Seasons of Love

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"Seasons of Love"
Song by Cast of Rent
from the album Rent (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
ReleasedSeptember 1996
GenreShow tune
Length2:52[1]
Songwriter(s)Jonathan Larson

"Seasons of Love" is a song from the 1996 Broadway musical Rent, written and composed by Jonathan Larson. The song starts with an ostinato piano motif, which provides the harmonic framework for the cast to sing "Five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes" (the number of minutes in a common year). The main instruments used throughout the song are piano, vocals, guitar, organ, bass and drums.[citation needed]

The song is performed by the entire cast in the musical and in the 2005 film of the same name. The lyrics ask what the proper way is to quantify the value of a year in human life, concluding in the chorus that the most effective means is to "measure in love". Since four of the lead characters either have HIV or AIDS, the song is often associated with World AIDS Day and AIDS awareness month.[citation needed]

Songwriter[edit]

Jonathan Larson actually intended for "Seasons of Love" to be performed symbolically as a song at Angel's funeral. When Larson died the night before the preview opening of the show, the cast sang it at the beginning to pay their respects to the composer.[citation needed] It is performed at the beginning of the second act, referencing recent past events or the events to come. The song is heard twice throughout the second act (once as the opener, before A Happy New Year and the reprise is heard after "Take Me or Leave Me", before "Without You") before hearing it in its last incarnation as background to I'll Cover You: Reprise and Angel's eulogy.

Stage productions[edit]

In the stage production, the song is sung at the opening of the second act. The cast stands downstage in a straight line facing the audience. The entire cast performs the song, and the solos are normally performed by two cast members who play several minor roles each (namely Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson). "Seasons of Love" is performed in two parts, the first at the beginning of Act II with the reprise following a few numbers later, following "Take Me or Leave Me".

The song has been translated into multiple languages for the international productions of the musical ("Tiempos de amor" in Spanish, "Nur Liebe Bleibt" in German, "Sígræn ást" in Icelandic and "A szerelem évszakai" in Hungarian).

Film adaptation[edit]

"Seasons of Love"
Seasons of Love - Rent.jpg
Single by Cast of Rent
from the album Rent: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
ReleasedAugust 2, 2005 (2005-08-02)
Studio
GenreShow tune
Length3:02
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Jonathan Larson
Producer(s)Rob Cavallo
Rent soundtrack singles chronology
"Seasons of Love"
(2005)
"Take Me or Leave Me"
(2006)

In the 2005 film version of Rent, "Seasons of Love" and its reprise are performed. Only the eight principal characters perform the song, and the two solos are performed by Joanne (Tracie Thoms) and Tom Collins (Jesse L. Martin). "Seasons of Love" is first performed at the start of the film with the cast singing it on a theater stage. In the reprise the song plays as a backdrop to a documentary style film about New York life made by the character Mark.[citation needed] Selections from "Seasons of Love" were also used in several of the film's trailers and other promotional material.[citation needed]

Track listings[edit]

Digital download[2]
No.TitleLength
1."Seasons of Love"3:02
Remixes digital EP[3]
No.TitleLength
1."Seasons of Love" (Gomi's Lair Radio Edit)3:47
2."Seasons of Love" (Monkey Bars Remix Edit)4:48
3."Seasons of Love" (L.E.X. Theatrical Club Mix Edit)4:59
4."Seasons of Love" (Eddie Baez's "Payin' the Rent" Club Mix Edit)4:57
Remixes CD maxi single[4]
No.TitleLength
1."Seasons of Love" (Gomi's Lair Club Mix)8:22
2."Seasons of Love" (Monkey Bars Club Mix)7:20
3."Seasons of Love" (L.E.X. Theatrical Club Mix)5:11
4."Seasons of Love" (Eddie Baez's "Payin' the Rent" Club Mix)10:13
5."Seasons of Love" (Gomi's Lair Radio Edit)3:44
6."Seasons of Love" (Monkey Bars Remix Edit)4:48
7."Seasons of Love" (L.E.X. Theatrical Club Mix Edit)4:57
8."Seasons of Love" (Eddie Baez's "Payin' the Rent" Club Mix Edit)4:59

Charts[edit]

Chart (2005–06) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 33
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[6] 4
US Dance/Mix Show Airplay (Billboard)[7] 25
US Hot Dance Singles Sales (Billboard)[8] 4

Alternative versions[edit]

In addition to the 1996 Original Cast Recording (OCR) a number of different versions have been recorded.[9] Along with the OCR soundtrack is an alternative version of Seasons of Love featuring Stevie Wonder who sings (and improvises upon) the part usually sung by the soloists.[10]

Hong Kong singer Sandy Lam recorded a version of the song for her 1997 album Wonderful World.

A version of the song was recorded by The Broadway Kids on their 2001 album The Best of Broadway.

Rent star Idina Menzel covered the song for her 2019 Christmas album Christmas: A Season of Love.

Cast of Rent performing "Seasons of Love" at Broadway on Broadway, 2005

In January 2021 a parody entitled "Seasons of Trump" was posted on YouTube by Randy Rainbow.[11] As of February 27, 2021 this had received over 1.9M views.[12]

Charting covers[edit]

Glee version[edit]

On October 10, 2013, the song was covered on the third episode of the fifth season of Glee, "The Quarterback", as a tribute to Cory Monteith and his character Finn Hudson. This version placed on a few record charts, published by Billboard.

Chart (2013) Peak
position
Canada (Hot Canadian Digital Songs)[13] 60
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[14] 21
US Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[15] 56
US Pop Digital Songs (Billboard)[16] 23

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rent (Original Broadway Cast Recording) from AllMusic
  2. ^ "Seasons of Love (From the Motion Picture RENT) - Single on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  3. ^ "Seasons of Love (From "Rent") [Remixes] - EP on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  4. ^ "Seasons of Love" Remixes (CD booklet). Warner Bros. Records. 2006. 093624286622.
  5. ^ "Cast of Rent Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  6. ^ "Cast of Rent Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  7. ^ "Cast of Rent Chart History (Dance Mix/Show Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  8. ^ "Dance Singles Sales: February 18, 2006". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  9. ^ Albums containing a track with the title: Seasons of Love from Allmusic
  10. ^ "Rent [Original Broadway Cast Recording] - Original Broadway Cast | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  11. ^ "'Genius' Trump song parodying Broadway hit 'Seasons of Love' goes viral". Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  12. ^ "Seasons of Trump". Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  13. ^ "Hot Canadian Digital Songs: October 26, 2013". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  14. ^ "Glee Cast Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  15. ^ "Glee Cast Chart History (Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  16. ^ "Pop Digital Songs: October 26, 2013". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2018.