I Believe in You and Me

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"I Believe in You and Me"
Single by The Four Tops
from the album One More Mountain
Released 1983
Genre R&B/Soul
Label Casablanca
Writer(s) Sandy Linzer, David Wolfert
The Four Tops singles chronology
"Tonight I'm Gonna Love You All Over"
(1982)
"I Believe in You and Me"
(1983)
"I Just Can't Walk Away"
(1983)

"I Believe in You and Me" is a ballad written by Sandy Linzer and David Wolfert. The song was first recorded and released by the R&B group The Four Tops in 1983. The song was written by Linzer and Wolfert in 1982, and the Four Tops released it as a single in 1983 (although the song is, in essence, a solo recording by lead vocalist Levi Stubbs). While it failed to crack the US Top 40, it became a moderate hit for the group on the U.S. R&B chart, peaking at #40 on the Hot Black Singles chart in early 1983.

In 1996, R&B/pop singer Whitney Houston recorded a very successful cover of the song for her film The Preacher's Wife and released it as a single. Following its release, the song became a top five pop and R&B hit in the U.S., also peaking on music charts worldwide and is most popularly known as a Whitney Houston song. Despite the bigger success of the Whitney Houston version, however, the song's co-composer David Wolfert, stated in a 2001 interview that young songwriters, referring to the song, told him: "Oh, you wrote that Whitney song." He claimed, "I say, 'That's not really a Whitney song,' and play them the (Four Tops) original. Their mouths drop open. No one is going to sing that song like Levi-ever."[1]

History and composition[edit]

The original version recorded by The Four Tops was a moderate success, charting at position 40 in Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart.[2] American R&B singer, David Peaston, won a Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist, also recorded the song for his 'Mixed Emotions' album in 1991.[3]

Shortly before his death in 2008, Four Tops lead singer Levi Stubbs, who was sidelined from the group due to complications of a stroke, and confined to a wheelchair, appeared with the other members of The Four Tops, and Aretha Franklin, and sang "I Believe In You and Me" live onstage in Detroit, in his final television appearance on From The Heart: The Four Tops 50th Anniversary Special (2004) on PBS.[4][5]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
position
US Hot Black Singles (Billboard)[2] 40

I Believe in You and Me (Whitney Houston Version)[edit]

"I Believe in You and Me"
Single by Whitney Houston
from the album The Preacher's Wife: Original Soundtrack Album
Released December 10, 1996 (U.S.)
March 17, 1997 (U.K.)
Recorded 1996
Genre Pop, Soul, R&B, Gospel, Jazz, Adult contemporary
Length 4:03
3:55 (Single Version)
Label Arista
Writer(s) Sandy Linzer, David Wolfert
Producer(s) Mervyn Warren, Whitney Houston, David Foster
Whitney Houston singles chronology
"Why Does It Hurt So Bad"
(1996)
"I Believe in You and Me"
(1996)
"Step by Step"
(1997)
Music video
"I Believe in You and Me" on YouTube

Thirteen years later in 1996, Whitney Houston recorded a cover of the song for her soundtrack album The Preacher's Wife, produced by Mervyn Warren and herself on the film version and David Foster on the single version of the song. Houston received a Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her performance of the song at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards on February 25, 1998.[6]

Composition[edit]


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"I Believe in You and Me" is a slow tempo R&B song with strong gospel influences. Written in the key of C major, the beat is set in common time and moves at a slow 66 beats per minute. Houston's vocals in the song spans from the low note of G3 to the high note of A5.[7]

Critical response[edit]

Billboard gave the song a positive review saying, "As she did with Dolly Parton's 'I Will Always Love You,' Houston redefines the composition with a soaring, glass-shattering performance that will leave her legions of fans breathless."[8] J. D. Considine of The Baltimore Sun called the song "the Designated Hit Ballad" and added "[it] is pretty much what we've come to expect from Houston ― a slow, Streisand-esque build-up, a subtle sense of drama and a big, full-voiced payoff in the final chorus."[9] Neil Strauss from The New York Times in his review for The Preacher's Wife Soundtrack, praised the song highly, stating "[it] is among the year's most virtuosic pop ballads."[10] While reviewing the soundtrack, Elysa Gardner of Los Angeles Times wrote that the song "is a cheesy classic in the tradition of 'I Will Always Love You,' with an instantly familiar melody and a poignant, bolero-like arrangement."[11]

Commercial performance[edit]

"I Believe in You and Me", the first single from The Preacher's Wife Soundtrack, debuted at number seven and number six, on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B Singles charts, the issue date of December 28, 1996, respectively.[12][13] In four weeks later, the issue date of January 25, 1997, it released as a two-sided single with "Somebody Bigger Than You and I" from the soundtrack in the R&B marketplace, peaked at number four on the Hot R&B chart, staying on the chart for 20 weeks.[14] The following week, it also reached a peak of number four on the Hot 100 chart, becoming Houston's 16th top five hit.[15] The song entered the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart at number 19, the issue date of December 14, 1996 and peaked at number two, making it her 21st top ten hit of the chart, the issue date of March 1, 1997.[16][17] The song was ranked thirty-three on the 1997 Billboard Year-end Hot 100 Singles chart.[18] Additionally, "I Believe in You and Me/Somebody Bigger Than You and I" two-sided single placed at position number twenty-nine on the 1997 Billboard Year-end Hot R&B Singles chart.[19] The single was certified Platinum for the shipments of 1,000,000 copies or more by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on February 4, 1997, becoming Houston's fourth Platinum single.[20]

Worldwide, it was released as the second single from the soundtrack after "Step by Step" and a moderate hit, unlike the United States. The single peaked at number 16 on the UK Singles Chart,[21] number 98 in Germany,[22] number 74 in the Netherlands and number 46 in Sweden.

Live performances by Whitney Houston[edit]

Houston performing "I Believe in You and Me" on the National Lottery Show in the U.K. on March 15, 1997

Houston performed "I Believe in You and Me" on Saturday Night Live on December 14, 1996.[23] Houston also sang the song on the National Lottery show, broadcast live on BBC in the United Kingdom on March 15, 1997.[24] The song was performed optionally on her 1998 European Tour. For her My Love Is Your Love World Tour in 1999, it was performed as the first song for 'Movie Medley'. The performance of the song in Sopot, Poland was broadcast live on Polish TV channel, TVP1, on August 22, 1999. Houston performed the song along with "I Will Always Love You" as a part of medley on Arista Records 25th Anniversary Celebration, taped at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on April 10 and later broadcast on NBC, May 15, 2000.[25][26] The performance on the show was released on the same titled DVD and VHS in June 2000.[27] In four years, the similar medley performance of the show was done as part of a tribute to Clive Davis, who received a special award for outstanding contribution to the music industry, on the 16th World Music Awards on September 15, 2004.[28]

Live cover versions by other artists[edit]

CeCe Winans performed the song to tribute to Whitney Houston, the first ever recipient of the Triumphant Spirit Award at the 10th annual Essence Awards, taped on April 4, 1997 and broadcast later on Fox TV, May 22, 1997.[29] At the 12th annual Soul Train Music Awards on February 27, 1998, the song was performed by Kenny Lattimore and Terry Ellis as part of a musical tribute to Houston, who was honored with the Quincy Jones Award for outstanding career achievements in the field of entertainment on the ceremony.[30][31] Kim Burrell sang the jazzy version of the song to tribute to Houston, who was honoree in entertainment field, and received a standing ovation on The 2010 BET Honors, taped at the Warner Theatre on January 16 and later aired on BET, February 1, 2010.[32] Usher performed this song in the CBS special "Grammy presents We will always love you, Whitney Houston".[33]

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Four Tops'2001 "Fourever" box set -liner notes, page 37
  2. ^ a b The Four Tops | AllMusic
  3. ^ "Mixed Emotions - David Peaston". Billboard.com. 1991-11-30. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  4. ^ Video on YouTube
  5. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Four-Tops-Anniversary-Concert/dp/B000EOTWM4/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1378688532&sr=1-2&keywords=the+four+tops
  6. ^ 40th Annual Grammy Awards: Final Nominations. Billboard. January 17, 1998. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Whitney Houston – I Believe In You and Me Sheet Music (Digital Download)". Musicnotes.com. Alfred Music Publishing. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  8. ^ "Reviews & Previews, Singles: I Believe In You and Me". classicwhitney.com. Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  9. ^ J. D. Considine (November 28, 1996). "'Preacher's Wife' lacks gospel fire". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  10. ^ Neil Strauss (November 21, 1996). "The Pop Life". The New York Times. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  11. ^ Elysa Gardner (November 24, 1996). "Oh, Whitney--for Heaven's Sake". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  12. ^ The Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart listing for the week of December 28, 1996. Billboard. December 28, 1996. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  13. ^ The Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart listing for the week of December 28, 1996. Billboard. December 28, 1996. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  14. ^ "The Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart listing for the week of January 25, 1997". Billboard. January 25, 1997. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  15. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart listing for the week of February 1, 1997". Billboard. February 1, 1997. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  16. ^ The Billboard Adult Contemporary chart listing for the week of December 14, 1996. Billboard. December 14, 1996. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  17. ^ "The Billboard Adult Contemporary chart listing for the week of March 1, 1997". Billboard. March 1, 1997. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  18. ^ a b "Year-end Charts - 1997 Hot 100 Singles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 31, 1997. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  19. ^ a b "Year-end Charts - 1997 Hot R&B Singles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 31, 1997. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  20. ^ a b "RIAA certification for "I Believe In You And Me" single". Recording Industry Association of America. February 4, 1997. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  21. ^ "UK Singles Chart listing for the week ending March 29, 1997". The Official Charts Company. March 29, 1997. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  22. ^ ""I Believe in You and Me" performance on the German Media Control Top 100 chart". Media Control Charts. May 19, 1997. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Saturday Night Live Transcripts: Season 22, Episode 7". snltranscripts.jt.org. December 14, 1996. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  24. ^ ""I Believe In You And Me" live performance by Whitney Houston on the National Lottery Show in 1997". YouTube. October 22, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  25. ^ "'25 Years of #1 Hits: Arista Records Anniversary Celebration' Set To Air As NBC-TV Special on May 15th". PR Newswire. February 3, 2000. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  26. ^ ""I Believe In You And Me" live performance on Arista Records 25th Anniversay Celebration in 2000". YouTube. July 9, 2009. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  27. ^ "25 Years of #1 Hits - Arista Records 25th Anniversary Celebration (2000)". Amazon.com. June 6, 2000. Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  28. ^ "Top artists descend on Vegas for World Music Awards". Lodi News-Sentinel. September 16, 2004. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  29. ^ J.R. Reynolds (April 19, 1997). The Thythm and The Blues section, Essence Awards Accentuate The Positive; Living Legend Awards Spotlight Clayton. Billboard. Retrieved Narch 6, 2011. 
  30. ^ Anita M. Samuels (March 14, 1998). Badu Heads Soul Train; Singer Picks Up 4 Awards. Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  31. ^ "The musical tribute to Whitney Houston on the 12th Soul Train Music Awards". YouTube. February 15, 2009. Retrieved March 8, 2011. 
  32. ^ "The 2010 BET Honors performers". BET. February 2, 2010. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  33. ^ Jessica Sager (October 15, 2012). "Watch Usher Perform ‘I Believe In You and Me’ at the Whitney Houston Tribute Show". PopCrush. Retrieved November 21, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  35. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Whitney Houston – I Believe In You and Me" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
  36. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  37. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Whitney Houston – I Believe In You and Me". Singles Top 60.
  38. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  39. ^ "Whitney Houston Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Whitney Houston.
  40. ^ "Whitney Houston Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Whitney Houston.
  41. ^ "Whitney Houston Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Whitney Houston.
  42. ^ "RPM '97 YEAR END ...Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. December 15, 1997. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  43. ^ "Year-end Charts - 1997 Hot Adult Contemporary Singles & Tracks". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 31, 1997. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  44. ^ "Year-end Charts - 1997 Top Soundtrack Singles". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 31, 1997. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 

External links[edit]