Sunday, December 11, 2011
Not Fair - Lily Allen
ALL TIME GREATEST SINGLES - #989
(L. Allen) Parlophone 9641472
Chart Entry: 6th April, 2009
Highest Position: #3
From the album "It's Not Me, It's You".
With chickens, cows, and a banjo, Lily Allen set the Country music movement back forty years to a time when it was all about...err, the country. With "Not Fair", she could have easily continued the current "sexy" trend championed by Shania Twain and LeAnn Rimes, but an unflattering white jumpsuit ensured it was all about the music and not the image.
Lily Allen's second release from her Australian #1 album, It's Not Me, It's You, matched the #3 peak of her previous single, "The Fear", helping the album to an eventual 4xPlatinum accreditation. "Not Fair" would also give Lily her best placing to date on the famed JJJ Hottest 100, coming in at #8 on the 2009 list, quite possibly the highest position any "Country" song has reached.
Back to Lily's Country inspiration for "Not Fair", the video clip was introduced by Porter Wagner, using real footage from his 60's television series for a mock Porter Wagner Show performance. Porter was most famous for introducing the world to Dolly Parton, and collaborated on many albums with her, but for this show, it was time for a "purty little lady to come forth with a real purty song". There was no special effects in the clip, nothing special at all actually, just Miss Lily Allen and a farmyard of animals. The whole clip was even shot of video tape to ensure the authentic Porter Wagner experience.
"Not Fair" had an entirely different subject matter to the "innocence" of the video shoot and instrumentation. The song tells of how Lily's new found love is perfect in every way, but when it comes to the bedroom, therein lies the imperfection. His laziness and selfish nature truly shines and leaves poor Lily unsatisfied where it really counts.
In a similar but twisted vein to Carly Simon's "You're So Vain", Lily revealed in an interview that "Not Fair" was certainly about a specific person, but "the person in question is far too arrogant to even consider that it might be about him". She even went as far to play him the song and still the thought never crossed his mind. While that put Lily in a powerful position as a woman, it also hindered her ability to muster any interest in other men, fearing they would become the subject of a future Lily Allen single. In a later interview, Lily stated she regretted writing the song.
Regret or not, "Not Fair" spent an extra two months in the Australian Top 100 than "The Fear", making it her most successful single in this country. It also highlighted an emerging artist not afraid of blurring extreme genres to create something truly different, and more importantly, making it work. Let's make her welcome, indeed, Miss Lily Allen!
Chart Run: 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.54.59.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.95.97.86.--.18.104.22.168.81.78.92 (44 weeks)
(ARIA Top 100)