How Come, How Long

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"How Come, How Long"
Single by Babyface featuring Stevie Wonder
from the album The Fan (soundtrack) and The Day
Released 7 July 1997
Format CD single, promo single, airplay, maxi single
Recorded 1996
Genre Pop, R&B
Length 5:10
Label Sony
Writer(s) Babyface, Stevie Wonder
Producer(s)

Babyface

Babyface chronology
"Every Time I Close My Eyes"
(1997)
"How Come, How Long"
(1997)
"Change the World"
(1997)
Music sample

"How Come, How Long" is a song written, produced and performed by Babyface (Kenneth Edmonds). It was released as the third single from his album The Day And The Soundtrack The Fan (soundtrack). It is a duet with American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder.

The lyrics deal with physical abuse, regarding a woman killed by her lover. This release met with mixed reaction by critics and did not chart on any major charts in United States, finding a better chart performance in United Kingdom, where it became a top ten hit for the performers. This song was nominated twice for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.

Song information[edit]

The track was written, produced and performed by Babyface as a duet with American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder, who also co-wrote the song. The lyrics deal with domestic violence and is inspired by the Nicole Brown Simpson case.[1] On the Entertainment Weekly review of The Day, David Browne wrote that this "domestic-abuse saga" needed "tougher music to make its point."[2] At the 40th Grammy Awards this song received a nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, which it lost to "Don't Look Back" by John Lee Hooker and Van Morrison.[3] The following year, the song received the same nomination with the live version included on Babyface's Unplugged album, losing this time to Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach with their rendition of "I Still Have That Other Girl".[4]

The music video for this song, directed by F. Gary Gray, shows several people in the same building ignoring the shouts and screams and multiple fights between a married couple, ending with a twist, showing that the woman killed her abusive husband, ending with her being arrested. This video received a nomination for Best R&B Video at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, which was awarded to "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy (Sean Combs) featuring Faith Evans and 112.[5] It also was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video, losing to "Got 'til It's Gone" by Janet Jackson.[3]

Track listing[edit]

US CD single[6]
  1. "How Come, How Long" – 5:11
  2. "Every Time I Close My Eyes" (Timbaland remix) – 4:23
UK CD single (XPCD2161)[7]
  1. "How Come, How Long" (Radio edit) – 4:12
CD maxi single (EPC 664402 2)[8]
  1. "How Come, How Long" (radio edit) – 4:12
  2. "How Come, How Long" (Natty & Slaps remix) – 5:08
  3. "How Come, How Long" (Laws & Craigie remix) – 6:28
  4. "Every Time I Close My Eyes" (Timbaland remix) – 4:55

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay[9] 47
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Airplay[10] 45
UK Singles Chart[11] 10
Australian Singles Chart[12] 5
German Top 100[13] 17

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Position
Australia[14] 27

Personnel[edit]

The following people contributed to "How Come, How Long":[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Babyface - Timeline". Rock on the Net. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  2. ^ Browne, David (1996-11-01). "Baby Grand". Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly and Time Inc. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  3. ^ a b "40th Grammy Awards". Rock on the Net. 1998-02-25. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  4. ^ "41st Grammy Awards". Rock on the Net. 1999-02-25. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  5. ^ "1997 MTV Video Music Awards". Rock on the Net. 1997-09-04. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  6. ^ a b "How Come, How Long". Allmusic. Macromedia Corporation. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  7. ^ "How Come, How Long Radio Edit". Eli.com. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  8. ^ "How Come, How Long CD Maxi single". Discogs. Retrieved 2009-01-12. 
  9. ^ "Hot 100 Airplay". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 1997-08-23. Retrieved 2006-01-12. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs Airplay". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 1997-08-16. Retrieved 2006-01-12. [dead link]
  11. ^ "UK Top 40 Hit Database". Every Hit. Retrieved 2006-01-12. 
  12. ^ Steffen Hung. "Australian charts portal". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  13. ^ "Musicline". Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  14. ^ http://www.aria.com.au/pages/aria-charts-end-of-year-charts-top-100-singles-1997.htm

External links[edit]