Hands to Heaven

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"Hands to Heaven"
Breathe - Hands to Heaven.jpg
Single by Breathe
from the album All That Jazz
B-side"Life and Times"
Released20 October 1987
LabelA&M (US)
Siren/Virgin (International)
Songwriter(s)David Glasper,
Marcus Lillington
Producer(s)Bob Sargeant
Breathe singles chronology
"Don't Tell Me Lies"
"Hands to Heaven"
"How Can I Fall?"

"Hands to Heaven" is the title of a popular song released in 1987 and peaking on the charts in 1988 (see 1988 in music) by the English group Breathe. The song was written by group members David Glasper (lead vocals) and Marcus Lillington (guitar, keyboard).

Although it was released as the first single from the group's debut album All That Jazz, "Hands to Heaven" was not Breathe's debut single; the group had recorded and released songs prior to signing an album deal with A&M Records. One of these songs, "Don't Tell Me Lies", reached #77 on the UK Singles Chart in 1986 before being included on Breathe's debut album and subsequently being reissued.

"Hands to Heaven" was, however, Breathe's breakthrough hit in both the UK as well as the United States. The ballad peaked at #4 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1988.[1] In the US, it logged two weeks at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart that same month (kept from the summit by "Roll with It" by Steve Winwood) and spent 16 weeks in the Top 40.[2] "Hands to Heaven" also peaked at number 2 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart, with the aforementioned "Roll with It" also keeping it from the top spot of that chart.[3]

The song reached number 4 in Norway and number 14 in Sweden.[4]

This song was one of a number of singles, many by British and Australian bands, that helped to shape the smooth jazz radio format in the US in the mid to late 1980s. Other associated artists include Swing Out Sister, Johnny Hates Jazz, The Style Council, Icehouse and Sade.

The B-side features an instrumental track called, Life and Times.

The music video featured the group in a surreal dream sequence, with the lead signer falling asleep in a black London taxicab and waking at the end, being driven away by the driver.


  • David Glasper - vocals
  • Marcus Lillington - guitars, keyboards
  • Ian “Spike” Spice - drums
  • Mike Delahunty - chello


Cover versions[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The song was used for the Michael and Julia characters on the American soap opera Santa Barbara.[12]

The 2018 single "Sunflower" by Post Malone and Swae Lee interpolates the chord progression from "Hands To Heaven."


  1. ^ UK chart info at chartstats.com
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  3. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications)
  4. ^ austriancharts.at
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1988-10-15. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  6. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Hands to Heaven". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  7. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  8. ^ http://hitsofalldecades.com/chart_hits/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=175&Itemid=49
  9. ^ Scaping, Peter, ed. (1991). "Top 100 Singles: 1988". BPI YearBook 1989/90. London, England: British Phonographic Industry. pp. 64–65. ISBN 978-0-9061-5410-6.
  10. ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  11. ^ http://tropicalglen.com/Archives/80s_files/1988YESP.html
  12. ^ http://www.cybercom.net/~jima/misc/songs.html

External links[edit]