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Song by Ed Sheeran
from the album ÷
Released3 March 2017 (2017-03-03)
Genre Acoustic hip hop [1]
Producer(s)Johnny McDaid

"Eraser" is a song by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran from his third studio album ÷ (2017). It is the opening track of the album. [2] It was written and produced by Sheeran and Johnny McDaid. After the album's release, it charted at number 14 on the UK Singles Chart. [3]


The song was written by Sheeran with Johnny McDaid in the treehouse he built in his garden. They first recorded a riff on his guitar on the McDaid's iPhone before he went to bed, while McDaid stayed up all night to produce the beat for the riff. Speaking about the song to Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 show, Sheeran said: "The original first line of it was what is now the bridge ['Welcome to the new show'] and I was just sitting there and I was like this doesn't hit anywhere here ... And then so I just said: 'Johnny can you bugger off for a bit and let me just see what I can do' and just write loads of bars, and that came like within five seconds, and 'Oh wow! something is happening.' Johnny came back half an hour later and we recorded the song." [4]

Sheeran also said: "I wanted to casually move into a stadium zone without making twelve ' Castle on the Hill's. I wanted to make songs that sounded big but weren't necessarily just euphoric stadium anthems." [5]

The song reveals personal details about his life, and Sheeran said it is an opportunity to vent on things that had happened in his life in the previous five years that he had not talked about. It mentions the envy felt by friends and family on his success. Sheeran said: "Friends and family are meant to be the ones who are there for you, 90% of the time they are, but every now and then there is the odd comment that just like sinks your soul." On money, he said: "Money is the weirdest thing ... That's kinda the only thing that changed in my life drastically, but the way people treat you because of it, and they think you are going to change because of it, and they treat you differently, inevitably you change your opinion to them because they are treating you differently. It's a really weird thing. I try to stay exactly the same as I was before." [4] The line "but I hope that Damien's proud" is a reference to Damien Rice, regarded by Sheeran as an influence on his music. Rice is also referenced in another song of Sheeran's, " You Need Me, I Don't Need You". [6] The line "Relationships, and hearts you fixed, they break as well" is likely to reference him getting Jesy Nelson and former tour support Jake Roche engaged only for them to split 4 months before the album was released.

Critical reception

Mark Kennedy of the Chicago Tribune called the track "terrific...akin to Eminem's ' Lose Yourself'". [7] Jim Farber with Entertainment Weekly said the song started the album on "dangerous ground", but concluded that it summarized the artist "in a nutshell: self-aware, self-deprecating and likable". [8] Jordan Bassett of NME said "Sheeran manages to moan about superstardom...without sounding like a right bloody berk", while adding that the artist has "less than wicked flow". [9] In a less favourable review, music critic Laura Snapes said that in the song "his words fit together with the elegance of Stickle Bricks", while adding it "feels like the only true reflection of his psyche" on the album. [10] Roisin O'Connor of The Independent said the track "feels like an unusual way to open the album—Sheeran has never been a strong rapper (he admits as much in 'Take It Back' on x)—but is redeemed by the chorus". [11] While acknowledging rap's influence on artists of Sheeran's generation, Jeremy Gordon of Spin magazine said that Sheeran raps "seem like a costume, on account of his deeply uncool whiteness", but continued that Sheeran "belts a big, heartfelt chorus that could’ve been written for the Goo Goo Dolls—a switch that immediately sounds more natural". [12]

Charts and certifications


  1. ^ "Ed Sheeran – '÷' Review". NME. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  2. ^ O'Connor, Roisin (3 March 2017). "Ed Sheeran, Divide, album review: Singer-songwriter's third record is impressive for ambition alone". The Independent. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Divide and conquer: Ed Sheeran smashes UK chart records with new album and dominates singles rankings". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b Zane Lowe (3 February 2017). Zane Lowe and Ed Sheeran, Pt 2. iTunes. Event occurs at 00:30–06:40.
  5. ^ "Ed Sheeran reveals all about 'Eraser'". 28 February 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  6. ^ Loo, Kevin (6 March 2017). "Tracing The Irish Musical Influences On Ed Sheeran's New Album '÷ (Divide)'". Genius.
  7. ^ Kennedy, Mark (5 March 2017). "Ed Sheeran shows vast talent in new album 'Divide'". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  8. ^ Farber, Jim (March 6, 2017). "Ed Sheeran Continues To Be Pop's 'Mr. Nice Guy' On New Album, 'Divide'". EW. Time Inc. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  9. ^ Bassett, Jordan (March 3, 2017). "Ed Sheeran – '÷' Album Review". NME. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  10. ^ Snapes, Laura (March 20, 2017). "Ed Sheeran: ÷ Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  11. ^ O'Connor, Roisin (3 March 2017). "Ed Sheeran releases his third album Divide – review". The Independent. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  12. ^ Gordon, Jeremy (7 March 2017). "Review: On ÷, Ed Sheeran Is More Than Just Pop's Sheepish Nice Guy". Spin. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  13. ^ " Ed Sheeran – Eraser". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  14. ^ " Ed Sheeran – Eraser" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Ed Sheeran Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  16. ^ " ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – SINGLES DIGITAL – TOP 100 and insert 201710 into search. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Track Top-40 Uge 10, 2017". Hitlisten. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  18. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Singles – SNEP (Week 10, 2017)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 19 March 2017.[ permanent dead link]
  19. ^ " Ed Sheeran – Eraser" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  20. ^ " Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Stream Top 40 slágerlista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  21. ^ " The Irish Charts – Search Results – Eraser". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  22. ^ "Classifica settimanale WK 10" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  23. ^ " Ed Sheeran – Eraser" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  24. ^ " ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Select SINGLES DIGITAL - TOP 100 and insert 201710 into search. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  25. ^ " Ed Sheeran – Eraser". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  26. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  27. ^ "Ed Sheeran Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  28. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Ed Sheeran – Eraser". Music Canada.
  29. ^ "Danish single certifications – Ed Sheeran – Eraser". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  30. ^ "Italian single certifications – Ed Sheeran – Eraser" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 10 September 2021. Select "2018" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Eraser" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  31. ^ "Wyróżnienia – Złote płyty CD - Archiwum - Przyznane w 2021 roku" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  32. ^ "British single certifications – Ed Sheeran – Eraser". British Phonographic Industry.
  33. ^ "American single certifications – Ed Sheeran – Eraser". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 25 November 2021.