A Song for You
|"A Song for You"|
|Single by Andy Williams|
|from the album You've Got a Friend|
|B-side||"You've Got a Friend"|
|Andy Williams singles chronology|
"A Song for You" is a song written and originally recorded by rock singer and pianist Leon Russell for his first solo album Leon Russell, which was released in 1970 on Shelter Records. A slow, pained plea for forgiveness and understanding from an estranged lover, the tune is one of Russell's best-known compositions. It has been performed and recorded by an array of artists, spanning many musical genres. Elton John has called the song an American classic.
One of the first versions of the song that brought it broader attention was by Andy Williams, whose single peaked at #29 on the adult contemporary chart and #82 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971. Ray Charles recorded a version that earned him the 1993 Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
|US Smooth Jazz||19|
|US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs||61|
(in alphabetical order)
- John Adeleye: On The X Factor, Live Episode 2 (2010).
- Angela Aki: Track 3 on her indie mini-album One. Her Japanese lyrics do not correspond to Leon Russell's.
- Kris Allen: performed it in his first audition on the eighth season of American Idol.
- Michael Ball: on his 1993 album Always.
- Ben Barnett, of the band Kind of Like Spitting recorded a cover in 2005.
- Beyoncé: performed the arrangement made popular by Donny Hathaway regularly during her second solo world tour.
- Bizzy Bone: on the 2008 album of the same name; produced a modern take on the song with fellow rapper DMX and singer Chris Notez.
- Ricky Braddy: performed it on the eighth season of American Idol during the semi-finals.
- Elkie Brooks: On the album Powerless, 2010.
- Marc Broussard: recorded a live version of this song during a concert tour.
- Bobby Brown: performed the song on his 1991 tour as well as his tour with Whitney Houston in 1997 during the Pacific Rim Tour.
- Michael Bublé: recorded the song on his album It's Time. Bublé frequently ends his concerts with the song, and during his Crazy Love and To Be Loved tours, he sang the ending verses of the song to the stadiums and arenas unaided, without the use of an in-ear monitor or microphone.
- Jesse Campbell: on talent show The Voice during the first week of Season 2's Blind Auditions in 2012.
- Carpenters: not released as a single, it served as the title song for the duo's 1972 album A Song for You
- Dami Im recorded a version for her 2016 album Classic Carpenters.
- David Cassidy: From his 2003 album A Touch of Blue.
- Kate Ceberano: performed as part of her concerts with the Adelaide and Western Australian Symphony Orchestras, appearing on the 2006 CD and DVD release Kate Ceberano Live with the WASO.
- Ray Charles: He recorded a poignant version of the song on his 1993 album My World. Released as a single, it reached #4 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles, and won him a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Charles also performed the song at New York's Beacon Theatre on April 9, 2003, as part of Willie Nelson's 70th birthday tribute (released on DVD as Willie Nelson and Friends: Live & Kickin'). Leon Russell sang the first verse, Willie Nelson sang the second verse, and Charles sang the remainder of the song in this unforgettable performance. Nelson, who stood nearby during Charles' performance, was moved to tears.
- Cher: From the 1972 album Foxy Lady.
- City High: on their 2001 self-titled album.
- Petula Clark: Recorded in concert at the Royal Albert Hall, 1974. Recently released on the compilation Open Your Heart.
- Merry Clayton: From her 1971 self-titled album.
- Joe Cocker: From his 1976 album Stingray.
- Natalie Cole: on the 1999 album Snowfall on the Sahara; Michelle Kwan skated to it during exhibitions.
- Gavin DeGraw: did a performance of the song for StrippedMusic.com.
- Neil Diamond: On his cover album Dreams (2010).
- Phil Driscoll: On his 1992 album The Picture Changes.
- The Faux Pas: From their 1972 LP recorded at the Peppermint Factory. A classic rendition with Craig Kerr on vocal.
- Stacy Francis sang the song during the bootcamp stage of The X Factor USA. The audition was not aired entirely. Instead, the verse "'Cause my love is in there hiding" was shown. The judges said that it was an over-the-top performance. She still got through.
- Aretha Franklin: From the Let Me in Your Life album released in 1974.
- Peter Gallagher: On his 2005 album 7 Days in Memphis.
- Matt Goss: provided his own version of the song as a free download on his Website.
- Damion Hall: on his 1994 album Straight To The Point as a duet with his brother Aaron Hall.
- Heejun Han, American Idol season 11 finalist, performed the song during the Top 9 week. His performance received a standing ovation from Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.
- Herbie Hancock: released in 2005 with vocals by Christina Aguilera; it received airplay on U.S. smooth jazz radio and was also nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 2006 Grammy Awards. The duo performed a live rendition at the ceremony that year.
- Donny Hathaway: From his 1971 album Donny Hathaway. Considered one of his signature songs.
- Shirley Horn: Live version titled "A Song For You / Goodbye" on the album I Love You, Paris.
- Whitney Houston: performed for the troops and their families returning from the Gulf War on March 31, 1991. The performance can be seen on Welcome Home Heroes with Whitney Houston (1991). She recorded the song for her 2009 album, I Look to You. The 1991 performance was included in the 2014 CD/DVD release, Whitney Houston Live: Her Greatest Performances.
- Jam Hsiao: On his 2012 English album Mr. Jazz - A Song For You.
- Bon Iver sang the song live on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, mixing it with Bonnie Raitt's 1991 smash "I Can't Make You Love Me".
- Leon Jackson: on his first album Right Now.
- Sylvester James: on his 1979 live album Living Proof (double LP), did a six-minute medley containing this song.
- Elton John: sang it as an intro to a medley of his own songs "Blue Eyes" and "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" on his 1986 tour. He did not play piano during these performances; rather, he deferred the instrumental duties to keyboardist Fred Mandel.
- Vince Jones contributed a version for Kate Ceberanos 1994 album, Kate Ceberano and Friends.
- Viktor Lazlo: on her CD Saga.
- Peggy Lee: on her final album for Capitol Records, Norma Deloris Egstrom from Jamestown, North Dakota (1972).
- The Left: On their Gas Mask album (recorded in 2010), on the track "The Melody".
- Nolwenn Leroy: has included a performance of the song within her 2006–07 Histoires Naturelles tour.
- Gerald Levert: performed on the 1998 New York Undercover: A Night at Natalie's soundtrack.
- Tony Lewis: recorded the song as the opener of his 2001 CD Naked.
- Michael Lington, contemporary jazz saxophonist, released an album entitled A Song for You that featured a cover of this song.
- Maika Maile from the band There For Tomorrow. He uploaded a video on YouTube on March 13, 2013. He dedicated this song to his mother.
- Risie Mayo: on the Eleventh Gala Night of Pinoy Dream Academy: Little Dreamers.
- Carmen McRae performed this song on her "Great American Songbook" suite.
- Mina: She sang it in Italian on her 1975 album La Mina under the title Quasi come musica. The Italian lyrics do not correspond to Leon Russell's.
- Seann Miley Moore: He sang it in the sing off on the X Factor 2015.
- Jaye P. Morgan: the 50s chanteuse had her final Billboard chart song in 1971 with this tune ("Bubbling Under #105).
- Willie Nelson: on his 1973 album Shotgun Willie. He also performed it in the movie Honeysuckle Rose, and it appears on the movie's soundtrack.
- Goro Noguchi: on his 1976 album Goro Noguchi 5 Nen No Ayumi, 1983 album GORO NOGUCHI '83 SPRING CONCERT, and 1984 album A♭ Ni Ai O Nosete.
- Jamie Oldaker: on the 2005 album Jamie Oldaker's Mad Dogs & Okies, featuring Joe and Ellen
- Helen Reddy: From her 1971 debut album I Don't Know How to Love Him.
- Chris Richardson: performed the song in his auditions for American Idol in Season 6.
- Ridin' Thumb, Danish group, in their debut album Different Moves, Different Grooves (recorded in 1994) with primary vocalist Niels H.P.
- Neal Schon: guitarist of Journey, on his instrumental album Voice.
- S.E.S.: From the 2001 album Surprise.
- Doc Severinsen: Trumpet solo from his 1973 album Rhapsody for Now!.
- Simply Red: on the 2005 album Simplified and released as part of a double A-side single in January 2006.
- Sanne Salomonsen: recorded a cover version for her 1998 album In a New York Minute.
- Dusty Springfield recorded the song for possible inclusion on See All Her Faces but her unfinished recording remained shelved for almost 15 years until first issued on the Mercury two-CD compilation Something Special, April 1, 1996. Producers: Johnny Franz and Dusty Springfield.
- Mavis Staples recorded a version in collaboration with British Electric Foundation, which was included on their 1991 album Music of Quality and Distinction Volume Two
- Stephanie: Sang this song for the Japanese movie Pride in 2009. This song was released on the movie's soundtrack.
- Jasper Steverlinck: On his debut solo album Songs of Innocence (2004).
- Donna Summer: often sang this as the encore during tours from 1977 to 1979, and again in 1983. Several clips are on YouTube.
- Jakob Sveistrup: this Danish performer's self-titled debut album included a cover version of the song.
- Blue Swede, known in their native Sweden as Björn Skifs och Blåblus, covered the song on their 1973 album Pinewood Rally.
- A duet between James Taylor and Allison Janney in 2011 on the television series Mr. Sunshine.
- The Temptations: Title cut from their award-winning album A Song for You. Performed frequently in their live shows prior to the recording on the album.
- Kirk Whalum: On album Everything Is Everything: The Music of Donny Hathaway (2010).
- Kalil Wilson: On the album Easy to Love (2009).
- Nancy Wilson: From the 1987 album Forbidden Lover.
- Amy Winehouse included in 2011 posthumous album Lioness: Hidden Treasures (recorded 2009).
- Betty Wright: performed it live and it is featured on her release Betty Wright Live in 1978.
- Zakk Wylde: Performed a rendition at the November 19, 2009, Gibson / Les Paul Tribute concert held at The Ryman auditorium in Nashville.
- Elliott Yamin: performed the song in both his audition for American Idol and in one of his final performances. It was also named number three in Entertainment Weekly's 10 all-time best American Idol performances. The song is also on Yamin's debut album.
- Countless other artists have also recorded the song, including Vikki Carr, B.J. Thomas, Barbara Cook, Celine Dion, Ernestine Anderson, Kenny Rankin, Peabo Bryson, and Woody Herman.
Herbie Hancock and Christina Aguilera version
|"A Song for You"|
|Song by Herbie Hancock and Christina Aguilera from the album Possibilities|
This version performed by Herbie Hancock features singer Christina Aguilera. Released in August 2005, from Hancock's 45th studio album Possibilities, the song was considered a classic cover. Aguilera and Hancock were nominated for the 48th Grammy Awards in category "Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals".
Bizzy Bone featuring DMX and Chris Notez
|"A Song for You"|
|Single by Bizzy Bone featuring DMX and Chris Notez|
|from the album A Song for You|
|Released||March 18, 2008 (U.S.)|
|Bizzy Bone featuring DMX and Chris Notez singles chronology|
The music video for "A Song for You" included Bizzy Bone, DMX and Chris Notez; the music video includes Chris Notez playing a grand piano in front of a big manor singing his lyrics in the chorus, Bizzy Bone, DMX and sometimes Chris Notez singing in a dimly lit big room with Bizzy Bone wearing a bright red jacket and DMX wearing a copper brown jacket. Lastly Bizzy Bone is often seen in a suit singing the song in front of a tombstone, which appears to be the gravesite of rapper Eazy-E.
- The Encyclopedia of Country Music, 2012: "In 1970 Russell released his self-titled debut solo album, including such enduring songs as 'Delta Lady' and 'A Song for You,' both written for versatile vocalist Rita Coolidge. He followed with Leon Russell and the Shelter People (1971) and ..."
- "Billboard Singles". All Media Guide / Billboard. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- "Billboard Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- "A Song for You overview". Allmusic.com.
- "Michael Lington - A Song for You". SmoothViews.com.
- "Pinewood Rally". Diskografi (in Swedish). Björn Skifs. Retrieved 30 March 2012.