Track of the Day: ‘In The Sun’ by Joseph Arthur

Originally released in 2000 for his second album, 'In The Sun' remains Ohio singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur's most popular song. Written by Arthur and produced by Tchad Blake, the song featured in several of the biggest TV series of the decade, including Scrubs, Grey's Anatomy and The L Word.

Joseph Arthur wrote the song in the mid 1990s, and it was first released not by Arthur himself but by Peter Gabriel on the 1997 compilation album Diana, Princess of Wales: Tribute. The song was also chosen by Michael Stipe of R.E.M. for a charity relief single in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2006.

‘After Katrina, it just completely changed for me, the meaning of the lyric,’ Stipe said in an interview at the time, ‘There’s a lyric in the third verse. Basically, it’s about how seeing something changes you forever. And it was really about people that are desperate and in need in a disaster like this and our desire to respond.’

After getting Joseph Arthur’s support, Stipe enlisted James Iha of The Smashing Pumpkins to produce a cover version of the song featuring himself and Chris Martin on vocals. In addition, he also involved pop heavyweights Justin Timberlake and Will.I.Am, who contributed a remix of the track, as well as Coldplay, who offered a live performance of the song.

The video, directed by the legendary Anton Corbijn, explores the song’s central theme of religion and featured Arthur walking around New York City with angel’s wings reading a bible.

The official video for 'In The Sun', directed by Anton Corbijn

The single, which was released in 2001, is now available for the first time to stream and download, including a previously unavailable radio mix by Ian Broudie, as well as the b-sides ‘Cocaine Blind’ and ‘The Other Side’.


Joseph Arthur is currently on a tour of North America with Peter Buck (R.E.M.) in support of their recent collaboration album, Arthur Buck.

Tour Dates

September 2018
07 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Crocodile
08 – Portland, Ore. @ Doug Fir Lounge
10 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Independent
11 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Teragram Ballroom
13 – Athens, Ga. @ The 40 Watt Club
16 – Nashville, Tenn. @ The Basement East
18 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ World Cafe Live – Downstairs
19 – Boston, Mass. @ Brighton Music Hall
20 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
21 – Washington, District of Columbia @ Rock & Roll Hotel
23 – Chicago, Ill. @ Lincoln Hall
24 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ 7th Street Entry

Featured Release:

  • Come To Where I’m From

    Joseph Arthur

    Released 11 April 2000

    Come To Where I'm From is Joseph Arthur’s second album for Real World. Co-produced by the mighty T-Bone Burnett, it's a dense, attractively claustrophobic record, full of delightful contradictions: unnerving and reassuring, raw and yet meticulously compiled.

By Oran Mullan

Main image: Original art by Joseph Arthur for the In The Sun CD single.

Published on Wed, 19 September 18

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