Matthew Sweet – Sick Of Myself —Powerpop Friday

Sick of Myself peaked at #52 on the Billboard 100 in 1995. I first heard of Matthew Sweet with his 1992 song Girlfriend. Sweet specializes in catchy melodic hooks and this song is no exception.

Sick of Myself was on his album 100% Fun that peaked on the Billboard album charts at #65 in 1995.

From Songfacts

In this nihilistic song, Matthew Sweet is so out-of-sorts over a girl, he’s made himself sick. The world may be ugly and a lie, but she’s beautiful and true, and it’s driving him mad.

Sweet has admitted that many of his songs are personal, but they’re not necessarily a plea for help.

This was Matthew Sweet’s biggest hit, earning airplay on rock radio alongside the likes of Soundgarden and Collective Soul. He was 31 and well into his career when the song reached its chart peak in 1995. After making a name for himself in the Athens, Georgia music scene, he got a deal with Columbia Records and release his first album in 1986. His follow-up came in 1989, but neither charted and the label dropped him. Zoo Records issued his breakthrough, Girlfriend, in 1991 after a tumultuous time when he went through a divorce and lost his record collection to flood damage.

Richard Lloyd, founder of the exalted New York City band Television, played guitar on this track. Sweet and Lloyd crossed paths in the ’80s when they played together in a band called the Golden Palominos. Lloyd played on three songs from Sweet’s 1989 album Earth, and contributed to his subsequent albums up to and including 100% Fun.

In a Songfacts interview with Richard Lloyd, he said: “Matthew used to fly me in and he would send me demos like a week before. I’d listen to them through and then I would get there and they would have new songs or different songs. Some songs he would just throw at me, and depending upon the emotion in the song itself, that would lend itself to a certain kind of playing, and ‘Sick Of Myself’ had that kind of angst in it, so I tried to portray that.”

The video was directed by Roman Coppola, son Francis Ford Coppola of Godfather fame.

We don’t know this for sure, but this is likely the second-highest-charting song on the Hot 100 by a solo artist who was born and raised in Nebraska [Sweet is from Lincoln, Nebraska]. The only one we found to top it is “Never Been In Love” by Randy Meisner, which went to #28 in 1982. Nebraskan Buddy Miles charted a few times, but never higher than #62 with “Them Changes” in 1971.

The album title comes from a line in Kurt Cobain’s suicide note: “The worst crime I can think of would be to rip people off by faking it and pretending as if I’m having 100% fun.”

Sick Of Myself

You don’t know how you move me
deconstruct me and consume me.
I’m all used up, I’m out of luck I am star struck
By something in your eyes
that is keeping my hope alive.

But I’m sick of myself when I look at you 
something is beautiful and true.
World that’s ugly and a lie
it’s hard to even want to try.
I’m beginning to think
maybe you don’t know.

I’ll take a leave, the room to breathe 
The choice to leave it
I’ll throw away a chance at greatness just to make this
dream come into play
I don’t know if I’ll find a way

‘Cause I’m sick of myself when I look at you 
something is beautiful and true.
World that’s ugly and a lie
it’s hard to even want to try.
I’m beginning to think
maybe you don’t know.

I’m beginning to think
maybe you don’t know.

Something in your eyes
that is keeping my hope alive.

But I’m sick of myself when I look at you 
something is beautiful and true.
World that’s ugly and a lie
it’s hard to even want to try.
I’m beginning to think
maybe you don’t know.

I’m beginning to think
maybe you don’t know.

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

10 thoughts on “Matthew Sweet – Sick Of Myself —Powerpop Friday”

  1. Good song from an under-rated artist. Never knew that he got the album title from Cobain’s suicide note. He sort of defines “power pop”… back in the day I could never quite place him in a musical genre – not quite hard rock but not regular easy-listening “pop” either – which didn’t matter much to me but maybe limited his airplay and in turn, sales.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Matthew Sweet has some outstanding stuff. Seems like he’s gone under the radar in recent years though. My two favorites of his- Sick OF Myself and We’re The Same.

    Liked by 1 person

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