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Bad Ambassador

Bad Ambassador

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14th May 2001

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Bad Ambassador was the second, and much anticipated, single from Regeneration. Originally scheduled for release on May 7th, it was delayed for a week.

The song is quite a favourite from the album, but failed to overtake Love What You Do, reaching only #34 in the charts, despite intense promotion. According to NME [1], the promo video, directed by Mike Mills, cost about £150,000.

The Claire Burbridge artwork is also quite spectacular, despite not being in relation with the song. Like the Regeneration cover, it expresses a movement.

The first CD features a couple of studio B-sides in addition to an edit of the song (without the end of ‘Timestretched’ overlapping). ‘Edwards The Confessor’ is quite a personal song from Neil Hannon, and is a less-produced version of the extra from the Japanese Regeneration release. ‘U.S.E.’ is an odd tune, with banjo it sounds different to the other Regeneration songs.


The second CD is a live one. With a live version of the title tracks, it features a couple of B-sides. These songs were taken from a performance in Bristol touring the Spring UK tour, and voted by the DC BB (Divine Comedy Bulletin Board) community members.

The Winners are ‘Sweden’ & ‘Pictures Of Matchstick Men’.
I’m sure this will be no surprise (especially ‘Sweden’) as these were by far and away the biggest draws.

A full breakdown looks like this:
  • Sweden with a massive 40% of the vote
  • Pictures of Matchstick Men with 19%
  • Your Daddy’s Car with 10%
  • Life on Earth with 9%
The remaining votes were pretty much equally distributed between:
  • Lucy
  • The Frog Princess (acoustic)
  • I’m All You Need
  • National Express (acoustic)
  • Perfect Lovesong
  • Mastermind
  • Tonight We Fly
  • Eye Of The Needle
  • Love What You Do
and these combined made up the final 22% of votes.

First in line was the live version of ‘Sweden’ which was quite different from the FIN tour. The next choice was then a cover version of Status Quo’s ‘Pictures Of Matschtick Men’ which is quite a rocker as well.

In third position arrived ‘Your Daddy’s Car’, being an all-time favourite of the DC audience. However, this song having already been released in 5 alternate versions previously, the idea was dropped. So ‘Life On Earth’, another Fin de Siècle song re-arranged in a new form as well, was released as the B-side of the limited 7” release of the single.

[1] NME 31/10/2001