"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. 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.
|Single by Adele|
|from the album 19|
|B-side||"That's It, I Quit, I'm Movin' On" (live)|
|Released||14 January 2008|
|Studio||Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas|
|Adele singles chronology|
Background and compositionEdit
The song was inspired by an incident Adele had with a former boyfriend of six months. After learning he had cheated on her, she went to the bar he was at and punched him in the face. 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." She sang and recorded it on her mobile phone and arranged the chords when she got home. "Chasing Pavements" is written in the key of C minor.
"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. 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.
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.
In popular cultureEdit
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.
"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.
UK – CD and 7-inch vinyl
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||10,000^|
|Denmark (IFPI Denmark)||Gold||7,500^|
|Norway (IFPI Norway)||Gold||5,000*|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||600,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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- "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".
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- "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.
- "American single certifications – Adele – Chasing Pavements". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.