Somewhere (song)

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"Somewhere", sometimes referred to as "Somewhere (There's a Place for Us)" or simply "There's a Place for Us", is a song from the 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story that was made into films in 1961 and 2021. The music is composed by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and takes a phrase from the slow movement of Beethoven's 'Emperor' Piano Concerto, which forms the start of the melody,[1] and also a longer phrase from the main theme of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.

In West Side Story[edit]

Stage musical[edit]

In the stage musical, the song appears in the second act of the show during the Somewhere Ballet. It is performed by an off-stage soprano singer and is later reprised by the entire company. In the original Broadway production, "Somewhere" was sung by Reri Grist who played the role of Consuelo.

At the end of the show, when Tony is shot, Maria sings the first few lines of the song as he dies in her arms.

In late 1957, this recording was released on the album West Side Story (Original Broadway Cast).

1961 film[edit]

In the 1961 film, the song occurs at a pivotal point, after the rumble in which Tony (Richard Beymer) has stabbed Maria's brother, Bernardo (George Chakiris). Having nowhere else to go, Tony runs to Maria (Natalie Wood), who has just been told of her brother's death and who killed him. When Tony comes to her room through the balcony window, Maria, in shock, pounds against his chest.

Realizing in spite of her anger that she still loves Tony, Maria begs him to hold her. After Maria cries out, "It's not us...it's everything around us." Tony replies, "Then I'll take you away, where nothing can get to us." He then begins singing "Somewhere" to her. His comforting voice draws her in and it becomes a duet of hope that their love will survive "somehow, someday, somewhere."

As in the stage show, Maria sings the first few lines of the song as Tony dies in her arms. In 2004, this version finished at #20 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

"Somewhere" is the only track that is out of sequence on the original soundtrack album as it is the last track on Side 2. This is rectified on the CD as "Somewhere" is correctly placed in sequence to the film between "The Rumble" and "Cool."

2021 film[edit]

In the 2021 film, the song takes place after "I Feel Pretty," like in the stage show, except now it is sung by Valentina (Rita Moreno), a reworked version of the character Doc. The ballet is again omitted, like in the 1961 film.[2] This version was also used to underscore the film's teaser trailer, which premiered during the 93rd Academy Awards telecast on April 25, 2021.[3]

P. J. Proby version[edit]

In 1964, P. J. Proby released his version of "Somewhere", which reached numbers six on the British and eight on the Australian singles charts.[4][5] The song also charted well in various European countries.

The Supremes' version[edit]

In 1965, the Supremes recorded the song for their album, There's a Place for Us, though it went unreleased until 2004. They also used it for their debut appearance at the Copacabana nightclub in New York City and it eventually became a fixture of their nightclub acts. They also sang the song on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Hollywood Palace. In contrast to the original melody, a special dramatic monologue was incorporated, which was frequently changed in conjunction with changes in the group as well as the country's turmoil in the late 1960s.

In the aftermath of the shooting of Martin Luther King, Jr., the monologue was changed to reflect King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. When the Supremes appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson the day after King had been murdered, lead singer Diana Ross was so overcome with emotion that she practically stumbled through the speech, but got an extraordinary ovation from the studio audience. It would once again be nationally televised several months later that year when the group paired up with the Temptations for an NBC television special, TCB. The monologue for that special went as follows:[6]

Yes, there's a place for each of us,
And we must try to pursue this place.
Where love is like a passion, that burns like a fire,
Let our efforts be as determined as that of Dr. Martin Luther King,
Who had a dream that all God's children,
Black men, white men, Jews, Gentiles, Protestants, and Catholics,
Could join hands and sing that spiritual of old:
"Free at last! Thank God Almighty, free at last!"

Barbra Streisand version[edit]

"Somewhere"
Single by Barbra Streisand
from the album The Broadway Album
B-side"Not While I'm Around"
Released1985
Length4:56
LabelColumbia
Composer(s)Leonard Bernstein
Lyricist(s)Stephen Sondheim
Producer(s)David Foster
Barbra Streisand singles chronology
"Emotion"
(1985)
"Somewhere"
(1985)
"Send In the Clowns"
(1986)

In 1985, Barbra Streisand released a version of "Somewhere" as a single from the Grammy Award-winning The Broadway Album. In the United States, it narrowly missed the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 43, but fared better on the Adult Contemporary chart, peaking at number 5.[7] It also peaked at number 88 on the UK Singles Chart.[8] The song itself won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s). In 2011, a duet was produced using scenes from Streisand's version while Jackie Evancho performed live with David Foster at the Ringling Museum of Art. On her 2014 Partners album, she released a new recording of the song, this time as a duet with Josh Groban.

Charts
Chart (1986) Peak
position
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[9] 72
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[10] 2
UK Singles (OCC)[8] 88
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 43
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[12] 5

Phil Collins version[edit]

British musician Phil Collins covered the song in 1996 for the West Side Story cover album The Songs of West Side Story.

Charts
Chart (1996) Peak
position
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[13] 68
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[14] 8
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[15] 7

Pet Shop Boys version[edit]

"Somewhere"
SomewherePSB.jpg
Single by Pet Shop Boys
from the album Bilingual (special edition)
A-side"A Red Letter Day"
B-side
  • "The View from Your Balcony"
  • "Disco Potential"
ReleasedJune 23, 1997
Recorded1995
GenreHi-NRG[16]
Length4:42
LabelParlophone
Composer(s)Leonard Bernstein
Lyricist(s)Stephen Sondheim
Producer(s)Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys singles chronology
"A Red Letter Day"
(1997)
"Somewhere"
(1997)
"I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More"
(1999)
Music video
"Somewhere" on YouTube

"Somewhere" was released as a single by English synth-pop duo Pet Shop Boys on June 23, 1997, to promote their "Somewhere" residency at the Savoy Theatre in London, which was named after the song, and to promote a repackage of Bilingual.

The single was another top-10 entry for the group, peaking at number 9 on the UK Singles Chart. The single also peaked at number 25 on the Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. It also peaked at number 19 on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart. In the United States, the song was released as a double A-side with "A Red Letter Day".

The Pet Shop Boys' version also uses elements of another West Side Story song, "I Feel Pretty", and the album version uses elements of "One Hand, One Heart" spoken by Chris Lowe.

Critical reception[edit]

Barry Walters for The Advocate said Pet Shop Boys "do for this West Side Story standard what k.d. lang did for “Secret Love” in The Celluloid Closet — put a showbiz classic in the queer context it always deserved."[17] Larry Flick from Billboard wrote, "In a perfect world, this wistful disco cover of the classic song (...) would meet with open arms at pop radio. But, alas, narrow programming minds and even tighter playlist space will probably limit this single to the clubs—which is not necessarily a sad fate. Partners Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe dress the song in vibrant trance/NRG keyboards and plucky beats." He added, "Also quite nice is a stately orchestral version that allows Tennant to be at his melodramatic best."[18]

British magazine Music Week rated the song three out of five, noting Tennant's "emotionally controlled vocals and a thumping techno pop beat". They also concluded, "But despite its high drama, this is too overblown, even by PSB standards."[19] Editor Alan Jones felt that the duo "turns it from an emotional tour-de-force into a camp disco celebration, where its subleties are completely lost. Working with such a melodic and powerful song they can't help but succeed, however."[20] David Sinclair from The Times viewed it as a "questionable disco version" of the West Side Story standard.[21]

Track listings[edit]

  • UK CD single 1 Parlophone CDRS 6470
  1. "Somewhere"
  2. "The View from Your Balcony"
  3. "To Step Aside" (Ralphi's Old School Dub)
  4. "Somewhere" (Forthright Vocal Mix)
  • UK CD single 2 Parlophone CDR 6470
  1. "Somewhere" (Orchestral version)
  2. "Disco Potential"
  3. "Somewhere" (Trouser Enthusiasts Mix)
  4. "Somewhere" (Forthright Dub)
  • UK cassette single TCR 6470
  1. "Somewhere"
  2. "Somewhere" (Orchestral version)
  3. "The View from Your Balcony"

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for "Somewhere"
Chart (1997) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[22] 56
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100 Singles)[23] 72
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[24] 9
Germany (Official German Charts)[25] 70
Hungary (MAHASZ)[26] 4
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40 Tipparade)[27] 20
Scotland (OCC)[28] 11
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[29] 21
UK Singles (OCC)[30] 9
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[31] 25
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[32] 19
US Dance Singles Sales (Billboard)[33]
with "A Red Letter Day"
8

Other renditions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ross, Alex (2008). The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century. Fourth Estate. ISBN 978-1-84115-475-6.
  2. ^ Bouzereau, Laurent (2021). West Side Story the Making of the Steven Spielberg Film. ISBN 9781419750632.
  3. ^ "Early 2022 Oscars contender? Steven Spielberg's 'West Side Story' gets first trailer". Los Angeles Times. 26 April 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  4. ^ "Official Charts". Official singles Chart results matching: somewhere. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  5. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard Magazine. 77 (6): 26. 6 February 1965.
  6. ^ "The Supremes - Somewhere on Tonight Show (Audio Only)". YouTube. November 15, 2014. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 235.
  8. ^ a b "Barbra Streisand: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  9. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0631." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9383." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  11. ^ "Barbra Streisand Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  12. ^ "Barbra Streisand Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  13. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2939." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  14. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2914." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  15. ^ "Phil Collins Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  16. ^ Dean, Will (June 19, 2013). "Music review: Pet Shop Boys bring cornucopia of hits to London's O2 Arena". The Independent. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  17. ^ Walters, Barry (September 2, 1997). "Music". The Advocate. Issue 741.
  18. ^ Flick, Larry (August 16, 1997). "Reviews & Previews: Singles" (PDF). Billboard. p. 62. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  19. ^ "Reviews: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. June 14, 1997. p. 15. Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  20. ^ Jones, Alan (June 28, 1997). "Talking Music" (PDF). Music Week. p. 20. Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  21. ^ Sinclair, David (June 28, 1997). "The week's top pop releases; Records". The Times.
  22. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  23. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 14, no. 28. July 12, 1997. p. 13. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  24. ^ "Pet Shop Boys: Somewhere" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  25. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Somewhere" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  26. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 14, no. 35. August 30, 1997. p. 14. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  27. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Somewhere" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  28. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  29. ^ "Pet Shop Boys – Somewhere". Singles Top 100. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  30. ^ "Pet Shop Boys: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  31. ^ "Pet Shop Boys Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  32. ^ "Pet Shop Boys Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  33. ^ "Pet Shop Boys Chart History (Dance Singles Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
  34. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 14th Edition: 1955-2012. Record Research. p. 62.
  35. ^ The Dartmouth Aires: Albums Archived 2012-02-11 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ "Finale Night - Dartmouth Aires - "Somewhere" by West Side Story". YouTube. November 29, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  37. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Blue Valentine – Tom Waits". AllMusic. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  38. ^ "Tina May – Fun: Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  39. ^ "Renato Russo - The Stonewall Celebration Concert". Allmusic. Retrieved 2022-03-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  40. ^ Bell, Crystal (January 29, 2018). "Ben Platt Goes From Pitch Perfect To Grammy Standing Ovation With Emotional Performance". MTV. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  41. ^ "Rick Astley - Portrait". Allmusic. Retrieved 2021-12-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  42. ^ "Anita Baker / Dave Koz - Somewhere". Allmusic. Retrieved 2021-12-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  43. ^ "Somewhere - Angeline Quinto (Audio) 🎵". YouTube. October 5, 2018. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
  44. ^ "Bobby Sanabria: West Side Story Reimagined". All About Jazz. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  45. ^ "2019 JJA Jazz Awards winners announced!". JJA News. 2019-05-01. Retrieved 2021-12-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  46. ^ April 03, Jason Lamphier; EDT, 2022 at 11:26 PM. "Stars pay tribute to Stephen Sondheim and other music legends at the Grammys In Memoriam". EW.com. Retrieved 2022-04-04.

External links[edit]