James - Sit Down

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James - Sit Down

This is the original video and version of "Sit Down", as issued by Rough Trade in 1989.


"Sit Down" is a song by James, released in 1989 by Rough Trade Records. In its seven-and-a-half-minute original form, the song only reached number 77 in the UK Singles Chart (although it did make number Eight in John Peel's Festive Fifty of that year). Due to this unimpressive performance their record label's managing director, Geoff Travis, told them they were not a viable commercial proposition beyond an audience of 20,000.

The song's lyrics were written in Autumn 1988 as a thank you to two women who greatly inspired Tim Booth - author Doris Lessing and singer Patti Smith.

After experiencing success as part of the Madchester music scene, with a rerecorded version of the song regularly causing clubbers to sit down when it was played, the single was re-released in March 1991 which was more rockier, shorter and had new lyrics.

It spent three weeks at number 2 in the Singles Chart; it was kept off the top spot by The One and Only by Chesney Hawkes. It was the 20th best-selling single of 1991 in the UK, one of the highest selling singles of the year not to reach number one.

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