History Repeating (song)

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"History Repeating"
Single by Propellerheads featuring Shirley Bassey
from the album Decksandrumsandrockandroll
Released 1997
Recorded 1997
Length 4.03
Label Wall of Sound
Songwriter(s) Alex Gifford
Producer(s) Alex Gifford
Music video
"History Repeating" on YouTube

"History Repeating" is a song written by Alex Gifford and originally performed by the Propellerheads featuring Shirley Bassey in 1997. The single was a #1 hit on the UK Dance Chart, and was also Bassey's first top ten appearance on any US chart since 1973's "Never Never Never", making #10 on the US Dance Club Chart.[1]

Single release[edit]

The single was released shortly before the Propellerheads album Decksandrumsandrockandroll (their only album to date), released in 1998 by Wall of Sound in Europe and DreamWorks in the US and Japan. The Propellerheads had previously worked with the James Bond composer David Arnold on the Bond tribute album Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project, when they remixed the John Barry composition "On Her Majesty's Secret Service".

The track is a fusion of several different styles of big beat, breakbeat and jazz combined with the powerful vocals of Shirley Bassey. The sleeve cover, an illustration by Duke D. Jukes, takes its inspiration from classic album sleeve from the Capitol 1957 release Just One Of Those Things (album) by Nat King Cole.

The retro style was also continued with the video, filmed in monochrome, the opening of which is themed on a BBC TV jazz show called Jazz 1200 and clearly harks back to the serious music shows of the 1960s. Scenes from the video shoot were included in the Divas are Forever DVD.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
Australia (ARIA Charts) 55
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[5] 11
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[6] 67
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista) 16
France (SNEP) 71
Germany (Official German Charts) 65
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[7] 7
Italy (Hit Parade Italia) 8
Netherlands (Tipparade)[8] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100) 52
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 32
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[9] 24
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 19
UK Dance (Official Charts Company) 1
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 10

Track listing[edit]

European 2-track CD single
  1. "History Repeating" (Knee Length Mix) – 4:03
  2. "History Repeating" (Ankle Length Mix) – 5:49
UK 3-track maxi CD single
  1. "History Repeating" (Knee Length Mix) – 4:03
  2. "History Repeating" (Ankle Length Mix) – 5:49
  3. "History Repeating" (Hip Length Mix) – 4:14
UK 12" vinyl single [10]
  1. "History Repeating" (Ankle Length Mix) – 5:49
  2. "History Repeating" (Knee Length Mix) – 4:03
  3. "History Repeating" (Hip Length Mix) – 4:14

Track 1 only appears on side A


  • Shirley Bassey – vocals
  • Will White and Alex Gifford – all instruments

Cover versions[edit]

It has been covered by Matt Dusk on his album Back In Town (2006). Also this song has been covered by Ukrainian pop music singer Jamala in 2009. Carole Alston covered the song on her album For My Sisters in 2007. Caro Emerald covers this song in live shows.

In popular culture[edit]

A edit mix of the original is the theme or title music to the BBC's Later... with Jools Holland.

It featured on the original soundtrack of the film There's Something About Mary (1998), and served as the opening theme tune to the Channel 4 show So Graham Norton.

In 1999, Geri Halliwell released her debut album Schizophonic with the lead single Look at Me, which took creative influence from this song.[11]

In 2000, the song was used in a TV commercial for Jaguar automobiles.

In 2000, the song was used in the Daria episode "Psycho Therapy".

In 2004, the song was featured in a TV promo for Sex and the City.

In 2009, it was used in the movie It's Complicated starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin.

It was used in a Pantene Pro-V shampoo commercial.

In 2010, the song by Regine Velasquez for the opening of GMA's 60th Anniversary entitled GMA @ 60: The Heart of Television.

In 2011, the song featured in Series 3 of the Television series Being Human. (Episode 7: Though the Heavens Fall).

In 2011, Jamala released her debut album For Every Heart, Bonus Track - History Repeating.