Androgyny (song)

"Androgyny" is a song by Garbage, the first single from their third album, ''Beautiful Garbage, released worldwide in September 2001.

The song, which was a dramatic change in sound for Garbage, was the lead-in promotional single for the band's third record. The single was untimely released in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, and like many singles at that time was not able to be promoted. This, coupled with negative fan reaction and poor reviews from the likes of the NME and Allmusic led the single to promptly sink in many countries, including the UK and US. The resulting low sales and lack of airplay severely crippled the performance of the beautifulgarbage record.

Song profile

“Androgyny” was written and recorded at Smart Studios during the early 2001 sessions for beautifulgarbage.

The song is actually a hybrid of three other songs recorded during the sessions. None of those early songs seemed to be going really well, until the band mashed them all up and by surprise, it worked.

Starting out on a stop-start R'n'B riff, dirty bass and trip hop percussion, the song was a shock to the ears for many Garbage fans. However, the chorus arrives with the guitar-led sassiness of old-school Garbage songs still in abundance.

Single release

“Androgyny” was treated to single release in late September 2001. It was backed with the exclusive track “Begging Bone” and a collection of remixes of the song.

While not being a massive success in major markets, the song reached the #1 spot in Mexico, then Greece upon release, as well as the top tens of many South American and smaller European countries. It is also the second-highest charting Garbage single in New Zealand (after Push It).



  1. “Androgyny”
  2. “Begging Bone”
  3. “Androgyny” (Felix Da Housecat Thee Glitz Mix)


  1. “Androgyny”
  2. “Androgyny” (The Neptunes Remix)
  3. “Androgyny” (The Architechs Remix)

UK 12" vinyl

  1. “Androgyny” (Felix Da Housecat Thee Glitz Mix)
  2. “Androgyny” (The Architechs Remix)


  1. “Androgyny”
  2. “Androgyny” (Felix Da Housecat Thee Glitz Mix)
  3. “Androgyny” (The Architechs Remix)
  4. “Androgyny” (Felix Da Housecat Thee Drum Drum Mix)

Music video

The promotional video for “Androgyny” was shot in London in late August 2001 and was directed by Donald Cameron for Tsunami Productions. The video featured Shirley and the boys mingling with various androgynous twenty-somethings in a posh toilet room.


Remixes for this song were completed by US producer superstars The Neptunes, UK garage act The Architechs and Chicago house DJ Felix Da Housecat.

Many fan remixes of this song exist due to an online contest run on Garbage's home page where fans could remix the song utilising Acid Pro software.

Live performances

“Androgyny” was first performed live at Garbage's one-off in-store concert at Chicago's Virgin Megastore on 2nd October 2001. The song was played on most beautifulgarbage tour dates. The song has not been played so far on Bleed Like Me tour dates.

“Androgyny” has been performed live on TV shows , Popworld, Pepsi Chart Show, Top Of The Pops (UK), Rove (OZ), and on The Late Show with David Letterman (US).


“Androgyny” was used for the 'beautifulgarbage' TV advertisements.

“Androgyny” came in at #44 in the 2001Triple J Hottest 100.

“Androgyny” was not included in the 2007 greatest hits compilation

“Androgyny” quotes

Shirley Manson: “It's like a weird cross breed of a song... picture little Shirley Ann and the ladyboys meeting up with The Artist Formerly Known as Prince and Noel Coward in a Florida whorehouse whilst TLC plays on the jukebox and you just might be able to imagine what the song sounds like.”

Butch Vig: “We like to say it's our third sex manifesto, but I think it's all about shagging.”

Comprehensive charts

Year Single Chart Position
2001 “Androgyny” Mexican Singles Chart #1
2001 “Androgyny” Greek Singles Chart #1
2001 “Androgyny” Hong Kong singles chart #5
2001 “Androgyny” New Zealand Singles Chart #11
2001 “Androgyny” Canadian Singles Chart #19
2001 “Androgyny” Australian Singles Chart #21
2001 “Androgyny” Japanese Singles Chart #22
2001 “Androgyny” UK Singles Chart #24
2001 “Androgyny” Italian Singles Chart #46
2001 “Androgyny” Swedish Singles Chart #54
2001 “Androgyny” German Singles Chart #93


External links

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