In June 1997, Spears was in talks with manager Lou Pearlman to join female pop group Innosense. Lynne Spears asked family friend and entertainment lawyer Larry Rudolph for his opinion and submitted a tape of Spears singing over a Whitney Houston karaoke song along with some pictures. Rudolph decided he wanted to pitch her to record labels, therefore she needed a professional demo. He sent Spears an unused song from Toni Braxton; she rehearsed for a week and recorded her vocals in a studio with a sound engineer. Spears traveled to New York with the demo and met with executives from four labels, returning to Kentwood the same day. Three of the labels rejected her, arguing audiences wanted pop bands such as the Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls, and "there wasn't going to be another Madonna, another Debbie Gibson, or another Tiffany." Two weeks later, executives from JIVE Records returned calls to Rudolph. Senior vice president of A&R Jeff Fenster stated about Spears's audition that "It's very rare to hear someone that age who can deliver emotional content and commercial appeal. [...] For any artist, the motivation—the 'eye of the tiger'— is extremely important. And Britney had that." They appointed her to work with producer Eric Foster White for a month, who reportedly shaped her voice from "lower and less poppy" delivery to "distinctively, unmistakably Britney." After hearing the recorded material, president Clive Calder ordered a full album. Spears had originally envisioned "Sheryl Crow music, but younger more adult contemporary" but felt all right with her label's appointment of producers, since "It made more sense to go pop, because I can dance to it—it's more me." She flew to Cheiron Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, where half of the album was recorded from March to April 1998, with producers Max Martin, Denniz Pop and Rami Yacoub, among others.
Martin showed Spears and her management a track titled "Hit Me Baby One More Time", which was originally written for American group Backstreet Boys and R&B group TLC; however, when the song was submitted to them, they rejected it. Spears later claimed that she felt excited when she heard it and knew it was going to be a hit record. "We at JIVE said, 'This is a ... smash'," revealed the label's A&R executive at the time Steven Lunt; however, other executives were concerned that the line "Hit Me" would condone domestic violence, later being revised to "...Baby One More Time". Spears recorded her vocals for the song in March 1998 at Cheiron Studios in Stockholm, Sweden. The singer revealed that she "didn’t do well at all the first day in the studio [recording the song], I was just too nervous. So I went out that night and had some fun. The next day I was completely relaxed and nailed it. You gotta be relaxed singing ‘… Baby One More Time’." The track was produced by Denniz Pop, Martin and Rami, and was also mixed by Martin at Cheiron Studios. Thomas Lindberg played the guitar, while Johan Carlberg played the bass guitar. Background vocals were provided by Spears, Martin and Nana Hedin. Spears also recorded a track called "Autumn Goodbye", written and produced by Eric Foster White, that was released as a b-side to "...Baby One More Time". The track was recorded in 1998 at 4MW East Studios in New Jersey. "...Baby One More Time" was released as Spears's debut single on October 23, 1998, by JIVE Records, when she was only 16 years old. The singer has named "...Baby One More Time" as one of her favorite songs from her entire career, naming "Toxic" and "He About to Lose Me" as the other two.
Like TLC and Backstreet Boys, British boyband Five were almost considered to record the song, according to former Five manager Simon Cowell, who would work with Spears in the second season of the American version of The X Factor in 2012, in his autobiography Sweet Revenge.
"...Baby One More Time" is a teen pop and dance-pop song that lasts for three minutes and 30 seconds. The song is composed in the key of C minor and is set in the time signature of 4/4 common time with a moderate tempo of 93 beats per minute (Andante moderato). Songwriting and production is largely based on previous Cheiron productions, most notably Robyn Carlsson's "Show Me Love" which shows similar song scheme, drum patterns, wah guitars and piano hits. Spears's vocal range spans over two octaves from E♭3 to the high-tone of G5. The song begins with a three-note motif in the bass range of the piano, an opening that has been compared to many other songs, such as "We Will Rock You" (1977), "Start Me Up" (1981) and the theme song of the film Jaws due to the fact the track "makes its presence known in exactly one second". According to magazine Blender, "...Baby One More Time" is composed by "wah-wah guitar lines and EKG-machine bass-slaps".
Claudia Mitchell and Jacqueline Reid-Walsh, authors of Girl Culture: Studying girl culture : a readers' guide (2008), noted the lyrics of the song "gesture toward [Spears] longing for the return of an ex-boyfriend." Spears said "...Baby One More Time" is a song "every girl can relate to. She regrets it. She wants him back." The lyrics, however, caused controversy in the United States, because the line "Hit me baby one more time" supposedly has sadomasochistic connotations. As a response, the singer said the line "doesn't mean physically hit me. [...] It means just give me a sign, basically. I think it's kind of funny that people would actually think that's what it meant." Contemporary author Ben Shapiro deemed the song's lyrics as suggestive, mostly "Oh baby, baby / The reason I breathe is you / Boy, you got me blinded / Oh pretty baby / There's nothing that I wouldn't do" and "When I'm not with you I lose my mind / Give me a sign / Hit me baby one more time".
"...Baby One More Time" received generally favorable reviews from contemporary critics, who mostly praised its composition. Marc Oxoby, author of The 1990s (2003), noted the song "was derided as vapid by some critics, yet tapped into the same kind of audience to whom the Spice Girls music appealed, young teens and pre-teens." Amanda Murray of Sputnikmusic commented, "["...Baby One More Time" is] well-composed, tightly arranged, and even with Spears's vocal limitations it goes straight for the proverbial pop jugular." She also said that the song was a highlight in the pop music genre and added, "There is little doubt that '...Baby One More Time' will be long remembered as one of the cornerstones of pop music in general, and it is a strong front-runner as the prototype for the late 90s pop resurgence." Bill Lamb of About.com considered "...Baby One More Time" as Spears's best song, saying, "the song is full of hooks and a big mainstream pop sound. The accompanying schoolgirl video caused a sensation, and, when the single hit No. 1, Britney was assured of stardom." In a list compiled by Sara Anderson of AOL Radio, "...Baby One More Time" was ranked sixth in a list of Spears's best songs. She noted the singer "somehow made the school girl outfit and pink pom-pom hair-ties trendy again, worn by every tween in the succeeding years."
Beth Johnson of Entertainment Weekly called "...Baby One More Time" a "candy-pop-with-a-funky-edge smash", while Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic said the song was "ingenious", Brian Raftery of Blender called it "a perfectly fine, slickly conceived pop tune. [..] At the time, teen-pop was still a boys’ club, but while the guys were crooning about crushes, Spears was already planning the sleep-over party". Rolling Stone called it "some of the best radio pop of the past decade-plus". NME considered "...Baby One More Time" "incredible", commenting that "it's a symphony of teenage lust as fully realised as anything Brian Wilson ever wrote – a truly grand pop song that overwhelms any lingering undercurrent of Lolita paedo-creepiness through the sheer fanatical earnestness of its delivery." "...Baby One More Time" won a Teen Choice Award for Single of the Year and an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Song.
The song was officially sent to the American radio stations on October 23, 1998. On November 21, 1998, "...Baby One More Time" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 17 and topped the chart two and a half months later for two consecutive weeks, replacing R&B-singer Brandy's "Have You Ever?". Simultaneously, it climbed to number-one on the Canadian Singles Chart. The song reached the top spot of the Hot 100 Singles Sales and stayed there for four consecutive weeks. This eventually propelled the single to a platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America. Though not as strong as its sales tallies, "...Baby One More Time" also experienced considerable airplay, becoming her first top ten hit on the Hot 100 Airplay, peaking at number eight. The single also became an all-around hit on Top 40 radio, going top ten on both the Top 40 Tracks and Rhythmic Top 40, and to number one for five weeks on the Mainstream Top 40. It spent 32 weeks on the Hot 100 and ended up at number five on Billboard magazine's year-end chart. As of June 2012, "...Baby One More Time" has sold 1,412,000 physical singles, with 511,000 paid digital downloads in the United States. It is Spears's best-selling physical single in the country. "...Baby One More Time" debuted at number 20 on the Australian Singles Chart, a month later reached number one and stayed there for nine consecutive weeks. The song eventually became the second highest-selling single of the year, only behind Lou Bega's "Mambo#5", and was certified three-times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association for selling over 210,000 copies. In New Zealand, the single spent four non-consecutive weeks at the top of the charts and after shipping over 15,000 units to retailers the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand certified it platinum.
The track reached the top spot in every European country in which it charted. "...Baby One More Time" spent two consecutive weeks at number-one on the French Singles Chart and was certified platinum by the Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique after selling over 500,000 units in the country. Additionally, the song topped the German Singles Chart for six consecutive weeks and sold over 750,000 copies, resulting in a three-times gold certification by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry In the United Kingdom, according to JIVE Records, the single "…Baby One More Time" sold more than 250,000 copies in a mere three days. Spears broke a first-week sales record for a female act at the time when "...Baby One More Time" sold a total of 460,000 copies in the United Kingdom. The single went on to sell over 1.5 million units, making it the highest-selling single of the year and the 32nd best-selling of all-time in Britain. Eventually, the British Phonographic Industry certified it two-times platinum on March 26, 1999. Additionally, "...Baby One More Time" is the fifth best-selling single by a female artist in the country, just behind Cher's "Believe", Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You", Adele's "Someone like You" and Céline Dion's "My Heart Will Go On". "...Baby One More Time" is one of the best-selling singles of all time, with over 10 million copies sold worldwide.
The music video was filmed on August 6, 7 and 8, 1998, and was directed by Nigel Dick. After being chosen, Dick received criticism from his colleagues about wanting to work with Spears. He responded saying, "It's a great song. I don't know anything about Britney. I never watched The Mickey Mouse Club. She seems like a great kid and she's very enthusiastic, but I just love the song. It's just a great song". The video's original setup was in high contrast to what eventually became the final product. The plan was to have the video in a cartoon-like environment, in a likely attempt to attract the audience of younger children. Spears was unhappy with this, and argued that she wanted her video to reflect the lives of her fans and wanted to set the video in a school. Spears pitched this idea to Dick, and further explained she wanted the video to have dance scenes. The original setting was scrapped and replaced with Spears's concept. Dick's original idea for the wardrobe was jeans and a T-shirt, but during the wardrobe fitting Spears decided to change it for a schoolgirl outfit. Dick said that "Every piece of wardrobe in the video came from Kmart, and I was told at the time not one piece of clothing in the video cost more than $17. On that level, it's real. That probably, in retrospect, is a part of its charm." The knotted shirt design was Spears's idea, she recollects saying, "The outfits looked kind of dorky, so I was like, 'Let's tie up our shirts and be cute'". About the experience of shooting her first music video, Spears said, "It was a wonderful experience. All these people there, working for you. I had my own trailer. It was an amazing experience". The music video was shot at Venice High School, the same school used to film the movie Grease. The video premiered on MTV and other video stations in November 1998.
The video begins with Spears appearing bored in class at a Catholic high school. Her assistant Felicia Culotta played the role of Spears's teacher. When the bell rings, Spears runs out into the hall and begins a choreographed dance in the corridor. After this, Spears is outside, now adorned in an pink athletic outfit, and seen in a car. Along with a couple of other students, she performs a number of gymnastic moves before heading back inside. She is then sitting on the bleachers in the gymnasium watching a basketball game, and she dances in the gymnasium. Her love interest is revealed sitting close to her, played by her real-life cousin Chad. After this short segment, Spears begins her final dance routine and the video ends shortly afterwards, and the bell rings and Spears leaves the gymnasium, revealing that the whole thing had actually just been Spears's daydream. During the very beginning, Spears is seen with her sleeves down. Some people who see the music video may not recognize this, but when the bell rings, the sleeves of exactly the same gray-and-white shirt she is wearing are rolled up, even when she gets into singing.
The schoolgirl outfit is considered to be one of Spears's iconic looks and is on display at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The ensemble caused controversy among parents associations for showing the midriff of a sixteen-year-old. Spears faced the criticism saying, "Me showing my belly? I'm from the South; you're stupid if you don't wear a sports bra [when you] go to dance class, you're going to be sweating your butt off." In 1999, "...Baby One More Time" earned Spears her first three MTV Video Music Award nominations, in the categories of Best Pop Video, Best Choreography, and Best Female Video. In a list compiled by VH1 in 2001, it was listed at number ninety in the best videos of all time. The video was the first of fourteen of her videos to retire on MTV's television series TRL. On its final episode, a three-hour special aired on November 16, 2008, "…Baby One More Time" was number one in their final countdown as the most iconic music videos of all time and was the last video to be played on the show. Wesley Yang in his essay "Inside the Box" in n+1, compared the music video to Britny Fox's "Girlschool" because it featured "a classroom full of Catholic schoolgirls gyrating to the beat in defiance of a stern teacher. [..] But that was a sexist video by a horrible hair metal band that exploited women. Britney Spears was something else—an inflection point in the culture". The music video is also referenced in the music video of Spears's 2000 single, "Stronger" where Spears sings, "My loneliness ain't killing me no more" - a reference to "...Baby One More Time" where she sings, "My loneliness is killing me." The music video is also referenced in the 2009 single, "If U Seek Amy". After she comes out of the house dressed as a housewife, her daughter is dressed with a similar schoolgirl outfit while wearing pink ribbons in her hair. The video was ranked at number four on a list of the ten most controversial music videos in pop by AOL on September 29, 2011. In April 2014, the music video for "...Baby One More Time" reached over 100 million views on VEVO becoming Spears' 5th music video to do so and making it the first 90's video by a female singer to receive a certification.
Spears performed "...Baby One More Time" on several occasions. She performed the song on July 6, 1999, during her appearance at the Woodstock 99 festival. Neil Strauss, from The New York Times, noted that "all the backing music was on tape, and most of the vocals were recorded, with Ms. Spears just reinforcing selected words in choruses and singing an occasional snippet of a verse". It was also performed at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards; after a classroom roll call ended, Spears appeared on the stage and began performing the song. Halfway through, she was joined by Justin Timberlake and the members of NSYNC for a dance routine. Afterwards, the band performed their hit "Tearin' Up My Heart". The song was also performed at the 1999 MTV Europe Music Awards, along with "(You Drive Me) Crazy", the 1999 Billboard Music Awards, the 1999 Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, the Christmas Day edition of Top of the Pops and the Greenwich Millennium concert on 31 December 1999, she also performed it with broadcasters David Dimbleby and Michael Buerk on 2000 Today. Spears performed the song in a medley with "From the Bottom of My Broken Heart" at the 42nd Grammy Awards. Spears was wearing a turtleneck and a full tulle skirt at the beginning of the performance, while dancers surrounded her with enormous hand fans. After singing a shortened version of the song, she then took a few moments to shuffle into a form-fitting red rhinestone outfit (with side cutouts) and emerged onto a stage to perform "...Baby One More Time." Spears was also criticized of lipsynching the song during her performance. Later, in 2003, Spears performed the song in a remixed form at Britney Spears: In the Zone, a concert special that aired in ABC on November 17, 2003. "...Baby One More Time" was also performed at the 2003 NFL Kickoff Live on September 4, 2003, at the National Mall, in a medley with "I'm a Slave 4 U" (2001), which included pyrotechnics. She sported shoulder-length blond hair and was dressed in black football pants, a black-and-white referee halter top and boots from Reebok. Her outfit was later auctioned off to benefit the Britney Spears Foundation.
"...Baby One More Time" has been performed in seven of Spears's concert tours since its release. On ...Baby One More Time Tour, the encore consisted of a performance of the song, in which Spears wore a black bra under pink halter, a pink sequined plaid mini-skirt, and black thigh-high stockings. On 2000s Oops!... I Did It Again World Tour, "...Baby One More Time" was performed after a dance interlude in which the dancers showed their individual moves while their names appeared on the screens. Spears took the stage in a conservative schoolgirl outfit to perform the song. She ripped it off halfway through the song to reveal a cheerleader ensemble. The song was also the encore of 2001's Dream Within a Dream Tour. It began with a giant projection of a hologram of Spears onto a water screen. The projection gradually shrunk until Spears rose from the stage while wearing a plastic cowboy hat, blue hip-huggers, and a matching bra top. She began performing "...Baby One More Time" in a ballad version until reaching the end of the runway. Pyrotechnics surrounded the stage while the song changed to a more uptempo version with elements of techno.
On The Onyx Hotel Tour, after performing "Showdown", a video interlude followed featuring Spears and her friends outside a club. While she was leaving, she noticed a woman dressed in 1930s fashion. She followed her and the woman asked Spears to enter the "Mystic Lounge". Spears reappeared wearing a corset to perform "…Baby One More Time" along with "Oops!...I Did It Again" and "(You Drive Me) Crazy". All of the three were reworked for the show with elements of jazz and blues. "...Baby One More Time" was also performed on the promotional tour made on some House of Blues locations, called The M+M's Tour. The show started with Spears singing a short version of the song dressed in a white go-go boots, a white miniskirt and a sparkling pink bikini top. On The Circus Starring Britney Spears, the song made into the Electro Circ act. It was the final song of the act, performed after "Toxic". The performance consisted on Spears and her dancers performing a remix of the song. On 2011's Femme Fatale Tour, "...Baby One More Time" was performed in a medley with the remix of Rihanna's "S&M" (2010). On Spears' current residency show Britney: Piece of Me in Las Vegas, the song was included on its setlist.
"…Baby One More Time" has been covered on numerous occasions. One of the earliest live covers of the song was by the Scottish band Travis, recorded during one of their concerts at "The Bay Tavern" in Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire, England. The song was later included in the release of their 1999 single, "Turn". Lead singer Francis Healey said, "We did it for a laugh the first time. [..] And as we played it, the irony slipped from my smile. It's a very well-crafted song. It [has] that magic thing." The Guardian said this cover showed a new and more "dark" side of the band, commenting "slowed down to a mournful crawl, it was amazing how ominous the couplet "This loneliness is killing me / Hit me, baby, one more time" sounded". PopWreckoning.com called it "perhaps the most well done cover of Britney's catalyst to eternal fame". Spears heard their version while shopping in a mall and said, "It was so weird. I liked it though, I thought it was cool. It was a very different vibe from what I did". In July 2005, The Dresden Dolls performed a cover during their summer concerts while opening for Panic! at the Disco. On July 18, 2006, frontman Brendon Urie joined the band to perform the song in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. PopWreckoning.com said the cover was "a strange twist to this pop ditty. It's obviously darker and actually tortured as opposed to Britney's school girl despair". The song was featured in a scene in Madonna's directorial debut Filth and Wisdom. On November 29, 2008, the same day Spears performed "Womanizer" on The X Factor, contestants JLS performed a cover of the song that was deemed "lame" by judge Simon Cowell.
On July 13, 2009, Tori Amos covered the song live during her Sinful Attraction Tour at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California. On October 15, 2009, Kris Allen covered the song for the first time at a concert in Seton High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. His rendition received positive reviews. An excerpt was used in 20th Century Fox's CGI-animated comedy film Robots, but was not included on the soundtrack album. Swedish humorist heavy metal band Black Ingvars covered the song for their 2000 album Kids Superhits. The same year, British death metal cover band Ten Masked Men included a rendition of the song on their Return of the Ten Masked Men album. A cover by Ahmet and Dweezil Zappa was featured in the soundtrack of the 2000 film Ready to Rumble. In 2003, the song was covered by American pop punk band Bowling for Soup for the soundtrack of the remake film Freaky Friday and commented that their version was "really, really, dark and really rock, [..] not the kind of 'pop'-py stuff that we usually do." In 2005, power pop band Fountains of Wayne covered the song for their compilation album Out-of-State Plates. Robert Christgau of The Village Voice highlighted their rendition saying the song is "as redolent and fetching as any of [Fountains of Wayne]'s peaks". Japanese pop singer Shiori Takei covered the song of her 2005 album The Note of My Nineteen Years.
In 2006, a lounge music style cover of the song by Trombo Combo was included on their covers album Trombo Combo: Swedish Sound Deluxe. A hi-NRG-eurodance cover by Jayne Montgomery was released through Almighty Records. In the 2009 compilation Punk Goes Pop 2, a cover of the song by metalcore band August Burns Red was included along with a cover of "Toxic" by A Static Lullaby. Music duo Doll Factory included a cover of the song as a bonus track on later printings of their album Weightless. Singer-songwriter Christopher Dallman released an EP titled Sad Britney that includes a cover of the song along with covers of "Toxic", "Gimme More" and "Radar". The song has also been covered by Brainshake, Intwine, Kevorkian, P.T. Grimm and the Dead Puppies, Jenny Owen Youngs, Neil Sahgal and Annie Bethancourt, among others. In the 2010 Glee episode "Britney/Brittany", the character of Rachel Berry, played by Lea Michele, covered the song using similar outfits to the ones of the music video. Spears also made a cameo, taking the teacher's role, previously played by Cullota. Darren Criss also of Glee performed a mash-up of "...Baby One More Time" with "Für Elise" on Sing Out, Raise Hope for The Trevor Project and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in December 2011. In 2012, British singer Ed Sheeran performed an acoustic version of the song NOW 100.5 FM. A year later he covered it on The Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show and added a rap verse. The song is sung by actresses Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine in Harmony Korine's film Spring Breakers. Swedish singer Tove Styrke released a cover of the song on July 24, 2015.
"…Baby One More Time" was listed at number twenty five in the greatest pop songs since 1963, in a list compiled by Rolling Stone and MTV in 2000. Blender listed it at number two in The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born. The song was also listed as the 2nd best song of the 1990s by VH1 and in a listing compiled in 2003, ranked at number one in 100 Best Songs of the Past 25 Years. Bill Lamb of About.com ranked "...Baby One More Time" at number one on a compiled list with the Top 40 Pop Songs Of All Time. The music video was voted the third most influential promo in the history of pop music on a poll held by Jam!. "…Baby One More Time" is also one of the best-selling singles of all time, with over 9 million copies sold, and also earned Spears's first nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. In April 2005, the British TV network ITV aired a short series called Hit Me, Baby, One More Time hosted by Vernon Kay. The show pitted one-hit wonders who generally had their moments of fame in the 1980s against each other to play their own hits and a currently popular cover song. The favorites were chosen by audience voting. The American version of the show also aired on NBC later in the year, and it was also hosted by Kay. In the 2012 poll created by The Official Chart Company and ITV to discover The Nation's Favourite Number 1 Single of all-time, "…Baby One More Time" was listed as the seventh favorite song by the United Kingdom.
Spears became an international pop culture icon immediately after launching her recording career. Rolling Stone magazine wrote: "One of the most controversial and successful female vocalists of the 21st century," she "spearheaded the rise of post-millennial teen pop ... Spears early on cultivated a mixture of innocence and experience that broke the bank". Barbara Ellen of The Observer has reported: "Spears is famously one of the 'oldest' teenagers pop has ever produced, almost middle aged in terms of focus and determination. Many 19-year-olds haven't even started working by that age, whereas Britney, a former Mouseketeer, was that most unusual and volatile of American phenomena — a child with a full-time career. While other little girls were putting posters on their walls, Britney was wanting to be the poster on the wall. Whereas other children develop at their own pace, Britney was developing at a pace set by the ferociously competitive American entertainment industry".
Scott Plagenhoef of Pitchfork noted "songs like Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", Dr. Dre's "Nothing But a G Thang", and Britney Spears's "...Baby One More Time" altered the landscape of pop culture so quickly in large part because they were delivered to all corners of the U.S. simultaneously by MTV. [...] MTV's ability to place a song and musician into the pop music conversation was unparalleled at the time, and by the end of the decade that meant absurd levels of both financial and creative commitment to music videos." PopMatters writer Evan Sawdey commented that Spears's concept for the music video of the song was the one responsible for her immediate success, saying that, as a result, the singer "scored a massive No. 1 single, inadvertently started the late '90s teen pop boom, and created a public persona for herself that was simultaneously kid-friendly and pure male fantasy. Her videos got played on both MTV and the Disney Channel at the same time, showing just how well Spears (and her armies of PR handlers) managed to walk that fine line between family-friendly pop idol and unabashed sex object."
Credits for "...Baby One More Time" and "Autumn Goodbye" are taken from the single's liner notes.