The Bitter End (song)

"The Bitter End" is a single by alternative rock band Placebo. Released in March 2003, it was lifted from their album Sleeping with Ghosts.

Critical response

Critics generally praised the single upon its release. Reviewing Sleeping with Ghosts,'s rock/indie reviewer Dan Tallis described "The Bitter End" as "a good pop tune", having "just the right amount of dark, gothic atmosphere to please their fans and enough radio friendly guitars to please the new generation of indie kids." The Times thought the song "ramped up the energy level to devastating effect.

Rock Sound reasoned that the track's "kick ass romp" reinforces "their status as purveyors of pure indie pop in the vein of The Smiths." However, NME saw differing influences woven in the track, reporting that "The Bitter End" "sees Placebo powering along with a relentless U2- chasing-after-The Cure melody that's as infectious as 24.

Summarising Placebo's 2004 singles collection, Once More with Feeling,'s Nottingham music reviewer Jaime Gill stated that "each song stems from a songwriter so instinctive and precise that when he writes a song called "The Bitter End", that's exactly what it sounds like.

Music video

The music video sees the band playing in the dish of the Lovell Telescope, one of the largest radio telescopes. Halfway through the video, it displays an infra-red image of a couple chasing after each other. They eventually catch each other up and kiss against a wall. Near the end of the video, the band is rained upon. It was filmed in close to Stockport in Cheshire, England.

Track listing


  1. "The Bitter End"
  2. "Daddy Cool"
  3. "Teenage Angst" (piano version)
  4. "The Bitter End" (video)


  1. "The Bitter End"
  2. "Evalia"
  3. "Drink You Pretty"

7 inch

  1. "The Bitter End"
  2. "Daddy Cool"


"The Bitter End" was released on 10th March 2003 via Elevator Music / Hut Records, the first single to be culled from Placebo's fourth album Sleeping with Ghosts. Two CD singles offering differing B-sides were issued, as well as a single in 7" vinyl format. Later, "The Bitter End" saw inclusion on the November 2004 compilation Once More with Feeling: The Singles.

Format Track number
1 2 3 4
The Bitter End
CD1 single (UK, Elevator Music) B D T BV
CD2 single (UK, Elevator Music) B E DP
7" single (UK, Elevator Music) B D


  • B - "The Bitter End"
  • D - "Daddy Cool"
  • T - "Teenage Angst (piano version)"
  • BV - "The Bitter End video"
  • E - "Evalia"
  • DP - "Drink You Pretty"


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