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Here Lies Love

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Title: Here Lies Love  
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Subject: Tori Amos, Norman Cook, David Byrne, Kate Pierson, Imelda Marcos, Nellie McKay, Sia Furler, Nonesuch Records, The Church of Satan (book), Camille (singer)
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Here Lies Love

Here Lies Love
Fatboy Slim
Released April 6, 2010
Recorded 2008–2009 at South Hell Studios, New York City, New York, United States
Genre Alternative dance, disco, big beat, art rock
Length 90:06
Language English
Label Todomundo/Nonesuch
Producer David Byrne, Fatboy Slim, Cagedbaby, Patrick Dillett and Los Amigos Invisibles
David Byrne chronology
Everything That Happens Will Happen on This Tour – David Byrne on Tour: Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno
Here Lies Love
Live at Carnegie Hall
(with Caetano Veloso)
Fatboy Slim chronology
Here Lies Love
It's As Working
Singles from Here Lies Love
  1. "Please Don't"
    Released: January 19, 2010

Here Lies Love is a concept album made in collaboration between David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, about the life of the former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos along with the woman who raised her—Estrella Cumpas—and follows Marcos until she and her family were forced to leave the Philippines.[1] The album features 22 guest vocalists and was released on April 6, 2010, under Nonesuch Records and Todomundo in several formats, including a deluxe double-Compact Disc set with a DVD of music videos from the album and a 120-page book. The album was adapted as a rock musical for a 2013 premiere at The Public Theater.[2]


The title of the album is taken from a comment made by Imelda Marcos during a visit to her husband Ferdinand Marcos's embalmed body. Imelda Marcos expressed that she would like the phrase "Here Lies Love" to be inscribed on her tombstone.

David Byrne released the following statement regarding this album:

“The story I am interested in is about asking what drives a powerful person—what makes them tick? How do they make and then remake themselves? I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if—as this piece would be principally composed of clubby dance music—one could experience it in a club setting? Could one bring a ‘story’ and a kind of theater to the disco? Was that possible? If so, wouldn’t that be amazing!”

Recording and release

The album features mostly guest female singers, including Florence Welch, Allison Moorer, Nellie McKay, Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos, Martha Wainwright, Natalie Merchant, Sia Furler, Santigold, Charmaine Clamor, Nicole Atkins, and Kate Pierson among many others, alternately playing the roles of Imelda Marcos and Estrella Cumpas.

Byrne described Cyndi Lauper's performance on the album as "amazingly fine-tuned" and "very impressive." The only male vocalists are Steve Earle on "A Perfect Hand", and Byrne himself on "American Troglodyte" and "Seven Years", the latter being a duet with Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond.[3]

The first promotional single from Here Lies Love is "Please Don't" featuring Santigold on vocals. The single became available on Byrne's website as a free high-quality MP3 download on January 19, 2010.

Live performances

Here Lies Love
A promotional poster of the performers from the album, illustrated by Scott Menchin
Music David Byrne with Norman Cook
Lyrics David Byrne
Productions Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts (2006), Carnegie Hall Perspectives Series (2007), The Public Theater (2013)

Here Lies Love was performed live four times before the album was released. It was first presented as a song cycle at the Adelaide Festival of Arts in Adelaide, Australia, on March 10, 2006 with additional dates on March 13 and March 14, and was also performed live at the Carnegie Hall in New York City on February 3, 2007, as part of the Carnegie Hall Perspectives Series.[4]

On April 9, 2012, it was announced that the album will be adapted into a musical directed by Alex Timbers that is scheduled to premiere at The Public Theater in New York City in 2013.[5]

Scene structure

  1. "Here Lies Love"
Act I
Flashback – Early Days
  1. "Every Drop of Rain"
  2. "You'll Be Taken Care Of"
  3. "The Rose of Tacloban"
  4. "How Are You?"
  5. "A Perfect Hand"
  6. "Eleven Days"
Act II
The Climb to Power
  1. "Walk Like a Woman"
  2. "Don't You Agree?"
  3. "Ladies in Blue"
  4. "When She Passed By"
  5. "A Pretty Face"
  6. "A Whole Man"
  7. "American Troglodyte"
  8. "Dancing Together"
The Turning Point
  1. "Men Will Do Anything"
  2. "Never So Big"
  3. "Please Don't"
Act IV
The Fall
  1. "Solano Avenue"
  2. "Seven Years"
  3. "Order 1081"
  4. "Why Don't You Love Me?"
  5. "Here Lies Love" (Reprise)

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[6]
The A.V. Club B+[7]
BBC mixed[8]
Mojo 2/5 stars[9]
NME 8/10 stars[10]
One Thirty BPM 53%[11]
Pitchfork Media 5.0/10[12]
Q 4/5 stars[13]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[14]
Daily Telegraph 4/5 stars[15]
The Times 4/5 stars[16]

The album has received mixed and positive reviews.

Track listing

Disc one
  1. "Here Lies Love" (David Byrne and Norman Cook) – 5:52
  2. "Every Drop Of Rain" (David Byrne and Norman Cook) – 5:34
  3. "You'll Be Taken Care Of" (David Byrne) – 3:20
  4. "The Rose of Tacloban" (David Byrne) – 2:33
  5. "How Are You?" (David Byrne and Norman Cook) – 2:43
  6. "A Perfect Hand" (David Byrne) – 4:58
  7. "Eleven Days" (David Byrne and Norman Cook) – 2:44
  8. "When She Passed By" (David Byrne and Tom Gandey) – 3:50
  9. "Walk Like a Woman" (David Byrne) – 3:59
  10. "Don't You Agree?" (David Byrne and Norman Cook) – 3:20
  11. "Pretty Face" (David Byrne) – 3:23
  12. "Ladies in Blue" (David Byrne) – 4:21
Disc two
  1. "Dancing Together" (David Byrne and Norman Cook) – 3:53
  2. "Men Will Do Anything" (David Byrne and Norman Cook) – 4:06
  3. "The Whole Man" (David Byrne) – 4:15
  4. "Never So Big" (David Byrne and Norman Cook) – 4:00
  5. "Please Don't" (David Byrne) – 3:59
  6. "American Troglodyte" (David Byrne, Norman Cook, and José Luis "Cheo" Pardo) – 4:07
  7. "Solano Avenue" (David Byrne and Norman Cook) – 3:56
  8. "Order 1081" (David Byrne) – 5:47
  9. "Seven Years" (David Byrne) – 5:40
  10. "Why Don't You Love Me?" (David Byrne and Tom Gandey) – 3:58
DVD videos
  1. "Eleven Days" – 2:20
  2. "When She Passed By" – 3:30
  3. "Don't You Agree?" – 2:51
  4. "Dancing Together" – 3:24
  5. "Please Don't" – 4:00
  6. "Order 1081" – 4:28


  • Tori Amos – vocals on "You'll Be Taken Care Of" (as Imelda Marcos' mother Remedios Trinidad y de Guzman Romualdez) and "Why Don't You Love Me?" (as Estrella Cumpas)
  • Theresa Andersson – vocals on "Ladies in Blue"
  • Nicole Atkins – vocals on "Solano Avenue" (as Estrella Cumpas)
  • David Byrne – composition, instrumentation, and vocals on "American Troglodyte" and "Seven Years" (the latter song as Benigno Aquino, Jr.)
  • Camille – vocals on "Pretty Face" (as Imelda Marcos)
  • Charmaine Clamor – vocals on "Walk Like a Woman" (as Imelda Marcos)
  • Steve Earle – vocals on "A Perfect Hand" (as Ferdinand Marcos)
  • Fatboy Slim – composition and instrumentation
  • Sia – vocals on "Never So Big" (as Estrella Cumpas)
  • Cyndi Lauper – vocals on "Eleven Days" and "Why Don't You Love Me?" (as Imelda Marcos)
  • Nellie McKay – vocals on "How Are You?" (as Estrella Cumpas)
  • Allison Moorer – vocals on "When She Passed By" (as Estrella Cumpas)
  • Sharon Jones – vocals on "Dancing Together" (as Imelda Marcos)
  • Natalie Merchant – vocals on "Order 1081" (as Imelda Marcos)
  • Róisín Murphy – vocals on "Don't You Agree?" (as Imelda Marcos)
  • Candie Payne – vocals on "Every Drop of Rain"(as Estrella Cumpas)
  • Kate Pierson – vocals on "The Whole Man" (as Imelda Marcos)
  • Alice Russell – vocals on "Men Will Do Anything" (as Imelda Marcos)
  • St. Vincent – vocals on "Every Drop of Rain" (as Imelda Marcos)
  • Santigold – vocals on "Please Don't" (as Imelda Marcos)
  • Martha Wainwright – vocals on "The Rose of Tacloban" (as Imelda Marcos)
  • Florence Welch – vocals on "Here Lies Love" (as Imelda Marcos)
  • Shara Worden – vocals on "Seven Years" (as Imelda Marcos)

See also


External links

  • AllMusic
  • Discogs (list of releases)
  • Metacritic
  • at MusicBrainz (list of releases)
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