Up Where We Belong

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"Up Where We Belong"
Single by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
from the album An Officer and a Gentleman soundtrack
B-side "Sweet Lil' Woman" (Joe Cocker)
Released August, 1982
Format 45rpm, CD, Cassette
Recorded 1982
Length 4:00
Label Island
Writer(s) Jack Nitzsche
Buffy Sainte-Marie
Will Jennings[1]
Producer(s) Stewart Levine
Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes singles chronology
"Talking Back to the Night"
"Up Where We Belong"
"Threw It Away"

"Up Where We Belong" is a Platinum-certified, Grammy Award-winning hit song written by Jack Nitzsche, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Will Jennings. It was recorded by Joe Cocker (lead vocals) and Jennifer Warnes (lead and background vocals) for the smash 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman.[1]

Use in the film

Richard Gere balked at shooting the ending of the film, in which Zack arrives at Paula's factory wearing his naval dress whites and carries her off the factory floor; he thought that wouldn't work because it was too sentimental. Director Taylor Hackford agreed with Gere until, during a rehearsal, the extras playing the workers began to cheer and cry. When Gere saw the scene later, with the music added ("Up Where We Belong"), he said it gave him chills. Gere is now convinced Hackford made the right decision.[2]

Producer Don Simpson unsuccessfully demanded "Up Where We Belong" be cut from An Officer and a Gentleman, saying, "The song is no good. It isn't a hit." He reportedly said of Warnes, "She has a sweet voice, but she'll never have a hit song, and this definitely isn't it" (which both overlooked that Warnes had had a modest hit with a previous Oscar-winning song and was proven wrong when she recorded the huge hit "I've Had The Time Of My Life" only a few years later with Bill Medley). Simpson even made a bet with the film's soundtrack supervisor that the song would flop and paid off his loss after the Oscars, where he still insisted the song was rotten and that it should never have become successful.

Release and awards

However, the American Top 40 radio stations disagreed with Simpson's comments, as the single, released by Island Records in 1982,[3] hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on November 6, 1982 and held the top chart position for three consecutive weeks, also reaching number 7 in the UK Singles Chart.[1] It was certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales of over two million copies in the United States.

"Up Where We Belong" won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1983.[1] It also won the BAFTA Film Awards for Best Original Song in 1984. Cocker and Warnes also won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1983 for their rendition of this song. In 2004 it finished at #75 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

In popular culture

Cover versions

  • The Shadows did an instrumental version of the song in 1983, on their album XXV.
  • Cocker performed the song with Joan Baez singing Warnes' lines in the 1986 TV special '60s Reunion at the Fillmore.
  • Frank Galan & Sandra Kim did a Dutch version in 1997, entitled "De liefde neemt ons mee".
  • Bebe Winans & Cece Winans did a version of the song in 1984, on their album Lord lift us up
  • Namibian singer Nianell and South African singer Dozi did a version of the song in 2009 on their album It Takes Two.[4]
  • Filipino singer Christian Bautista also covered this song from the GMA 7 Koreanovela Drama Series Empress Ki.

Charts and sales

Chart (1982-1983) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[5] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[6] 14
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[7] 32
Canada (RPM) 1
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM) 2
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[8] 13
Germany (Official German Charts)[9] 6
Ireland (IRMA)[10] 3
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[11] 3
Norway (VG-lista)[12] 3
Spain (AFYVE)[13] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[14] 3
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[15] 7
United Kingdom (The Official Charts Company) 7
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 3
Preceded by
"Who Can It Be Now?" by Men at Work
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
November 6, 1982 - November 20, 1982 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Truly" by Lionel Richie


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[16] Gold 5,000

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 136. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Gere begged director not to shoot romantic scene". PR Inside. 2007-04-29. http://www.pr-inside.com/gere-begged-director-not-to-shoot-r108124.htm.
  3. Jennifer Warnes, official home site
  4. http://www.kalahari.com/Music/It-Takes-Two_p_34516058?gclid=CKeQ-t3v67sCFYUewwodXAsAGw Retrieved 7 January 2014
  5. Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Austriancharts.at – Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – Up Where We Belong" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  7. "Ultratop.be – Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – Up Where We Belong" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  8. Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Musicline.de – Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  10. Search for Irish peaks
  11. "Charts.org.nz – Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – Up Where We Belong". Top 40 Singles.
  12. "Norwegiancharts.com – Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – Up Where We Belong". VG-lista.
  13. Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Swedishcharts.com – Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – Up Where We Belong". Singles Top 60.
  15. "Swisscharts.com – Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – Up Where We Belong". Swiss Singles Chart.
  16. "Canadian single certifications – Joe Cocker – Up Where We Belong". Music Canada. Retrieved 23 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links