Broken Wings (Mr. Mister song)

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"Broken Wings"
Broken Wings single cover.jpg
One of non-U.S. picture sleeves, usually for some European countries
Single by Mr. Mister
from the album Welcome to the Real World
ReleasedJune 1985[1]
RecordedNovember 1984
Genre
Length
  • 5:42 (album version)
  • 4:43 (radio/video edit)
  • 4:30 (7" edit)
LabelRCA Records
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Mr. Mister singles chronology
"Hunters of the Night"
(1984)
"Broken Wings"
(1985)
"Kyrie"
(1985)
Music video
"Broken Wings" on YouTube

"Broken Wings" is a 1985 song recorded by American pop rock band Mr. Mister. It was released in June 1985 as the lead single from their second album Welcome to the Real World. The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1985, where it remained for two weeks. It was released as the band was just about to embark on a US tour opening for Tina Turner. "Broken Wings" became the first of two consecutive number ones of the band on the American charts, the other chart-topper being "Kyrie". Outside of the United States, "Broken Wings" topped the charts in Canada, peaked within the top ten of the charts in Australia, Belgium (Flanders), the Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and West Germany, and the top twenty of the charts in Austria, New Zealand, Spain and Sweden.

Background and music[edit]

The ballad[2] was co-written with lyricist John Lang, who was inspired by Kahlil Gibran's novel Broken Wings.[3] The song is a mix of synth, digitally delayed guitar, bass and drums. The song's hissing intro was an effect created by the sound of a crash cymbal played in reverse.[3]

Although the 1968 Beatles song, "Blackbird" contains an identical lyric, "Take these broken wings and learn to fly", Richard Page has described this as "a mindless unintentional reference" attributable to both compositions being influenced by the Gibran novel.[4]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Broken Wings" was directed by Oley Sassone and filmed in black-and-white.[5] It features lead vocalist/bassist Richard Page driving through the desert in a classic Ford Thunderbird, the first allusion to birds. There is a scene where Page is sitting in a church when a Harris's Hawk flies in through the window and lands next to him on the pew and they exchange a gaze. The full band is also featured in performance scenes. Also appearing in the video are an unknown man and woman dancing tango. They are only shown from the waist down. At the end of the video Page is seen next to the Thunderbird with the vehicle's hood open.

Reception[edit]

Stereogum said the lyrics were, "grandiloquent enough to be self-parody, but Page delivers them all perfectly straight-faced. He means every bit of it. In Page's mouth, the word "take" becomes a desperate animal yelp. I love it. I also love how overproduced "Broken Wings" is. The song is all ominous churn, and it never really kicks in. Instead, it captures a state of sustained anticipation."[6]

Track listing[edit]

7" Single[7]
  1. "Broken Wings" (single edit) - 4:29
  2. "Uniform of Youth" - 4:25
12" Maxi Single[7]
  1. "Broken Wings" (album version) - 5:45
  2. "Uniform of Youth" - 4:25
  3. "Welcome to the Real World" - 4:18

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[42] Silver 200,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

C-Block version[edit]

"Broken Wings"
Single by C-Block
from the album Keepin' It Real
ReleasedMarch 9, 1998
Recorded1997
GenreHip hop
Length3:59
LabelMaad Records
Songwriter(s)Richard Page, Steve George, John Lang
Producer(s)Jörg Wagner DJ, Ulrich Buchmann, Franky Miller
C-Block singles chronology
"Eternal Grace"
(1997)
"Broken Wings"
(1998)
"Keep Movin’"
(1998)

In 1998, C-Block covered the song and released it on the album Keepin' It Real. Large parts of the original were retained, but supplemented by rap passages. The success was modest in German-speaking countries.

Music video[edit]

The music video is split into two acts: Mr. P sings his part on a platform in the sea, while Goldie "Gold" Holloway does his part in a demonstration. Also, Theresa "Misty" Baltimore sings her part. The plot is also accompanied by landscape and sky photographs. In the end, all three band members are united.[43]

Track listings[edit]

CD-Maxi

  1. Broken Wings (Radio Version) - 3:59
  2. Broken Wings (Bird's Eye Mix) - 5:07
  3. Being Raised (Album Version) - 4:15
  4. Magic Hip Hop Dreams - 6:46

Charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
position
German Singles Chart 27
Swiss Singles Chart 31[44]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.45cat.com/record/pb14136
  2. ^ "Mr. Mister: Welcome To The Real World / Go On..."
  3. ^ a b Notes on Broken Wings - from Mr. Mister fansite
  4. ^ "19 of the greatest power ballads of all time". Smooth. 2 July 2018.
  5. ^ MVdbase entry - music video details
  6. ^ Tom Breihan. "The Number Ones: Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings"". Stereogum.
  7. ^ a b "Mr. Mister – Broken Wings". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. p. 210. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Mr. Mister – Broken Wings" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – Mr. Mister – Broken Wings" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0611." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9326." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  13. ^ "European Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Eurotipsheet. Vol. 3 no. 5. February 8, 1986. p. 12. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  14. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Broken Wings". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Mr Mister" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Mr. Mister – Broken Wings" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  17. ^ "Charts.nz – Mr. Mister – Broken Wings". Top 40 Singles.
  18. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Mr. Mister – Broken Wings". VG-lista.
  19. ^ "SA Charts 1965–1989 (As presented on Springbok Radio/Radio Orion) – Songs A–B". The South African Rock Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  20. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  21. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Mr. Mister – Broken Wings". Singles Top 100.
  22. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Mr. Mister – Broken Wings". Swiss Singles Chart.
  23. ^ "Mr Mister: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  24. ^ "Mr. Mister Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  25. ^ "Mr. Mister Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  26. ^ "Mr. Mister Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  27. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles – Week ending December 14, 1985". Cash Box. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  28. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Mr. Mister – Broken Wings". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  29. ^ "RPM's Top 100 Singles of 1985". RPM. Vol. 43 no. 16. December 28, 1985. p. 11. ISSN 0315-5994 – via Library and Archives Canada.
  30. ^ "The Cash Box Year-End Charts: 1985 – Top 100 Pop Singles". Cash Box. December 28, 1985. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  31. ^ "National Top 100 Singles for 1986". Kent Music Report (650). December 29, 1986 – via Imgur.
  32. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1986 – Singles" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  33. ^ "Top 100 Singles of '86". RPM. Vol. 45 no. 14. December 27, 1986. p. 5. ISSN 0315-5994 – via Library and Archives Canada.
  34. ^ "European Hot 100 Singles – Hot 100 of the Year 1986" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 3 no. 51/52. December 27, 1986. p. 28. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  35. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1986" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  36. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1986" (in Dutch). Dutch Charts. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  37. ^ "Hot 100 Songs – Year-End 1986". Billboard. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  38. ^ "Adult Contemporary Songs – Year-End 1986". Billboard. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  39. ^ "The Cash Box Year-End Charts: 1986 – Top 100 Pop Singles". Cash Box. December 27, 1986. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  40. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts – 1986" (in German). Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  41. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  42. ^ "British single certifications – Mr Mister – Broken Wings". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 18, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Broken Wings in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  43. ^ Music video in Youtube.com
  44. ^ hitparade.ch

External links[edit]