio success, it reached No. 16 on mainstream Pop Songs by January 2015. In its nineteenth week on the Hot 100, it reached No. 12, selling 111,000 downloads that week, and propelling the band to No. 10 on the Artist 100.[23] It eventually peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its 20th week (week ending February 7, 2015; the same as American Beauty/American Psycho's debut), becoming the band's first top 10 in almost eight years after "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race" peaked at No. 2 in February 2007;[24] "Centuries" also reached a new high of No. 15 on Pop Songs. In its 21st week, it held at No. 10 on the Hot 100 and reached No. 13 on both Pop and Adult Pop with heavy airplay.

"Centuries" has spent twelve consecutive weeks in the top 20 of the Hot 100 and twenty-two consecutive frames at No. 2 on Hot Rock Songs.[25][26] It was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA in December 2014 and was upgraded to 4x Platinum in October 2015. In Australia, the song debuted at No. 59 but rose to No. 55 in the following week. "Centuries" debuted at No. 36 on the Canadian Hot 100 and peaked at No. 26 in its fifteenth week.[26] In the UK, "Centuries" made its appearance in the UK top 40 singles chart at No. 22, scoring the band another top 40 hit. On the singles sales format of the chart, the song reached No. 12. As of June 2015, the song has spent 21 weeks in the UK top 100 and has been certified Silver by the BPI, denoting 200,000 copies.

Media usage and live performancesEdit

On September 10, 2014, ESPN announced "Centuries" as a promotional song for its coverage of the inaugural College Football Playoff. The song was featured across promotions for the event throughout the 2014 college football season, and during coverage of the semi-final and national championship games.[11][27] In a January 2015 interview with FoxSports.com, the band apologized for ESPN's overexposure of the song; it was estimated that across its coverage of the two semi-final bowls, along with the National Championship game, that "Centuries" had been played a total of 45 times.[28]

Fall Out Boy performed "Centuries" live for the first time on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on September 17, 2014.[29] They next played on The Ellen DeGeneres Show with Suzanne Vega as a special guest on October 29, 2014.[30]

"Centuries" was used by WWE as the official theme song for Friday Night SmackDown's 15th anniversary show.[31][32][33] "Centuries" was also performed at the 2015 NHL All-Star game at Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio in between periods.[34] On April 5, 2015, the band performed "Centuries" as part of pre-game festivities at Wrigley Field in their hometown of Chicago for the opening game of the 2015 Major League Baseball season; the performance was televised by ESPN2 as part of its coverage.[28][35][36] "Centuries" was performed at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards on April 12, 2015.[37][38] "Centuries" was also used for an intro video of the 2015 Chicago White Sox season home games and Calgary Flames playoff home games.

"Centuries" was used by Apple during the pre-keynote for WWDC 2015.[39]

"Centuries" is frequently played at A-League team Adelaide United home games.

"Centuries" is featured in Rock Band 4.[40]

"Centuries" also used in the trailer for Nickelodeon's original movie inspired by mid-90s game show Legends of the Hidden Temple.

Track listingEdit

Digital download[41]
  1. "Centuries" – 3:48
  2. "Centuries" (Remix) (featuring Juicy J) – 3:28

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Germany (BVMI)[79] Gold 200,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[80] Platinum 600,000 
United States (RIAA)[81] 4× Platinum 4,000,000 

^shipments figures based on certification alone
 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom[9] September 8, 2014 Contemporary hit radio Island
United States[82] September 9, 2014 Modern rock radio
Worldwide[41] Digital download Island
United States[83] October 6, 2014 Hot adult contemporary radio
  • Island
  • Republic

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit