Twenty-Five Miles

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"Twenty Five Miles"
Twenty-Five Miles by Edwin Starr US vinyl side-A label.png
Side-A label of US vinyl single
Single by Edwin Starr
from the album 25 Miles
B-side"Love Is My Destination"
Format7-inch single
  • Johnny Bristol
  • Harvey Fuqua
Edwin Starr singles chronology
"Grits Ain't Grocery"
"Twenty Five Miles"
"Oh How Happy"

"Twenty-Five Miles" is a song written by Johnny Bristol, Harvey Fuqua, and Edwin Starr for Starr's second album, 25 Miles (1969). The song was considered sufficiently similar to "32 Miles out of Waycross" by Hoagy Lands (also recorded as "Mojo Mama" by both Wilson Pickett and Don Varner), written by Bert Berns and Jerry Ragovoy,[1][2] that Berns and Ragovoy were eventually given co-writing credits.[3][4]

It was Starr's first success following his move from Ric-Tic Records to Motown (as Motown bought out Ric-Tic and all its artists). The song was a huge hit in the US, making the Top Ten on both the Pop Charts (#6) and R&B Charts (#6). It was also a hit in the UK, reaching the Top 40 and peaking at #36. "Twenty-Five Miles" proved to be Starr's biggest US hit after his signature song (and #1 smash) "War". His pair of 1979 disco singles would later outdo the song's performance on the UK Charts, as "Contact" and "H.A.P.P.Y. Radio" were both UK Top Ten hits.

Starr's version was popular on the UK's Northern soul scene.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

A shortened remix of this version was used as the theme song for NFL Network's coverage of the 2011 NFL scouting combine.[6] The song was used by Visa in their 2016 global Olympic campaign film.[7]

The song also shares strong similarities to the theme song for As it Happens Curried Soul by Moe Koffman[8]

Edwin Starr's version appeared in the 1987 film Adventures in Babysitting[9] and in the 2016 Visa Commercial "Carpool - Road to Rio with Team USA Athletes".[10]

The song was featured playing after the opening scene of Bad Times at the El Royale, when it transitions to 1969.[11]

Michael Jackson version[edit]

"Twenty Five Miles"
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album The Original Soul of Michael Jackson
B-side"Up on the Housetop"
ReleasedOctober 1987
Format7" single
Producer(s)Hal Davis
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Twenty Five Miles"
"The Way You Make Me Feel"

The Jackson 5 recorded a cover version of "Twenty-Five Miles" in 1969, but it was not heard until its inclusion on the Motown compilation album, The Original Soul of Michael Jackson, in 1987, with Michael Jackson being given sole performer credit for the track.[12] It was not the original recording, however, as it included drum machine overdubs; the original featured a hard-driving drum track by Uriel Jones, one of the Funk Brothers.[citation needed]

Jackson's version of "Twenty-Five Miles" was released as a single in the US to promote The Original Soul of Michael Jackson. The single was backed by the song "Up on the Housetop".[13] The original recording of the song was included on the 2009 set, Hello World: The Motown Solo Collection.[14]


  1. ^ Joel Selvin (2014-04-15). "Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of ..." p. 398. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  2. ^ "Songwriter, Producer and Label Chief". Bert Berns. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  3. ^ "Of Curried Soul and Edwin Starr | Toronto Mike's Blog". Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  4. ^ Browning, Laura M. "How far would you travel for love? 14 songs that go the distance · Inventory · The A.V. Club". Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  5. ^ "Northern soul". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  6. ^ "2011 Combine Open - NFL Videos". Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  7. ^ "Visa Launches Global Olympic Games Campaign: Athletes "Carpool" Their Way to Rio".
  8. ^ "Of Curried Soul and Edwin Starr | Toronto Mike's Blog". Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  9. ^ Soundtrack listing for the film
  10. ^ "Visa TV Commercial – Carpool Road To Rio With Team USA Athletes – Featuring Missy Franklin, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Maria Espinoza and Valerie Adams – Visa, Everywhere You Want To Be – Twenty Five Miles, Edwin Starr". 2016-07-04. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  11. ^ Frazier, Adam (2018-10-11). "Review: Goddard's 'Bad Times at the El Royale' is Nothin' But a Good Time". FirstShowing. First Showing LLC. Retrieved 2018-10-14. ... Edwin Starr's "Twenty-Five Miles" plays as Richard Nixon is inaugurated as the 37th president of the United States. ...
  12. ^ "The Original Soul of Michael Jackson - Michael Jackson | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  13. ^ Halstead, Craig; Chris Cadman (2003). Michael Jackson: The Solo Years. Authors OnLine. ISBN 0-7552-0091-8.
  14. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (2009-07-21). "Hello World: The Motown Solo Collection - Michael Jackson | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-06-21.

External links[edit]