Not an Addict
Writer(s): Gert Bettens, Sarah Bettens (see lyrics here)
Released: July 1995
First Charted: March 29, 1997
Peak: 56 US, 5 MR, 6 CN, 22 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): --
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 10.6 video, 22.32 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
K’s Choice formed in the mid-1990s in Antwerp, Belgium. The core of the alternative-rock group was guitarist, keyboardist, and singer Gert Bettens and his sister Sarah, the lead singer and guitarist who later came out as a transgender man. They released their first studio album, The Great Subconscious Club, in 1994.
The follow-up, 1996’s Paradise in Me, reached the Billboard album chart, thanks to the top-5 success of “Not an Addict” on the modern rock track chart and the release of six singles from the album. “Not an Addict” was first released in Belgium as a single in July 1995 but didn’t chart in the United States until March 1997. It won a Belgium ZAMU Award for Best Single in 1995.
“Not an Addict” is “sung in the first person with a voice of desperation and denial.” SF The narrator explains the initial exhileration of heroin use and subsequent unwillingness, and eventual reluctance, in recognizing it as a problem. It reflected on Sarah/Sam’s actual experiences with drugs and substance dependence. He never tried hard drugs like heroin, but said he was addicted to cigarettes and had experimented with acid and mushrooms. He asserted that the song wasn’t pro-drug or anti-drug. WK
Music Week called it “a brooding, bass-heavy torch song overlaid by breezy atmospheric vocals.” WK Music & Media magazine declared “Not an Addict” a single of the week in December 1996, saying “it is possible to overlook the latest gem out of this small country. To pass up on K’s Choice would be a major mistake…Singer/co-writer Sarah Bettens is obviously inspired by U.S. alternative rock queens…[and] a little bit of Bangles pops up at the end, but the guitars remain loud and clear.” WK
First posted 2/8/2023.