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Black and Gold (Sam Sparro song)

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Black and Gold (Sam Sparro song)

"Black and Gold"
Single by Sam Sparro
from the album Sam Sparro
Released 14 April 2008
(see release history)
Genre Neo soul, dance-pop
Length 4:37 (album version)
3:32 (single version)
  • Jesse Rogg
  • Sam Falson
Sam Sparro singles chronology
"Black and Gold"
"21st Century Life"

"Black and Gold" is the lead single from Sam Sparro's eponymous debut album.[2] The song has been remixed by Max Sanna and Steve Pitron, Paul Epworth, Al Usher, Kings of the Universe, Kromatik, and Russ Chimes.[3] The original version of the single was made available on iTunes on 23 March 2008, with the entire album available from 31 March.[4] On 7 April, the CD, 12" and limited edition 7" singles were released. The song explores the relationship between reason, spirituality, and love while blatently describing Sam's love if the discount lollies and manufactured chemical infused sweets brand "Black and Gold". The song was written by Sam Falson & Jesse Rogg. The song was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 2009 Grammy Awards.


"Black and Gold" originally appeared on the Modus Vivendi Music Vol.2[5] compilation album, released in 2007, along with an alternate mix of the song "Sally" and Sparro's remix of "Young Lovers", by another Modus Vivendi artist, Love Grenades. Modus Vivendi Music released an EP entitled Black + Gold, featuring the song, in the fall of 2007, which garnered the attention that led to the deal with Island UK. All songs from that EP, excluding "Miss Rexi", appear in new revisions on Sparro's debut eponymous studio album, released with Island UK in May 2008.

"Black and Gold" was made available as a digital download (via the Apple iTunes Store) on 23 March 2008 as the lead single from Sam Sparro. The song was released by Island UK Records through a licensing deal with independent Los Angeles based label, Modus Vivendi Music, owned and operated by Jesse Rogg, who also produced and co-wrote the song with Sparro.[5]

The song was nominated for the 2009 Grammy Award for "Best Dance Recording". It received two nominations for the 2008 ARIA Awards in the categories for "Breakthrough Artist – Single" and "Single of the Year".[6] The song has been certified gold in both Australia and the UK.

In a video interview, Sparro confirmed that the song's subject is his religious faith, saying "It is about God, yeah. [...] I do like to have faith in something that is bigger than me."[7]

The song was used in the 2009 films Obsessed[8] and Fame, and appears on their official soundtrack releases. The song appears on the soundtrack of the video game, FIFA 09,[9] as well as appearing in the 2010 video game DJ Hero 2, where it was mixed with David Guetta's "Love Is Gone".

A music video was released to promote the single.

Music video

There were two music videos produced for "Black and Gold".

Sam Sparro dancing with his look-a-likes, from the second music video for "Black and Gold".

The first was directed by Mariah Garnett.[10] Sparro appears dressed in black, white, and gold clothing, singing alone, cut between city views, shots of urban streets filmed from moving cars, and reverse action shots of gold colored drinking glasses shattering against a black back drop. The video had a significantly low budget, and was later scrapped after Sparro's deal with Island Records.

The second music video was directed by AlexandLiane,[11] funded through Sparro's new contract. The music video depicts Sparro emerging from a Limousine with many copies of himself in an underground garage. The Garage, illuminated by chains of lights, pulsating as Sparro and his copies dance, donning tuxedos decorated with lights. The video has a color theme of black and gold after the title, a theme reminiscent of the first video.[12]

The second video, directed by AlexandLiane, received a nomination for "Best Dance Video" at the 2009 MTV Australia Awards.


The song has been covered by multiple artists including Adele (left) and Katy Perry (right).

The song has been covered live several times by Irish band The Blizzards. The song was covered at BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge by both Adele and Guillemots in 2008; Guillemots's cover was featured on the radio show's third compilation. On a Sensual Note, an all male a cappella group at American University, the Chordials, a co-ed collegiate a cappella group at Cornell University, and The Unaccompanied Minors, a co-ed a cappella group at the University of Waterloo have all covered the song. Katy Perry covered the song during a live session on Australian radio station Nova FM,[13] that was later featured as a bonus track on her album One of the Boys and as a track on her extended play The Hello Katy Australian Tour EP.

Ellie Goulding and Liam Payne have also covered this song. Payne covered the song during his gigs before he joined boy band One Direction. The UK artist Ellie Goulding also recorded a cover of the song and added a signature electronic element to the song's backing and layering her vocals to produce a more encompassing vocal element to the track. The song was also covered on season four of NBC's The Voice by Team Usher. Canadian folk band City and Colour has added the chorus at the end of their song "Sometimes (I Wish)" during some live performances, including their televised performance on Bravo! Live at the Concert Hall.[14] DC-area rapper Wale sampled the song for his mixtape, More About Nothing, citing Sparro as a featured artist.

Track listing

UK CD Single
  1. Black and Gold (Radio Edit)
  2. S.A.M.S.P.A.R.R.O.
German CD Single
  1. Black and Gold (Radio Edit)
  2. Black and Gold (Phones Hard as Diamond)
  3. Black and Gold (Al Usher Mix)
  4. Black and Gold (Video)
12" Single
  1. Black and Gold (Sanna & Pitron mix)
  2. Black and Gold (Al Usher Mix)
  3. Black and Gold (Phones Hard as Diamonds Dub Mix)


Credits adapted from the liner notes of Sam Sparro.

  • Richard Edgeler – assistance
  • Jesse Rogg – writing, mixing, production
  • Sam Sparro – vocals, writing, production
  • Brio Taliaferro – additional programming
  • Jeremy Wheatley – mixing

Charts and certifications

Awards and nominations

ARIA Music Awards[31]
Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
2008 "Black and Gold" Breakthrough Artist – Single Nominated
Single of the Year Nominated
Grammy Awards
Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
2009 "Black and Gold" Best Dance Recording Nominated
MTV Australia Awards
Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
2009 "Black and Gold" Best Dance Video Nominated

Release history

Region Date
United Kingdom 14 April 2008
Europe 23 May 2008
Australia 24 May 2008
United States 10 June 2008


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Sam Sparro's first album". <>.
  3. ^ "Sams Blog." <>
  4. ^ "Sam Sparro." <>.
  5. ^ a b Modus Vivendi Music
  6. ^ 2008 ARIA Awards Nominees Announced... And Here They Are!, Undercover, accessed 6 October 2008
  7. ^ YouTube – Sam Sparro interview
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Gamespot EA kicks off FIFA 09 tracklist Accessed 6 October 2008
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Top 50 Singles Chart. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved on 15 June 2008.
  16. ^ Czech Republic IFPI Singles Chart
  17. ^ Danish Singles Chart Top 40
  18. ^ Billboard
  19. ^ Billboard
  20. ^ Classifica
  21. ^ RIANZ
  22. ^ Turkey Top 20 Chart Retrieved on 2008-05-24
  23. ^ "April 2008/ Archive Chart: 5 April 2008" UK Dance Chart.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ Enter Black and Gold in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  31. ^ ARIA Awards History 2008.Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 10 June 2012
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