Footprints in the Sand (Leona Lewis song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Footprints in the Sand (song))
Jump to: navigation, search
"Footprints in the Sand"
A brunette woman is standing in front of a beach. She is wearing a greenish dress and she grabs her neck with her left hand. Next to her image, the words "Leona Lewis" are written in black capital letters, and "better In time & (and) footprints In the sand" in dark brown italics. Below the image the phrase "The Official Single Of Sports Relief 2008" is written in black capital letters and next to it, the Sports Relief logo is visible.
Single by Leona Lewis
from the album Spirit
A-side "Better in Time"
B-side "You Bring Me Down"
Released 9 March 2008 (2008-03-09)
Format CD single, digital download, maxi single
Recorded 2007, Rokstone Studios (London, England)
Genre R&B, pop
Length 4:09
Label Sony BMG, Syco
Writer(s) Richard Page, Per Magnusson, David Kreuger, Simon Cowell
Producer(s) Steve Mac
Leona Lewis singles chronology
"Bleeding Love"
(2007)
"Better in Time"/"Footprints in the Sand"
(2008)
"Forgive Me"
(2008)
Spirit track listing

"Footprints in the Sand" is a song recorded by British singer Leona Lewis for her debut studio album Spirit (2007). It was written by Simon Cowell, David Kreuger, Per Magnusson, Richard Page, and produced by Steve Mac. The song was digitally released as Lewis's third single on 9 March 2008 in the United Kingdom. Sony BMG and Syco Music launched it as a double A-side with "Better in Time", and "You Bring Me Down" as the B-side.

It is a R&B and pop song composed with a tempo of sixty beats per minute. It was written in a period of one day at Page's home in Malibu, California, with Cowell giving the idea to base it on the Christian poem "Footprints". The single's music video was filmed by British director Sophie Muller in Johannesburg, South Africa. The video describes social problems within the city, but ends with a message of hope. "Footprints in the Sand" became the official theme of the 2008 version of biennial charity programme Sport Relief, by BBC.

The song received positive reviews from music critics, some of them noting its gospel sounds and Lewis's vocals being compared to American R&B singer Mariah Carey. "Footprints in the Sand" charted as a separate single in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the European Hot 100 Singles, whilst the double A-side appeared in Germany and Switzerland, and was certified silver in the UK by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), in 2008. In the same year, Lewis performed the song for the first time in the UK live on the television programme Dancing on Ice. In 2009, the song was covered by Lucie Jones, a contestant of The X Factor, and by Julia Star from Swiss programme Die grössten Schweizer Talente.

Production and composition[edit]

"Footprints in the Sand" was written by Simon Cowell, David Kreuger, Per Magnusson and Richard Page, whilst the production was helmed by Steve Mac. It was recorded in 2007 at Rokstone Studios in London, England.[1][2] Cowell originally came up with the idea to base a song around the Christian poem "Footprints",[3] and asked Kreuger and Magnusson whether they could write something dealing with this subject.[4] They accepted the idea for co-writing and had scheduled session in Page's home in Malibu, California, succeeding to finish the full song for one day.[4] Cowell secured a songwriting credit for coming up with the idea.[5] In an interview with HitQuarters, Magnusson said they had thought the song would be a good idea for Irish boy band Westlife, but it was offered to British singer Leona Lewis instead.[4] When Cowell mentioned the song concept to Lewis, she agreed that it could be "really quite interesting".[5] Regarding the song, Lewis commented: "Originally it was a poem; it's very inspirational so we put it into a song. I think it is very moving, with a very emotional lyric and I really love to sing this song";[6] and added that the poem "[is] about standing by someone and being there for people who need your help."[7]

"Footprints in the Sand" was included on Lewis's debut studio album Spirit, which was released in 2007 by Syco and J Records.[1] The song has a duration of 4:09 and was composed using common time in the key of A major with a larghetto tempo of sixty beats per minute; Lewis's vocals spanned from the low note of E3 to the high note of G5.[8] The song follows the sequence of A5–A5/B–Fm7–E in the verses and A–B–Bm–Fm–G–D in the chorus as its chord progression.[8] It incorporates four instruments: keyboard instruments (a piano, an organ and synthesizers), guitar, bass and drums, and includes a choir performance made by The Tuff Session Singers.[1] It incorporates elements of R&B and pop musical genres,[8][9] and, according to music critics, contains a gospel production performed by a choir and features "crashing drums".[10][11][12]

Release and promotion[edit]

On 29 January 2008, Lewis announced on her website that "Footprints in the Sand", along with "Better in Time", would be released as a double A-side.[13] The single was launched with the song "You Bring Me Down" as the B-side,[14] and was released in the United Kingdom as a digital download on 9 March 2008, and a physical release on the following day,[13] with proceeds going to the charity.[15][16] The song was remixed for the single release ("Single Mix"),[9] which, unlike the original version, begins with Lewis's voice only, and music starts after she performs the first verse[17]—the album version of "Footprints in the Sand" starts with a piano tune before she starts to sing the lyrics—,[1] and lasts at 3:58.[18]

"Footprints in the Sand" became the official song of the charity Sport Relief, a biennial charity organised by Comic Relief and BBC Sport, for their 2008 broadcast.[14][19][20] In her performance, Lewis sang the song to the Sports Relief event. Also, there were musicians that played violas, violins, and a piano, and The Tuff Session Singers performed the chorus. Whilst she sang, images of "sadness and desperation" were shown to the public. But, as the Tuff Session Singers began, the third chorus, those images became pictures of "happiness".[21] As part of promotion, Lewis performed the song live on the British television programme Dancing on Ice on 9 March 2008;[22] her song accompanied Torvill and Dean's ice dance routine.[23] In 2013, Lewis added the song to the setlist of her Glassheart Tour.[24]

Music video[edit]

A shanty town located in Soweto, Johannesburg. Many dwellings are shown throughout the photograph.
The music video was filmed in Johannesburg, South Africa. In it, images of poverty of the city (an urban area pictured) are shown.

The accompanying music video was filmed in Johannesburg, South Africa,[7][25] and was directed by British director Sophie Muller back-to-back with the video for "Better in Time".[7][26] It premiered on Lewis official website and BBC Radio 1's website on 27 February 2008.[27] The video begins with the message "Working to change lives across the world, in support of Sport Relief". Then, it intercuts a performance of Lewis in front of a wall and greyscale scenes: an image of a child walking on a landfill site, a funeral, a child lying in the street, and a kid sat in a traffic island. As the first chorus begins, the video continues showing scenes of poverty and AIDS issues in the country. Whilst the second verse goes, pictures of malnourished people appears. As the second chorus and the bridge elapse people crying still coming on the scene. But whereas The Tuff Session Singers start to sing the third chorus, the video begins to show images of kids playing association football and cricket. The video ends with children smiling as Lewis sings the outro of the song. It was released on the US iTunes Store on 3 February 2009.[28]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Upon the release of Spirit, "Footprints in the Sand" received generally positive reviews by music critics, with some of them comparing Lewis's performance to other singers such as Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera.[29] In his review of the album, Chris Elwell-Sutton of the Evening Standard commented that the song would be perfect as a "theme to a Disney movie".[30] Whilst reviewing Spirit, Chad Grischow of IGN Music described "Footprints in the Sand", along with "Here I Am", as a "sleeper ballad".[31] Lyndsey Winship, a reviewer from BBC Music, noted that the song "is a piano warbler that brings Leona's voice to the forefront".[32]

Sarah-Louise James of Daily Star commented that it contains some Westlife elements, and it would be perfect for a chick flick soundtrack.[33] A reviewer for South African news site iafrica.com described the song as a "show-stopping [...] lush Mariah-style ballad [...] that utilises Lewis'[s] full vocal range and sounds uncannily like Carey at her best.[34] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine called it "drippy", and added that with "Footprints" Lewis would receive comparisons to Carey.[35] Digital Spy's reviewers gave similar opinions about "Footprints in the Sand". Nick Levine in his review of the album called the song an "histrionic finale" of Spirit, and added that it "seems hellbent on revisiting Mariah Carey's schlock-pop masterwork 'Anytime You Need a Friend'".[36] After it was released as a single Alex Fletcher claimed it has "the sort of ludicrous outro even Mariah Carey might consider over-the-top" and that its lyrics "will have your granny in tears".[29]

Chart performance[edit]

A woman is sitting whilst she sings a song. She wears a pink dress which has some fancy diamonds. She holds a microphone with her left hand, and with her right hand she points something or someone that she is looking at.
With the double A-side "Better in Time"/"Footprints in the Sand", Lewis gained her third consecutive top-five single in the United Kingdom.

"Footprints in the Sand" charted in Europe, reaching position seventy-three on the European Hot 100 Singles.[37] In November 2007, the song debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number sixty-five, staying on the chart for another week. On 15 March 2008, the single re-entered it at number sixty-three. "Footprints in the Sand" claimed its peak position next week at number twenty-five, staying on the chart for eleven weeks.[38] On the Irish Singles Chart the song debuted and peaked at number fifty;[39] whilst on the Swiss Singles Chart, it debuted on 15 November 2009 at thirty-five, and it stayed there three weeks.[40]

The double A-side "Better in Time" and "Footprints in the Sand" debuted at number seventy-four on the UK Singles Chart on 1 March 2008.[41] After selling 40,476 copies it peaked at number two on 22 March 2008,[38] the same week "Footprints in the Sand" debuted in the top forty.[38] It was Lewis's third single to reach the top five in the UK.[42] It was certified as silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 16 January 2009.[43] The single debuted on the German Singles Chart on 16 June 2008 at number five, and reached its peak position, at number two, on 28 July 2008.[44] It also peaked on the European Hot 100 at number eight.[37]

Covers and use in popular culture[edit]

Welsh singer Lucie Jones sang "Footprints in the Sand" on the British singing competition programme The X Factor. She performed it on the first show of its sixth edition (2009)[45][46] Jones received generally positive reviews by her performance, but Cowell criticised her voice for not reach her highest pitch at the end of the song.[47] Swiss singer Julia Star, a Die grössten Schweizer Talente programme participant, which is part of the global British Got Talent franchise, covered the song in 2009.[48] In 2011, British easy listening group FourNurses included the song on their album Guiding You.[49] On 1 June 2013, Hungarian shadow theatre group Attraction used "Footprints in the Sand" during their live semi-final performance on Britain's Got Talent.[50]

On the final signing off on August 8, 2008, Associated Broadcasting Company was featured the tribute for the ABC-5 programs of the 1990s and 2000s including Tropang Trumpo, Wow Mali Sing Galing, Totoo TV and others and including PBA on ABC (it was Game 2 of the Fiesta Conference Finals then continued to renamed as TV5 starting Game 3 until Game 7). This was before merged into TV5 on August 9, 2008.

Track listings and formats[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format
United Kingdom 9 March 2008[13] Syco Music Digital download
10 March 2008[13][14] CD single
Canada 11 March 2008[17][55] Sony BMG, Syco Music CD single, digital download
United States
Australia 8 April 2008[56] Digital download
19 April 2008[57] CD single
Switzerland 16 May 2008[54] Maxi single
23 May 2008[51] CD single, digital download
Germany 30 May 2008[52] Ariola CD single, maxi single
Europe 3 June 2008[58] Sony BMG Europe CD single, digital download
Japan 6 June 2008[59] CD single, maxi single
Australia 5 July 2008[60] Sony BMG, Syco Music Maxi single

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Spirit (Compact Disc). Leona Lewis. Los Angeles, California: Sony BMG, J Records, Syco. 2007. 8 86970 25542 4. 
  2. ^ "Song list: Footprints in the Sand". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved 21 October 2007. 
  3. ^ Chinen, Nate (7 April 2008). "Critics’ Choice New CDs". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Per Magnusson, producer and songwriter for Leona Lewis, Il Divo, Britney Spears, Westlife". HitQuarters. 31 August 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Paphides, Pete (8 March 2008). "Leona Lewis - the X Factor star with more staying power". The Times (London: Times Newspapers Ltd). Retrieved 8 March 2008. 
  6. ^ "Leona to perform on ice show". Metro (Associated Newspapers Limited). Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c Allen, Liam (15 February 2008). "Lewis makes footprints in States". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 17 February 2008. 
  8. ^ a b c "Footprints in the Sand – Leona Lewis Digital Sheet Music" (Digital Download). Musicnotes Inc. MN0063217. 
  9. ^ a b "Better in Time/Footprints in the Sand". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  10. ^ Segal, Victoria (2 November 2007). "Leona Lewis: Spirit". The Sunday Times. News International. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Footprints In The Sand - Leona Lewis". Pandora Radio. Pandora Media, Inc. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  12. ^ Kaufman, Gil (4 February 2010). "'Footprints In The Sand': The Story Behind The 'American Idol' Audition". MTV News. MTV (Viacom). Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c d "New single announcement!". Leona Lewis Official Website. Sony Music Entertainment. 29 January 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Better in Time: Official Sport Relief Single 2008 (Single)". Amazon.com (United Kingdom). Amazon.com Inc. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Sign up for the Sport Relief Mile". BBC News. BBC. 15 January 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2008. 
  16. ^ Levine, Nick (30 January 2008). "Leona reveals new single details". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi (UK) Ltd. Retrieved 30 January 2008. 
  17. ^ a b c "Better in Time/Footprints in the Sand (Single, Import)". Amazon.com (United States). Amazon.com Inc. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  18. ^ a b Lewis, Leona (2008). Better In Time / Footprints In The Sand (Compact Disc). Leona Lewis. Miami, Florida: Sony BMG, Syco. Back cover. 88697 27200 2. 
  19. ^ "Leona Lewis is heading into the top ten again". The Sun. News International. 10 March 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  20. ^ "'Better in Time' / 'Footprints in the Sand' out today!". Leona Lewis Official Website. Sony Music Entertainment. 10 March 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  21. ^ "Sports Relief 2008". Sport Relief. 10 March 2008. BBC. Comic Relief.
  22. ^ "Dancing on Ice performance". Leona Lewis Official Website. Sony Music Entertainment. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  23. ^ "Leona Lewis' blades of glory". The Sun (News International). 29 February 2008. Retrieved 29 February 2008. 
  24. ^ Corner, Lewis (17 April 2013). "Leona Lewis begins 'Glassheart' tour in Germany - pictures". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  25. ^ Ford, Louise (2 March 2008). "Leona Lewis can't afford to buy her own house, says dad". Sunday Mirror (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 2 March 2008. 
  26. ^ Lewis, Leona (11 February 2008). "Grammy Party!". Leona Lewis Official Website. Sony Music Entertainment. Retrieved 11 February 2008. 
  27. ^ "'Footprints in the Sand' exclusive video!". Leona Lewis Official Website. Sony Music Entertainment. 27 February 2008. Retrieved 27 February 2008. 
  28. ^ "Footprints In the Sand – Leona Lewis". The iTunes Store (United States). Apple Inc. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  29. ^ a b Fletcher, Alex (10 March 2008). "Leona Lewis: 'Better In Time' / 'Footprints In The Sand'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi (UK) Ltd. Retrieved 9 September 2008. 
  30. ^ Elwell-Sutton, Chris (5 November 2011). "CDs of the week". Evening Standard (Evening Standard London Limited). Retrieved 29 January 2008. 
  31. ^ Grischow, Chris (23 April 2008). "Leona Lewis - Spirit. UK Songstress worthy of the hype on sparkling debut". IGN Music. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  32. ^ Winship, Lyndsey (2 November 2007). "Spirit is just the sound of a generic diva". BBC Music. BBC. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  33. ^ James, Sarah-Louise (1 November 2007). "Leona Lewis: Spirit". Daily Star. Northern and Shell Media Publications. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  34. ^ Geffen, Justine (19 February 2011). "Leona Lewis Spirit". iafrica.com. Primedia Online. Retrieved 8 March 2008. 
  35. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (1 April 2008). "Leona Lewis Spirit". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  36. ^ Levine, Nick (12 November 2007). "Leona Lewis: 'Spirit'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi (UK) Ltd. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  37. ^ a b c d "Leona Lewis Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  38. ^ a b c d e "2008 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive". UK Singles Chart. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  39. ^ a b "Discography Leona Lewis". Irish Recorded Music Association. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  40. ^ a b "Leona Lewis - Footprints In The Sand (Song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  41. ^ "Chart Stats – Leona Lewis – Better In Time / Footprints in the Sand". Chart Stats. The Official UK Charts Company. Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  42. ^ "Charts Stats - Leona Lewis". Chart Stats. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  43. ^ a b "Certifified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  44. ^ a b "Better in Time/Premium - Leona Lewis" (in German). Musicline.de. Media Control Charts. Retrieved 3 February 2011. 
  45. ^ "The X Factor". The X Factor. Season six. Episode 11. 10 October 2009. ITV.
  46. ^ "Lucie has rugby fella... just like Charlotte". The Sun. News International. 14 October 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  47. ^ "The X Factor: 2009 – Lucie Jones – Live Show 1 (itv.com/xfactor)". The X-Factor Official YouTube Channel. YouTube. 10 October 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  48. ^ "Leona Lewis – Footprints in the sand". Julia Star Official Website. 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  49. ^ O'Brien, Jon. "Guiding You – FourNurses". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  50. ^ "Attraction shadow dance to Leona Lewis' Footprints In The Sand". Britain's Got Talent. Syco. 4 November 2013. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. 
  51. ^ a b "Better in Time – 2track" (in German). CeDe. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  52. ^ a b "Better in Time/Premium (Single, Maxi)" (in German). Amazon.com (Germany). Amazon.com Inc. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  53. ^ "Better in Time [Sony Single]". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  54. ^ a b "Better in Time" (in German). CeDe. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  55. ^ "Better in Time/Footprints in the Sand (Import, Single)". Amazon.com (Canada). Amazon.com Inc. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  56. ^ "Better in Time – EP". The iTunes Store (Australia). Apple Inc. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  57. ^ "Better in Time – EP". The iTunes Store (Australia). Apple Inc. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  58. ^ "Better in Time". Amazon.com (Europe). Amazon.com Inc. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  59. ^ "Better in Time (Single, Enhanced, Maxi, Import, from US)" (in Japanese). Amazon.com (Japan). Amazon.com Inc. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  60. ^ "Better In Time – EP". The iTunes Store (Australia). Apple Inc. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 

External links[edit]