The Best (song)

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"The Best"
Single by Bonnie Tyler
from the album Hide Your Heart
B-side "The Fire Below"
Released 1988
Recorded 1988
Genre Pop rock
Length 4:07
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Mike Chapman, Holly Knight
Producer(s) Desmond Child
Bonnie Tyler singles chronology
"Band of Gold"
"The Best"
"Hide Your Heart (song)"
"The Best"
Single by Tina Turner
from the album Foreign Affair
B-side "Bold and Reckless"
Released September 2, 1989
Format 7" single
12" single
CD single
Genre Rock
Length 5:30
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Mike Chapman, Holly Knight
Producer(s) Tina Turner, Dan Hartman
Tina Turner singles chronology
"634-5789 (Live)"
"The Best"
"I Don't Wanna Lose You"
"(Simply) The Best"
Single by Tina Turner & Jimmy Barnes
from the album Simply the Best
Released 1992
Format CD single
Genre Pop rock
Length 4:11
Label Mushroom
Writer(s) Mike Chapman, Holly Knight
Producer(s) Dan Hartman, Chris Lord-Alge
Tina Turner singles chronology
"I Want You Near Me"
"(Simply) The Best"
"I Don't Wanna Fight"

"The Best" is a song written by Mike Chapman and Holly Knight, originally recorded by Bonnie Tyler on her 1988 release Hide Your Heart. The single reached #10 in Norway and Portugal, #34 in Spain and #95 in the UK.

The single was released on a CD in 1988 along with two rare tracks that Tyler recorded; "The Fire Below" and "Under Suspicion".[1]

Cover versions[edit]

Tina Turner[edit]

The song was later covered by Tina Turner, and released as a highly successful single in 1989. It was included on her hit album Foreign Affair. The saxophone solo on Turner's version is played by Edgar Winter.

Holly Knight told Songfacts: "'Simply the Best' is one of those rare gems that's a positive song, and it's not cheesy. But the hard part is to write something in a positive mode that really is sincere — that's a tall order."[2]

In 1992 Turner recorded "(Simply) The Best", a duet version of the song with Australian rock singer Jimmy Barnes, to promote that year's New South Wales Rugby League season in Australia. The single subsequently appeared on a limited edition bonus disc as part of the Australian release of her compilation album Simply The Best.

In popular culture[edit]

In the United States[edit]

The song was used during the ceremony that the San Francisco 49ers held as they retired number 16 in honor of quarterback Joe Montana.

The song was used during the ceremonies that the Pittsburgh Penguins held as they retired, un-retired, and re-retired number 66 for Mario Lemieux, as his surname means "the best" in French.

The song was used during the ceremony that the Philadelphia 76ers held as they retired number 3 in honor of Allen Iverson.

The song was played over the PA system at Madison Square Garden when Mark Messier was presented with the Stanley Cup after the New York Rangers' victory over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. The Rangers listened to it before the game.[3] It was continued to be played as the Rangers skated around the ice at the Garden with the Stanley Cup.[4] On the CBC, Bob Cole and Harry Neale said that "the crowd responded"[4] when the song was played over the PA system when the players skated around the ice, as they had throughout the game.

Bonnie Tyler's version of the song was used in a tribute video for WWE wrestler Edge that aired on the July 20, 2007 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown.

Turner's version was used by NESN (New England Sports Network) on September 1, 2007, as a tribute when Boston Red Sox Rookie pitcher Clay Buchholz threw a No-Hitter at Fenway Park against the Baltimore Orioles in his second Major League start. This consisted of a 2-hour replay of the game, showing all 27 outs recorded for the night, as well as the 4 minute musical montage, entitled "Rookie Magic".

Additionally, Senator Joe Biden used Turner's recording as the theme song for his 2008 campaign for the presidency, and it was an unofficial anthem for the pharmaceutical company SmithKline Beecham.

Jim Carrey performed a few lines of the song in his tribute speech to Meryl Streep during her AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony in 2004.

Rush Limbaugh frequently plays Turner's version in his bumper music rotation.

Alec Baldwin's character in 30 Rock sings a verse of the chorus while looking at a picture of his boss during an episode in season one.[5]

In Europe[edit]

Newcastle play this song at all of their home games. "The Best" became even more popular in the UK than in the US, becoming the theme song of the British world champion boxer Chris Eubank.

"The Best" is played at Ibrox Stadium, Scotland when the players of Rangers Football Club and the visiting team run on to the park.[6] On April 19, 2010 Rangers FC fans began a campaign to get "The Best" to number one in the UK Pop Charts.[6] It subsequently charted at number 1 in the Scottish Single Chart and number 9 in the UK Singles Chart.[7]

"Simply The Best" has become the slogan of loyalist paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland.[8]

In the original version of The Office, David Brent plays the Tina Turner version of the song at the end of a motivational speech, shouting, "I've been David Brent! You've been the best!"

Cadbury's used this song in their Keep Team Britain Pumped adverts with Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington.

The theme song of Besti Flokkurinn, an Icelandic political party standing in the 2010 Reykjavik local council elections, was "Simply The Best" by Tina Turner. Prior to the 2010 election the party published a localized version of the song with new lyrics.

In the 1980s in the North East of England, the song was used in a long running radio advert for a local motor garage, South Cleveland Garages, with the lyrics of the chorus changed to include the name of the company, forever linking the song and the company in local memory.[9]


Japanese pro-wrestler Osamu Nishimura currently uses the song as an entrance theme.

It also became the theme song for the Brazilian Formula One racer Ayrton Senna. Senna surprised Turner by showing up on stage during her concert in Adelaide, Australia in late 1993, after Senna won the Australian Grand Prix earlier in the day. Turner had already sung "The Best" earlier in the concert but decided to play it again as a tribute to Senna immediately after he left the stage.

Versions and remixes (Tina Turner version)[edit]

  • 7" Edit - 4:11
  • Album Version a.k.a. Extended 12" Mix - 5:28
  • Extended Mighty Mix - 6:35
  • Single Muscle Mix - 4:16
  • Extended Muscle Mix - 5:28
  • "(Simply) The Best" (with Jimmy Barnes, 1992) - 4:11
  • "(Simply) The Best" (Extended Mix) (with Jimmy Barnes, 1992) - 5:29

Chart performance[edit]

Bonnie Tyler
Chart (1988) Peak
Norway (VG-lista)[10] 10
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 95
Tina Turner
Chart (1989) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart 2
Polish Singles Chart 2
Spanish Singles Chart 2
Belgium Singles Chart[12] 2
Swiss Singles Chart 3
Australian Singles Chart 4
Canadian Singles Chart 4
German Singles Chart 4
Irish Singles Chart 4
Dutch Singles Chart 5
Norwegian Singles Chart 5
UK Singles Chart 5
US Rock Chart 6
Italian Singles Chart 7
Swedish Singles Chart 11
Japanese Singles Chart[12] 13
US Billboard Hot 100 15
French Singles Chart 23
New Zealand Singles Chart 28
Chart (2009) Peak
Swiss Singles Chart[13] 92
Chart (2010) Peak
Scottish Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 9
UK Download Chart 9

Tina Turner & Jimmy Barnes version

Chart (1992) Peak
New Zealand Singles Chart 11
Australian Singles Chart 13

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
"This Ain't a Love Song" by Scouting for Girls
Scottish Singles Chart number-one single
1 May 2010 - 8 May 2010
Succeeded by
"Good Times" by Roll Deep


  1. ^ BONNIE TYLER The Best (Rare 1988 UK 3-track CD single including The Fire Below and Under Suspicion (by Jim Steinman). Retrieved 13 March 2013
  2. ^ "The Best". Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  3. ^ New York Rangers Hockey: Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals (television). MSG Network. 1994-06-14. Tina Turner's song, 'Simply the Best,' blaring over the loudspeakers. That's the song the Rangers listened to before the game. 
  4. ^ a b Hockey Night in Canada: Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals (television). CBC. 1994-06-14. 
  5. ^ 30 Rock, Season 1, Episode 14
  6. ^ a b "Rangers fans launch bid to get Tina Turner hit Simply The Best to No.1". The Daily Record. April 21, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Rangers fans prove Simply the Best, taking Tina Turner hit back into the Top Ten". The Scotsman. April 26, 2010. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  8. ^ Mad Dogs and Ulstermen: the crisis of Loyalism (part one)
  9. ^ Video on YouTube
  10. ^ " – Bonnie Tyler – The Best". VG-lista. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Archive Chart: 19880130" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Song Artist Tina Turner". Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  13. ^ "Tina Turner - The Best - Music Charts". Retrieved 2010-06-07.