Theme from New York, New York

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"Theme from New York, New York"
Liza Minnelli New York New York single cover.jpg
Yugoslavian vinyl single
Single by Liza Minnelli
from the album New York, New York
ReleasedJune 21, 1977
Genre Traditional pop
Length3:16
Label Capitol
Songwriter(s) Fred Ebb, John Kander
"Theme from New York, New York"
New York Frank Sinatra.jpg
Single by Frank Sinatra
from the album Trilogy: Past Present Future
B-side "That's What God Looks Like to Me"
ReleasedApril 1980
Format 7" single
Recorded1979
Genre Jazz
Length3:26
Label Reprise
Songwriter(s) Fred Ebb, John Kander
Producer(s) Sonny Burke
Frank Sinatra singles chronology
"Night and Day"
(1977)
"Theme from New York, New York"
(1980)
"You and Me (We Wanted It All)"
(1980)

"Theme from New York, New York" (or "New York, New York") is the theme song from the Martin Scorsese film New York, New York (1977), composed by John Kander, with lyrics by Fred Ebb. It was written for and performed in the film by Liza Minnelli. It remains one of the best-known songs about New York City. In 2004 it finished #31 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American Cinema.

Martin Scorsese American-Italian film director, screenwriter, producer and actor

Martin Charles Scorsese is an American-Italian filmmaker and historian, whose career spans more than 50 years. Scorsese's body of work addresses such themes as Italian-American identity, Roman Catholic concepts of guilt and redemption, faith, machismo, modern crime, and gang conflict. Many of his films are also known for their depiction of violence and liberal use of profanity.

<i>New York, New York</i> (1977 film) 1977 American musical-drama film directed by Martin Scorsese

New York, New York is a 1977 American musical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Mardik Martin and Earl Mac Rauch based on a story by Rauch. It is a musical tribute, featuring new songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb as well as jazz standards, to Scorsese's home town of New York City, and stars Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli as a pair of musicians and lovers. The story is "about a jazz saxophonist and a pop singer (Minnelli) who fall madly in love and marry"; however, the "saxophonist's outrageously volatile personality places a continual strain on their relationship, and after they have a baby, their marriage crumbles", even as their careers develop on separate paths. The film marked the final screen appearance of actor Jack Haley.

John Kander American composer

John Harold Kander is the American composer of a number of musicals as part of the songwriting team of Kander and Ebb. His best-known stage musicals as composer are Cabaret and Chicago, both of which were later adapted into films.

Contents

History

In 1979, "Theme from New York, New York" was re-recorded by Frank Sinatra for his album Trilogy: Past Present Future (1980), and has since become closely associated with him. He occasionally performed it live with Minnelli as a duet. Sinatra recorded it a second time for his 1993 album Duets , with Tony Bennett.

Frank Sinatra American singer, actor, and producer

Francis Albert Sinatra was an American singer, actor and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.

<i>Trilogy: Past Present Future</i> 1980 studio album by Frank Sinatra

Trilogy: Past Present Future is a 1980 album by the American singer Frank Sinatra. It was his first album in six years. This album produced the last of Sinatra's many signature numbers, "Theme from New York, New York."

<i>Duets</i> (Frank Sinatra album) 1993 studio album by Frank Sinatra

Duets is an album by American singer Frank Sinatra, released in 1993. Recorded near the end of Sinatra's career, it consists of electronically assembled duets between Sinatra and younger singers from various genres. The album was a commercial success, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard albums chart, reaching No. 5 in the UK, and selling over 3 million copies in the US. It is the only Sinatra album to date to achieve triple platinum certification.

The first line of the song is:

Start spreadin' the news, I'm leaving today
I want to be a part of it: New York, New York.

Within are two similar lines: [1]

The song concludes with the line:

If I can make it there, I'm gonna make it anywhere,
It's up to you, New York, New York.

Minnelli's original recording of the song (also used in the Tony Bennett version in Duets ) uses the following closing line:

If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere,
Come on come through, New York, New York.

It should not be confused with the song "New York, New York", from Leonard Bernstein/Adolph Green/Betty Comden's musical On the Town (1944), which features the lyric "New York, New York, it’s a helluva town / The Bronx is up and the Battery's down..."

New York, New York (<i>On the Town</i>) song composed by Leonard Bernstein

"New York, New York" is a song from the 1944 musical On the Town and the 1949 MGM musical film of the same name. The music was written by Leonard Bernstein and the lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. A well known line of this song is:

Leonard Bernstein American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist

Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history."

Adolph Green American lyricist and playwright

Adolph Green was an American lyricist and playwright who, with long-time collaborator Betty Comden, penned the screenplays and songs for some of the most beloved movie musicals, particularly as part of Arthur Freed's production unit at Metro Goldwyn Mayer, during the genre's heyday. Many people thought the pair were married, but in fact they were not a romantic couple at all. Nevertheless, they shared a unique comic genius and sophisticated wit that enabled them to forge a six-decade-long partnership that produced some of Hollywood and Broadway's greatest hits.

Composers Kander and Ebb stated on the A&E Biography episode about Liza Minnelli, that they attribute the song's success to actor Robert De Niro, who rejected their original theme for the film because he thought it was "too weak".

Liza Minnelli American actress and singer

Liza May Minnelli is an American actress and singer. Best known for her Academy Award-winning performance in Cabaret (1972), she is known for her energetic stage presence and her powerful mezzo-soprano singing voice. She is the daughter of Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli.

Robert De Niro American actor, director and producer

Robert Anthony De Niro Jr. is an American-Italian actor, producer, and director. He is a recipient of numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, the Cecil B DeMille Award, AFI Life Achievement Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and has been nominated for six BAFTA Awards, four Primetime Emmy Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The song did not become a popular hit until it was picked up in concert by Frank Sinatra during his performances at Radio City Music Hall in October 1978. (It was not even nominated for the Academy Award for 'Best Song'). Subsequently, Sinatra recorded it in 1979 for his 1980 Trilogy set (Reprise Records), and it became one of his signature songs. The single peaked at #32 in June 1980, becoming his final Top Forty charting hit. It was also an Adult Contemporary hit, reaching #10 in the US [2] and #2 in Canada. [3] The song made a minor showing in the UK (#59), however, it recharted several years later and reached #4 in 1986. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male and Sinatra made two more studio recordings of the song in 1981 (for his NBC TV special The Man and His Music ) and 1993 (for Capitol Records). From the latter, an electronic duet with Tony Bennett was produced for Sinatra's Duets album.

Radio City Music Hall Concert hall and music venue in New York City

Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue at 1260 Avenue of the Americas, within Rockefeller Center, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Nicknamed the Showplace of the Nation, it is the headquarters for the Rockettes, the precision dance company.

Reprise Records American record label

Reprise Records is an American record label founded in 1960 by Frank Sinatra. It is owned by Warner Music Group, and operates through Warner Records, one of its flagship labels.

The Adult Contemporary chart is published weekly by Billboard magazine and lists the most popular songs on adult contemporary radio stations in the United States. The chart is compiled based on airplay data submitted to Billboard by stations that are members of the Adult Contemporary radio panel. The chart debuted in Billboard magazine on July 17, 1961. Over the years, the chart has gone under a series of name changes, being called Easy Listening(1961–1962; 1965–1979), Middle-Road Singles(1962–1964), Pop-Standard Singles(1964–1965), Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks(1979–1982) and Adult Contemporary(1983–present).

The lyrics of the Sinatra versions differ slightly from Ebb's original lyrics. Notably, the phrase "A-number-one", which does not appear at all in the original lyrics, is sung twice at the song's rallentando climax. (Ebb has said he "didn't even like" Sinatra's use of "A-number-one"). [4] The phrase is both the first and fourth on a list of three superlative titles the singer strives to achieve — "A-number-one, top of the list, king of the hill, A-number-one" — where Ebb's original lyrics (performed by Minnelli) were "king of the hill, head of the list, cream of the crop, at the top of the heap."

Despite Sinatra's version becoming more familiar, original singer Minnelli had two of the tune's most memorable live performances – during the July 4, 1986 ceremony marking the rededication of the Statue of Liberty after extensive renovations, and in the middle of the seventh inning at Shea Stadium during a New York Mets game, that was the first pro sports event in the metro area after the September 11, 2001 attacks. She also sang it at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the 1984 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, accompanied by 24 pianos and strobe lights.

Chart history

Liza Minnelli version
Chart (1977)Peak
position
US Billboard Bubbling Under the Hot 100 [5] 104
Frank Sinatra version

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI) [12] Silver250,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

The song has been embraced as a celebration of New York City, and is often heard at New York-area social events, such as weddings and bar mitzvahs. Many sports teams in the New York area have played this song in their arenas/stadiums, but the New York Yankees are the most prominent example. It has been played over the loudspeakers at both the original and current Yankee Stadiums at the end of every Yankee home game since July 1980. Originally, Sinatra's version was played after a Yankees win, and the Minnelli version after a loss. [13] However, due to a complaint from Minnelli, the Sinatra version is now heard regardless of the game's outcome. [14] As of the 2005 season, at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark following Staten Island Yankees games, the Sinatra version is heard regardless of the game's outcome, and was formerly done at Shea Stadium at the end of New York Mets games after the September 11, 2001 attack. Previously, Mets fans felt it was a "Yankee song", and began booing it when it was played. It actually first had snippets of the song played after World Series home runs by Ray Knight and Darryl Strawberry during Game 7 of the 1986 World Series. The song is also sometimes played at New York Knicks games. The Sinatra version is played at the end of every New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. It was played at the opening faceoff of Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals at the Garden. [15] The song has also been the post parade song for the Belmont Stakes from 1997 to 2009, [16] and again from 2011 to the present. [17] Sinatra's version of the song has been played at the end of all four Super Bowls that the New York Giants have won to date, as well as before kickoff of Super Bowl XLVIII, while Minnelli's version was heard after the Giants' Super Bowl XXXV loss.

The song was the musical basis for Jimmy Picker's 1983 three-minute animated short, Sundae in New York , which won the Oscar for Best Short Film (Animated) that year, with a likeness of then-mayor Ed Koch somewhat stumbling through the song, with clay caricatures of New York-based celebrities (including Alfred E. Neuman) and finishing the song with "Basically, I think New York is very therapeutic. Hey, an apple a day is... uh... great for one's constitution!" and burying his face in a big banana split with "THE END" written on his bald head. (Koch used the same rallentando climax Sinatra used, albeit with one big difference: "A-number one, top of the list, king of the hill..." followed by his impression of Groucho Marx completing, "...and incidentally a heckuva nice guy!") [18]

An instrumental version of the song is used as the main theme music for NBC's broadcasts of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Frank Sinatra version is also played during the annual Times Square New Year's Day celebrations, immediately after "Auld Lang Syne" and the ball drop. [19]

Mexico's top singer José José recorded the song in Spanish.

Queen covered the song for the 1986 fantasy film Highlander . Unlike the other songs recorded for the film, it has never appeared on a Queen album.

The song is performed by Brain Gremlin (voice provided by Tony Randall) in the 1990 sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch .

In Arrested Development episode 8 of season 2, which aired in January 2005, Tobias, played by David Cross, starts singing the song in his newly bought club. Lucille 2, played by Liza Minnelli, who's in the audience comments "Everyone thinks they're Frank Sinatra."

In DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar (2005), the song is introduced in Central Park Zoo, and Marty later sings the song in the midst of Alex the Lion's delirium. [20]

In the series premiere of the popular CBS crime-drama series Blue Bloods , back in 2010, the song is playing while Jamie is walking out in front of his family while about to graduate from the police academy and when they throw their hats.

In 2013, the song was played at the funeral of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch. [21]

The song is played annually in Times Square immediately after midnight on New Year's Day.

Parodies

See also

Related Research Articles

Kander and Ebb were a highly successful American songwriting team consisting of composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb. Known primarily for their stage musicals, which include Cabaret and Chicago, Kander and Ebb also scored several movies, including Martin Scorsese's New York, New York. Their most famous song is the theme song of that movie. Recorded by many artists, "New York, New York" became a signature song for Frank Sinatra. The team also became associated with two actresses, Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera, for whom they wrote a considerable amount of material for the stage, concerts and television.

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References

  1. "New York, New York".
  2. Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 221.
  3. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1980-07-05. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  4. NPR: 'New York, New York', Present at the Creation
  5. Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN   0-89820-089-X
  6. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1980-07-05. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  7. "Official Charts Company" . Retrieved 2018-07-16.
  8. Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN   0-89820-089-X
  9. Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 221.
  10. Cash Box Top 100 Singles, July 5, 1980
  11. "The Irish Charts – Search Results – New York, New York". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  12. "British single certifications – Frank Sinatra – New York New York". British Phonographic Industry . Retrieved June 25, 2013.Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type New York New York in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  13. "Stadium Songs: New York Yankees". ESPN.com. 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  14. "10 Facts About Yankee Stadium". Mentalfloss.com. 2008-09-23. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  15. Hockey Night in Canada: Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals (television). CBC. 1994-06-14. And Bob (Cole), they're hollering out all the artillery just for you, Sinatra, before the opening faceoff. It can't get any better than that for an excitement standpoint. Dick Irvin, Jr. told Bob Cole just before the opening faceoff, when Sinatra's song was played over the PA system.
  16. "Belmont Stakes Traditions". Horseracing.about.com. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  17. "Sinatra's voice returns to Belmont Stakes". boston.com. Associated Press. June 4, 2011. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  18. "Sundae in New York video". Zappinternet.com. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  19. Ball Drop 2011 on YouTube
  20. Laurie, Timothy (2015), "Becoming-Animal Is A Trap For Humans", Deleuze and the Non-Human eds. Hannah Stark and Jon Roffe.
  21. "Ed Koch funeral: Former mayor's coffin exits to 'New York, New York'", Nj.com, 2013