"Down" is the first song on 311's self-titled third album. It was their first #1 single on the Billboard Alternative Songs charts, and along with their self-titled album, was largely responsible for launching them into mainstream success. An accompanying video for the song was in rotation on MTV at the time of its release. Due to its massive popularity it was also included as the first song on their live album, Live, and on their greatest hits album, Greatest Hits '93-'03. Since its release it has also become a staple of their live concerts, and is usually dedicated "to all the old-school 311 fans."
"Down" contains dancehall vocals, hard rock guitars and turntable scratches. At Spin, the song was compared to the band Bad Brains, and described it as having a "dynamic" verse.
The music video consists of the band performing in a warehouse and includes scenes of the band members singing the song in various backgrounds, such as a rotating coin, a circle with flowing sparks, dancing in front of a paper wall display. Also included are scenes in which the band members are meditating with an obese spiritual man who sometimes floats in the air through the power of meditation while one of the band members experiences it.
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