You Belong to the City
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|"You Belong to the City"|
|Single by Glenn Frey|
|from the album Miami Vice soundtrack|
|Glenn Frey singles chronology|
"You Belong to the City" is a song written by Glenn Frey (of the Eagles) and Jack Tempchin, and recorded by Frey during his solo career. It was written specifically for the television show Miami Vice in 1985. The song nearly reached the top of the charts, peaking at number two (behind Starship's "We Built This City") on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, although it did reach the top of the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart.
The song, along with Jan Hammer's "Miami Vice Theme", helped the Miami Vice soundtrack album reach the top spot of the Billboard 200 chart for 11 weeks in 1985, making it the best-selling album of the year. While Frey performed this song live when touring with the Eagles, he stopped doing so in 2005. A version of the Eagles performing the song can be found on their DVD Farewell Tour I: Live from Melbourne released that year.
The song was featured in, and indeed written specifically for, the Miami Vice episode "Prodigal Son".
All instruments were performed by Frey except the saxophone part played by studio musician Bill Bergman, as well as the drum track by Frey's long-time drummer, Michael Huey. The song was recorded at Fool On The Hill studios, New York City, at the end of 1984. The synthesizer used in this song was a Yamaha DX7.
At the beginning of the video, the notes of the introductory saxophone riff are played as Frey sits in his apartment in New York, looking out the window and smoking. Elsewhere, a woman prepares at home for a night on the town. She has Miami Vice playing on the television, a pattern which is repeated every time a television is shown in the video. Frey leaves the apartment and walks the streets of town, his journey interspersed with scenes representative of New York nightlife and culture. He crosses paths with the woman when the taxi she is riding in almost runs him over. Later, they meet again when Frey sees her through the window of a pub, then walks in. She sees him and he watches her brush off the advances of another man, but makes no move to approach her himself. Finally, he gets up to leave, but the woman catches him as he hails a taxi and they decide to walk back to her place together. The video then cuts to Frey leaving her high-rise the next morning. In the final shot of the video, Frey gazes out onto a vista of New York City.
Two versions of the video exist; one with the Miami Vice intercuts and one without.
References in popular culture
- A 1985 Pepsi commercial featuring Frey and Miami Vice star Don Johnson used a version with product-specific lyrics. Johnson's co-star Philip Michael Thomas did not appear in the commercial alongside them due to prior obligations to a Sunkist Grape commercial.
- The rapper/record producer Jay-Z sampled part of "You Belong to the City" for his single, "The City Is Mine".
- The song was used in a video tribute to the 1986 World Champion New York Mets at Shea Stadium in August 2006; it was again used by the Mets in August 2010 when members of the 1986 team were inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame at Citi Field. It is also featured on the team's 1986 highlight film.
- An instrumental version of the song was used on a 1988 episode of the Fox television series Married... with Children.
- Gordon, Allen S. (1998). "Jay-Z: In My Lifetime". Rap Pages. Vol. 7. L.F.P. Incorporated. p. 233.
For strictly hard-core rappers, using a white/new wave 1980s pop tune like Glen Frey's "You Belong to the City" would be considered treading on thin ice
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