Not Fair

Not Fair
"Not Fair"
Single by Lily Allen
from the album It's Not Me, It's You
B-side "Why"
Released 20 March 2009 (2009-03-20)
Format CD single, digital download
Genre Alternative pop, anti-folk
Length 3:23
Label Regal
Writer(s) Lily Allen
Producer Greg Kurstin
Certification (see sales and certifications)
Lily Allen singles chronology
"The Fear"
"Not Fair"
"Fuck You"

"Not Fair" is a song by British recording artist Lily Allen from her second studio album, It's Not Me, It's You. Written by Allen and produced by Greg Kurstin, the song was released as the second single from the album on 19 February 2009 by Regal Recordings. The song incorporates country music as the lyrics depict sexual frustration. Contemporary critics did not positively receive the song and its theme, some calling it a "pseudo country track" and considering it a strange musical composition.[citation needed] The single peaked in the top twenty of the charts of some European countries and Australia, while scoring Allen's second consecutive top-five hit on both the UK Singles Chart and the Dutch Top 40 (since in the latter "Fuck You" was a commercial success before "Not Fair").

The accompanying music video portrayed a western country theme, with Allen dancing next to a microphone, while back-up singers are dressed as cowgirls, accompanied by cattle and farm birds. The video was shot the same day of the release of the single. It was performed live on different occasions, including Allen's 2009 concert tour.

It was named at number 8 in the Triple J Hottest 100, 2009.



In the song, Allen describes her relationship with a boyfriend to which she describes him as "the perfect guy" yet is frustrated at his sexual laziness. She furthermore describes the situation as "Not Fair" because while he plays the perfect boyfriend in every other way, he's selfish when it comes to their sex life ("all you do is take") - thus the song gives the impression that all his niceness and concern may have been just a face to get what he wants from his girlfriend without any genuine concern with her satisfaction and happiness.

The single was officially released on January and climbed the charts, still being in the top 10 in June. The single was released as a digital download on 21 March 2009 (iTunes) and was on 11 May 2009 as a CD. Allen performed it live for the first time on Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway on 21 March 2009.

The censored version of the song, which is often used on the radio, blanks out the words "wet patch" and "I spent ages giving head" on the second verse, replacing them with a burst of the background instruments. While performing the song on The Graham Norton Show on 14 May 2009, she replaced the latter with "I spent ages kneading bread".

Commercial performance

"Not Fair" charted two months before the release date at number 200 in the UK. By 2 May, "Not Fair" reached the #10 spot on the official chart before reaching a final peak of #4, taking it two places higher than "LDN". In Ireland, "Not Fair" reached #3, her highest charting single in the country to date, and her second consecutive top five hit there also. In New Zealand, the song debuted at number thirty-two on 18 May 2009, giving Allen her fifth top forty hit there. It has so far peaked at number twenty. The song has also been a big hit in Australia, where it peaked at number three and has so far spent eight consecutive weeks in the top 10, equalling the success of her previous single "The Fear".

Music video

Lily Allen in the 1970s inspired music video for "Not Fair".

The music video for "Not Fair" was directed by Melina Matsoukas and filmed in Los Angeles on 19 February 2009.[1][2] Allen released pictures from the video on her official Twitter account.[3] A 17-second teaser of the video was released on YouTube on 17 March, before T4 premiered the entire video on Saturday, 21 March. As of September 2011, it has garnered nearly 20 million views on YouTube [4]

The music video shows Allen performing the song on the Porter Wagoner Show, starting off with a snippet from the Porter Wagoner show from the 1970s to present Lily Allen (dubbed) by saying, "Now it's time for the purty little lady to come forth with a real purty song. And it's called "Not Fair". Let's make her welcome, Miss Lily Allen!"

Allen is revealed to be singing alongside a bored-looking country and western band, including mullet-wearing guitarists and backing singers/dancers. Allen performs the song into a microphone and can be seen dancing around the stage, dressed in a white jumpsuit and sporting a blunt fringe with long hair. The video was recorded on videotape to keep with the theme of the video, as opposed to being filmed like most other music videos made in the 21st century.[citation needed]


UK CD1[5]
  1. "Not Fair" (Explicit) - 3:20
  2. "The Fear" (The Count (Hervé) & Lily Face The Fear Remix) - 4:21
UK CD2[6]
  1. "Not Fair" (Radio Edit) - 3:03
  2. "The Fear" (The Count (Hervé) & Lily Face The Fear Remix) - 4:21
  3. "Not Fair" (Di Angelis & Dobie 'Circus' Remix) - 5:36
  4. "Not Fair" (Style Of Eye Remix) - 6:14
7" Limited Edition Picture Disc[5]
  1. "Not Fair" (Radio Edit) - 3:03
  2. "Why" - 3:16
Digital Download
  1. "Not Fair" (Explicit Version) - 3:20
  2. "The Fear" (The Count (Hervé) & Lily Face The Fear Remix) - 4:21
  3. "Not Fair" (Radio Edit) - 3:03
  4. "Why" - 3:16
  5. "Not Fair" (Style Of Eye Remix) - 6:14
  6. "Mr. Blue Sky" (Acoustic) - 4:24

Release history

Region Date Format
United Kingdom[7]
20 March 2009 Digital download
8 May 2009 CD single
9 May 2009
United Kingdom 11 May 2009 CD single
United States June 2009 Digital

Charts, sales and procession


Chart (2009) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[9] 3
Austrian Singles Chart[10] 6
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[11] 15
Belgian Singles Chart (Wallonia)[11] 12
Czech Airplay Chart[12] 1
European Hot 100 12
Danish Singles Chart[13] 34
Dutch Top 40[14] 4
German Singles Chart[15] 12
Irish Singles Chart[16] 3
Italian Singles Chart[17] 4
New Zealand Singles Chart[18] 20
Slovak Airplay Chart[19] 1
Swedish Singles Chart 26
Swiss Singles Chart[20] 6
UK Singles Chart[21] 4

Sales and certifications

Country Certification Sales
Australia Platinum[22] 70,000+
Switzerland Gold[23] 15,000
UK Silver 302,376

Year-End Charts

Chart (2009) Position
Australian Singles Chart[24] 20
German Singles Chart[25] 34
Italian Singles Chart[26] 29
Swiss Singles Chart[27] 22
UK Singles Chart[28] 32
Preceded by
"Poker Face" by Lady Gaga
"Halo" by Beyonce
"Daj ruku do mojej ruky" by Zuzana Smatanová
Slovak Airplay Chart number-one single
1 June 2009 – 7 June 2009 (first run)
15 June 2009 – 28 June 2009 (second run)
6 July 2009 – 12 July 2009 (third run)
Succeeded by
"Halo" by Beyonce
"Daj ruku do mojej ruky" by Zuzana Smatanová
"When Love Takes Over" by David Guetta & Kelly Rowland
Preceded by
"The Boy Does Nothing" by Alesha Dixon
Czech Republic Airplay number-one singles
20 July 2009 – 2 August 2009
Succeeded by
"Know Your Enemy" by Green Day


  1. ^ "SHOT: Lily Allen - Melina, director". 27 February 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2009. 
  2. ^ "Gettin my hair did. Shooting the next video today x". Twitter. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2009. 
  3. ^ "Not Fair". Twitpic. Twitter. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2009. 
  4. ^ Music Video
  5. ^ a b 2009-04-03: 'What's Happening?' -
  6. ^ "Auspop.Net: A Totally Fair Local Lily Single". 2009-04-28. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  7. ^ UK Digital Download
  8. ^ AUS Digital Download
  9. ^ "ARIA Charts - Week Commencing: 15th June 2009". Australian Recording Industry Association. 15 June 2009. Retrieved 14 June 2009. 
  10. ^ "Lily Allen / Not Fair". Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  11. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Lily Allen - Not Fair". Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  12. ^ Czech Republic Airplay
  13. ^ Steffen Hung. "Lily Allen - Not Fair". Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  14. ^ "Top 40". Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  15. ^ / PhonoNet GmbH. "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche". Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  16. ^ Irish Singles Chart
  17. ^ Italian Singles Chart
  18. ^ New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart Retrieved 19 May 2009
  19. ^ ds. "Sns Ifpi". Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  20. ^ Steffen Hung. "Lily Allen - Not Fair". Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community". Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  24. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2009". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  25. ^ [1][dead link]
  26. ^ "FIMI - Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana - Ricerche e dati di mercato". 19 January 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  27. ^ "2009 Year End Swiss Singles Chart". Swiss Music Charts. 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  28. ^ UK Singles Chart

External links

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