Go the Distance

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For other uses, see Going the Distance.
"Go the Distance"
Song by Roger Bart from the album Hercules: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
Released May 27, 1997
Genre Film music, Show tunes
Length 3:14
Label Walt Disney
Writer David Zippel
Composer Alan Menken
Producer Alan Menken, David Zippel
Cover versions
Michael Bolton, Lucas Grabeel, Ricky Martin, Tarkan, K-Ci & JoJo, Harrison Craig

"Go the Distance" is a song from Disney's 1997 animated feature film, Hercules. It was written by composer Alan Menken and lyricist David Zippel, and originally recorded by American actor Roger Bart in his film role as the singing voice of Hercules. American singer-songwriter Michael Bolton recorded a pop version of the song for the film's end credits. In the Spanish version, the song is performed by Hercules voicer Ricky Martin, both in the movie and in the credits; this version is included on Martin's album Vuelve. Both the song and its reprise featured in a stage production of Hercules, performed upon the Disney Wonder during 2007/2008.


Hercules' "I want" song, Go the Distance demonstrates his desire to push himself to new heights, and to be adored by others.

"Go the Distance" was one of two songs written for the film, the second being "Shooting Star", performed by Boyzone, which failed to make the final cut. However, "Shooting Star" is included on the Hercules soundtrack CD. The score for the original version of the song can be found in the Alan Menken Songbook.

Critical reception[edit]

Ways of Being Male felt that the phrase "go the distance" is a prime example of the way themes are "couched in the language of sport and competition" throughout the film.[1] Den of Geek deemed it "one of Disney's great anthems/motivational mantras for all aspiring athletes and deities."[2] MoviePilot suggests that the shooting star during "Go the Distance" is actually Aladdin and Jasmine's magic carpet ride.[3] The Gobe and Mail likened it to Duddy’s Leaving St. Urbain Street,[4] while BoingBoing compared it to Pocahontas's "Just Around the Riverbend".[5] Vulture deemed it "inspiring".[6]

Awards and chart placings[edit]

The song was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. Both awards, however, went to "My Heart Will Go On", a song from Titanic, a film directed by James Cameron. "Go the Distance" peaked at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and went to #1 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, Bolton's ninth song to top this chart.[7]


Film version[edit]

The song was recorded by American actor Roger Bart in his film role as the singing voice of Hercules.

"Go the Distance" is performed in the film by Hercules (age 15) who possesses god-like strength and finds it increasingly hard to fit in with his peers. The song serves as Hercules' prayer to the Gods to help him find where he truly belongs. His prayers are answered, as he is revealed to be the long-lost son of Zeus, king of the gods. Hercules is also told that he must become a true hero in order to rejoin his father on Mount Olympus. The number is later reprised when Hercules sets off on his quest to become a true hero, proclaiming that he wants to "go the distance" in order to prove himself.

Michael Bolton version[edit]

"Go the Distance"
Single by Michael Bolton
from the album Hercules: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
Released 1997
Format CD single
Genre Pop rock
Length 4:41
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Alan Menken (music)
David Zippel (lyrics)
Producer(s) Walter Afanasieff
Michael Bolton
Michael Bolton singles chronology
"Fool for Love (Requiem pour un Fou)"
"Go the Distance"
"The Best of Love"

American singer-songwriter Michael Bolton recorded a pop version of the song for the film's end credits.

The music video for Bolton's version was directed by Dani Jacobs. It was filmed in New York, and features Bolton performing the song, intercut with scenes from Hercules.[8]

Ricky Martin version[edit]

"No Importa la Distancia"
Single by Ricky Martin
from the album Vuelve
Released September 15, 1997 (1997-09-15)
Format CD single
Recorded 1997
Genre Latin pop, pop rock
Length 4:55
Label Sony Music Latin, Columbia
Writer(s) Alan Menken, David Zippel, Renato López, Javier Pontón
Producer(s) K. C. Porter, Draco Rosa
Ricky Martin singles chronology
"No Importa la Distancia"

Ricky Martin recorded a Spanish-language version of "Go the Distance" from Hercules soundtrack, called "No Importa la Distancia" (English: "No Matter the Distance"). It was released as a single on September 15, 1997. Later, it was included on Martin's 1998 album Vuelve. A music video was also released. The song reached number ten on the Latin Pop Songs in the United States.


Chart (1997) Peak
US Billboard Latin Pop Songs[9] 10

Formats and track listings[edit]

European CD maxi-single

  1. "No Importa la Distancia" performed by Ricky Martin – 4:55
  2. "Já Não Há Distancia" performed by Ricky Martin – 4:45
  3. "Go the Distance" (Cast Version) performed by Roger Bart – 3:13

Other notable covers[edit]

Other appearances[edit]

In 1998, this song was used for a tribute video to honor New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing of the NBA at Madison Square Garden minutes before Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Indiana Pacers. The game was Ewing's first at home since returning from a nearly season-ending wrist injury. Ewing, then late in his playing career, had often stressed the importance of winning a championship (in effect, 'going the distance') before he retired. The Knicks won the game 83–76, and Ewing was the game's leading scorer with 19 points.


Preceded by
"Here in My Heart" by Chicago
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single
July 19 – August 2, 1997
Succeeded by
"Sunny Came Home" by Shawn Colvin