You're the Voice

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This article is about the song You're the Voice. For the Alan Parsons single, see You're the Voice (Alan Parsons single).
"You're the Voice"
Single by John Farnham
from the album 'Whispering Jack'
B-side "Going, Going, Gone"
Released September 1986
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl, CD
Recorded 1985/1986
Genre Rock, pop rock
Length 5:04
Label Wheatley Records
Writer(s) Andy Qunta, Keith Reid, Maggie Ryder, Chris Thompson
Producer(s) Ross Fraser
John Farnham singles chronology
"Love (It's Just the Way It Goes)"
"You're the Voice"
"Pressure Down"

"You're the Voice" is a song written by Andy Qunta, Keith Reid, Maggie Ryder and Chris Thompson. Australian singer John Farnham recorded the song for his album Whispering Jack released in 1986.[1][2] The song was awarded the 1987 ARIA Award for "Single of the Year". The song was one of the biggest hits of 1986 in Australia, topping the Kent Music Report Singles Chart for seven weeks from 3 November to 21 December.[3] It is also one of Farnham's biggest international successes, reaching the top 10 in many European countries, including Germany and Sweden although in the US it performed relatively poorly. BMG/RCA rereleased the song in the US in February 1990 after Farnham made the Adult Contemporary charts with "Two Strong Hearts". It spent eight weeks on the charts, peaking at No. 82. It was Farnham's own idea to feature the Scottish Bagpipe solo.

Pop culture appearances[edit]

The song appeared in the 2007 film Hot Rod and was featured on the film's soundtrack. The song appears in a scene when the main character, Rod, is preparing to jump 15 buses to raise money to save his stepfather. Some of the crowd are also involved in singing along to it and a small three-piece bagpipe band is shown walking along the road in time to the song's version of the same.

The song was also featured on the soundtrack for the video game Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City on the fictional in-game radio station "Vice City FM". It was also used in the Coca-Cola Light "Applause"' advertisement.

Another appearance was in a 2012 Ford Australia TV commercial to advertise the company's SYNC voice control system. Due to the TV ad, people downloaded the song and it reappeared in the ARIA Top 100 Singles Chart at No. 64.[4]

The song features in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa during the "low speed" police chase and is on the film's accompanying soundtrack.

The song was featured as an outtake for the BBC series Merlin, in which the actors Colin Morgan and Bradley James mimed the lyrics.

Chart history[edit]

Chart (1986–87) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[3] 1
Austrian Singles Chart[5] 6
Danish Singles Chart 1
Dutch GfK Singles Chart[6] 18
Dutch Top 40[7] 15
German Singles Chart[8] 1
Icelandic Singles Chart 1
Irish Singles Chart[9] 3
Norwegian Singles Chart 1
Swedish Singles Chart[10] 1
Swiss Singles Chart[11] 3
UK Singles Chart[12] 6
Chart (1990) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 82

Cover versions[edit]

  • In 1989, Scottish singer Barbara Dickson covered it on her album Coming Alive Again.
  • In 1990, Brenda Cochrane on her second album, The Voice which went gold that year.[citation needed]
  • In 1990, David Foster included a cover on his album River of Love with Jeff Pescetto on vocals.
  • In 1990, Greek reed player Filippos Tsemperoulis included an instrumental cover on his smooth jazz album 24 Hours (CBS Greece)
  • In 1993, Lavrentis Machairitsas covered the song with Greek lyrics on his album Rixe Kokkino Sti Nihta. The song was later performed as a mash-up of the original and the cover version in the first season of The Voice of Greece.[14]
  • In 1995, The Italian band Matia Bazar included their own version with original lyrics in Italian with the title of "La Scuola Dei Serpenti" on their compilation album Radio Matia.
  • In 1995, Alan Parsons included a cover on his album The Very Best Live as an unreleased studio version that allowed Chris Thompson a first chance to record his own song as lead vocalist. Thompson's version is also included on the Alan Parsons single You're the Voice and on the SAS Band's self-titled album from 2004.
  • In 1995, Dutch a cappella group Montezuma's Revenge on their album Make A Noise.
  • In 1996, Christian singer Rebecca St. James covered it on her album God.
  • In 2004, British vocal group G4 covered it on their album G4 & Friends.
  • In 2007, Argentinean metal band Eidyllion covered it on their album Secretos.
  • In 2008, a full length studio cover version of the song by David Archuleta appeared on iTunes after he had performed it on the TV series American Idol.
  • A cappella group Club for Five in 2009 on their album You're The Voice.
  • In 2010, power metal band Blind Guardian on their album At the Edge of Time.
  • In 2010, UK band Forever Never on their EP I Can't Believe it's Not Metal!.[15]
  • In 2012, British heavy metal band I Am I released a cover as a single. An audio sample can be heard on their official website.[16]
  • In 2013, German heavy metal group Redrum on their album "Victims Of Our Circumstances"
  • In 2013, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange performed a spoof of the video wearing a platinum mullet wig in Juice Rap News episode 20 as part of his Australian Senate election campaign.[17] The spoof was subsequently taken down due to a copyright claim by Fable Music Pty Ltd.[18]

Live cover performances[edit]


A UK hardcore track released by Waxman in 1996 sampled "You're The Voice".


"You're the Voice"
Single by Heart
from the album Rock the House Live!
B-side "Wild Child" (live)
Released October 1991
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl, CD
Recorded November 1990
Genre Rock
Length 5:05
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Andy Qunta, Keith Reid, Maggie Ryder, Chris Thompson
Producer(s) Richie Zito
Heart singles chronology
"You're the Voice"
"Will You Be There (In the Morning)"

As a lead promotion for their first live album Rock the House Live! in 1991, US rock band Heart released their live version of "You're the Voice" as a single. It was captured during the US leg of their Brigade world tour in November 1990. The single performed moderately well, reaching #20 on the US Mainstream Rock chart, whilst it was a minor hit in the UK reaching #56.

It was released in multiple limited edition formats in different territories, with the UK boasting the highest number of these :

  1. 7" etched one-sided single
  2. 7" red vinyl single
  3. 10" red vinyl single
  4. 12" etched one-sided single
  5. CD single

A studio version of the track had been recorded in late 1989 as part of the sessions for the Brigade album, though the track did not make the album cut track list. This studio version would not see release until its later inclusion on a greatest hits package, Greatest Hits: 1985–1995, in July 2000.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak
Canadian Singles Chart[19] 65
UK Singles Chart[20] 56
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart[21] 20


  1. ^ McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'John Farnham'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 29 August 2004. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Voice Events – The Official John Farnham Fan Club – You're the Voice". Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  Note: Kent Music Report (KMR) was used contemporaneously for Australian Singles and Albums charting from mid-1974 until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  4. ^ The ad on Ford Australia's website. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  5. ^ "". Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40, week 11, 1987 (Dutch)". Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  8. ^ " search results". Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  9. ^ " search results". Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  10. ^ "". Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  11. ^ "". Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  12. ^ "Chart Stats - John Farnham - You're the Voice". Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  13. ^ "allmusic - John Farnham - Billboard singles". Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  14. ^ Artsitas, Konstantinos. "The Voice: Δείτε την εντυπωσιακή έναρξη του πρώτου Live". Must. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  15. ^ Retrieved 10 September 2010
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Farrant, Hugo & Nanni, Giordano (Writers & Producers) (August 25, 2013). Aussie Election: A Game of Polls - feat. Julian Assange Farnham [RAP NEWS 20] (YouTube video). Ecuadorian embassy, London: Juice Rap News. 
  19. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  20. ^ "Heart - You're The Voice". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  21. ^ "Heart". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 

External links[edit]