"Gods & Monsters" (also registered as "Gods" and referred to as "In the Land of Gods and Monsters") is a song written by Lana Del Rey and Tim Larcombe, and produced by Larcombe and Emile Haynie in 2012 from Del Rey's third EP, and second major-label release, Paradise.
- 1 Background and composition
- 2 Critical reception
- 3 Use in media
- 4 Tropico music video
- 5 Cross-references
- 6 Official versions
- 7 Lyrics
- 8 Official remixes
- 9 Promotional release
- 10 Credits
- 11 Charts
- 12 References
Background and composition
The first mentioning of the song came from Del Rey on June 15, 2012, during an interview with Catalunya Radio. At that time the song was called "In the Land of Gods and Monsters". She also mentioned "Body Electric" as "I Sing the Body Electric" and "Young and Beautiful" as "Will You Still Love Me When I'm No Longer Young and Beautiful".
On September 24, 2012, Del Rey posted the sampler video of Paradise containing short snippets of all the tracks. The song is in the key of G# minor with at 96 BPM. It is a soft rock ballad that lyrically deals with innocence and hedonism. The song features signature sounds from Haynie that are reminiscent of his work on "Million Dollar Man".
During 2014, limited official promo CDs for the song were exclusively distributed by Polydor and Interscope. The CDs included official remixes of the song, as well as the official instrumental, a cappella, and "TV Track" versions of the song. The song was never received commercial individual release though, meaning it is not a single or promotional single.
On May 7, 2017, various snippets of the official instrumental, a cappella, and TV track versions of the song leaked online. On May 5, 2018, the full instrumental and the studio acapella were leaked in lossless form. On April 18, 2020, the full TV track leaked.
The track was well received by critics. Jesse Cataldo of Slant magazine said, "Nothing here is on the same level as Born to Die, with only a few tracks, like "Gods and Monsters" and bonus track "Burning Desire", attaining a similar degree of snappy, mesmerizing languorousness." Nick Butler of Sputnikmusic felt the track was an unintentionally new sound for Del Rey, but that the track was good. AllMusic reviewer John Bush commented that the line "like a groupie incognito posing as a real singer, life imitates art" was an embodiment of the whole album. Some reviewers shared negativity on the track, such as Drowned In Sound's David Edwards who commented: "'Gods and Monsters' simply drags."
Use in media
In 2014, American actress Jessica Lange covered "Gods & Monsters" for the American Horror Story: Freak Show episode "Edward Mordrake (Part 1)". The cover was released as a single on October 22, 2014.
Tropico music video
- Main article: Tropico (film)
Del Rey's short film, Tropico (released December 6, 2013), contains a visual for "Gods & Monsters", as part of Tropico's second chapter titled Gods & Monsters. It shows Del Rey working as a stripper and actor Shaun Ross as a gang member who works as a clerk at a convenience store during the day.
- In "Go Go Dancer", Del Rey tells a man to "keep your fingertips on my waist", similar to "put your hands on my waist".
- The lyric "Me and my momma we don't get along" from "My Momma" is similar to the lyric "Me and God we don't get along".
- God is also mentioned in many Del Rey's songs, most notably "God Knows I Tried", "Life Is Beautiful" and "Wolf T-Shirt".
- Angels are also mentioned in "Angels Forever, Forever Angels", "Don't Call Me Angel", "Arcadia" and the poem "Never to Heaven".
- Liquor is also mentioned in "California", "Motel 6", "Heroin" and "Carmen".
- Jim Morrison is also referenced in "Hollywood" and the poem "Tessa DiPietro".
- "Life imitates art" is a direct quote from Oscar Wilde.
- Direct reference to "Love".
- Motels are also mentioned in "Motel 6" and the title of "Mermaid Motel".
- Groupies are also mentioned in "Groupie Love" and "West Coast".
- Reference to "Dope".
- Drugs are also referenced in "Heroin", "Disco" and "Jump", among some other songs.
- "God's dead" is a direct quote from Friedrich Nietzsche.
- A garden is also mentioned in "Cherry", "Off to the Races", "Bartender" and "Burnt Norton".
- The video from the song, as well as the main theme of the 2013 short film Tropico are based on the biblical story of Adam and Eve. It also references the 1667 book "Paradise Lost" by John Milton, which Del Rey directly mentions in a monologue from the short film.
- Album version — 3:57
- Instrumental version — 3:58
- A cappella version — 3:58
- Clean version — 3:57
- TV Track version — 3:58
- Paradise Tour version — 4:03
- Club Clique Remix — 4:13
- Village Remix — 4:39
- Mokadem Remix — 4:42
- Mokadem Instrumental — 4:45
- Balistiq Remix — 3:33
- Balistiq Instrumental — 3:31
Gods & Monsters CD by Polydor in UK
Gods & Monsters CD by Polydor and Interscope Records in UK & US
Gods & Monsters CD by Polydor in UK
- Tim Larcombe — guitars, drums, piano, keyboards
- Emile Haynie — drums, piano, keyboards
- Dan Heath — strings arrangment, horns
- Robert Orton — mixing
- John Davis — mastering
- Recorded at The Time Square Studio, Hoxton Square, London
- Mastered at Metropolis Mastering, London
- Mixed at Hot Rocks Studio
|UK (Official Charts Company)||39|
|US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)||15|