Run to You (Whitney Houston song)
|"Run to You"|
|Single by Whitney Houston|
|from the album The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album|
|Released||June 21, 1993|
|Whitney Houston singles chronology|
"Run to You" was written by Jud Friedman and Allan Rich. Originally intended to be a break-up song, it was approved by the production and stars. However, a month later, the director of The Bodyguard (Mick Jackson) called, saying he liked the song so much, but he'd rather have it to be a love song so the entire song was rewritten, except for the title.
All of the previous releases from The Bodyguard had been successes, landing in the top five. "Run to You" became a moderate hit, peaking at number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100. In the US, it spent six weeks inside the top 40, five of which were spent at the number 31 peak. Airplay and singles sales topped out at number 26 and 41, respectively. The single sales stalled at number 41 on the Hot 100 Singles Sales chart, most likely due to the fact its parent album, The Bodyguard, already was certified 8× platinum and nearing 9× platinum status quickly. Single sales were moderate because most consumers already owned the song by simply owning the album.
On other Billboard charts, the song was moderately well received. On the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, it reached a peak position of number 31. The song cracked the top 10 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, peaking at number 10.
Internationally, it was not as well received, except in the UK and Ireland, peaking at number 15 and number 9, respectively.
The music video for "Run to You" features scenes from The Bodyguard intercut with scenes of an angelic Houston running on clouds.
Background and recording
Jud Friedman and Allan Rich had previously written a No. 1 hit for James Ingram, "I Don't Have the Heart", but that didn't necessarily give them an edge in placing a song for The Bodyguard soundtrack. After all, they had to compete with many of the top songwriters in the industry for the hot soundtrack project. Firstly, Rich began working on the lyric for "Run to You". Rich said that "I was going through a break-up in my life at the time, which may have helped me write a lyric which reflected the feelings I was experiencing. I wrote the lyric in a few days, then I presented the lyric to Jud." Friedman, who was inspired by Rich's lyric wrote most of the music, then they finished the song together. When it was completed, they recorded a very simple demo with just piano, guitar samples and strings and then brought in Valerie Pinkston to sing the demo.
Rich then delivered the demo to his publisher, Carol Ware, Vice President of Creative at MCA Music. She loved the song, and immediately sent the tape to Gerry Griffith, Vice President of A&R at Arista Records. Griffith loved the song also, and played the demo for Clive Davis, the chairman/CEO of Arista. Eventually, the song was not only approved by Davis and Houston, but by Mick Jackson, the director of The Bodyguard, actor/producer Kevin Costner and Gary LeMel, President of Music at Warner Bros. Pictures. But about a month later, they received a phone call from director Mick Jackson. Jackson called and said,
"We still love your song, but there's just one little detail. We love the song so much, we want to use it earlier in the movie when they fall in love, instead of when they're breaking up. So could you change the lyric to make it a love song instead of a break-up song?"
Davis who answered the phone from Rich and Friedman, said, "I love the song the way it is; it's a hit. Of course, take a shot at rewriting the lyric, but whatever you do, don't lose the hitness of it. If the rewrite doesn't work, we can use the song on a future Whitney project, maybe her greatest hits album." Rich and Friedman ultimately rewrote the entire lyric except for the title. They then redemoed the song and sent the new version to Davis. Davis, Jackson and everyone involved loved the new version of "Run to You", so the song was finally set for the movie.
Soon after, producer David Foster started plans for recording the song. Because he loved the arrangement of the original demo, he hired Friedman to do the programming and playing on the record. When the tracks were completed, it was time for Houston to record her vocals for the song. Friedman described his experience with playing the song with Houston:
"It was on a Friday night that Whitney came into the studio. It was great to meet her, and she was just a pleasure to work with. She was totally professional. Whitney actually had a cold that night, and her speaking voice was whispery and hoarse. But when she started singing, she sounded incredible. For Allan and me to be in the studio to hear her sing our song so beautifully, it was one of the greatest moments in our lives."
The New York Times editor Stephen Holden described this ballad as a "booming generic ballad to which Houston applies her typical stentorian delivery." Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine praised the song as "first-rate urban pop song that skillfully captures Houston at her best." USA Today's Larry A. praised the singing: "thrilling ballad, powered by an operatic coloratura alto."
Though "Run to You" is one of Houston's most recognized songs worldwide, the chart performance was not as successful as her previous hit singles' at the time of its release, due to the fact its parent album, The Bodyguard soundtrack, had already sold 21 million copies globally at that point and most consumers had the song by simply owning the soundtrack. In the United States, "Run to You" debuted at number 83 and 76 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B Singles charts, in the issue dated June 26, 1993, respectively. Three weeks later the single reached its peak position of number 31 on both the charts in the July 17, 1993 issue. On the Hot 100, the song spent six weeks inside the Top 40, five of which were stayed at its number 31 peak from July 17 to August 14, 1993. In addition, it peaked at number 41 and 26 on the component charts of the Hot 100, the Hot 100 Singles Sales and the Hot 100 Airplay, respectively. The song also peaked at number 10 on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart, becoming Houston's 17th Top 10 hit of the chart. In Canada, the song debuted at number 86 on the RPM 100 Hits Tracks chart, the issue dated July 10, 1993. The next week it leaped to number 34 on the chart and reached the Top 20 in its fourth week of release. On the August 28, 1993 issue, it reached its peak position of number 10 on the chart, becoming her 16th Top 10 hit in the country.
Internationally, "Run to You" was a moderate hit like in the US. In the United Kingdom, the song entered the UK Singles Chart at number 20, the week ending dated July 31, 1993. The following week it reached its peak position of number 15 on the chart. In Belgium, the song debuted at number 19 on the VRT Top 30 chart but the next week dropped to outside Top 30. In Ireland, it peaked at number nine on the Irish Singles Chart, spending four weeks in the chart. In other European countries, it failed to make the Top 40 and stayed only one or two weeks on the charts, peaking at number 47 in France and the Netherlands, respectively, and 58 in Germany.
Formats and track listings
- Houston has performed the song on select dates during her Bodyguard World Tour in 1993-1994. "Run to You" was performed at a November 1993 show at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London, England, and also at the September 27, 1994 concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.On the 25th anniversary Compact Disc, I Wish You Love, a live performance of Run To You is included.
|Belgium (VRT Top 30)||19|
|Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)||35|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||58|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||33|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||47|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||15|
|US Billboard Hot 100||31|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||10|
|US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)||31|
|US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)||32|
|US Radio & Records CHR/Pop Airplay Chart||13|
|South Korea International Singles (Gaon)||38|
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||85|
|US Adult Contemporary Singles (Billboard)||39|
Other cover versions
- Natalie Cole performed a medley of "Run to You" and "I Have Nothing" at the 1993 Academy Awards. Houston was to perform both songs which was nominated for Best Original Song, but unable to attend the ceremony. Cole was joined on stage with producer David Foster playing piano.
- Christina Aguilera sang this song live in 2001 as a tribute to Whitney Houston at the 1st Annual BET Awards.
- Smokie Norful recorded his version on a 2006 album Life Changing.
- Leanne Mitchell, winner of The Voice UK, released a version of the song in July 2012. She performed the song twice on the TV show.
- Cass Phang covered this song in Cantonese.
- Heather Headley covered this song on her 2012 album Only One in the World, released just before the opening of the West End production of the musical The Bodyguard, in which Headley sings "Run to You" and plays the equivalent of Houston's role from the film.
- Filipina singer Jonalyn Viray sang this song as her winning piece in the 1st Pinoy Pop SuperStar earning her the title of the show's First Grand Champion.
- Samantha Jade, winner of The X Factor (Australia), sang this song during live show 4 of the fourth season of the series.
- Glennis Grace sang this song as a tribute to Whitney Houston and became a YouTube sensation after Nicki Minaj tweeted about Glennis' performance.
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- Oulton Broad’s Leanne Mitchell tells of her joy at winning BBC’s The Voice – News – Lowestoft Journal