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"Pure Morning" is the first single from British alternative rock band Placebo's second album Without You I'm Nothing. The single was successful in the United States, reaching number 19 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, and it also reached number four on the UK Singles Chart. Worldwide, the song reached the top 50 in Australia, Canada, Iceland, Ireland and New Zealand. As of October 2019, it is certified Silver in United Kingdom.

"Pure Morning"
Single by Placebo
from the album Without You I'm Nothing
B-side"Mars Landing Party" "the innocence of sleep"
Released3 August 1998
FormatCD single, 7", 12", cassette
RecordedReal World Studios
GenreAlternative rock
Length3:59 (single version)
LabelVirgin Records
Songwriter(s)Steve Hewitt, Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal
Placebo singles chronology
"Nancy Boy"
"Pure Morning"
"You Don't Care About Us"
CD 2

Writing and recordingEdit

"Pure Morning" was a last minute addition to Without You I'm Nothing, being recorded as the band prepared B sides for the album in May, under "Nancy Boy" producer Phil Vinall. After playing with a guitar loop, they decided to develop it into a full song. Brian Molko said the lyrics were written "off the top of my head", so he only noticed their significance after recording.[1]

Molko said the it was overall "a song about friendship", starting from the situation of "coming down when the rest of the world is waking up", such as when clubgoers get home as the sun rises and everyone else is going to work. The feeling of dislocation, "that point you feel like your life is the least sorted ever", would be solved by someone to "slip their arm around you and make slumber easier."

Molko summed up as "All you really crave is for a friend to put their arms around you and make you feel better. That’s the pure morning, when that happens.”[2][1]

Music videoEdit

The music video, directed by Nick Gordon, and shot in slow motion at the junction of Savoy Street and Savoy Hill in London, focuses on the character of a suicidal man played by Brian Molko. Police and authorities attempt to stop him from jumping from a building to end his life. Shots of the rest of the band consist of them being arrested for unseen crimes.

News crews report on the scene and a single police officer runs through the building to attempt to convince the suicidal man from jumping. Molko eventually jumps to his death, to the astonishment of all.

Molko wears a black polo neck shirt with holes at the shoulders, and black nail polish on his fingers and toes. He also wears tight black leggings, and has his makeup done in his usual androgynous style.[3]

Live performance historyEdit

The song was a staple of the band's setlist from 1998, through to 2005. After playing it on a number of shows during the band's stint on the Projekt Revolution tour of 2007, it was not performed between 2008 and 2016. In November 2013, in an interview, Brian Molko stated that although he still likes the music, the lyrics of the song nauseate him.[4] In October 2016, the song returned to the setlist, and has opened almost every Placebo live set since.[5]

Track listingsEdit


  1. "Pure Morning" (single edit) – 4:00
  2. "Mars Landing Party" – 1:45
  3. "Leeloo" – 5:19


  1. "Pure Morning" – 4:14
  2. "Needledick" – 1:13
  3. "The Innocence of Sleep" – 3:46



Technical personnel

  • Phil Vinall – production
  • Paul Corkett – additional engineering
  • Jake Davies – mixing assistant
  • Phelan Kane – programming
  • Teo Miller – engineering
  • Bunt Stafford-Clark – mastering (at Townhouse Studios, London)

Charts and certificationsEdit

In popular cultureEdit

"Pure Morning" has been featured often in British television advertisements. The song was included on the soundtrack to the film The Chumscrubber (2005). The song was covered by the project of Johnathon Sharp, Biotek, on their album Punishment for Decadence. The intro is featured in an episode of the spin off of Beavis and Butt-head, Daria, and it was also used in the Top Gear 2001 J.D. Power Survey, revealing the Lexus LS400.


  1. ^ a b Segal, Victoria. "No More Charlie Angels". NME, August 1998
  2. ^ The Modern Age, Billboard
  3. ^ Placebo - Pure Morning on YouTube
  4. ^ "Interview "Interview: Brian Molko", Nov'13 - LJ Placebo Russia Archive". Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Placebo Concert Setlist at 6 Music Live 2016 #1 on October 3, 2016". Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  6. ^ " – Placebo – Pure Morning". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 7010." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (8.10–15.10. 1998)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 9 October 1998. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  9. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Pure Morning". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  10. ^ " – Placebo – Pure Morning" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  11. ^ " – Placebo – Pure Morning". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Placebo Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  15. ^ "Placebo Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Najlepsze single na UK Top 40-1998 wg sprzedaży" (in Polish). Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 4 June 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  17. ^ "British single certifications – Placebo – Pure Morning". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 31 August 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Pure Morning in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External linksEdit