Where Are You? (Imaani song)

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United Kingdom "Where Are You?"
Imaani - Where Are You.jpg
Eurovision Song Contest 1998 entry
Country
Artist(s)
Language
Composer(s)
Scott English, Phil Manikiza, Simon Stirling[1]
Lyricist(s)
Scott English, Phil Manikiza, Simon Stirling
Conductor
Finals performance
Final result
2nd
Final points
166
Appearance chronology
◄ "Love Shine a Light" (1997)   
"Say It Again" (1999) ►

"Where Are You?" was the United Kingdom's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 1998, performed in English by Imaani Saleem (better known as simply Imaani), held in Birmingham, United Kingdom. The song was composed by Scott English, Phil Manikiza and Simon Stirling. The song placed second, becoming the UK's fifteenth entry to place in that position. This was the last time that the UK placed in the contest's top 2.

Upon its commercial release, the song achieved commercial success, peaking within the top 15 on three European countries' singles charts: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Critics retrospectively regard the song as one of the UK's better Eurovision entries, with many praising her vocal performance. The song is also remembered as the last time that the United Kingom came close to winning the contest.

Eurovision[edit]

Background[edit]

Described as a "dark, thumping house track," "Where Are You" was first entered in the Song for Europe selection process, where it was extremely popular.[2]

Results[edit]

The song came in second place in the 1998 Eurovision contest, with 166 points. It marked the fifteenth time that the United Kingdom held second place in the contest.[3] The song lost to "Diva," by Dana International, which won with three countries awarding it 12 points and a total of 172 points.[4][5]

Historical context[edit]

The UK's previous entry, Katrina & The Waves' "Love Shine a Light", had marked the last time that the United Kingdom won the contest.[6] "Where Are You?" was the United Kingdom's last time in the top 2 in the Eurovision contest, and its thirteenth consecutive song to place in the contest's top 10.[7][3] Chris West, in his book Eurovision: A History of Modern Europe through the World's Greatest Song Contest, posited that the song marked the UK's last time in the top 2 due to a change in the contest's language rules, thus taking the lead away from English-speaking countries.[8]

Commercial performance[edit]

After the song's release, it became a top 20 hit throughout Europe. Billboard predicted that the single would peak within the top 10 on the UK Singles chart.[9] On the UK Singles Chart, the song debuted at number 96 on the singles chart dated 21 March 1998. It spent six weeks on the chart in its first run; on the chart dated 9 May, the single re-entered the chart at number 60, a new peak. It rose into the top 40 the following week, when it climbed 28 spots to reach number 32; the following week, on the chart dated 23 May 1998, the song reached its number 15 peak on the singles chart. It spent a total of 15 nonconsecutive weeks in the top 100, 4 of them in the top 40.[10] It remains Imaani's sole solo chart entry in the United Kingdom, although she re-appeared on the Singles Chart in 2000, providing vocals on Tru Faith & Dub Conspiracy's cover of "Freak Like Me" (originally recorded by Anita Howard), which peaked at number 12.[2]

The single also charted in two other European countries: Belgium and the Netherlands. In Belgium, the song debuted at number 30 on the Ultratop Flanders chart dated 23 May 1998. It eventually peaked at number 12, where it remained for two weeks; the single spent 12 weeks on the singles chart.[11] In the Netherlands, the song entered both the Dutch Top 40 and the Single Top 100 charts. It achieved a higher peak on the Dutch Top 40: on that chart, it peaked at number 8, becoming Imaani's only top 10 entry on that chart; it spent a total of 7 weeks in the top 40.[12] On the Dutch Single Top 100 chart, the song debuted at number 60 on the chart dated 23 May 1998; it achieved a peak of number 14, where it spent one week, and spent a total of 15 weeks in the top 100.[13]

The song was included in the 1998 British popular music compilation Now That's What I Call Music! 40;[14] it was the third of four UK Eurovision submissions to be chronicled by the compilation series.[15]

Legacy[edit]

In 2014, Official Charts inducted the song into its "Pop Gem Hall of Fame," praising Imaani's "powerhouse vocals" and deeming the song the UK's best Eurovision entry in 16 years.[2] In July 2017, the official website for Eurovision Song Contest ranked "Where Are You" at number 6 on their list of best UK Eurovision songs.[16] The Telegraph placed the song at number 18 on their ranking of every UK Eurovision submission, praising Saleem's vocals as "soulful" and giving the song a "real emotional punch," but commenting that the song's backing track and drum machine make the song sound dated.[17]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[11] 12
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[18] 67
Greece (IFPI)[19] 5
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[20] 33
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[21] 8
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[13] 14
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[22] 16
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[23] 15
Preceded by
"Love Shine a Light"
by Katrina and the Waves
United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
1998
Succeeded by
"Say It Again"
by Precious

References[edit]

  1. ^ "United Kingdom 1998". ESC History. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Myers, Justin. "Official Charts Pop Gem #56: Imaani – Where Are You". Official Charts. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b "The UK's highest charting Eurovision stars revealed!". Retrieved 2015-05-10.
  4. ^ "Eurovision 1998 Israel: Dana International - "Diva"". Eurovision World. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  5. ^ Special Report (10 May 1998). "Transsexual singer stirs up passions". BBC News. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Eurovision UK Entry 1998: Imaani". BBC Radio 2. BBC. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  7. ^ West, Chris (20 April 2017). Eurovision!: A History of Modern Europe Through the World's Greatest Song Contest. London: Melville House UK. p. 199. ISBN 0993414990. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  8. ^ name="book1"
  9. ^ Bronson, Fred (23 May 1998). "Imaani Grows Bolder from Birmingham". Billboard. 110 (21): 98. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Imaani: full Official Chart history". Official Charts. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – Imaani – Where Are You (in Dutch)". Ultratop 50. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  12. ^ "Top 40 Artists: Imaani (in Dutch)". Media Markt Top 40. DSJ. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Dutchcharts.nl - Imaani - Where Are You (in Dutch)". Single Top 100. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  14. ^ Byrkit, Becky. "Now That's What I Call Music! 40 [UK]". AllMusic. RhythmOne. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  15. ^ Selby, Pete; Healing, Andy (8 October 2015). The Now That's What I Call Music Book. London: Simon & Schuster. pp. 84, 97. ISBN 1471153347.
  16. ^ Escudero, Victor. "The Best of British: Top 10 UK entries". Eurovision Song Contest. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  17. ^ Fane Saunders, Tristram. "Eurovision: every single UK entry ranked, from worst to best". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Top 10 Greece" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (03.07.1998 - 10.07.1998)" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir - Tónlist. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  21. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Imaani" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  22. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100 17 May 1998 - 23 May 1998". Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 December 2017.