DEATH OF A BACHELOR by PANIC! AT THE DISCO
This song channels Frank Sinatra, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in 2015. Panic At The Disco mainman Brendon Urie posted on his Instagram in reference to the song's release.
"I attach his music to so many memories: opening presents on Christmas day, my grandparents teaching the rest of the family to swing dance, watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit with my siblings (Sinatra makes a cameo in the form of a cartoon sword singing 'Witchcraft')."
"His music has been a major player in the soundtrack of my life. So it's only right that I return the favor and/or pay it forward. I wrote a new album this year and even in the few songs that don't sound remotely similar to any of his music I still felt his influence in the writing and the need to relate so personally to each song."
Speaking to Pete Wentz, who was hosting Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show, Urie half-jokingly said of the song: "It's like if Sinatra and Beyoncé made a song together. It's like some Beyoncé beats with some Sinatra vocals. It's really crazy."
Urie expanded on his jokey declaration that the song is a mash up of Sinatra and Beyoncé. "I wrote the song actually trying to make a Sinatra song ...and then I hit this wall, just writing-wise, where I was getting so frustrated," he explained to The Associated Press. "So I took a break from it and went back to this beat I had worked on like months before and it kind of had this 'Drunk In Love,' Beyoncé-kind of feel. ...It was just like a happy accident."
Brendon Urie got married to Sarah Orzechowski in 2013 and this song also serves as a kiss-off to the single life. "'Death Of A Bachelor' is very important to me," he wrote. "It expresses the bittersweet (but mostly sweet) end of an era. A look back at a part of my life now deceased. An It's A Wonderful Life-esque look into a possibly different future. But mostly an appreciation for the present."
Urie explained to Pete Wentz the background to this song, which details giving up his single life. "You kinda find this person that you connect with and you can kind of throw away your history," he said. "You don't want to just forget about it. You just don't need to look back. You don't regret anything from the past. You don't have any want to go back to a life of being a bachelor."
"You know I met my wife Sarah and I was just like, this is it," Urie added. "I figured out that this is the happiest that I've ever been."
Urie addresses the fact that music fans seem to prefer single celebrities. "You're a rock star. You should be this single dude that goes around and sleeps with a bunch of girls," he said. "That's not really me, you know. This was just my voice, telling exactly how I felt at that time."
Death of a Bachelor became Panic! at the Disco's first #1 album in the States after selling the equivalent of 190,000 units in its first week. The LP surpassed the band's previous best #2 position in the US Billboard Chart, which Pretty.Odd achieved in March 2008.
NINE IN THE AFTERNOON by PANIC! AT THE DISCO
Frontman Brendon Urie in the New Musical Express January 26, 2008: "It's a very positive rock song with a very positive message."
Guitarist Ryan Ross on MTV News: "This is the first song we wrote. It's a song we all wrote together. It's basically about our situation for the past few years, just kind of looking at it all in a good way, and as a positive thing. It's one of the most straightforward songs we've ever had, lyrically. We wanted to have a song people could just get on the first listen. It was one of those spur-of-the-moment songs that came together in a couple of hours. It's just a fun song; it's not really meant to be taken seriously."
The song was first performed publicly at the Virgin Festival 2007 in Baltimore.
This was the first single released by the band since they lost the exclamation point at the end of their name. Ross explained to MTV News: "At least for me, it got a little bit annoying to try to write that every time you're typing the name. It was never part of the name to us. People started writing it, and then it ended up in more and more things like that, so there it was. When we started doing new promo stuff for this album, we just told everyone not to use it anymore." Brendon Urie added: "We wrote it that way once, when we first started the band, and then people kept writing it that way, and it was a freakin' whirlwind. We never made a big deal out of pulling it off the name. I mean, every time I write [our name], I never put an exclamation point in there."
Like the rest of the album, this was produced by Rob Mathes. He'd previously collaborated with the band on their cover of "This Is Halloween," a song originally written for the animated musical The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Brendon Urie told the New Musical Express: "The new album's definitely gone in a new direction and it's definitely a more positive direction. The first record was a little more teenage angst - we were 16 and 17-year-old dudes writing music. With this one we're in our twenties, we're a few years older. We're more experienced as musicians and with the instruments we've been playing. We've been really happy on this record and less stressed so we've been writing happier songs. They're more organic: there's nothing as synthesized or anything like that, it involves more real instruments."
Urie then discussed the writing process for the album: "It's been really different on this album concerning lyrics because we've all had a little hand in it. It's been great the way we worked with this record-all four of us would sit in a room together, in the place we wrote the first record, just talking about ideas. It's been more of a natural, less stressful environment and a really good experience for sure. We all wrote different songs and also had songs that the four of us wrote together."
Ross explained the album title to MTV News: "It just happened one night. We were working on a new song, and we weren't even talking about album titles, but it was just something I wrote down, and I brought it up to the guys. Like, 'Pretty. Odd.' And then they all liked it, and that was a couple of months ago, so we just kept it since then."
This is the first Panic At The Disco song where the title is part of the lyrics.
Ross explained to VH1 about the song title: "The title is this silly thing we came up with. There's really no significance, except for when we were writing the song that night no one knew what time it was and somebody said it was 9 in the afternoon."
Drummer Spencer Smith told Live Daily why they decided to enlist Rob Mathes to produce the album: "He arranged the strings for us when we did a cover of 'This is Halloween' when they re-released Nightmare before Christmas. That's where we met him. He normally gets hired to do orchestrations, different arrangements. He's done different things from, like, opera - Pavarotti - to I think he did string arrangement on one of the Jay-Z songs for that movie American Gangster. It's a pretty wide spectrum. But, at the same time, he grew up loving Led Zeppelin and Classic Rock. That's still kind of part of him and a part of music that he loves. He loves a classic Rock or Pop Rock band, whether they're The Beatles or anything. He's always wanted to work with a band in the similar style of George Martin with The Beatles: writing string arrangements and horn arrangements and different things that not a lot of people were doing. It was exactly what we were looking for, and it just kind of ended up being perfect."
HALLELUJAH by PANIC! AT THE DISCO
This gospel rocker is the first song released by Panic! At The Disco following the departure of drummer Spencer Smith. The track was influenced by mainman Brendon Urie's Mormon upbringing. He explained during an interview with Los Angeles radio station ALT 98.7: "I grew up in a religious family and, like, that was a very big part of my life, and still, very much, is even though I don't affiliate with any specific religion.
It's just, for me, you know, the spirituality of being able to own up to your sins, as they're called, and take responsibility for your actions really hit me this time around, and so that song really is about that, it's, you know, taking responsibility for things that you felt guilty for in the past and just owning it, because, now, that's a piece of you and you can't get rid of that history, so, that's really what it was.
But it was a chance to, kind of also, you know, there's a little tagline in there that I throw out to our fans, I like to call them 'my sinners', and I'm a fellow sinner, and so I think that's a little special little throw-out to them."
Brendon Urie posted the song alongside a note for his "fellow sinners," which sees the Panic! At The Disco frontman referencing the new stage in his life without his longtime bandmate, Spencer Smith. "As I begin what feels like a new chapter of my life, I'm filled with immense excitement and a fresh sense of hope," he wrote. "I've seen this band through every phase, every change, every hardship. And yet my appreciation and love grows with every breath."
This samples Chicago's 1969 hit "Questions 67 And 68."
The song is a celebration of unity between Panic! at the Disco and their fans. Brendon Urie explained to Radio.com: "In the last five years I've felt less resentful about where I came from, my roots in religion, in spirituality. I wanted to touch on that and make it a point to recognize our fans and just how much of my work, my job, is my religion. Touring is my religion. Music is all-encompassing - my religion. So, I wanted to celebrate that."
Brendon Urie commented to Genius: "'Hallelujah' is such a strong word. It meant nothing when I said it growing up in church. It is something that I learned through music instead of religion. I love both Jeff Buckley's and Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' songs, too. They are phenomenal."
This won Song Of The Year at the 2016 Alternative Press Music Awards.
THIS IS GOSPEL by PANIC! AT THE DISCO
Having written this song about some of his personal experiences, Panic! At The Disco frontman Brendon Urie was nervous about showing it to anybody. It lived for months on his laptop before he found the courage to share it with his bandmates.
The song contains some of Urie's favorite lyrics on Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!. He told American Songwriter magazine: "I like 'assembling philosophies from pieces of broken memories,' which I though was kind of a cool idea, where you only remember so much of your past, and then you build up who you are from those memories that you've created for yourself — but how true are they from what really happened and I just thought it was an interesting idea."
Brendon Urie said during a Reddit Q&A that "If you love me, let me go" from this song is his favorite line from Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! He added: "I started to cry when I was demoing the vocals. That was an incredibly honest moment for me."
The song was inspired by Urie's close friend and Panic! drummer Spencer Smith, who had been struggling with addiction. The singer told Billboard magazine: "I was really on edge and anxious about where the future of the band was going, the future of our friendship in general. With him and his health I was really scared of what was going to happen. When I wrote that song I was mad - mad at myself and mad at him. Like, 'Why can't I do something to fix this? What is wrong with me? What's wrong with you?'"
This started off as a melody Brendon Urie and his wife sang to their dog. Urie explained to Billboard magazine: "Before I had anything written to it yet, it was about little pet names for my dog. And I was like, 'I actually like this melody, it's been stuck in my head for a week, so I might as well try to make it a real idea.'"
CASUAL AFFAIR by PANIC! AT THE DISCO
Panic used to be renowned for their less-than-straightforward song titles like "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage" and "There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet." However on Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! the names of the songs are far less random. Vocalist Brendon Urie explained during a Reddit Q&A: "I forget some of the longer titles that have nothing to do with the song itself. So I concentrate on making titles that sound cool on their own and basing a song off of them."
The YouTube version of the song samples the quote "Looks innocent enough, doesn't it? But sometimes there are dangers involved that never meet the eye. No matter where you meet a stranger, be careful if they are too friendly." It is taken from the 1961 public domain anti-gay film Boys Beware. The clip does not feature on the album version of the song as Panic were unable to get the sample cleared.