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Chasing Pavements

"Chasing Pavements" is a song by British singer-songwriter Adele, from her debut album 19. It was the second single from the album, after "Hometown Glory". It was released digitally in Ireland on 13 January 2008 and entered the Irish singles chart at number 26 through download sales alone. Having received a physical release, the single then leaped 19 places to number seven, where it peaked. On 20 January, the single entered at number two in the UK singles chart on downloads alone. "Chasing Pavements" was the 27th best selling single of 2008 in the UK, with over 280,000 sales. It was Adele's first Billboard Hot 100 entry, and has sold over 1,200,000 digital copies as of October 2011.[2] The B-side to the single is an acoustic cover of the Sam Cooke song "That's It, I Quit, I'm Movin' On". "Chasing Pavements" won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Grammy Award for Song of the Year.

"Chasing Pavements"
Adele - Chasing Pavements.jpg
Single by Adele
from the album 19
B-side"That's It, I Quit, I'm Movin' On" (live)
Released14 January 2008[1]
StudioCompass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas
Producer(s)Eg White
Adele singles chronology
"Hometown Glory"
"Chasing Pavements"
"Cold Shoulder"
Music video
"Chasing Pavements" on YouTube

The accompanying music video was directed by Mathew Cullen of production company Motion Theory.[3] It was uploaded to Adele's official YouTube account on 24 October 2009.

Background and compositionEdit

The song was inspired by an incident Adele had with a former boyfriend of six months.[4] After learning he had cheated on her, she went to the bar he was at and punched him in the face.[4] After being thrown out, Adele walked down the street alone and thought to herself, "What is it you're chasing? You're chasing an empty pavement."[5][6] She sang and recorded it on her mobile phone and arranged the chords when she got home.[4] "Chasing Pavements" is written in the key of C minor.This song follows an intro progression and four chord progressions of Intro Progression: Cm(i)-Gm7/B(v7),Progression #1:Cm(i)-Gm/B(v)-Fm/A(iv)-G7(V7)-Fm/A(iv)-Gm7/B(v7)-B7/A(VII7)-E(III)-Cm(i)-Gm(v), Progression #2: E(III)-B/D(VII)-Cm(i)-G7(V7)-AMaj7(VI M7)-Gm7/B(v7), Progression #3: A(VI)-Gm(v)-Cm(i)-Fm(iv)-A(VI)-B7/A(VII7)-Gm7(v7)-G7(V7); A(VI)-Gm7(v7)-Cm(i)-Fm(iv)-A(VI)-B7/A(VII7)-G7(V7); A(VI)-Gm(v)-Cm(i)-Fm(iv)-A(VI)-B7/A(VII7)-Gm7(v7)-EMaj7(III M7)-E(III), Progression #4: A(VI)-Gm(v)-Fm7/A(iv7)-B7/A(VII7)-A(VI)-G7(V7)-F7(IV7)-B7sus4/A(VII7sus). [7]



"Chasing Pavements" received three nominations at the 51st Grammy Awards. The track received nominations in the categories of Record of The Year, Song of the Year and for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.[8] It won the award for the Best Female Vocal Performance but lost out to Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" in the Song of the Year category and to Robert Plant's and Alison Krauss' collaboration, "Please Read the Letter", in the Record of the Year category. She performed "Chasing Pavements" with Sugarland.


According to the Daily Mail, the single was banned from several US radio stations because of the perceived meaning of the words "chasing pavements" referring to the singer chasing gay men. The source of the perceived meaning is said to come from an entry submitted to Urban Dictionary, although there is no evidence that the title was intended to have this meaning.[9]

Music videoEdit


Hyde Park, London where the incident happened.

The song's music video centres on a car crash (a white Peugeot 505 saloon) occurring in Hyde Park, London. While set in London, the video was shot in Los Angeles.[10]

It features two views: one of the real-world in which the occupants of the car are lying motionless on the pavement following the accident, and the other (during the choruses) in which the camera shows them from above. Adele is seen in the first view, inside a car with a man. She sings before getting out of the car and walking past a group of people who are running towards the crash victims. Then, she stands beside a tree continuing to sing until it ends and the victims being shown on stretchers, being wheeled away in different directions by ambulance crews tending to them. Adele is not one of the car crash victims.

In the second view, the couple is shown from an overhead view but as if they are shot side-on and they 'come to life' and move as if standing up. The couple appear to reenact their relationship, starting from their first meeting when the woman dropped her scarf and the man handed it back to her. For a while they appear happy together, but it is short-lived; the man discovers that the woman had another lover. She writes something on a piece of paper and when the man reads it, he is angered, but he forgives her and they begin rekindling the passion they had before the crash. When Adele sings the chorus for the final time, the couple dance on the pavement surrounded by the onlookers, who are now also dancing. The man and the woman dance gracefully and intimately, but in spite of all the joy, they are still just two bodies lying motionless on the pavement, and are then wheeled away by ambulance crews in different directions.


The song's music video earned a 2008 MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Choreography.[3]

On 20 December 2008, the video was ranked #26 on VH1's Top 40 of 2008.[citation needed]

Live performancesEdit

Adele/Daniel premiered the song on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 7 December 2007.[11] She performed "Chasing Pavements", along with "Cold Shoulder", on Saturday Night Live on 18 October 2008.

In popular cultureEdit

Melissa Benoist performed a cover of "Chasing Pavements"in a Glee episode


The song was performed by Melissa Benoist on the 2012 episode "The New Rachel" of Glee. In 2013, American R&B singer, Candice Glover performed the song on the singing competition series, American Idol, during her time as a contestant on the show. American rapper MGK also covered the song and it has over 8 million views on YouTube.

Soundtrack appearancesEdit

"Chasing Pavements" was featured in three episodes of Hollyoaks. The first was in a concluding scene of Hannah Ashworth's anorexia. The second was in a beginning scene of Charlie Dean's custody battle. The third was in a scene showing Dominic Reilly reflecting on Tina McQueen talking to him, which was aired on 15 October. The song was also featured in the film Wild Child, and the TV show 90210.

Track listingEdit

UK – CD and 7-inch vinyl

  1. "Chasing Pavements" (Adele, Eg White) – 3:31
  2. "That's It, I Quit, I'm Movin' On" (live) (Sam Cooke) – 2:12



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[38] Platinum 10,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[39] Gold 7,500^
Italy (FIMI)[40] Gold 10,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[41] Gold 5,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[42] Platinum 600,000 
United States (RIAA)[43] Platinum 1,000,000^

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

Release historyEdit

Region Date
Europe 11 January 2008
United Kingdom 14 January 2008


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  2. ^ "Adele's 'Someone Like You' Atop Hot 100, Passes 2 Million Downloads". Billboard Magazine. 2011-010-11. Retrieved 2011-10-14. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ a b "Coldplay and Adele snag VMA nods Virgin Media 28 August 2008". Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Frehsée, Nicole (22 January 2009), "Meet Adele, the U.K.'s Newest Soul Star". Rolling Stone. (1070):26
  5. ^ "Interview: Adele – Singer and Songwriter BlogCriticsMagazine 16 July 2008". Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  6. ^ Dawson, Kim (24 March 2008). "ADELE'S BI GUY". Daily Star. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2008.
  7. ^ "CHASING PAVEMENTS Chords – Adele". Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  8. ^ The 51st Annual Grammy Awards Nominations List 3 December 2008 Archived 4 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "'Americans think that I'm chasing gay men,' says Adele as she reveals hit song radio ban", Daily Mail, p. 1, 10 September 2008, retrieved 28 February 2010
  10. ^ Wells, Meg (3 June 2008). "Anatomy of a Music Video: Chasing Pavements". Flux. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  11. ^ "Jonathan Ross welcomes Lucas, Walliams, Seinfeld and Zellweger". 7 December 2007. Archived from the original on 12 January 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2008.
  12. ^ " – Adele – Chasing Pavements" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  13. ^ " – Adele – Chasing Pavements" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  14. ^ " – Adele – Chasing Pavements" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^ "Adele Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard.
  16. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – RADIO – TOP 100 and insert 200818 into search. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  17. ^ " – Adele – Chasing Pavements". Tracklisten.
  18. ^ "Chart Search Results – European Hot 100 Singles 2008-02-02". Archived from the original on 7 August 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  19. ^ "Adele: Chasing Pavements" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  20. ^ " – Adele – Chasing Pavements". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  21. ^ Steffen Hung. "Discography Adele". Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  22. ^ "Media Forest: Airplay chart".
  23. ^ Steffen Hung. "Adele – Chasing Pavements". Retrieved 20 February 2011.
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  25. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Adele" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  26. ^ " – Adele – Chasing Pavements" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  27. ^ " – Adele – Chasing Pavements". VG-lista.
  28. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  29. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 200822 into search.
  30. ^ " – Adele – Chasing Pavements". Singles Top 100.
  31. ^ "ADELE – The Official Charts Company". Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  32. ^ "Adele Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  33. ^ "Adele Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard.
  34. ^ "Adele Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  35. ^ "Adele Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  36. ^ "". (in Dutch). Missing or empty |url= (help)
  37. ^ "Official Singles Chart : 2008" (PDF). Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  38. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Adele – Chasing Pavements". Music Canada.
  39. ^ "Danish single certifications – Adele – Chasing Pavements". IFPI Denmark. Scroll through the page-list below until year 2008 to obtain certification.
  40. ^ "Italian single certifications – Adele – Chasing Pavements" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Select "2008" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Chasing Pavements" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  41. ^ "Trofeer" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  42. ^ "British single certifications – Adele – Chasing Pavements". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Chasing Pavements in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  43. ^ "American single certifications – Adele – Chasing Pavements". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit