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Cannonball
Song

Cannonball

The Breeders
Album:
Last Splash

Meaning of the song Cannonball by The Breeders


Informed by a fax communication by her previous band in 1993, The Pixies that her services in the group were no longer required, so Kim Deal immediately called up her twin sister, Kelley, to be her new guitarist in her new group, even though she did not know how to even play the guitar and had the last laugh when this song became a hit on MTV.


“When people were talking about the Breeders being a one-off,” Kelley told Rolling Stone, “I was like ‘No, actually … the Pixies are a side project.'” A little over a year later, the Breeders were on an extended break of their own.


"Cannonball" is a song by American alternative rock band the Breeders from their second studio album, Last Splash in 1993. It was released as a single in August of that year, reaching No. 44 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 40 on the UK Singles Chart. It was released in France where it charted for 30 weeks, peaking at No. 8.


The song demo was originally called "Grunggae" as it merged "island riffs and grunge"

The rhythm of the introduction is structured from metallic clicking on a snare rim and cymbal stand, which is tapped out by drummer Jim McPherson. The loud, distorted voice of Kim Deal at the beginning of the song was achieved by singing closely into a harmonica microphone, which can also be seen in most live performances.


"Cannonball" is an alternative rock, pop rock, indie pop and grunge song that lasts for a duration of three minute and thirty-six seconds, featuring a balance of quirky pop hooks and surging power which support playful, goofball lyrics.


The song opens with the distorted voice of singer-songwriter Kim Deal testing a microphone by intoning "Check, check, one, two" against hissing feedback and over similar distorted vocal harmonizing.

The track's drum rhythm and trademark bubbling bass line signal the start of the song. A slithering guitar lick skips the above its rhythm section before being overtaken by the high, squealing feedback of crunching guitar.


It is nearly a full minute into the song before the introduction of its vocal melody, with Deal slyly cooing humorous lyrics. The band pulls to a brief halt for Deal to proclaim the parent album's title: "I'm the last splash".


During the verses, Kim Deal recites repetitive lines with a seductive shyness. They unleash layers of guitar distortion alongside Deal's distorted, transmitted vocals shouting: "Hey now, hey now/I want you Koo Koo, Cannonball".


Its musical arrangement features stuttering, start-and-stop transitions before evening out into an infectious, melodic hook layered with sweet vocal harmonies, with Deal and the band repeating the line: "In the shade/In the shade. "Cannonball" employs a false ending, pausing for a whole measure and then crashing into its chorus and shifting in another full verse and chorus before coming to an abrupt halt.

As the lead single from their second album, "Cannonball" went on to become the Breeders' biggest commercial success. NME and Melody Maker annual year-end critics' poll all named it the best single of 1993, which helped propel the album Last Splash to platinum status.


In May 2007, NME placed "Cannonball" at No. 22 in its list of the "50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever". It ranked No. 83 on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the 90s". In September 2010, Pitchfork Media included the song at No. 22 on their "Top 200 Tracks of the 90s". In September 2021, "Cannonball" was ranked at No. 489 on the updated list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.


Lyrics of the song Cannonball by The Breeders


(Check check check

One, two

One, two)

 

Spitting in a wishing well

Blown to hell

Crash

On the last splash

 

I know you, little libertine

I know you're a real koo koo

 

(Hey now)

 

Want you

Koo koo

Cannonball

Want you

Koo koo

Cannonball

(Hey now)

In the shade

In the shade

(Hey now)

In the shade

In the shade

 

I know you, little libertine

I know you're a cannonball

I'll be your whatever you want

The bong in this reggae song

 

(Hey now)

In the shade

(Hey now)

In the shade

 

Want you

Koo koo

Cannonball

Want you

Koo koo

Cannonball

 

Spitting in a wishing well

Blown to hell

Crash

I'm the last splash

 

I'll be your whatever you want

The bong in this reggae song

(Hey

Hey now)

 

Want you

Koo koo

Cannonball

Want you

Koo koo

Cannonball

(Hey now)

In the shade

In the shade

(Hey now)

In the shade

In the shade.

Release Date

1993

Songwriter/s

Kim Deal

Producer/s

Kim Deal, Mark Freegard

Label/s

4AD, Elektra

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