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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Bring Me to Life on Wikipedia
"Bring Me to Life"
Single by Evanescence featuring Paul McCoy
from the album Fallen
B-side"Farther Away", "Missing"
ReleasedApril 22, 2003
FormatCD single, DVD single, digital download
Recorded2002
GenreAlternative metal, rap rock[1]
Length3:56
LabelWind-up
Writer(s)Amy Lee, Ben Moody, David Hodges[2]
ProducerDave Fortman
Certification2× Platinum
Platinum
Silver

"Bring Me to Life" is a song by American rock band Evanescence. It was written by Amy Lee, Ben Moody and David Hodges while production was handled by Dave Fortman. It also features guest vocals from Paul McCoy of the band 12 Stones. "Bring Me to Life" was released in 2003 as the lead single from Evanescence's debut studio album, Fallen. The song was also placed on the soundtrack for the 2003 film Daredevil. A live performance of the song is placed on the band's first live album, Anywhere but Home (2004).

"Bring Me to Life" delivers genres from alternative metal to rap-rock and gothic metal among others and it's set in moderate tempo of 97 beats per minute. According to Lee it has several meanings and inspirations. She was inspired to write it by an incident that happened in a restaurant. Later, she also said that the song was about open-mindness and waking up to "all the things you've been missing for so long". Lee later revealed that the song was inspired by her husband Josh Hartzler. The lyrics of the song was also being interpreted as a call for new life in Jesus Christ by several listeners which helped the song to chart on the Christian rock charts. After that the band made known that they do not want to be considered as a Christian band.

Since its release "Bring Me to Life" has become a commercial and critical success. Critical response towards the song was mostly positive with critics praising the melody of the song, Lee's vocals and their accompaniment by McCoy. It charted in top 10 in more than 15 countries internationally including the United States, Australia, Argentina, Germany and New Zealand. Since its commercial and critical success, "Bring Me to Life" was nominated in many award ceremonies eventually winning in the category for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 46th Grammy Awards where it was nominated also nominated for Best Rock Song.

A music video was directed by Philipp Stölzl and shows Lee singing and climbing on a skyscraper. At the end of the video she falls from it before it is revealed that everything was a dream. It has since become very popular. "Bring Me to Life" was part of the set list during the Fallen and The Open Door Tour. Many covers were recorded for the song most notably by the classical singer Katherine Jenkins and American pianist, John Tesh. The song was also widely used on several television shows.

Background

"Bring Me to Life" was written by Amy Lee, Ben Moody and David Hodges for their first studio album Fallen.[3] Recording work for Fallen started at Ocean Studios in Burbank, California, where most of "Bring Me to Life" was recorded, prior to full album production.[4] The song was mixed by Jay Baumgardner in his studio, NRG Recording Studios in North Hollywood, on an SSL 9000 J.[4] A 22-piece string section was recorded in Seattle by Mark Curry.[4] The songs were later mixed at the Newman Scoring Stage and Bolero Studios, both in Los Angeles.[4] The orchestra parts were arranged by David Hodges and David Campbell.[4] Amy Lee has stated that the song has several meanings, the first being about an incident that took place at a restaurant. During an interview from a tour stop in Tulsa she explained the meaning of the song to The Boston Phoenix:

"I was inspired to write it when someone said something to me — I didn’t know him, and I thought he might be clairvoyant.[...] I was in a relationship and I was completely unhappy. But I was hiding it. I was being completely abused and I was trying to cover it up; I wouldn’t even admit it to myself. So then I had spoken maybe 10 or 15 words to this guy, who was a friend of a friend. We were waiting for everyone else to show up, and we went into a restaurant and got a table. And he looked at me and said, ‘Are you happy?’ And I felt my heart leap, and I was like, he totally knows what I’m thinking. And I lied, I said I was fine. Anyway, he’s not really clairvoyant. But he is a sociology major."[5]

Lee stated the previous in a VH1 interview when asked about the meaning. "Open-mindedness. It's about waking up to all the things you've been missing for so long. One day someone said something that made my heart race for a second and I realized that for months I'd been numb, just going through the motions of life."[6] During an interview with Blender, Lee claimed that she wrote "Bring Me to Life" about her longtime friend, Josh Hartzler, whom she married in 2007.[7]

Release

"Since we released [the song] on Daredevil it went all over the world, whether they wanted it to or not, so we had fans in countries we had never been to because they had the soundtrack and they heard it on the radio. So, it started blowing up all over the world and then we had a reason to tour all over the world. And that's how the whole international thing happened this early. Which is awesome.

-Lee about the release and the worldwide success of the song.[8]

"Bring Me to Life" was released on April 22, 2003, as the first single from the band's debut album, Fallen. The album's opening track, "Going Under", was initially planned to be the first single, but the release of the Daredevil soundtrack impacted the decision to change it to the album's second single. The single includes "Farther Away" as a B-side and refers to it as the album version; however, the track order of Fallen was not finalized at the time of its release, and the track was eventually dropped from the album. The first pressing of the Australian single contained the track "Missing" as a B-side,[9] but was dropped from later pressings and eventually released as a bonus track on the band's first live album, Anywhere but Home.[10][11]

Earlier versions of "Bring Me to Life" were recorded and released as demos before Fallen's release; they contained a considerably different sound from the album version, featuring more industrial pieces of music and the absence of Paul McCoy's guest vocals. An acoustic version was recorded and released on the Bring Me to Life DVD. Several other versions of the track have been released, such as remixes, acoustic, and altered versions. The live version featured on the Anywhere but Home DVD contains a piano and vocal solo before the intro of the song, and features John LeCompt performing Paul McCoy's guest vocals.

Composition

According to the sheet music published by Alfred Music Publishing on the website Musicnotes.com, "Bring Me to Life" is a rock, alternative metal, hard rock, chamber pop and gothic metal song set in a common time and performed in a moderate tempo of 96 beats per minute. It is written in the key of E minor and Lee's vocal range for the song runs from the note A3 to D5.[12] In the song, Paul McCoy sings the lines "Wake me up/ I can't wake up/ Save me!"[1] in a rap style.[13] St. Petersburg Times' Brian Orloff called the song a "boffo hit" in which Lee sang the lines "'Call my name and save me from the dark' over surging guitars."[8] Ann Powers from the newspaper Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote that "'Bring Me to Life,' with its lyrical drama and crunchy guitars, branded the band as overdone nu-metal."[14] Kristi Turnquist of The Oregonian described the song as a power ballad.[15] Joe D'Angelo from MTV wrote that the "toothy riffs" of songs like "Going Under" and "Bring Me to Life" might suggest that "Nobody's Home" (2005) from Avril Lavigne's second studio album Under My Skin will sound like "an Evanescence song with Avril, not Amy Lee, on vocals."[16]

Critical reception and awards

A woman with black hair is wearing a red dress while standing on her knees. With one hand, she's holding a microphone and her other hand is in the air.

According to The Boston Globe the song "is a mix of Lee's ethereal soprano, piano interludes, and layers of serrated guitar crunch that conjure visions of Sarah McLachlan fronting Godsmack."[17] In his review of Evanescence's second studio album, The Open Door, Brendan Butler of Cinema Blend compared "Sweet Sacrifice" (2007) with "Bring Me to Life" calling them "radio-friendly songs."[18] Jason Nahrung of The Courier-Mail called the song "an ear-grabber".[19] Adrien Bengrad of the website PopMatters said that Lee and McCoy made "Bring Me to Life" to sound "like a love song between a Lilith Fair girl and an Ozzfest dude."[20] Blair R. Fischer from MTV News called the song an "ubiquitous rap-rock confection".[1] Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times said that "Bring Me to Life" "floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee and then hits like a brick."[21]

Richard Harrington from The Washington Post said that "Bring Me to Life" was a "crunching metallic" song which helped the band to win a Grammy Award.[22] Ann Powers from the newspaper Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said that the song was a "mix of voluptuous singing and metallic guitar (the latter enhanced by guest vocalist Paul McCoy's rap-rock declamations)".[14] Bryan Reeseman of Mix concluded that the song was a "grandiose and moody single" which features a "dramatic trade-off" between Lee and McCoy.[4] Bill Lamb of the website About.com placed the song at number twelve on his list, "Top 100 Pop Songs 2003"[23] and number seven on his list, "Top 10 Pop Songs - Summer 2003".[24] He added "Evanescence blasted onto the pop scene seemingly out of nowhere with this massive hit single."[24] While reviewing Evanescence's second studio album, Don Kaye of the website Blabbermouth.net praised the songs on The Open Door saying that they had not got "the annoying faux-rapping that was a key component of the band's first big hit, 'Bring Me To Life' (here's hoping that more rock bands feel less pressure to include some sort of hip-hop nod on their records)."[25]

"Bring Me to Life" won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 46th Grammy Awards.[26][27] The song was also nominated in the category for Best Rock Song at the same event but lost to "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes.[27][28] "Bring Me to Life" also won an award for Choice Music Rock Track at the Teen Choice Awards in 2004.[29] At the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards the song was nominated in one category, including the nomination for Best New Artist.[30] It also received a nomination at the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards for Best Song.[31]

Chart performance

"Bring Me to Life" has peaked within the top 10 of more than 15 countries worldwide, and within the top 20 of several other countries, thus making it the band's most successful single to date. It was certified Platinum status in 2003, selling more than one million copies in the United States. It topped the Billboard Alternative Songs and Pop 100 charts and peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100.[32] It also peaked at number four on the Adult Pop Songs chart. The song initially peaked within the Christian rock charts as well, partially because of the lyrics being interpreted as a call for new life in Jesus Christ by several listeners.[33][34] "Bring Me To Life" charted at number seventy-three on Billboard's Best of the 2000s Rock Songs Chart, and is the only song by a female-led band to be on the chart.[35] Internationally, the song topped the charts of Australia, Belgium, Italy, and the United Kingdom. It peaked within the top 5 of Austria, Canada, France, Ireland, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Netherlands, and Sweden. On the ARIA Singles Chart, "Bring Me to Life" peaked at number one where it stayed for six weeks.[36]

"Bring Me to Life" charted within the top 20 of every other country of its release. The song spent four weeks at number one in the United Kingdom which helped Fallen move to number one on the UK Albums Chart.[37][38] The song also topped the European Hot 100 chart.[39] On June 4, 2011, the song rose once again to the top of the UK Rock Singles Chart, eight years after its release.[40] It stayed on the top spot of the chart for two weeks, from June 11 to June 25.[41][42] The next three weeks it remained on the second spot, and on July 17, 2011, "Bring Me to Life" returned at number one again and it stayed on the top spot for three weeks.[43][44][45] The next week, the song fell at number 6 and spent several weeks on different positions on the chart.

Music video

A music video for the song was directed by Philipp Stölzl.[46][47] After the video Lee revealed, "I would love to act, I love goofing around and pretending to be something else."[48] She also stated that after her appearance in the video she received some film offers.[48] The video begins with Amy Lee in a nightgown and barefooted, and asleep in a bed within a building, dreaming of falling through the air below a skyscraper. As the chorus begins, the band and Paul McCoy are performing in another room in the building as Lee awakens, making her way to the window. Lee climbs out of the window of her room and begins to scale and climb the building until she reaches the window of the room where the band is performing. During the bridge, McCoy notices Lee and opens the window, which accidentally causes her to lose her balance, and grabs the ledge for safety. Throughout the bridge and chorus, McCoy unsuccessfully attempts to reach for Lee, and she falls off the building. However, she is shown asleep within her bed again, as if the music video were a dream.

Ann Powers from the newspaper Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote that "You might not immediately recognize Amy Lee's name, but you would know her if she plummeted past you from the top floor of a tenement building" referring to the video for "Bring Me to Life".[14] She further added, "That's how anyone with basic cable first saw the singer for the band Evanescence, in the video for the song "Bring Me to Life": falling backward in slow motion, her hair unfolding like a long black veil as she headed for hard pavement below."[14] According to Joe D'Angelo of MTV News, Lee's "teetering on a ledge" in the video shows a "distressed and emotionally wrought heroine."[49] The music video for the song received a nomination on the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Rock Video.[30]

Live performances

A man with brown hair is wearing a black T-shirt and black trousers while playing on a blue guitar. Tattoos are visible on both of his hands.

"Bring Me to Life" was part of the set-list during the Fallen and The Open Door Tour. The band performed the song on August 13, 2003 in Chicago during their Nintendo Fusion Tour. During the performance, John LeCompt, the former-guitarist of the band replaced McCoy during the song.[1] According to Blair R. Fischer "The guitarist did an adequate job imitating McCoy while he laid down the song's fiery, Iron Maiden-esque riff."[1] "Bring Me to Life" was performed during their performance in Wantagh, New York on July 23, 2004. According to Joe D'Angelo from MTV News, "the massive popularity of the song was a smart set-list assembly that helped the crowd respond in kind."[50] The song was also performed live by the band on November 21, 2007 at WaMu Theater.[51]

Evanescence performed the song at the Webster Hall in Manhattan, New York City in September 2003.[21] During the performance, Lee wore an Alice in Wonderland dress covered with scrawled words, including the words "Dirty, Useless, Psycho and Slut."[21] She explained that there was a story behind the dress. The last time she had come to New York, she had met a D.J. from the radio station K-Rock, who had made what she described as horrible comments about exactly how much pleasure he had derived from the picture of her face on the album cover.[21] She had felt too ashamed to say anything, she went on, so she decided to respond through the dress, which represented something innocent that's been tainted.[21] The band performed the song during their concert in The Great Saltair on October 25, 2006. During the performance Lee was wearing red and black, with a skirt in a sort of gothic-light tone.[52] She was called a magnet of the night by the Deseret News' reviewer Larry D. Curtis.[52] Other performances of the song included those in Magna, Utah in October 2006,[53] at the Air Canada Centre in January 2007.[54] The band also played the song live at their secret New York gig which took place on November 4, 2009.[55][56] On their concert at War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, on August 17, 2011, Evanescence performed "Bring Me to Life" in promotion of their new third self-titled album, Evanescence.[57]

Christian controversy

Evanescence was originally promoted in Christian stores. Later, the band made it clear they did not want to be considered part of the Christian rock genre, like fellow Wind-up Records artists Creed.[58] In April 2003 Wind-up Records chairman, Alan Meltzer, sent a letter to Christian radio and retail outlets to explain that despite the "spiritual underpinning that ignited interest and excitement in the Christian religious community," Evanescence are "a secular band, and as such view their music as entertainment."[59] Therefore, he wrote, Wind-Up "strongly feels that they no longer belong in Christian markets."[59]

Almost immediately upon receipt of the letter, many Christian radio stations pulled "Bring Me to Life" from their playlists.[59] Terry Hemmings, CEO of Christian music distributor Provident, expressed puzzlement at the band's about-face, saying "They clearly understood the album would be sold in these [Christian music] channels."[60] In 2006, Amy Lee told Billboard that she had opposed being identified as a "Christian band" from the beginning.[61] She further added, "Can we please skip the Christian thing? I'm so over it. It's the lamest thing. I fought that from the beginning; I never wanted to be associated with it. It was a Ben thing. It's over. It's a new day."[61]

Covers and usage in media

German band Gregorian released a cover version of the song on their 2010 album Dark Side of the Chant.[62] American pianist, John Tesh released an instrumental version of the song on his 2007 album A Passionate Life.[63] Welsh classical singer Katherine Jenkins released a cover of the song on her 2009 album Believe.[64] Jenkins revealed, "I'd mentioned that I wanted to try Evanescence's Bring Me To Life and David [Foster] said 'you can't sing that'. I came out there questioning my vocal abilities. I'm just not used to being told that. I went home that night and I just thought to myself 'you have to pull yourself together, he's worked with so many incredible artists you have to step up the plate.' I did talk myself round and I went in there the next day on a mission. It's good to be pushed sometimes - and I proved him wrong!"[65] During the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008, Carly Smithson, a contestant of the show, performed "Bring Me to Life".[66] Jai McDowall, the winner of the fifth series of Britain's Got Talent sang the song live during the semi-finale of the show.[67][68] Season six contestant of America's Got Talent, Lys Agnés performed an opera version of this song.[69][70] Her performance was praised by the jury of the show.[69] Zayra Alvarez, a Puerto Rican singer, performed the song on Rock Star: Supernova.[71] "Bring Me to Life", "Call Me When You're Sober" and "Weight of the World" were included in the game Rock Band.[72]

Credits and personnel

Credits are adapted from Fallen liner notes.[3]

  • Amy Lee - writing, piano, keyboards, vocals
  • Ben Moody - writing, producing, guitars, percussion
  • David Hodges - writing, piano, keyboards, string arrangements
  • Dave Fortman - producing
  • Francesco DiCosmo - bass guitar
  • David Campbell - additional string arrangements
  • Graeme Revell - string arrangements, orchestral conduction

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Fischer, Blair R (August 13, 2003). "Evanescence Make Understatement Of At Chicago Sweat Factory". MTV News. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1476773/evanescence-cold-play-chicago.jhtml. Retrieved July 22, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Bring Me to Life (Legal Title) – BMI Work #6386868". Broadcast Music Incorporated. Sony/ATV Songs LLC. http://repertoire.bmi.com/title.asp?blnWriter=True&blnPublisher=True&blnArtist=True&page=1&keyid=6386868&ShowNbr=0&ShowSeqNbr=0&querytype=WorkID. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b (2006) Release notes for Fallen by Evanescence (liner notes). Wind-up Records.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Reeseman, Bryan (August 1, 2003). "In The Recording Studio With Evanescence: Recording Fallen". Mix. http://mixonline.com/recording/interviews/audio_evanescence_enduring_sound/. Retrieved August 6, 2011. 
  5. ^ Carioli, Carly (September 12, 2003). "Amy Lee on bringing Evanescence's 'Bring Me to Life' to life". BostonPhoenix.com. http://72.166.46.24//boston/events/state/documents/03148215.asp. Retrieved February 27, 2007. 
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  33. ^ Breimeier, Russ (2003). "Fallen (Wind-Up)". Christian Music Today. Archived from the original on October 26, 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20071026043225/http://www.christianitytoday.com/music/glimpses/2003/fallen.html. "'Bring Me to Life,' as excerpted above, reads as a solid plea for spiritual revival." 
  34. ^ Breimeier, Russ (2006). "Comatose (Ardent/SRE/Lava/Atlantic)". Christian Music Today. http://www.christianitytoday.com/music/reviews/2006/comatose.html. Retrieved October 29, 2007. 
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  46. ^ "Philipp Stölzl director: music videos". PhilippStoelzl.com. http://www.philippstoelzl.com/html/00.html. Retrieved July 26, 2011. 
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External links

  • Official website
  • Official music video at YouTube
   

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