State of Independence

"State of Independence" is a song written by Jon Anderson and Vangelis. Cover versions have been recorded by several artists and it has been a hit single on three occasions. The song is written in a reggae/calypso style and features an abstract spiritual lyric.

"State of Independence"
Jon & Vangelis State of Independence 1984 single cover.jpg
cover of the 1984 reissue
Single by Jon & Vangelis
from the album The Friends of Mr Cairo
Format7" vinyl
Songwriter(s)Music: Vangelis
Lyrics: Jon Anderson

Originally recorded by Jon and Vangelis for their 1981 album The Friends of Mr Cairo, "State of Independence" was released as a single the same year but did not chart. The song subsequently became better known when Donna Summer released a cover version a year later in 1982, which became a Top Twenty UK single (and repeated the same feat 14 years later when issued as a remixed version in 1996) and becoming a Number One hit in the Netherlands. In 1992, a third version of the song — retitled "Spiritual High (State of Independence)" — was recorded and released as a single by Moodswings, with vocals by The Pretenders lead singer Chrissie Hynde.

Original Jon and Vangelis version (and subsequent Anderson re-recordings)Edit

Jon & Vangelis released "State of Independence" as a single in 1981, with "Beside" as the B-Side. It was re-released in 1984 and this version peaked at 67 in the UK Singles Chart.[1]

Jon Anderson recorded a new version of the song for his solo album Change We Must (1994) and a live acoustic version can be found on his Live from La La Land (2007). More recently, Anderson also performed the song live with the AndersonPonty Band.


Donna Summer versionEdit

"State of Independence"
Picture sleeve for 1982 worldwide single release
Single by Donna Summer
from the album Donna Summer
B-side"Love Is Just a Breath Away"
Format1982: 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
1990: 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl
1996: 12" vinyl, CD
Label1982: Geffen (U.S.), Warner Bros. (Europe)
1990: Warner Bros.
1996: Manifesto/PolyGram
Songwriter(s)Music: Vangelis
Lyrics: Jon Anderson
Producer(s)Quincy Jones
Donna Summer singles chronology
"Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)"
"State of Independence"
"I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Remix)"
Donna Summer singles chronology
"When Love Takes Over You"
""State of Independence"
(1990 Reissue)
Donna Summer singles chronology
""I Feel Love"
(The 1995 Remixes)"
""State of Independence"
(The 1996 Remixes)
"Whenever There Is Love"

Original cover version (and reissue)Edit

Donna Summer covered "State of Independence" on her 1982 album Donna Summer produced by Quincy Jones. It was released as the follow-up to her hit single "Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)" in 1982. This version just missed the U.S. Top 40, peaking at #41. It did much better in Europe, including a one-week stay at number one in the Dutch Top 40, making it Summer's second chart-topper in the Netherlands. The single was reissued in Europe in 1990 following the release of the compilation album The Best of Donna Summer.

Summer's version is notable for its all-star choir, which included Lionel Richie, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Brenda Russell, Christopher Cross, Dyan Cannon, James Ingram, Kenny Loggins, and Stevie Wonder.[2]

The track was sampled in 1983 by the Art of Noise on their Into Battle with the Art of Noise EP.

1996 remixesEdit

Following the dance chart success of the 1995 remix of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" (and clearly influenced by the 1992 Moodswings version) PolyGram issued a remixed version of Summer's recording of "State of Independence". The single, released both on 12" vinyl and CD on PolyGram's sublabel Manifesto, included mixes by Phil Ramocon, Sold Out, DJ Dero, Ralph Falcon & Oscar G, and Jules & Skins. It peaked at 13 on the UK Singles Chart in 1996, going one place higher than the original release, with the Dance mixes peaking at #1 in the UK Dance Music Charts. The Martin Luther King sample introduced by Eddie Gordon into the track was to emphasize the full independent meaning of the song as he understood it.

Chart performanceEdit

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1982) Peak
US Billboard Pop Singles[3] 41
US Billboard Black Singles[3] 31
Australian Singles Chart 10
Dutch GfK chart[4] 3
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 1
Irish Singles Chart[5] 10
Spain Radio (Los 40)[6] 26
UK Singles Chart[7] 14
Chart (1990) Peak
Dutch GfK chart[8] 69
UK Singles Chart[9] 45
Chart (1996) Peak
UK Singles Chart[10] 13
Chart (2012) Peak
UK Singles Chart 143

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1982) Rank
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[11] 38
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[12] 31

Moodswings versionEdit

In 1992 the duo Moodswings released their album Moodfood (Arista), which scored a hit with a cover version of the single, retitled as "Spiritual High (State of Independence) Pt. II" with vocals by Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) and samples from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. The single peaked at 47 in the UK Singles Chart.[13] Their version was later played during the closing credits on the soundtrack of Single White Female and it was also included on The Pretenders' Greatest Hits in 2000.

Other cover versionsEdit

Kate Ceberano recorded a live version as her closing number with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in 2006. In 2011 Andrea Corr of the Corrs recorded several versions,[citation needed] including one that is on her 2011 solo album Lifelines.

The Art of Noise used a snippet of the song as the basis for the track 'Donna' on their debut EP, Into Battle With The Art of Noise. Having collaborated with Jon Anderson and Yes, it is likely that Art of Noise used the sample with personal permission.


  1. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Jon And Vangelis - State Of Independence". Retrieved March 16, 2009.
  2. ^ "State of Independence by Donna Summer" at Songfacts (retrieved 30 June 2019)
  3. ^ a b "allmusic - Donna Summer > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Retrieved March 17, 2009.
  4. ^ " - Donna Summer - State Of Independence". Retrieved March 17, 2009.
  5. ^ " search results". Retrieved March 17, 2009.
  6. ^ Fernando Salaverri (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  7. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Donna Summer - State Of Independence". Retrieved March 17, 2009.
  8. ^ " - Donna Summer - State Of Independence (New Bass Mix)". Retrieved March 18, 2009.
  9. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Donna Summer - State Of Independence 1990". Retrieved March 18, 2009.
  10. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Donna Summer - State Of Independence 1996". Retrieved March 18, 2009.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1982" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  13. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Moodswings Featuring Chrissie Hynde - Spiritual High". Retrieved March 18, 2009.

External linksEdit