You Must Love Me

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"You Must Love Me"
Single by Madonna
from the album Evita
B-side "Rainbow High"
Released October 27, 1996
Format
Recorded 1995
Length 3:09
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
Madonna singles chronology
"Love Don't Live Here Anymore"
(1996)
"You Must Love Me"
(1996)
"Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
(1997)

"You Must Love Me is a song recorded by American singer and songwriter Madonna, and written by composers Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, for the 1996 film adaptation of the musical, Evita, based on the life of Argentinian leader Eva Perón. It was released on October 27, 1996, by Warner Bros. as the lead single from the film's soundtrack. After years of not working together, Webber and Rice collaborated on creating a new track for the film, with the hopes of obtaining an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. According to Webber, the song's main inspiration was to showcase Perón's emotional state at the time as well as her relationship with husband Juan Perón.

Madonna, who starred in the titular role of the film, had tried to change the lyrics of the track to create a sympathetic portrayal of Perón, but was unsuccessful. She also undertook vocal lessons to sing the song's on the film. "You Must Love Me" features instrumentation from cello and piano which accompanies Madonna's vocals. Upon its release, the song garnered positive response from music critics, many of them highlighting Madonna's enhanced singing ability. The song went on to win the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1997.

From commercial perspective, it was a moderate success, becoming a top-ten hit in some countries including Finland, Italy and the United Kingdom, while reaching the top-twenty in the United States. Elsewhere, it had a relatively poor chart performance. A music video, directed by Alan Parker, was released as promotion for the single. Madonna has performed the song at the 69th Academy Awards and on her 2008–09 Sticky & Sweet Tour.

Background and development[edit]

Madonna was enlisted to play the titular character of Eva Perón (pictured)

In 1996, Madonna starred in the film Evita, playing the role of Eva Perón, the Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina. For a long time, Madonna had desired to play Perón and even wrote to director Alan Parker, explaining how she would be perfect for the part.[1] After securing the role, she underwent vocal training with coach Joan Layder since Evita required the actors to sing their own parts. Layder noted that the singer "had to use her voice in a way she's never used it before. Evita is real musical theater — its operatic, in a sense. Madonna developed an upper register that she didn't know she had."[2][3]

"You Must Love Me" was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who had reunited for Evita after a ten-year creative separation.[4] It was written specifically for the film, so that it would contain new material and be eligible for an Academy Award nomination.[5] Declared as a favorite of the singer, "You Must Love Me" also grew organically due to Parker re-arranging the ending of the film from the original play.[6] According to Webber, the main inspiration behind the song was to showcase Perón's emotional state at the time as well as her relationship with husband Juan Perón; "[Eva] is dying and she knows she's dying. One reason she is saying, 'You must love me', is out of desperation. She's also saying, 'You must love me because you must have always loved me', so it's a little word play, I guess, which Tim Rice has written".[7] It was released as the soundtrack's first official single on October 27, 1996. Since its release, the song has been included in several productions of the play, including the 2006 London production and the 2012 Broadway revival.[8][9]

Recording and composition[edit]

Recording sessions for the film's songs and soundtrack began on September 1995, and took place at the CTS Studios in London with Madonna accompanied by co-actors Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce. However, trouble arose as Madonna was not completely comfortable with laying down a "guide vocal" simultaneously with an 84 piece orchestra inside the studio. She was used to singing over a pre-recorded track and not have musicians listen to her. Also, unlike her previous soundtrack releases, she had little to no control over the project; "I'm used to writing my own songs and I go into a studio, choose the musicians and say what sounds good or doesn't [...] To work on forty-six songs with everyone involved and not have a big say was a big adjustment", she recalled.[10] An emergency meeting was held between Parker, Webber and Madonna where it was decided that the singer would record her part in a more contemporary studio while the orchestration would take place somewhere else. She also had alternate days off from the recording.[11]

A 17 second clip of "You Must Love Me", with Madonna singing the chorus over the restrained piano sounds.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"You Must Love Me" starts with the sound of orchestra and piano, as Madonna sings the opening verses. She continues singing the lyrics, which talk about Perón's discovery that her husband Juan had actually loved her all along and not merely seen her as a political prop.[12] When presented to Madonna, her reaction to the lyrics was negative since she wanted to have a sympathetic portrayal of Perón, rather than the "shrewd manipulator" like character that Parker had in mind. She was also concerned about her own image, and was successful in getting many of the portions in the script altered. However, Rice declined to change the song, but rewrote it five to six times. He recalled, "I remember taking the lyrics to Madonna and she was trying to change them... The scene can be interpreted in different ways, but my lyrics were kept, thank God!"[13]

Other instrumentation for the song includes cello, which was played by a live orchestra.[10] As the song moves towards the chorus, the piano sounds stop and the cello plays with Madonna belting out the lyrics: "Deep in my heart, I'm concealing, Things that I'm longing to say, Scared to confess what I'm feeling, Frightened you'll slip away", when the piano and the orchestra sounds come back again. It proceeds in the same way and gradually fades out.[12] According to the sheet music published by Musicnotes.com, the song is set in common time, with a moderate tempo of 92 beats per minute. It is composed in the key of B major, with Madonna's vocals spanning from G3 to B4. The song has a basic sequence of BE/BF/B–B in the beginning and changes to B–F when Madonna sings the opening verse "Where do we go from here?".[14]

Critical response[edit]

A man wearing a grey suit sitting with his hands closed
An old man outside
Co-writers of "You Must Love Me", Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Upon its release, "You Must Love Me" received generally positive reviews from critics. J. Randy Taraborrelli, author of Madonna: An Intimate Biography, wrote: "Who can deny that her voice has remarkable and unmistakable presence when heard during 'You Must Love Me'?".[15] Lucy O'Brien, author of Madonna: Like an Icon appreciated the song's addition to the soundtrack and found "pathos" in Madonna's vocals.[13] Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic felt that "Even with the faults, Evita has its merits, including the written-for-film ballad 'You Must Love Me'".[16]

Larry Flick, from Billboard, called it "a momentous musical event [...] a bittersweet and quietly theatrical ballad [written] specifically for Madonna".[6] Kathleen Guerdo, also from Billboard, said that "[Madonna] delivers what is by far one of the strongest vocal performances of her career, comfortably scaling to the song's demanding soprano heights while infusing it with delicate, heart-rending emotion. This bodes well for the creative potency of the rest of the soundtrack".[17] Matthew Jacobs from The Huffington Post, placed it at number 61 of his list "The Definitive Ranking Of Madonna Singles". He explained that "[t]he vocal training Madonna endured for the movie pays off in this soprano serenade", but also noted that it "doesn't do much outside of the film".[18]

On her review of Evita, Janet Maslin from The New York Times commented that "Mr. Lloyd Webber and Mr. Rice have contributed a lilting new song, 'You Must Love Me', that's as suitable for weddings as it is for running South American countries".[19] Entertainment Weekly‍ '​s David Browne gave the song a rating of B and opined that "['You Must Love Me'] is no 'Live to Tell' or 'Take a Bow'. But this simple, elegantly arranged showpiece from Evita is clearly intended to promote both the film and her new adult, matriarchal image".[20] J. D. Considine, from The Baltimore Sun, said it was one of the "big songs" from the soundtrack.[21] Peter Travers from Rolling Stone, hailed it "sympathy-begging".[22] The song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song at the 54th ceremony, which took place on January 19, 1997.[23] Two months later, it was awarded the Academy Award for Best Original Song.[24]

Chart performance[edit]

In the United States, "You Must Love Me" was serviced to radio on October 9, 1996. It was met with a positive response, garnering 118 plays the first week, and debuting at number 55 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart. The CD single was released on October 29, following public demands about the song.[6] It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 22 the week of November 14, 1996, ultimately peaking at number 18 after two weeks.[25] It ranked at number 99 on the year end chart for 1997.[26] According to Billboard, "You Must Love Me" was Madonna's fourth highest debuting single of her career, following "You'll See" (number 8 in 1995), "Erotica" (number 13 in 1992) and "Rescue Me" (number 15 in 1990). It was also the highest charting Webber-Rice collaboration since Helen Reddy's rendition of "I Don't Know How to Love Him", which reached number 13 in 1971.[27] It eventually received a gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on October 22, 1998, for shipments of 500,000 copies.[28] In Canada, the song debuted at number 36 on the RPM Top Singles chart, and reached a peak of number 11 on the week of December 16, 1996.[29][30] It was present for a total of 14 weeks on the chart.[31]

In the United Kingdom, the song stalled at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart the week of November 2, 1996, and was present on the top 100 for a total of 9 weeks.[32] In Australia, "You Must Love Me" peaked at number 11 on the ARIA Singles Chart the week of November 10, 1996, staying on this position for one week and a total of 9 weeks on the chart.[33] In Italy, it reached the fourth position of the FIMI Singles Chart.[34] On the year-end Italian charts, it was ranked at number 39.[35] "You Must Love Me" reached a peak of number 4 in Finland, and also reached a peak of number 21 on the Irish Singles Chart, where it remained for 2 weeks.[36][37] In Germany, it became one of Madonna's lowest charting singles, peaking at number 78.[38]

Promotion and cover version[edit]

Madonna performing "You Must Love Me" during the Sticky & Sweet Tour, 2008

The music video for "You Must Love Me" was directed by Parker and features the singer performing the song inside a small room; interspersed with footage and scenes from Evita.[39] As Madonna was eight months pregnant with her daughter Lourdes Maria, her stomach remained hidden behind a piano.[40] The music video was included as a bonus feature on the 15th Anniversary Edition blu-ray of the film, released on June 19, 2012.[41] On March 24, 1997, Madonna performed the song at the 69th Academy Awards dressed in a long, strapless Christian Dior gown.[42] Although not nominated in the Best Actress category, Madonna had nevertheless accepted an invitation from the Academy to perform the song. According to choreographer Otis Sallid, they wanted to just portray the singer in a restrained manner, hence the accompaniment in the stage was just a spotlight on her and a piano to her left.[43] Writing for The Philadelphia Inquirer, movie critic Carrie Rickey felt Madonna "gave a restrained performance of the number".[44]

It was 11 years later that Madonna performed the song as part of her Sticky & Sweet Tour (2008–09). She appeared on stage wearing a black Givenchy dress, with pink colored ribbons around her neck and black stockings on her legs and performed an acoustic, guitar-driven version of the song sitting on a stool. She was backed by 4 musicians who were dressed in gypsy clothes. As she performed the song, scenes from Evita played on the backdrop screens.[45] The performance received positive feedback from critics with Ricardo Baca, from The Denver Post, writing that "her courageous, late-set take on "You Must Love Me" — from the filmed version of the Broadway musical "Evita" — was spot-on and gorgeous with its string accompaniment".[46] On the Buenos Aires stop of the tour, after performing "You Must Love Me", Madonna also sang "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from the film.[47] The performances of both songs in the city were recorded in the live CD-DVD titled, Sticky & Sweet Tour (2010).[48] Singer Brooke White covered the song on the seventh season of American Idol. She marked Idol history that night when, after forgetting the lyrics to the song, she stopped after the first verse to start over from the beginning.[49]

Track listing and formats[edit]

  • US CD / Cassette / 7" Single[50]
  1. "You Must Love Me" (Single Version) – 3:09
  2. "Rainbow High" – 2:27
  1. "You Must Love Me" (Single Version) – 3:09
  2. "Rainbow High" – 2:27
  3. "You Must Love Me/I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You" (Orchestral Version) – 4:27

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[52]

Charts and certification[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Michael 2004, p. 67
  2. ^ Taraborrelli 2008, p. 260
  3. ^ Ciccone, Madonna (November 1996). "The Madonna Diaries". Vanity Fair (Advance Publications): 174–188. ISSN 0733-8899. 
  4. ^ Roberts 2006, p. 137
  5. ^ Citron 2001, p. 402
  6. ^ a b c Flick, Larry (October 26, 1996). "Radio embraces "Evita"". Billboard 108 (43): 1, 91. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  7. ^ "A Second Interview with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Composer, On the Set of Evita in Budapest". Universal Pictures. Archived from the original on December 6, 1999. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  8. ^ Brantley, Ben (July 3, 2006). "In London, a Pious 'Evita' for a Star-Struck Age". The New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  9. ^ Gans, Andrew (March 12, 2012). "Elena Roger and Ricky Martin Begin a 'Waltz for Eva and Che' in Broadway Revival of Evita March 12". Playbill. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Taraborrelli 2008, p. 261
  11. ^ Taraborrelli 2008, p. 262
  12. ^ a b Rooksby 2004, p. 80
  13. ^ a b O'Brien 2008, p. 308
  14. ^ "You Must Love Me From 'Evita (Movie)'". Musicnotes.com. Universal Music Publishing Group. Retrieved July 1, 2015. 
  15. ^ Taraborrelli 2008, p. 299
  16. ^ Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. "Evita > Madonna". AllMusic. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  17. ^ Guerdo, Kathleen (October 19, 1996). "Single Reviews: Madonna You Must Love Me". Billboard. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  18. ^ Jacobs, Matthew (March 10, 2015). "The Definitive Ranking Of Madonna Singles". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  19. ^ Maslin, Janet (December 25, 1996). "Movie review - Evita (1996)". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  20. ^ Browne, David (October 25, 1996). "You Must Love Me". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  21. ^ Considine, J. D. (November 12, 1996). "'Evita' soundtrack is no showstopper Review". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  22. ^ Travers, Peter (January 10, 1997). "Evita review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Madonna Among Globe Winners". Toledo Blade. January 21, 1997. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  24. ^ "The 69th Academy Awards (1997) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  25. ^ Evans, Francesca (November 29, 1996). "Film soundtracks wind way toward Top Ten". Star-News. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  26. ^ a b "The Year in Music: 1997 Hot 100". Billboard 109 (52). ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  27. ^ Bronson, Fred (November 16, 1996). "Beatles High Flying; Madonna Adored". Billboard 108 (46): 102. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  28. ^ a b "American single certifications – Madonna – You Must Love Me". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 30, 2015.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  29. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9930". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  30. ^ a b "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9720." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  31. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9807". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  32. ^ a b "Madonna: Artist Chart History" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  33. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – Madonna – You Must Love Me". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  34. ^ a b "Lsingoli più venduti del 1996" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  35. ^ a b "TI singoli più venduti del 1996" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  36. ^ a b "Madonna: You Must Love Me" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  37. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – You Must Love Me". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  38. ^ a b "Musicline.de – Madonna Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  39. ^ Morton 2002, p. 408
  40. ^ Metz & Benson 1999, p. 310
  41. ^ Reuben, Michael (June 21, 2012). "Evita Blu ray". blu-ray.com. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  42. ^ Staff (March 27, 1997). "The stars parade on Oscar night". New Straits Times. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  43. ^ Bona 2002, p. 109
  44. ^ Rickey, Carrie (March 25, 1997). "9 Oscars for 'English Patient'". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  45. ^ Guerra, Joey (November 17, 2008). "Madonna gives Houston fans a tasty tour treat". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  46. ^ Baca, Ricardo (November 11, 2008). "Madonna thrills fans at Pepsi Center". The Denver Post. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  47. ^ Hasty, Katie (October 29, 2009). "Preview: 'Madonna Sticky and Sweet: Live from Buenos Aires' concert film". HitFix. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  48. ^ Gill, Andy (March 26, 2010). "Album: Madonna, Sticky & Sweet Tour (Warner Bros)". The Independent. Retrieved July 5, 2015. 
  49. ^ Ryan, Joal (April 23, 2008). "The Brooke White Reboot: How Big a Sin?". E!. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  50. ^ You Must Love Me (US single liner notes). Madonna. Warner Bros. 1996. 7-17495. 
  51. ^ You Must Love Me (European single liner notes). Madonna. Warner Bros. 1996. 9 17495-2. 
  52. ^ Evita (Liner notes). Madonna. Burbank, California: Warner Bros. Records. 1996. 9362-46346-2. 
  53. ^ "Ultratop.be – Madonna – You Must Love Me" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  54. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9789." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  55. ^ "Lescharts.com – Madonna – You Must Love Me" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  56. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Madonna – You Must Love Me". Singles Top 60. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  57. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Madonna – You Must Love Me". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  58. ^ "Madonna Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Madonna. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  59. ^ "Madonna Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Madonna. Retrieved June 30, 2015.

References[edit]

External links[edit]