Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Pieces of Me
|Pieces of Me|
|Single by Ashlee Simpson|
|Released||June 29, 2004 (U.S.) |
September 27, 2004 (U.K.)
|Length||7 min. 17 s. (U.S.) |
6 min. 52 s. (9863811)
11 min. 44 s. (9863812)
|Record label||Geffen Records|
|Launch.com (U.K.)||7 out of 10 stars||Oct. 1, 2004|
|Manchester Online||3 out of 5 stars||Sept. 17, 2004|
|Ashlee Simpson Chronology|
|"Pieces of Me"|
"Pieces of Me" is a Top 40 song by the American singer Ashlee Simpson that hit airwaves in the United States in mid-2004. The first single off Simpson's debut album, Autobiography, it is a blend of pop and rock with lyrics about finding comfort and happiness in a relationship with a new boyfriend.
About the song
The recording of "Pieces of Me" features in the fourth episode of the first season of Simpson's reality show, The Ashlee Simpson Show, and was inspired by Simpson's relationship with the musician Ryan Cabrera, a friend with whom she became romantically involved. (Somewhat ironically, the two were reported to have broken up in August 2004, while the song was still high on the charts because of their busy schedules. However, they are still sometimes seen together, and in the second season of The Ashlee Simpson Show, she confirms that they have resumed their relationship.) In one interview, Simpson, describing the song as a "full-throttle rocker", said: "it's a feel good song, it's easy to listen to and every time I perform it or listen to it or whatever, ... it just feels good." 
"Pieces of Me" was written by Ashlee Simpson, Kara DioGuardi, and the album's producer, John Shanks. Jeff Rothschild played drums on the track, Shanks played guitars and bass, and Simpson and DioGuardi did background vocals.
"Pieces of Me", the second track on Autobiography, began receiving widespread radio play in the U.S. in May 2004, well before the album's release on July 20. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, 97 stations added "Pieces of Me" to their play lists in the week ending on May 17, which it said was the strongest week for any single in 2004 at that point in the year.  The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 61 in June 2004  and peaked at number five on the Hot 100 in September 2004,  remaining in the top 50 on the Hot 100 chart until November 2004. It also reached number one on the Billboard Top 40 Tracks chart. The single was certified gold in October 2004  and platinum in January 2005. 
The U.S. CD single, released by Geffen Records on June 29, 2004, includes the album version of the song as well as an instrumental. On the cover, Simpson has dark hair, and the artwork is similar to that of the album Autobiography; an earlier, promotional version of the single shows a blonde Simpson with a yellow jacket. This promotional version includes only the original version of the song.
The single was released in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2004, on two CDs; the first includes a David Garcia & High Spies remix, and the second includes remixes, a medley of snippets of songs from Autobiography ("Shadow", "Autobiography", "La La", and "Better Off"), and the "Pieces of Me" music video. "Pieces of Me" debuted at number four on the UK Singles Chart for the week ending October 3. and remained in the the top 40 for seven weeks. 
Simpson has described her excitement when she first heard the song on the radio:
- "I was in L.A. and my sister heard me on the radio and was freaking out and called me so I turned on the radio in my apartment with my two best friends and started jumping around and freaking out."2
In Australia, "Pieces of Me" made its debut on the ARIA singles chart at number 14 , and peaked for two weeks at number 7 in September; it fell out of the top 40 in late November 2004. In New Zealand, the song debuted on the RIANZ top 40 singles chart at number 33 in September 2004 , peaked at 32, , and fell out of the top 40 in its fourth week.
In Germany, "Pieces of Me" reached number 26 on the singles chart,  and in Austria it debuted at number 43 and peaked at 15 in its sixth week.  In Switzerland, it debuted at number 17 and peaked at 11 in its third week, in October 2004.  In Italy, "Pieces of Me" peaked at 24 in October 2004, in its fourth week on the top 50 singles chart after debuting at 47;  after seven weeks, it fell out of the top 50. In Denmark, the song debuted at 5 and peaked at 4,  after which it fell off the chart; in Sweden, it reached a peak of number 31 on the singles chart,  while in Norway it stayed on the top 20 singles chart for 12 weeks, peaking at 3 in its fifth week.
IGN.com said of the song in its review of the album that it "lopes along to a feel good melancholic guitar strum while [Simpson] waxes like any lovelorn 19-year old would about the current love of their life."  Another review said that the "stringy" guitar riffs in "Pieces of Me" were "simple, yet effective", with the "catchy chorus bringing the song to life."  According to one review of the album, Simpson's singing on the track goes from "impassioned wail to innocent cooing ably."3 A U.K. review of the single called it "palatable" "as guitar-led lipstick confessionals go".  It has also been described as a "perfect choice" for the album's first single, having "a tempo between fast and slow, with hints of both throughout the song." 
"Pieces of Me" was the subject of episode four of her reality show, The Ashlee Simpson Show, and also was referred to in later episodes. The music video for the song, directed by Stefan Smith, features Simpson (wearing a white shirt emblazoned with the word "punk" and a pink dress) and her band in the studio interspersed with clips of reality TV footage. The video is fairly simplistic, and Simpson refers to the more elaborate video for her second single, "Shadow", as her first "real" video. A January 2005 television commercial for season two of The Ashlee Simpson Show depicted a store employee comically singing the song.
Simpson has frequently performed "Pieces of Me" live, including a number of notable television performances. She sang the song at Summer Music Mania on May 20, and it aired on FOX on June 1. The Tonight Show episode in which Simpson sang "Pieces of Me" (followed by a brief interview with Jay Leno) aired on May 24, 2004, and Simpson also sang the song on The Late Show with David Letterman on July 16. She performed "Pieces of Me" (after a brief interview with Charles Gibson) on Good Morning America on July 19, the day before her album was released in the U.S. On July 27, she sang it (after an interview) on Ryan Seacrest's talk show, On Air With Ryan Seacrest, and on August 8 she performed "Pieces of Me" on the Teen Choice Awards; the song also received the "Song of the Summer" award. On August 29, Simpson performed the song during the pre-show for the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards.
- U.S. release
- Pieces Of Me (album version) - 03:37
- Pieces Of Me (Instrumental) - 03:40
- U.K. catalog 9863811
- Pieces Of Me (Album Version) - 3:37
- Pieces Of Me (David Garcia & High Spies Remix Radio Edit) - 3:15
- U.K. catalog 9863812
- Pieces Of Me (Radio Edit #2) - 3:11
- Pieces Of Me (David Garcia & High Spies Remix Club Mix) - 7:09
- Pieces Of Me (29 Palms Remix Vocal Edit) - 4:04
- Shadow/Autobiography/La La/Better Off (Snippet Medley) - 5:20
- Pieces Of Me (Video - Performance only version/International Version)
Peak chart positions
|2004||United States||Billboard - Adult Contemporary||30|
|2004||United States||Billboard - Adult Top 40||4|
|2004||United States||The Billboard Hot 100 ||5|
|2004||United States||Billboard - Top 40 Mainstream||1|
|2004||United States||Top 40 Tracks||1|
|2004||United Kingdom||The UK Singles Chart ||4|
|2004||Norway||Top 20 Singles ||3|
|2004||Denmark||Top 20 Singles||4|
|2004||Switzerland||Top 100 Singles ||11|
|2004||Austria||Top 40 Singles||15|
|2004||Italy||Top 50 Singles  ||24|
|2004||Australia||ARIA - Top 50 Singles||7|
|2004||New Zealand||RIANZ - Top 40 Singles ||32|
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