In 1990, the American vocalist Oleta Adams recorded the song which became a major international hit, reaching the Top 5 in the UK and the US. Adams' version was co-produced by Roland Orzabal from the band Tears for Fears, and became her signature song.
Russell had written the song while staying at a penthouse in Stockholm: the tune came to her as she viewed some hot air balloons floating over the city, a sight Russell recalls set her "really tripping on how many ways you can get to a person" (the eventual song's lyrics include the line: "You can make it in a big balloon but you'd better make it soon"). Although Russell did not pursue the musical ideas that came to her as her current record label saw her as a dance artist and she thought would not be interested in a song such as the one which became "Get Here", the song was still in the singer's mind when she woke up the next day: "I don’t read or write music [therefore] it’s extraordinary if a song is still in my head that I haven’t jotted down or recorded. So if it’s still in my head overnight, I think that’s something extra special, it’s like somebody trying to tell me something." Russell recorded the song as the title cut of her 1988 album from which it was issued as a single - the album's third - reaching #37 on the Billboard R&B charts.
It was while Oleta Adams was visiting Stockholm that she heard Russell's song playing in a record store and was sufficiently impressed with the song to record it for her 1990 album Circle of One. Adams' version of "Get Here" was issued as a single in early 1991. World events at this time gave the song a resonance as an anthem for the US troops in the Gulf War - underscored by the lyrics: "You can reach me by caravan|Cross the desert like an Arab man" - which sent Adams' single into the Top Ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1991.
Also Edsilia Rombley recorded "Get Here" for her 1998 album Edsilia from which it was taken as a single reaching #88 on the Netherlands charts: previously Rombley had recorded a Dutch rendering of the song entitled "Zorg Dat Je Er Bent" which had appeared on the singer's 1997 Thuis album.
A humorous cover of "Get Here", which featured comedy sound effects after each method of transport mentioned, was performed by fictional singer Michelle Coffee in the Peter Kay series Phoenix Nights.
During American Idol 's American Juniors, Lucy Hale sang "Get Here" in the top-20 semi-final 2. She was chosen as one of the 5 contestants who advanced to the next competition.
The Beautiful South's album Gaze included a song with the same title and, partially, similar lyrics - but reversed the theme, with Paul Heaton protesting his unwillingness to travel any distance at all for his lover. (Sample lyric: "You can get here by helicopter"/"I can barely make Blackpool sands").
^Mann, Brent (2003). 99 Red Balloons and 100 Other All-Time Great One-Hit Wonders. New York: Bristol Park Books, Inc. p. 275. ISBN978-0-88486-435-6.
^Schoenherr, Steven (2006-05-01). "Get Here by Oleta Adams, 1990". Songs in American History. Retrieved 2009-09-16. Get Here" became the unofficial anthem for the Gulf War (Desert Storm) in 1991. The lyrics express the longing for a loved one who's many miles away, and the different methods of transportation he can use to return. The song was sung to US troops in the Middle East whose loved ones were home in America, awaiting their return.