Special (3:44)

Cover of Version 2.0

From Version 2.0 and 40 other releases

“Special” was the third single taken from Garbage’s 1998 platinum second album Version 2.0. “Special” was written and recorded by Garbage (Duke Erikson, Shirley Manson, Steve Marker and Butch Vig) at their own recording studio during the 1997 sessions for Version 2.0.

Although not the biggest hit from Version 2.0 worldwide, it became a huge mainstream hit in the United States, the band’s home country. The song’s success was marked by its two Grammy nominations - for 2000’s Best Rock Song and for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group.

The song was accompanied by a critically acclaimed and boundary-pushing promotional video which featured Garbage battling it out in the skies above an unnamed alien world.

Song profile

“Special” was written and recorded at Smart Studios, Madison, Wisconsin during the 1997 sessions for Version 2.0

“Special” contains an uncredited lyric sample from 1980s band The Pretenders’ song “Talk Of The Town” which was written by lead singer Chrissie Hynde. After contacting her, Hynde sent a fax to the group stating that Garbage could “sample her voice, her music or, indeed, her very arse”.

An early mix of “Special” also contained a sample of band member Duke Erikson on vocals. Shirley Manson thought it was a good idea beforehand, but admits that the results “were shocking to hear”!

Single release

“Special” was released as the third single from Version 2.0 throughout the United Kingdom and mainland Europe on October 5, 1998. The single had originally been planned to be released on September 21, 1998, following Garbage’s high profile headlining shows at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom and at the Reading Festival at the end of August 1998.

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