27 April 2016

top 100 of the '00s | 99. Vanessa Carlton - "A Thousand Miles"

It's a real achievement to write a riff that is instantly recognizable. It's an even bigger achievement to have a Top 10 single with a piano song during an era in which they most definitely were not en vogue.

Carlton wrote the core of "A Thousand Miles" when she was 18. A demo of it made it to the head of A&M Records, who called her "stubborn" over her refusal to sharpen what he knew was a hit. She eventually caved and the two worked out a new arrangement, resulting in the track we now all know.

It's a great pop tune because, though emotive, it's also innocent and therefore accessible. That's all the makings of a hit right there.

I also love that both the song and the music video end exactly where they began.