You're the Voice
|"You're the Voice"|
|Single by John Farnham|
|from the album Whispering Jack|
|B-side||"Going, Going, Gone"|
|Released||15 September 1986|
|John Farnham singles chronology|
"You're the Voice" is a song written by Andy Qunta, Keith Reid, Maggie Ryder and Chris Thompson, and recorded by the Australian singer John Farnham and released as a single in September 1986 ahead of his album Whispering Jack. "You're the Voice" was one of the biggest hits of 1986 in Australia, topping the Kent Music Report singles chart for seven weeks from 3 November to 21 December. At the ARIA Music Awards of 1987 it won Single of the Year.
The music video was recorded with celebrities (Derryn Hinch and Jacki Weaver) and musicians (James and Vince Leigh of Pseudo Echo, Greg Macainsh), none of whom are on the original audio recording; and were assembled by Farnham's talent manager, Glenn Wheatley. Wheatley later recalled, "[it] was done on a shoestring budget. I called in Derryn and Jacki, some of the guys from Pseudo Echo (James and Vince Leigh) and Greg Macainsh from Skyhooks are in the band, it was pretty much anyone who'd do me a favour."
"You're the Voice" re-entered the Australian singles chart more than 25 years after its original release (reaching No. 64), thanks to its appearance (to advertise the company's SYNC voice control system) in a 2012 Ford TV commercial.
The power ballad is also one of Farnham's biggest successes in Europe, charting at No. 1 in Germany and Sweden and reaching the Top 10 in Austria, Ireland, Switzerland and the UK. Although "You're the Voice" was also successful in Canada (reaching the Top 20), in the US the track performed relatively poorly, missing the chart on its initial 1987 issue. BMG/RCA re-released the song in the US in February 1990 after Farnham made the Adult Contemporary chart with "Two Strong Hearts". Farnham's version eventually spent eight weeks on the US charts, peaking at No. 82, but in the US the song is probably best known for a charting version issued in 1991 by the band Heart.
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Uses in popular culture
The song has been featured in numerous TV and film productions, including the film Hot Rod, the BBC series Merlin, the film Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and comedian Peter Kay's Car Share, and in the Swedish film Medicinen.
Appropriation by protesters
The song has been used by protesters who rallied in Melbourne, Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic. On 21 September 2020, it was reported by Seven News that the song had become a common theme at rallies around the city as Stage 4 lockdowns continue, however, Farnham's manager described it as "offensive" to Farnham and the manager himself.
|"You're the Voice"|
|Single by Heart|
|from the album Rock the House Live!|
|B-side||"Wild Child" (live)|
|Heart singles chronology|
As a lead promotion for their first live album, Rock the House Live!, in 1991, US rock band Heart released their live version of "You're the Voice" as a single. It was captured during the US leg of their Brigade world tour in November 1990. A music video was released which featured footage that were shot from the tour while coverage of the then-ongoing Gulf War intervene. The single performed moderately well, reaching No. 20 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. In the UK, the single was a minor hit, reaching No. 56.
It was released in multiple limited edition formats in different territories, with the UK boasting the highest number of these:
- 7" etched one-sided single
- 7" red vinyl single
- 10" red vinyl single
- 12" etched one-sided single
- CD single
A studio version of the track had been recorded in late 1989 as part of the sessions for the Brigade album, though it did not make the album track list. This studio version would not see release until July 2000, when it was included on the greatest hits package, Greatest Hits: 1985–1995.
|Canadian Singles Chart||65|
|UK Singles Chart||56|
|U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart||20|
The Greek singer-songwriter Lavrentis Machairitsas covered the song with lyrics translated to Greek, under the title "Rixe Kokkino Sti Nyhta" ("Ρίξε Κόκκινο στη Νύχτα" in Greek, translates to "Throw Red into the Night") in his 1993 album of the same name.
|"You're the Voice"|
|Single by Alan Parsons|
|Studio||Parsonics, Santa Barbara, California|
|Length||4:14 (radio edit)|
|Songwriter(s)||Andy Qunta, Keith Reid, Maggie Ryder, Chris Thompson|
|Alan Parsons singles chronology|
World Liberty Concert
"You're the Voice" was performed at the World Liberty Concert in 1995 by the Alan Parsons Band, Chris Thompson and Metropole Orkest. The only official release associated with the concert, the single featured a studio recording of the song rather than the live version. The B-side was a live recording of "White Dawn", which was performed by the Metropole Orkest and Gelders Opera and Operetta Gezelschap (GOOG) choir. The song was arranged by Andrew Powell and conducted by Dick Bakker. During the performance of "White Dawn", a battle was simulated that included gunfire, which can be heard around the middle of the recording.
The radio edit of the "You're the Voice" single was also featured on Alan Parsons: The Very Best Live (1995).
- "You're the Voice (Radio Edit)" – (Qunta, Thompson, Reid, Ryder) – 4:14
- "White Dawn" – (Parsons) Lead Vocals Chris Thompson – 4:50
Planet Rock Allstars
In November 2019, a single in support of the mental health charity MIND was curated by Planet Rock DJ Wyatt Wendels in conjunction with a 2000-mile charity cycle ride The Road to Rockstock. The limited release CD was then made available from the ride's support vehicle, during late November/early December. The CD features three versions, the main version featuring many well-known rock artists including Alice Cooper, Joe Elliott, Lzzy Hale, Justin Hawkins, Doug Aldrich, Phil Campbell, Bruce Dickinson and Dan Reed. The other versions include the original backing track with Toby Jepson on vocals, and a version with vocals by Joe Elliott. The song will be available as a digital download on 6 December 2019.
A UK hardcore track released by Waxman in 1996 sampled "You're the Voice".
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