"As" is a song written and performed by Stevie Wonder from his 1976 album, Songs in the Key of Life. It reached number 36 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Black Singles chart. The song gets its name from the first word of its lyrics.
|Single by Stevie Wonder|
|from the album Songs in the Key of Life|
|Stevie Wonder singles chronology|
Subject and interpretationEdit
The song implies that the love the singer has for his partner will never diminish, as he says that he will love her “always” (the song's main lyric) until the physically impossible becomes true. The impossible feats include: rainbows burning the stars out in the sky, oceans covering the tops of every mountain, dolphins flying, and parrots living at sea, dreaming of life and life becoming a dream, day becoming night and vice versa, trees and the seas flying away, 8×8×8 equaling 4, this day becoming the last day, the Earth turning right to left, the Earth denying itself (for the Sun), Mother Nature saying her work is through, and "until the day that you are me and I am you."
By the most straightforward interpretation of the lyrics, this is a lover serenading his beloved. By another possible interpretation, the lyrics describe endless unconditional love for the listener, sung on behalf of the Abrahamic god. In yet a third interpretation, the song expresses the lyricist's own love for humanity. The verse that begins with "We all know sometimes life's hates and troubles..." would seem to preclude the first interpretation, and the second interpretation would seem precluded by the lyric, "As today I know I'm living but tomorrow, Could make me the past but that I mustn't fear."
|US Billboard Hot 100||36|
|US Billboard Easy Listening||24|
|US Billboard R&B||36|
George Michael and Mary J. Blige versionEdit
|Single by George Michael and Mary J. Blige|
|from the album Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael and Mary|
|B-side||"A Different Corner" (live at Parkinson)|
|Released||January 12, 1999|
|George Michael singles chronology|
|Mary J. Blige singles chronology|
In 1999, George Michael and Mary J. Blige covered the song for Michael's greatest hits album Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael (1998). Released outside the United States, "As" was the second single from the album, it became a top 10 hit in Michael's home country, reaching number four on the UK Singles Chart.
"As" was not released on the US version of Ladies & Gentlemen or as a single in the US. Michael cited Blige's record company president, Jay Boberg, for pulling the track after Michael's arrest for committing a lewd act in a public restroom. In 2019, Kirk Burrowes, who executive produced Blige's fourth album Mary, told Rated R&B that it was indeed Boberg's decision not to release "As" in the US: "[Boberg] did not want to let George Michael, who initiated that original production, use it as a single in the U.S. to launch his greatest hits album. It pissed everyone off at Sony. It pissed George Michael off. It pissed everyone off, but we couldn't make Jay Boberg bend. He should have put it on the Mary album, but we couldn't put it on the album in the states because he wouldn't let George Michael put it on the Ladies & Gentlemen [album] in the states."
A music video was made to accompany the song, directed by Big TV!. It features Michael getting out of a car and entering a club where many doppelgängers of himself and Blige are chilling out and having a drink. Towards the end of the video, most of the people are dancing on the dance floor. It was published on YouTube in December 2010. As of December 2020, the video has been viewed more than 17 million times.
UK CD 1
- "As" – 4:42
- "A Different Corner" (live at Parkinson) – 4:28
UK CD 2
- "As" (original) – 4:42
- "As" (Full Crew Mix) – 5:39
- "As" (CJ Mackintosh Remix) – 6:06
US CD Promo
- "As" (Beyond Real Mix) – 7:18
- "As" (Jonathan Peters Remix) – 4:10
- "As" (Maurice's Millennium Mix) – 7:55
|Australia (ARIA Charts)||45|
|Belgium (Ultratop Flanders)||42|
|Belgium (Ultratop Wallonia)||34|
|Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)||12|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||38|
|Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)||20|
|Italy (Musica e dischi)||8|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||7|
|New Zealand (RIANZ)||21|
|Spain (Productores de Música de España)||5|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||22|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||4|
|UK R&B (Official Charts Company)||2|
|US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs||57|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||400,000|
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
Anthony Hamilton and Marsha Ambrosious make cameos in the 2013 film The Best Man Holiday, in which the singers appear as themselves and perform the song as an R&B ballad at a main character's funeral.
The original Stevie Wonder version was featured in The Best Man Holiday's predecessor The Best Man in a more lighthearted scene.
In 2014 it was covered by American singer Camille for her Stevie Wonder tribute album I Sing Stevie: The Stevie Wonder Songbook, an album that received an Independent Music Awards nomination for Best Tribute Album.
Two dance-oriented versions of the song, both with the title "As Always", have reached the UK Singles Chart Top 75: one in 1989 produced by Farley Jackmaster Funk with Ricky Dillard on vocals; another in 1992 by Secret Life.
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- [dead link]
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