Young Hearts Run Free

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"Young Hearts Run Free"
Single by Candi Staton
from the album Young Hearts Run Free
B-side"I Know"
  • 4:08 (Album Version)
  • 3:51 (7" Version)
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)David Crawford
Producer(s)David Crawford
Candi Staton singles chronology
"Six Nights and a Day"
"Young Hearts Run Free"
"Run to Me"
Music video
"Young Hearts Run Free" (1976) on YouTube
Music video
"Young Hearts Run Free" (1999) on YouTube

"Young Hearts Run Free" is a disco song written by David Crawford and originally recorded by American soul singer Candi Staton in 1976.

Candi Staton recording[edit]

"Young Hearts Run Free" was written by its producer David Crawford. According to Staton, the song's genesis was a conversation she had with Crawford over lunch in Los Angeles: Staton – "Dave Crawford was always asking me: 'What's happening in your life'...and I was [then] with someone I shouldn't have been with and it was hard getting out of that...very abusive relationship"[1]..."I [noticed] that [Crawford] was taking notes, and he said, 'You know, I'm gonna write you a song. I'm gonna write you a song that's gonna last forever.'"[2]

Released in 1976 from the album of the same title, it spent a week at number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart. It also peaked at number twenty on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.[3] Along with the tracks "Run to Me" and "Destiny", "Young Hearts Run Free" went to number eight on the dance/disco charts.[4] "Young Hearts Run Free" was one of only two songs by Staton to reach the top 10 on the UK Singles Chart, it peaked at number two behind The Real Thing's "You to Me Are Everything".[5] The 1976 single releases had "I Know" on the B-side.

The song is referenced in Staton's 1978 single "Victim" in the lyrics, "I became a victim of the very song I sing, I told you "young hearts run free". When I didn't listen to myself . . ."[6]

In 1999 Candi Staton recorded a new dance version of "Young Hearts Run Free". It peaked at #29 in the UK.


Chart (1976) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[7] 4
US Billboard Hot 100 20
US Billboard Hot Soul Singles 1
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[8] 50
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 2
Chart (1986) Peak
Ireland (IRMA) 26
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 47
Chart (1999) Peak
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[9] 91
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[10] 33
Scotland (Official Charts Company) 29
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 29
UK Indie (Official Charts Company)[11] 6


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Silver 250,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Kym Mazelle version[edit]

"Young Hearts Run Free"
Single by Kym Mazelle
from the album Romeo + Juliet
Songwriter(s)David Crawford
Producer(s)Nellee Hooper
Kym Mazelle singles chronology
"Love Me the Right Way '96"
"Young Hearts Run Free"
"Have a Nice Day"
Music video
"Young Hearts Run Free" on YouTube

Background and release[edit]

"Young Hearts Run Free" was covered by American house music singer Kym Mazelle. It was released in 1996 as the second single for the triple-platinum selling soundtrack of Romeo + Juliet by Capitol Records.[13][14] On August 15, 1997, Mazelle performed the song on Top of the Pops.[15] The single has since become one of Mazelle's signature hits. In 1998, the song was included on the director's remix album Something for Everybody. In December 2005, Mazelle performed a short version of the song during her guest appearance as a contestant on The Weakest Link during the "Rock and Pop Special".

Music video[edit]

The music video features Mazelle in a sleeveless dress wearing gold jewelry as well as a burgundy dress in other scenes. The video was filmed in late 1996. Several scenes and footage from the Romeo + Juliet film appear in the video. The video also features a drag queen (Harold Perrineau as Mercutio), in a white outfit wearing a platinum blonde afro wig, miming to Mazelle's voice.

Track listing[edit]


  1. "Young Hearts Run Free" (Album Version) – 3:59
  2. "Young Hearts Run Free" (Kiss My Brass – Main Vox Edit) – 3:45
  3. "Young Hearts Run Free" (Young Hearts Dub Free - Underground Dub) – 6:10
  4. "Young Hearts Run Free" (Kiss My Brass Main Vox) – 8:10


Chart (1996–1997) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[16] 11
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[17] 44
France (SNEP)[18] 29
Germany (Official German Charts)[19] 88
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[20] 16
Scotland (Official Charts Company) 17
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[21] 20
UK Dance (Official Charts Company)[22] 29


American singer Gloria Estefan covered the song in 2005 for the series Desperate Housewives on the Music from and Inspired by Desperate Housewives album. UK singer Sonia included a version on her 1993 album Better the Devil You Know. British band Easyworld released a version as a B-side to the single "How Did It Ever Come to This?" in 2004. The Swell Season did a version of the song for Levi's Pioneer Sessions 2010 Revival Recordings. Jully Black also did a cover of the song. This song was almost covered by Mikalah Gordon on the fourth installment of American Idol. German singer Lian Ross recorded this song in 2009, and it was a number 1 radio-hit in Spain; then she re-recorded and featured this one on her album "I Got the Beat" (2013). In 2008, the song was also featured in the soundtrack for Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony on the in-game radio station K109 The Studio. In 2017, Canadian singer Ralph released a cover of the song as a promotional single. Beth Ditto covered it on the Jools Holland Hootenanny TV program on BBC Two, 1 January 2018.


  1. ^ Staton, Candi (June 6, 2011). "Candi Staton". The Chris Watts Show (Interview). Interviewed by Chris Watts. 107 Meridian FM.
  2. ^ "Interview with Candi Staton". Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 549.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 245.
  5. ^ "Singles Chart For 10/07/1976". Official Charts Company. 1976-07-17. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  6. ^ "Candi Staton - Victim Lyrics | LetsSingIt Lyrics". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 228.
  9. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  10. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (Vikuna 21.10. - 28.10. 1999 43. Vika)" (PDF). Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  11. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  12. ^ "British single certifications – Candi Staton – Young Hearts Run Free". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 10 November 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Young Hearts Run Free in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  13. ^ Romeo + Juliet – Original Soundtrack. AllMusic. Retrieved on October 8, 2017
  14. ^ Romeo + Juliet | Gold & Platinum Database. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved on October 8, 2017
  15. ^ Kym Mazelle — Young Hearts Run Free. BBC Online — Top of the Pops' Video Archive. Retrieved on March 28, 2017
  16. ^ " – Kym Mazelle – Young Hearts Run Free". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  17. ^ "Music & Media: Eurochart Hot 100" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  18. ^ " – Kym Mazelle – Young Hearts Run Free" (in French). Les classement single.
  19. ^ " – Kym Mazelle – Young Hearts Run Free". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  20. ^ " – Kym Mazelle – Young Hearts Run Free". Top 40 Singles.
  21. ^ "Kym Mazelle - UK Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  22. ^ "Official UK Dance Singles Chart (10 August 1997-16 August 1997)". Retrieved 2018-02-12.

External links[edit]