Rembert Explains the ’90s: Bush, ‘Glycerine’

Gavin RossdaleWelcome to our new series, Rembert Explains the ’90s. Unlike the source material for our previous, ’80s-themed series, these videos have been seen countless times, with the result being an unparalleled, almost embarrassing level of expertise. Rembert will write down his thoughts as he’s watching the video, then we’ll post those thoughts here. This week’s installment was selected by Grantland editor Mark Lisanti, “Glycerine” by Bush (1995). If you have an idea for a future episode of Rembert Explains the ’90s, e-mail us at

0:01 In-focus Gavin.

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0:04 Blurry Gavin.

0:06 “Uh-Oh, We Lost Gavin” Gavin.

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0:07 “Oh Look Who Decided to Come Back” Gavin.

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0:10 The first guitar strum is better than some full songs. “Glycerine” is incredible. A top-10 karaoke song, according to sources.

0:12 “Did Someone Ring the Doorbell or Am I Hearing Things Again?” Gavin.

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0:17 This was a landmark video for a young Rembert Browne, because this was most certainly my first time seeing lady lower-back dimples (LLBDs).

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There are certain firsts you never forget. This and Starship Troopers are two for me

0:20 Like so many things in this video, what are those too little baby-doll limbs doing in the hands of Mrs. Back Dimples?

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So confused.

0:23 Oh, hey there, In-Focus Gavin.

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I missed you.

0:24 Yes, you too, Blurry Gavin …

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0:28 Finally, after 27 seconds of camera tricks, baby-doll hands, and bare backs, we get the gospel of Gavin.

0:37 There really are few mouths more distinctive that Gavin Rossdale’s mug.

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There’s always a ton of tension surrounding that mouth. It seems like an angry mouth, but in reality it’s simply a wildly passionate mouth, full of feelings. Hurt feelings. Confused feelings. Gavin feelings.

0:49 If there’s one thing to take away from this video, it’s that Rossdale has no qualms with sticking his face flush to the camera lens.

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Only on the rarest of occasions can we see his entire head. That’s how intimate he is with the lens.

0:54 I could go on forever about why this is such a great look:

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He looks like a guy who could croon you to sleep and then figure out what’s wrong with your alternator.

1:01 That’s a lot of plates.

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I’d love to have all those plates. I don’t have many plates.

1:09 In case you forgot, it’s “GLI-SER-REEEN.”


“I’m never alone [Twitter], I’m alone all the time [I’ve been sitting in a chair by myself for the past eight hours].”

I’d really like to thank Gavin for writing one lyric that fully sums up my existence in 2013. Let’s do it again.

“I’m never alone [Snapchat], I’m alone all the time [I don’t actually know anyone in real life].”

This is a sad fun game. One more time:

“I’m never alone [LinkedIn requests], I’m alone all the time [LinkedIn requests].”

1:24 Oh, hello, guitarist:

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Never mind. That was a ghost.

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1:35 While I don’t fully understand the lyric “We live in a wheel / where everyone steals / but when we rise / it’s like Strawberry Fields,” it still sounds, and feels, amazing.

1:42 Another example of that: “Couldn’t love you more / You’ve got a beautiful taste.” This is probably as good a time as any to admit I have no idea what this song is about. I could easily find out, but I really have no desire to. I like a world where sometimes, depending on my state of mind, I can say “Couldn’t love you more / you’ve got a beautiful paste” without thinking twice about it.

1:47 We almost got a full Gavin face. Almost.

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1:56 This is startling:

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I should have labeled these, because I have no idea which one is Gavin and which one is simply a V for Vendetta mask.

2:09 Oh, hello there, guitarist. Nice to see you again.

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Sorry, false alarm. ‘Twas a ghost again.

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2:26 Speaking of ghosts, I have no idea what’s happening with the female protagonist in this video, but she’s a bag of creeps.

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Definitely a ghost.

[Note: Before we get into the climax of this song, take a quick break and watch Gavin perform “Glycerine” in the rain at MTV Spring Break 1996.]

OK. Back to the video.

2:39 We’ve reached the point of the song, and the video, when Gavin starts attacking his guitar.

Get it.

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None of us understands passion like Gavin understands passion.

2:42 Pretty ghost lady, what’s your deal? Are you part-time ghost or full-time ghost? How many ghost credits are you taking? I need answers.

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2:58 That violin-cello combo that takes place while Gavin is screaming “Bad moon whine again / wine again / wonder / ya ya” is fantastic.


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You really can back up now.

3:29 Yeah, you too, back-dimple ghost lady:

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You can’t teach these emotions, or learn them along the way. You’re born with this gift. Only Gavin and Ray Lewis have it.

3:54 Oh, nice of you to circle back around and say bye.

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4:05 No matter how many times I’ve listened to this song, or watched this video, I always forget how oddly it ends. Not once have I successfully prepared myself for the final 15 seconds of this song. It’s even more confusing than everything else that happens in the “Glycerine” video, coupled with all of the “Glycerine” lyrics, which is saying something.

Filed Under: Music Videos, Rembert Explains

Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ rembert