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My Favourite Game

"My Favourite Game" is a pop rock song written by Peter Svensson and Nina Persson for The Cardigans' 1998 album Gran Turismo. The song is the album's eighth track, and was released as its first single.

The music appeared in the intro of Gran Turismo 2 and in the unreleased beta of Need for Speed: Carbon.

Songwriting, recording and production

"My Favourite Game" was written by guitarist Peter Svensson and lead singer Nina Persson during the recording sessions of the band's fourth studio album Gran Turismo between May and July 1998. The song, like the other songs from the album, was recorded in Tore Johansson's, then, newly developed Country Hell recording studio in Skurup, Sweden.

Before recording on the song commenced, Svennson presented the song to producer Tore Johansson by playing the track on acoustic guitar. Although the song was originally taking shape as a slow country/rock shuffle, similar in style to Neil Young's "Old Man". , the tempo was doubled upon request of Tore Johansson. It was soon after changing the musical direction of the song when the song's distinctive guitar hook evolved.

Both the drum and guitar parts were recorded in a "70's style dry room" while the vocals were recorded in the attic of the studio.

Even though the drums were recorded using analogue tape compression, the rest of the song's production, including the "fat fuzzy bass line" and the coda, was completed using Pro Tools 24.

Structure and lyrics

"My Favourite Game" is a pop rock song composed in the key of C Minor. It is written in common time and moves at 143 beats per minute. The song is not written in standard verse-chorus form and its instrumentation includes guitar, bass and organ.

Persson coos to a spurned lover, "You're losing a saviour and a saint", while the song is driven by its two-note guitar riff which is the basis of the "electro-rock powerhouse". Its verses are significantly faster than the slow, bass-heavy chorus where the drums run at half-time.

Chart performance

In the United States, "My Favourite Game" was the most commercially successful single from Gran Turismo. Peaking at number sixteen, it became the album's only single to enter the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks. In Sweden, it debuted at number twenty-one on the Swedish Top 100 Singles Chart and peaked at number three in November 1998. It spent at total of eighteen weeks in the chart. In the United Kingdom, it debuted and peaked at number fourteen on the singles chart.

Music video

The music video for "My Favourite Game" was directed by Jonas Åkerlund. It was filmed over a three-day shoot in the Mojave Desert near Barstow, California at a reported cost of £220,000.

The video opens with a scene of lead singer Nina Persson, at the side of a desert road, trying to find a suitable rock. Meanwhile the radio DJ, who is heard from the car radio, warns drivers that desert temperatures are very hot that day so they must remember to drive safely. When Persson finds a rock, she walks over to her car, places it on the accelerator to keep the pedal down and drives off as the song begins. During the video, she weaves back and forth onto the wrong side of the road, forcing many other drivers off the road and causing some to crash in the process. At one point in the video, she throws the Felix the Cat stuffed toy out of the car which was then run over by another car. In some versions of the video, the Felix the Cat doll is blurred out, perhaps due to copyright infringement. At various stages of the video, she is also depicted using her feet to steer the steering wheel. There is a large and colorful tattoo on Persson's arm that was added for the video, and you can see the wet ink rub off on the red seats of the car. She also drives at pedestrians causing them to jump out of the way while driving through a small town. At the beginning of the last chorus, she turns the car around and drives back down the road where she caused so much destruction. Towards the end of the song, she stands up in the car seat, keeping the car in control with her foot on the steering wheel. She travels in the direction of an oncoming van, containing the other members of The Cardigans, with drummer Bengt Lagerberg as the driver. She stretches out her arms a few seconds, to the other member's horror, before the two vehicles collide.

There are four different outcomes of the car crash at the end of the uncensored video. In ending one, Persson body goes flying into the air and over the van roof where she is then depicted as being dead on the road. In ending two, she also flies over the van roof, except she tries to pick herself off the ground but is knocked out by the rock that was used to keep the car pedal down. In ending three, Persson is depicted being decapitacted by the top of her car windscreen and a mannequin head, is seen in the next shot, rolling along the road. In ending four, she also flies over the van roof except she manages to pick herself up from the ground and walks away from the accident.

The music video caused much controversy when it was first released. Many European channels, including MTV UK, only played an edited version of the video where all of the car crashes and reckless driving depictions where taken out despite director Jonas Åkerlund's attempts to meet the censorship standards by making six differently edited cuts of the video with varying degrees of violence and blood. The reason MTV UK rejected the video was because of fears that the video could encourage joyriding and cause car accidents amongst teenage drivers. But, in the U.S., the music channels were noticeably less restrictive as many of them either played the completely uncensored version of the video or a slightly censored version with only a few of the car crashes removed.

Despite the controversy, the music video managed to debut at number twenty-nine on MuchMusic's Countdown in October 1998 and peaked at number twenty-three on November 27. Also, the video has appeared on many "Greatest Music Video" lists including ranking at 68 in Slant Magazine's "100 Greatest Music Videos" sharing the position with U.N.K.L.E's "Rabbit in Your Headlights, and ranking 95 in Channel 4's "100 Greatest Pop Videos".

Formats and track listings

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "My Favourite Game".

  • CD single, Pt. 1
  • "My Favourite Game" - 3:36
  • "War" (First try) - 4:07
  • "Sick & Tired"(live) - 3:24
  • CD single, Pt. 2
  • "My Favourite Game" - 3:36
  • "My Favourite Game"(Wubbledub mix) -
  • "Lovefool"(live) -
  • CD maxi single
  • "My Favourite Game" - 3:36
  • "War (First try)" - 4:07
  • "War" - 3:56

Credits and personnel

  • Engineer: Tore Johansson, Peter Collins, John Holbrook, Janne Waldenmark
  • Assistant engineer: Lars Göransson, Jim Caruana
  • Recording engineer: Tore Johansson
  • Audio mixing: Tore Johansson
  • Mixing assistant: Jim Caruana
  • Mastering by: Roger Jonsson


Chart Peak position
Belgian Singles Chart 44
Canadian Singles Chart 19
Dutch Mega Singles Top 100 15
France 27
New Zealand 36
Swedish Top 100 Singles 3
Tokio Hot 100 3
UK Top 75 Singles 14
United World Chart 10


External links

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