Friday, January 23, 2015

"Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes

#1 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Grammy Alert!
Oscar Alert!
Song#:  1145
Date:  08/21/1982
Debut:  89
Peak:  1 (3 weeks)
Weeks:  23
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Written specifically for the Taylor Hackford film "An Officer and a Gentleman," this duet featuring Cocker's gruff warble against Warnes wispy voice became an unexpected hit earning a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Duo or Group, and an Oscar for Best Original Song. Warnes manager recommended her for the song to his friend Hackford, but he balked at her voice calling it too sweet. However, when Cocker got suggested as a duet partner, that changed things. The pair recorded their vocals together and the finished song played behind the final scene of the movie. The film was a big hit which certainly helped this song take off and finally reach #1 (#3 AC). For both Cocker and Warnes, it would be the biggest hit of their respective careers. And for Warnes, the second Oscar-winning song she had sung (following 1979's "It Goes Like It Goes" from the film "Norma Rae").

ReduxReview:  This song really shouldn't have worked. The singers were an odd coupling, the song was pure sentimental pop, and the film's ending was bordering on sticky tree sap. This seemed to indicate potential disaster. But it all worked - quite well. The opening piano line was instantly memorable along with the Beauty & the Beast vocals. It's actually a little sad hearing it as I write this because the news just recently came out that Joe Cocker had passed away. I'm sure many people have said that he is now up where he belongs.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  This song almost didn't make it into the film. Producer Don Simpson wasn't a fan of the tune and wanted it removed. He did not think it was a hit. Luckily for the artists, writers, and the film itself, his request was denied.


No comments:

Post a Comment