Defying Gravity (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Defying Gravity"
Song by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth from the album Wicked (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Released December 16, 2003
Recorded November 10, 2003
Genre Pop, show tunes, orchestral, operatic pop
Length 5:56
Label Decca Broadway
Writer Stephen Schwartz
Composer Stephen Schwartz

"Defying Gravity" is the signature song from the musical Wicked, composed by Stephen Schwartz, originally recorded by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth on November 10, 2003, and released on December 16, 2003. It is mostly a solo sung by the main character of the show, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West), with two small duets at the beginning and in the middle of the song between Elphaba and her friend Glinda, and a chorus part in the end in which the citizens of Oz sing. It was performed on the BBC television programme I'd Do Anything, and as a result the song charted at no. 60 on the official UK Singles chart.[1]

Context and analysis[edit]

Stephanie J. Block (as Elphaba) performing the song in the original US touring production.

In Wicked, the song is the finale for the show's first act, when Elphaba discovers that The Wizard of Oz is not the heroic figure she had originally believed him to be. Realizing this, and despite Glinda's attempts to dissuade her, Elphaba vows to do everything in her power to fight the Wizard and his sinister plans against the Animals of Oz. She sings of how she wants to live without limits, going against the rules that others have set for her. During the song, Elphaba enchants a broomstick to levitate and, pursued by the Wizard's guards, rises from the stage above the angered citizens of Oz, who try in vain to "bring her down."

The song is heavily cinematic and comes to a climax for the final verse. The staging of this climax features several special effects. The actress playing Elphaba is lifted up into the air by a hydraulic launch system. The sequence relies heavily on around 60 moving lights, smoke, and wind effects.

Idina Menzel single[edit]

"Defying Gravity"
Single by Idina Menzel
from the album I Stand
Released March 1, 2007
Format CD, digital download
Recorded 2007
Genre Pop, orchestral
Length 3:46
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Stephen Schwartz
Producer(s) Glen Ballard
Idina Menzel singles chronology
"Take Me or Leave Me"
(2006)
"Defying Gravity"
(2007)
"Brave"
(2007)

Idina Menzel, having reprised her role as Elphaba in the London production of Wicked in 2006, recorded a remixed "pop mainstream" version of the song. It was released as a single on March 1, 2007 and was later included on the UK and iTunes versions of her 2008 album I Stand. The remix of "Defying Gravity" was also the anthem at the 2007 Gay Pride Parade and Festival in Los Angeles, and appears on the official CD from the event.

Formats and track listings[edit]

U.S. CD single

  1. "Defying Gravity" (Tracy Young's Flying Monkey's Club Mix) – 8:02
  2. "Defying Gravity" (Eddie Baez Club Mix) – 8:42
  3. "Defying Gravity" (Hani Flying So High Club Mix) – 7:04
  4. "Defying Gravity" (Josh Harris Vocal Club Mix) – 7:16
  5. "Defying Gravity" (Funky Junction & Antony Reale Club Mix) – 6:22
  6. "Defying Gravity" (Single version) – 3:48

Digital single

  1. "Defying Gravity" (Album version) – 3:46

Digital maxi single

  1. "Defying Gravity" (Tracy Young's Flying Monkey's Radio Edit) – 3:45
  2. "Defying Gravity" (Eddie Baez Radio Edit) – 4:54
  3. "Defying Gravity" (Funky Junction & Antony Reale Radio Edit) – 4:36
  4. "Defying Gravity" (Hani Flying So High Short Mix) – 4:55
  5. "Defying Gravity" (Josh Harris Radio Edit) – 3:53

Digital maxi single (DJ version)

  1. "Defying Gravity" (Tracy Young's Flying Monkey's Club Mix) – 8:02
  2. "Defying Gravity" (Eddie Baez Club Mix) – 8:42
  3. "Defying Gravity" (Funky Junction & Antony Reale Club Mix) – 6:22
  4. "Defying Gravity" (Hani Flying So High Club Mix) – 7:04
  5. "Defying Gravity" (Josh Harris Vocal Club Mix) – 7:16

Official versions[edit]

  • "Defying Gravity" (Album version) – 3:46
  • "Defying Gravity" (Single version) – 3:48
  • "Defying Gravity" (Eddie Baez Club Mix) – 8:42
  • "Defying Gravity" (Eddie Baez Radio Edit) – 4:54
  • "Defying Gravity" (Funky Junction & Antony Reale Club Mix) – 6:22
  • "Defying Gravity" (Funky Junction & Antony Reale Radio Edit) – 4:36
  • "Defying Gravity" (Hani Flying So High Club Mix) – 7:04
  • "Defying Gravity" (Hani Flying So High Short Mix) – 4:55
  • "Defying Gravity" (Josh Harris Vocal Club Mix) – 7:16
  • "Defying Gravity" (Josh Harris Radio Edit) – 3:53
  • "Defying Gravity" (Tracy Young's Flying Monkey's Club Mix) – 8:02
  • "Defying Gravity" (Tracy Young's Flying Monkey's Radio Edit) – 3:45
  • "Defying Gravity" (Live from Soundstage) – 3:56

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2007-2008) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[2] 72
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[3] 5

Other recording[edit]

The song was used to wake up astronauts aboard space shuttle mission STS-131 in April 2010 for astronaut Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger in honor of the day's planned extra-vehicular activity.[4]

The song was recorded and performed twice on Fox's TV show Glee, sung by Rachel Berry and Kurt Hummel (Lea Michele and Chris Colfer, respectively) and again in the series' 100th episode, sung by Rachel, Kurt and Mercedes Jones (played by Amber Riley). Responding to the latter performance, a tipsy April Rhodes, played by Kristin Chenoweth herself, remarks how the song is good enough for Broadway.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]