On This Day in Pink History… 19th January 2009, Sober was released in the UK
Sober was released as a CD single with the b-side When We’re Through in the UK in January 2009 as the second single from Pink’s 2008 album Funhouse.
Sober was written by Pink and Kara DioGuardi, with additional writing by Nate “Danja” Hills and Marcella Araica, while production was done by Danja, Tony Kanal and Jimmy Harry.
Pink claims the song is “about the vices that we choose.” She added, “I had this idea in my head, ‘like how do I feel this good sober?’ So I brought that idea to Danja and with this awesome girl Kara DioGuardi and we wrote this song, Sober. And it’s a pretty telling song and then me and Tony Kanal and Jimmy Harry finished it, production-wise, threw some strings on it and made it a little bit darker and a little bit more rocky.”
“It’s just a really, really personal beautiful song, one of my favorites.”
I wrote a song called “Sober”, which is actually really dark. I was at a party at my own house, I didn’t want to be there, I didn’t want anyone else there. And I had this line in my head saying, ‘How do I feel this good sober?’, it’s not just about alcohol, it’s about vicies, we all have different ones. We try to get away from ourselves, and find our ‘true selves’ and then we do this things that take us so far from the truth, I guess that ‘Sober’ is ‘How do I feel this good when it’s just me, without anything to lean on?’.
In the UK Singles Chart, Sober first entered at number 80, and eventually peaked at number 9. In the 2009 End of Year Charts it reached number 106.
The music video was directed by Jonas Akerlund and filmed in the last days of September in Stockholm, Sweden.
The video starts with views from the city and then a little TV is turned on in Pink’s bedroom and Pink appears in white. The song starts, and Pink is shown in the bedroom lying on the bed alone, and a girl is shown walking out of the door of the room. As the first verse starts, Pink is shown sitting on a sofa in a party where her doppelgänger is drunk and flirting with different girls and guys. Pink’s doppelgänger is shown in the bathroom, throwing up. Pink enters the bathroom and sits beside her doppelgänger who seemed disturbed and then walks out. Pink is now lying on the bed, her doppelgänger calls her up, but Pink doesn’t answer her cell. As the chorus begins, Pink is shown singing on her bed in her bedroom and on the sofa in the party. And then pictures of a white room where Pink is dressed with white outfit and wearing a white pageboy wig are shown. The second verse is sung in the same location. As the chorus starts again, Pink is shown walking in the room where the party was held where everybody is blacked out and drunk, including her doppelgänger. As the song reaches its climax, the bridge kicks off and Pink is shown spanking and making out with her doppelgänger in bed. The scene was cut or replaced by almost all TV channels. Various scenes from the video are then shown and the video ends with one of the Pinks walking out of the door of the bedroom leaving the other Pink alone.
Sober was performed on the Funhouse Tour while Pink was doing stunts on a trapeze with Sebastien Stella. Pink performed the song live while doing the stunts, which were highly praised by fans and critics. The pair also did the performance at the MTV VMA’s in 2009. On the American leg of the Funhouse tour, Pink didn’t perform the stunts due to injury.