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Lean on Me (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Lean on Me"
LeanOnMe Single cover.jpg
Single by Bill Withers
from the album Still Bill
B-side"Better Off Dead"
ReleasedApril 21, 1972 (1972-04-21)
Recorded1972
GenreSoul
Length
  • 4:17 (album version)
  • 3:45 (single version)
LabelSussex
Songwriter(s)Bill Withers
Producer(s)Bill Withers
Bill Withers singles chronology
"Grandma's Hands"
(1971)
"Lean on Me"
(1972)
"Use Me"
(1972)
Audio sample
Audio
"Lean on Me" on YouTube

"Lean on Me" is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Bill Withers. It was released in April 1972 as the first single from his second album, Still Bill. It was a number one single on both the soul singles and the Billboard Hot 100; the latter chart for three weeks in July 1972.[1] Billboard ranked it as the No. 7 song of 1972.[2] It is ranked number 208 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".[3] Numerous other versions have been recorded, and it is one of only nine songs to have reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with versions recorded by two different artists.[4]

Background and writing

Bill Withers' childhood in the coal mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia,[5] was the inspiration for "Lean on Me", which he wrote after he had moved to Los Angeles and found himself missing the strong community ethic of his hometown. He had lived in a decrepit house in the poor section of his town.

Withers recalled to SongFacts the original inspiration for the song:

"I bought a little piano and I was sitting there just running my fingers up and down the piano. In the course of doing the music, that phrase crossed my mind, so then you go back and say, 'OK, I like the way that phrase, Lean On Me, sounds with this song.'" [6]

Withers stated in the same interview that he made an effort to keep the lyrics simple.[6]

Several members of the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band[7] were used for the recording session in 1972. A string section was also included as well.

Withers' version is noted for its bridge section: ("Just call on me, brother"), as well as the coda section, where the words ”call me” are repeated a total of 14 times, before the song ends on a cadenza on the strings. Several radio stations, as well as the single version, fade out during the repeated coda, due to time limits as well as the repetition of the lyrics. Some radio versions cut the number of "Call Me's" to six times before the song's end.

Personnel

Track listings

7-inch single

  1. "Lean on Me" – 3:45
  2. "Better Off Dead" – 2:13

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[14] Platinum 70,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[15] Silver 250,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[16] Gold 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Club Nouveau version

"Lean on Me"
LeanOnMeCN.jpg
Single by Club Nouveau
from the album Life, Love & Pain
Released1987
Recorded1986
Genre
Length
  • 6:01 (LP version)
  • 3:58 (radio edit)
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Bill Withers
Producer(s)Jay King
Club Nouveau singles chronology
"Situation #9"
(1986)
"Lean on Me"
(1987)
"Why You Treat Me So Bad"
(1987)
Music video
"Lean on Me" on YouTube

The R&B group Club Nouveau covered the song with go-go beat and took it to number one for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in March 1987.[17] It also reached number one on the dance charts,[17] and number two on the Black Singles charts, kept out of the top spot by Jody Watley's "Looking for a New Love". It won a Grammy award in 1987 for Bill Withers, as the writer, for Best R&B Song.[18] This version of "Lean on Me" is known for the addition of the faux-reggae refrain "We be jammin'! We be jammin'!".

The song ranked at number 94 in VH1's 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders of the 80s.[19]

Track listings

7-inch single

  1. "Lean on Me" – 3:58
  2. "Pump It Up (Lean on Me)" (reprise) – 2:38

12-inch single

  1. "Lean on Me" (remix)" – 7:42
  2. "Lean on Me" (LP version) – 5:56
  3. "Pump It Up (Lean on Me)" (remix) – 4:51
  4. "Pump It Up (Lean on Me)" (reprise – LP version) – 2:38

Charts

Chart (1987) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report) [20] 5
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[21] 22
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[22] 12
Canada Top Singles (RPM) 1
Germany (Official German Charts)[23] 9
Ireland (IRMA) 5
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[24] 4
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[25] 1
South Africa (Springbok) [26] 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[27] 7
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Black Singles 2
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary [28] 31
Year-end chart (1987) Position
US Top Pop Singles (Billboard)[29] 29

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[30] Silver 250,000^
United States (RIAA)[31] Gold 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

2-4 Family version

"Lean on Me (With the Family)"
Single by 2-4 Family
from the album Family Business
ReleasedJanuary 30, 1999 (1999-01-30)
Recorded1998
GenreHip hop
Length3:38 (radio version)
LabelEpic
Songwriter(s)Bill Withers
Producer(s)Alex Trime, Sven "Delgado" Jordan
2-4 Family singles chronology
"Stay"
(1998)
"Lean on Me (With the Family)"
(1999)
"Take Me Home"
(1999)

In 1999, 2-4 Family released "Lean on Me (With the Family)", a remake with a hip hop arrangement and additional lyrics. Epic Records published a 12-inch single and a CD maxi single in Germany.[32]

In 2008, several years after the dissolution of 2-4 Family, founding band-member Mike Johnson performed the song with backing vocalists and dancers at the Eurovision Song Contest in Bulgaria.

Track listings

12-inch single

  1. "Lean on Me (With the Family)" (Special radio version) – 3:58
  2. "Lean on Me (With the Family)" (DSP mix) – 4:04
  3. "9 Lives" (Album Version) – 4:06
  4. "Stay" (Special Radio Version) – 4:12
  5. "Lean on Me (With the Family)" (Lounge mix) – 6:38
  6. "Stay" (Jay's D-Style Mix) – 4:15

CD maxi single

  1. "Lean on Me (With the Family)" (Radio version) – 3:38
  2. "Lean on Me (With the Family)" (DSP mix) – 4:04
  3. "Lean on Me (With the Family)" (Lounge mix) – 6:38
  4. "Lean on Me (With the Family)" (Special radio version) – 3:58
  5. "Stay" (Jay's D-Style mix) – 4:15
  6. "9 Lives" (Album version) – 4:06

Charts

Chart (1999) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[33] 6
Germany (Official German Charts)[34] 9
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[35] 7

Year-end charts

Chart (1999) Position
Germany (Official German Charts) [36] 82

In popular culture

Other versions

References

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 633.
  2. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1972
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 25, 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Cover Me: Same Songs to Hit No. 1 By Two Different Artists". Archived from the original on December 28, 2012.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved May 22, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ a b "Songfacts Interview with Bill Withers". Songfacts.com. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  7. ^ Thompson, Dave (2001). "Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band." Funk. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. pp. 203-206.
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 342. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on February 26, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  10. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 7/22/72". tropicalglen.com. Archived from the original on February 28, 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  11. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Bill Withers – Lean on Me". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  12. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1972/Top 100 Songs of 1972". www.musicoutfitters.com. Archived from the original on April 27, 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  13. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1972". tropicalglen.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  14. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2020 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on August 10, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  15. ^ "British single   certifications – Bill Withers – Lean on Me". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 9, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Lean on Me in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  16. ^ "American single   certifications – Bill Withers – Lean on Me". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 9, 2018. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  17. ^ a b "Artist Chart History - Club Nouveau". Billboard Music Charts. Retrieved June 6, 2009.
  18. ^ "Bill Withers Biography". Billwithers.com. pp. 8th Paragraph, Last Sentence. Archived from the original on August 29, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2009.
  19. ^ "VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the '80s: Do You Agree?". EW.com. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  20. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 67. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. the Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid 1983 and June 19, 1988.
  21. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Club Nouveau – Lean on Me" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  22. ^ "Ultratop.be – Club Nouveau – Lean on Me" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  23. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Club Nouveau – Lean on Me". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  24. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Club Nouveau" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  25. ^ "Charts.nz – Club Nouveau – Lean on Me". Top 40 Singles.
  26. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  27. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Club Nouveau – Lean on Me". Swiss Singles Chart.
  28. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 53.
  29. ^ "1987 The Year in Music & Video: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. 99 (52). December 26, 1987.
  30. ^ "British single   certifications – Club Nouveau – Lean on Me". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 9, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Lean on Me in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  31. ^ "American single   certifications – Club Nouveau – Lean on Me". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 9, 2018. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  32. ^ "Lean on Me (With the Family)" at Discogs (list of releases)
  33. ^ "Austriancharts.at – 2-4 Family – Lean on Me (With the Family)" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  34. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – 2-4 Family – Lean on Me (With the Family)". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  35. ^ "Swisscharts.com – 2-4 Family – Lean on Me (With the Family)". Swiss Singles Chart.
  36. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  37. ^ "17th Annual Race to Erase MS raises $2 million!". Erasems.org. May 10, 2010. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
  38. ^ Molina-Whyte, Lidia (April 23, 2020). "When is the BBC'S Big Night In on TV? Special guests, performances and everything you need to know". Radio Times. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  39. ^ Anderson, Erica; Kaufman, Gil. "Live from the "We Are One" Inaugural Concert". MTV News. pp. Entry titled: "Gil, 2:52 p.m.". Retrieved June 6, 2009.
  40. ^ "Cursed Purple Tickets (or, how I worked for two years to get Obama elected and then couldn't view the Inauguration)". Barackoblogger.com. January 20, 2009. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2010.
  41. ^ Sederholm, Jillian; Alba, Monica (October 4, 2015). "Hillary Clinton tends bar, impersonates Trump in 'SNL' cameo". NBC News. Archived from the original on October 5, 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  42. ^ "Lean on Me: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Retrieved June 6, 2009.
  43. ^ Kids Incorporated - Lean on Me (1989) 
  44. ^ "The Official Disney Snow Buddies Movie and DVD Website (About the Movie --> DVD Bonus Features)". Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Retrieved June 6, 2009.
  45. ^ Goldman, Eric (November 19, 2009). "'Glee: "Ballad" Review". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  46. ^ Matt Collar (June 2, 2015). "Under One Sky - The Tenors | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  47. ^ Claire Shaffer, "Justin Bieber, Geddy Lee and More Sing ‘Lean on Me’ in Bill Withers Tribute". Rolling Stone, April 27, 2020.
  48. ^ Média, Bell. "Canadian Artists Join Voices For 'Lean On Me'". www.iheartradio.ca. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  49. ^ https://www.gratefulweb.com/articles/john-fogerty-family-release-lean-me

External links

This page was last edited on 18 January 2021, at 19:34
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