Libertine = A person, especially a man, who freely indulges in sensual pleasures without regard to moral principles
Named after Marquis de Sade’s novel Lusts of The Libertines, English garage rockers The Libertines evidently aimed to successfully live up to their name.
Causing a stir in British media by openly flaunting their drug use and parties in Camden, flatmates Peter Doherty and Carl Barât met while at University.
They bonded through a love of songwriting, drug taking, and general shenanigans in the late 90s, a time when there was more money than sense in the U.K. music industry, and, I’ve been told, many would choose to get paid in the white stuff, rather than just cash.
Even though The Libertines seemingly fit the narrative of the time, they had a few failed attempts to attract record companies. Luck had it that New Yorkers The Strokes (Last Nite) just started to make waves across the pond, enabling The Libertines to launch themselves as a British, (much) more hardcore version.
This worked as they signed with Rough Trade Records in 2001.
Armed with their first release What A Waster, The Libertines started to share the bill with The Strokes and also The Vines, an Australian rock band, effectively representing all corners of the earth.
Their first single had been produced by Bernard Butler, guitarist of Suede and later Duffy’s producer for her 2005 smash hit Mercy.
Rubbing shoulders with some important names in the business, The Libertines became a darling of Indie Rock magazine NME, now seemingly having it all laid on a plate for them to go and conquer the world.
After some disappointing releases, more shenanigans, starting other bands, as well as tattooing Libertines onto themselves, the band would hook up with Bernard again, this time to record their biggest hit Don’t Look Back Into The Sun.
Unfortunately, Pete couldn’t hold it together and after many arguments, including failing to show up for a European tour, the band started to fall apart. This was topped off by Pete breaking into Carl’s flat and subsequently going to prison for it.
When it came time to record their second album, security had to be brought in to keep the band members apart.
The story and arguments between the two songwriters do go on but I think by now, you’ve got the picture.
In terms of songwriting partnership, they never topped their best tune Don’t Look Back Into The Sun, so let’s just leave it there.
Perhaps what we can all learn from The Libertines is that if your band’s singer and songwriters are addicted to heroin, as well as crack cocaine, it’s probably best to give it a wide berth.
The Libertines tunes | Related pages
Don’t Look Back Into The Sun
You can learn how to play Don’t Look Back Into The Sun by The Libertines using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, and the original recording.
| G | D | Em | D |
Don’t look back into the sun, now you know that the time is come…