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Posted by: In: Other 21 Nov 2021 Comments: 0


490-James-Sit Down.

1991-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 3.03. It’s the second most popular song in the world ever for sitting on the floor to dance to.’Oops upside your head, say oops up side your head.’

‘James’ were formed in Whalley Range, Manchester, England, by the friends Jim Glennie, and Paul Gilbertson, and were soon joined by Gavan Whelan on drums. They met future lead singer Tim Booth at the University of Manchester in 1982, and after playing live under various names settled on ‘James,’ probably because of Jim Glennie. In total there have been 11 members come and go, with Glennie being the bands one constant. ‘James” have released 16 studio Albums between 1986-2021, and have achieved 19 UK top 40 singles (see also best songs 109.)

The original version of ‘Sit Down’ at 7.39 seconds was released in 1989 on ‘Rough Trade Records,’ but disappointingly only reached Number 77. ‘James’ still had faith in the song, and bought back the rights just before Rough Trade went bankrupt. When James signed with ‘Fontana Records,’ the label brought in the experienced producer Gil Norton, who along with James gave the song the overhaul we all know today. In 1998 the Electronic Rock group ‘Apollo 440’ did a remix of the track as part of the promotion for the 2002 ‘Commonwealth Games’ launch in Manchester, and that version reached Number 7 in the UK.

‘Sit Down’ is credited to Glennie, Booth, Whelan, and Larry Gott who had become a full time member of the band in 1985, but the lyrics are mainly, if not fully the work of Tim Booth. Booth was born on February 4th, 1960, in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.He remained with James as their lead singer until 2001, but rejoined the band again in 2007. Away from James, he has released two solo Albums in 2004, and 2011, and a further one with Angelo Badalamenti, called ‘Booth and the Bad Angel’ in 1996.

Booth has said that he wrote the song in 1988 at a time when he was feeling lonely and depressed. He credits the author Doris Lessing, (1919-2013) and the American Rock singer Patti Smith as his inspirations.’They both connected to me when I felt very alone and misunderstood. Throughout my teens, I’d had an undiagnosed illness and my skin was almost yellow. When I was 21 I’d almost died, so I was feeling pretty tortured in those days. He has also said,’Sit Down is about me feeling so alone in my 20’s, and reading books by a writer called Doris Lessing, which made me realise I wasn’t. It was about being awake at, and having no one to talk to.’

‘I sing myself to sleep, a song from the darkest hour. Secrets I can’t keep in sight of the day.Swing from high to deep, extremes of sweet and sour. Hope that God exists, I hope, I pray.’