Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Popular (Nada Surf song)

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Released  June 1996
Recorded  December 1995
Label  Elektra
Format  CD single
Length  3:36
Genre  Alternative rock, post-grunge, hard rock

"Popular" is a song by Nada Surf and the first single from their debut album High/Low. Each of the verses in '"Popular" presents, in spoken word format, sarcastic advice to teens. Initially offered in a calm, deadpan voice, the lyrics gradually build Kinison-style in teen angst and rage.

Contents

The song reached number 11 on the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and propelled the album to number 63 on the Billboard 200. "Popular" was also a big hit in France, reaching the Top 10 with a total chart run of 15 consecutive weeks in the French Top 50. It was also used in France in a TV commercial for the radio station Fun Radio, which was then the most influential radio station among teenagers.

Background and recording

The whole song, except for the chorus, are parts made up from the 1964 teen advice book Penny's Guide to Teen-Age Charm and Popularity, written by television actress Gloria Winters. The excerpts are spoken in a sarcastic tone by Matthew Caws. A rerecorded version from 2007 appears on the band's MySpace.

Track listing

  1. "Popular" – 3:36
  2. "Pressure Free" – 2:32
  3. "Oh No" – 2:08

Music video

The music video for the song, directed by Jesse Peretz, was shot at the Bayonne High School, with administration approval, and showed football players and cheerleaders, wearing the uniforms of the school, as well as the three members of the band, Matthew as a teacher, Daniel as a security guard, and Ira as the football coach. The video was styled by Andrea Linett, a former editor at Sassy magazine, who went on to be the founding creative director of Lucky magazine.

The plot consisted of an attractive female cheerleader, taking the teacher's lesson on popularity literally; by two-timing two different football players behind each of their respective backs, under the notion that she deserves "every boy in the whole world" by following that teacher's "Teenage guide to popularity." Only in the video's ironic conclusion, is it revealed that the two players are actually friends and have both been with the attractive cheerleader.

The cheerleader in the music video was portrayed by then 18-year-old Sarah Sebestyen, a student at the time at Professional Children's School in Manhattan.

References

Popular (Nada Surf song) Wikipedia


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