Thursday Throwback Track: Week One

Welcome to my new Thursday segments, Thursday Throwback Track of the Day! Each Thursday, check back to The Indie Sound for my Thursday Throwback song pick from all eras and genres. Prepare for nostalgia to hit like a ton of bricks.

February is the month of love, or, if you choose to ignore all of the lovey-dovey shenanigans, lots of cheap candy! To kick off week 1 of February, and week 1 of this new segment, we have the appropriately themed hit “Cupid’s Chokehold/Breakfast in America” from Gym Class Heroes. To refresh your memory, check out the video below.

Facts About the Song:

Originating in 1997 in Geneva, New York, Gym Class Heroes features rapper and songwriter Travie McCoy, drummer Matt McGinley, guitarist Disashi Lumumba-Kasonogo and bassist Eric Roberts. The band won the MTV award for Best New Artist in 2007.

The single for “Cupid’s Chokehold/Breakfast in America” was released in March 2005 on two different albums, The Papercut Chronicles (2005) and As Cruel as School Children (2006). The track landed at #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40, #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at #3 on both the Canadian Hot 100 and the UK Singles charts. Interestingly enough, both versions of the song possess not only two different music videos, but the original version has different backing vocals than the re-recorded song. Both versions feature Fall Out Boy’s frontman Patrick Stump as the singer of the refrain, and both of these groups also share the same label, Fueled by Ramen.

Speaking of the music videos, As Cruel As School Children’s version features a pre-fame Katy Perry appears towards the end of the video, back when she and McCoy were dating. Patrick Stump also makes appearances throughout both videos. Take a look at the original version below:

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects about the song is that the main melody/chorus, “Take a look at my girlfriend/she’s the only one I got. Not much of a girlfriend/I never seem to get a lot,” originates from the song “Breakfast in America” by the English rock group Supertramp. Released on the titular album back in 1978, this song landed itself as a Top 10 hit in the UK, but wasn’t a huge hit on the singles charts.

What Makes this Song Such a Great Throwback?

Aside from the insanely catchy “ba-ba-da-da” melody and a popular music video, “Cupid’s Chokehold/Breakfast in America” was able to successfully blend oldies rock with hip-hop while utilizing an alternative/emo rock singer to sing the song’s catchiest lyrics, a combination not too commonly seen. With the second edition’s video featuring a young Katy Perry and a 2006-era Patrick Stump in his signature long hair and hat as well, it’s amusing to look back on the video and be mind-blown over the fact that a decade has passed since the track’s release. A DECADE.

Where are they now?

Fortunately, all of the artists associated with the track have gone on to have very successful careers, although on the relationship side of things, Travie and Katy did eventually break up. Boo. Gym Class Heroes went on to release two more albums, The Quilt (2008) and The Papercut Chronicles II (2011), and co-headlined with label mates Paramore on the 2008 Warped Tour. The band found a hit off of the latter album with “Stereo Hearts,”which featured Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, and made Billboard’s Hot 100 at No. 4. Before these successes, however, McCoy went solo to sing “Billionaire” with Bruno Mars.

After releasing Believers Never Die — Greatest Hits in 2009, the band entered into a hiatus that lasted until 2012, then burst back onto the scene with Save Rock and Roll in 2013. Their most recent release, American Beauty/American Psycho (2015) featured the four times platinum hit “Centuries” and the two times platinum single “Uma Thurman.” They’ve hit the road several times since the end of the hiatus with artists such as Paramore and New Politics on “Monumentour,” with Wiz Khalifa, MAX and Hoodie Allen on the “Boys of Summer Tour,” and most recently on the “American Beauty/American Psycho Tour,” which featured supporting acts Professor Green and Matt and Kim. On April 18, 2015, the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Green Day.

Katy Perry has since rose to absolute pop stardom with her 2010 album Teenage Dream, among other releases, though this was the album that completely changed the pop game. From this release, Perry gained all kinds of awards, such as her spot in the Guinness World Records for being the first female artist to release five singles that made its way to the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Since then, Perry has released Prism (2012), performed at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show and dropped an autobiographical documentary film, “Katy Perry: Part of Me” in 2012. This past December, Perry produced a gaming app, Katy Perry Pop, where player’s characters learn to become famous musicians from the digitized Perry.

Thanks for reading! See you all next Thursday.

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