On This Day in Pink History… 4th April 2006, I’m Not Dead was released
I’m Not Dead was Pink’s fourth studio album. It was released on 4th April 2006 in the United States, to coincide the same release date of Pink’s first album, Can’t Take Me Home.
Originally title Long Way To Happy, it was scheduled for release in September 2005, however the album was delayed and its title changed to I’m Not Dead in order to match the comeback nature of the album, and its heavy tone in terms of lyrical content, strong language and edgy sound. I’m Not Dead is majorly a pop rock album, but includes country, alternative rock and R&B influences.
The release of I’m Not Dead was preceded by its controversial lead single, “Stupid Girls”, a top 20 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 the video of which earned Pink an MTV Video Music Award. The album’s second and third singles, “Who Knew” and “U + Ur Hand”, reached the top ten and revived the album’s sales fortunes in the U.S., leading to a platinum certification from the RIAA for sales of one million. The two songs are also Pink’s first two singles to achieve Platinum certifications. Subsequent regional singles include “Nobody Knows”, “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)” and “Dear Mr. President”. A Platinum Edition of the album was issued with bonus tracks, remixes and a DVD.
Pink said she titled the album I’m Not Dead because “It’s about being alive and feisty and not sitting down and shutting up even though people would like you to.” She said it came from “the awakening” and how “it felt good to feel again … I turned twenty-five and I just kind of woke up and realized I have so much to learn, whereas before I thought I knew everything. That’s definitely a huge part of that title.” According to Pink, she did not expect to be very emotionally involved in the making of the album because the experience of making her last, Try This (2003), was “draining”, but that she was “forced to be almost emotionally involved” by her collaborators, such as Billy Mann. “I guess I was just kind of at that place where I felt like I kind of had something to add to the world”, she said. “I feel like there’s a hole and I know how to fill it, people aren’t talking trash anymore. I was just feeling really creative and really emotionally available again, and it came out great.” According to her, she wrote more than forty songs for the album on “everything I could possibly think of.” On December 4, 2007, an edition of the album titled I’m Not Dead: Platinum Edition was released.
Pink was inspired to write opening track “Stupid Girls”, in which she deplores the lack of good role models for young girls while encouraging them to cultivate independence, after she noticed many such girls aspire to be like female pop icons, particularly those near her Los Angeles home. “There’s a certain thing the world is being fed, and my point is there should be a choice”, Pink said. She stated that “Who Knew” is about “the death of friendship”, as well as friends of hers who died as a result of drug overdoses. The song is about several people. The third song, “Long Way to Happy”, is based on a poem about sexual abuse Pink wrote when she was thirteen years old. “I know a lot of people that have been abused and/or molested and/or fucked over by someone close to them. And I’m no exception. And that’s that song”, she said. The ballad “Nobody Knows” describes feelings that one can have but not show to the outside world, and Pink has named it the most vulnerable track on the album. “Dear Mr. President” is an open letter to then president of the United States, George W. Bush; the song’s format is a series of rhetorical questions for the President, specifically pertaining to how he really feels about issues such as war, homosexuality, homelessness and drug abuse.
According to Pink, the sixth and title track, “I’m Not Dead”, is her first “subtle” and “poetic” self-written song: “Usually it’s very much more cartoon-y and blunt, the way I write songs. I don’t really know diplomacy or subtlety.” The song was inspired by how Pink and producer Billy Mann felt about the end of their working relationship: “We were scared to move on from each other, after seeing how much that little bit of time together changed us, and how scary change is.” In “‘Cuz I Can”, Pink says she plays by her own rules boasts about her “bling”, a contrast to the anti-consumerist content of “Stupid Girls”. Referring to the song, she called herself “a walking contradiction” and “a hypocrite sometimes.” This theme is echoed in “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)”, which deals with contradictory feelings about a relationship; Pink said “That’s how I live my life. I’m a walking conflict.” She called the song “a funny take on ‘I love you’ … I get really cramped … But, every girl needs her space”. “U + Ur Hand”, the ninth track, is a kiss-off song addressed to a man who is trying to seduce Pink; it became a fan favorite before the release of the album, when it was leaked to the internet. Pink said of song such as “Runaway” that “It’s been especially hard for [my parents] hearing me write about things they never knew about … My mom’s like, ‘Were you really that angry? Was I really that in denial? Was I really that bad a parent?’ ‘No, Mom – you were great. You didn’t try to run me over with your car. I made it up.’ But by writing all of it down and sharing it with the world, I’ve broken with most of it.” “The One That Got Away” is, as Pink puts it, “the classic ‘Is this the one? Or is the grass really greener?'” Pink described track thirteen, “Conversations with My 13 Year Old Self”, as a “huge therapy session” that addresses her “pissed-off, complicated” younger self. She said of writing the song, “I needed a hug, and I get it … now. If I tried to hug my 13-year-old self, she’d try to kick my ass, and then she’d collapse and cry.” “Fingers” is about her videotaping herself masturbating. She said she probably didn’t need to add to the number of songs about masturbation, but she couldn’t help herself. The final song on the album, the hidden track “I Have Seen the Rain” was written by and features Pink’s father, James T. Moore. He wrote it when he was a soldier in the Vietnam War, but according to Pink “it’s still relevant today. It’s a soldier’s cry.” She had always wanted to record it with him and learnt to harmonize with it. She said of its recording, “He was so nervous, it was the most adorable experience for a father and daughter to share.”
The album sold 126,000 copies in its first week in the U.S. and debuted at number six, a higher debut position than those of Pink’s last two albums, Missundaztood (2001) and Try This (2003); however, first-week sales for I’m Not Dead were lower. I’m Not Dead spent a total of 88 non-consecutive weeks on the chart, its last being in December 2009. I’m Not Dead debuted at number three in the United Kingdom selling 39,892 copies and was the ninth best-selling album of 2006 in the UK, with over 848,000 copies sold in the year. In October 2007, it re-entered the UK top 100 album chart at 99.
In Australia, after 26 weeks of release, I’m Not Dead ascended to number one to become Pink’s first number-one album; it returned to number one in its 61st week on the Australian ARIA chart. The album spent a record 62 consecutive weeks in the top ten. Pink’s most successful album in Australia, it was the second best selling album of both 2006 and 2007, and the number-one selling album by an American or a female artist in each year. It also became one of two Pink albums on the ARIA Chart’s top 100 selling albums of the 2000 to 2009 decade, positioned at number 3 behind her 11x Platinum album Funhouse. In Canada, the album debuted at number two with 13,000 copies sold in its first week, and the CRIA certified it platinum for shipments of more than 100,000 copies. In Germany, it became Pink’s first number-one album.
Click on the image above for track listing, lyrics, album information and Pink’s Thank You note.