Friday, March 25, 2016

Clarifying the Rock Era Record for Longest-Held Note for a Hit Song

On the song "Woman In Love" by Barbra Streisand, Barbra holds a note for 11.1 seconds while singing the line:  "I stumble and fall/but I give you it all" (holding the word "all" for that duration). In an edition of American Top 40 in 1980, it was said that this was the longest unaltered note held by a soloist in a #1 song.  

However, this was corrected a few weeks later as at the time, "All Out Of Love" by Air Supply (16.2 seconds on the final note)

and "Dim All The Lights" by Donna Summer (16 seconds) had longer notes held.

But Streisand in fact held the record at this time for her singing on a duet with Summer, "Enough Is Enough (No More Tears)", holding the note "tears" at about the 1:44 mark for 16.3 seconds.  

In the Wikipedia article on "Woman In Love", it was claimed that "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers was another #1 song in which Withers held a note longer than Streisand.  "Lovely Day" was not near a #1 song; it peaked at #30 in 1978, so I went in and edited that page to correct that error.  

Withers did hold the record at the time for the longest-held note for a Billboard Hot 100 song.  Several times during the song, Withers held the note "day" for 10 seconds, but at about the 3:05 mark, Withers held the note "day" for 18.3 seconds.

All records for #1 songs, Top 10 songs and Hot 100 songs were shattered by Freddy Curci, lead singer of Sheriff on "When I'm With You", originally released in 1983 and re-released in 1988.  It was in that latter year that the song went to #1.  Curci began the last note "you" at the 3:19 mark before settling on the final note at 3:26, which he held for 19.4 seconds before the end of the song.

Some people claim that Axl Rose holds the mark for the song "Don't Cry".  While Rose does indeed hold guttural sounds for about 28 seconds on the final word of "cry" in the song, he only holds the same note for 7.7 seconds.

Ed Ames, on the song "My Cup Runneth Over" was no doubt one of the leaders before the singers mentioned above.  Beginning at the :45 mark, Ames held the note "love" for 11.2 seconds.  Ames repeats the note at the 1:20 mark, this time exceeding the length by holding the note for 11.5 seconds.  Then at the 2:19 mark, he holds the same note for 14.9 seconds.

Some people claim that Whitney Houston broke the record for her all-time classic "I Will Always Love You".  She holds the last word "you" for 11.6 seconds, but that time includes three separate notes.

Jeff Buckley, for his song "Hallelujah", begins the word "hallelujah" at 6:09 and holds the note "lu" for 21.70 seconds, but only 17.85 seconds are for one sustained note.  All told, Buckley sings the word for 24 seconds.

Cyndi Lauper holds the note "end" at the 3:30 mark of "All Through The Night" for 12 seconds.  Lauper, at the 4:28 mark of "Money Changes Everything" holds the last note of "money" for 10.5 seconds.

Ethel Merman, in the duet "Anything You Can Do", sings the word "I" at the 1:45 mark for 9.25 seconds.

It should be noted that these records reflect notes held in hit songs.  Several opera singers have held notes longer in performances, and several other artists have done so on record (Streisand in fact has achieved several of these feats for other songs on her albums).  The records referred to above are for Popular songs--ones to make Hot 100.

Streisand, on her song "On My Way To You" in 1988, holds the final note on "you" for 22.84 seconds.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.