"Twenty-Five Miles" is a song written by Johnny Bristol, Harvey Fuqua, and Edwin Starr for Starr's second album, 25 Miles (1969). The song was considered sufficiently similar to "32 Miles out of Waycross" by Hoagy Lands (also recorded as "Mojo Mama" by both Wilson Pickett and Don Varner), written by Bert Berns and Jerry Wexler,[2][3] that Berns and Wexler were eventually given co-writing credits.[4][5] Essentially the same theme also appeared in late 1959 in the approaching miles section of the lyrics of Jimmie Rodgers' "Tucumcari".[6]

"Twenty Five Miles"
Side-A label of US vinyl single
Single by Edwin Starr
from the album 25 Miles
B-side"Love Is My Destination"
ReleasedJanuary 2, 1969[1]
  • Johnny Bristol
  • Harvey Fuqua
Edwin Starr singles chronology
"Grits Ain't Grocery"
"Twenty Five Miles"
"Oh How Happy"

It was Starr's first success following his move from Ric-Tic Records to Motown (as Motown bought out Ric-Tic and all its artists). The song was a huge hit in the US, making the Top Ten on both the Pop Charts (#6) and R&B Charts (#6) and peaked at #36 on the UK Singles Chart. "Twenty-Five Miles" proved to be Starr's second-biggest US hit, ranking below his signature song (and #1 smash) "War". His pair of 1979 disco singles would later outdo the song's performance on the UK Charts, as "Contact" and "H.A.P.P.Y. Radio" were both UK Top Ten hits.

Starr's version was popular on the UK's Northern soul scene.[7]

In 1989, Edwin was seen on stage in an appearance of The Cookie Crew's mimed performance on Top Of The Pops - the BBC chart show in the UK, Edwin also miming repeatedly to the lyric "I got to keep on" which was sampled from "Twenty-Five Miles" in the #17 hit "Got To Keep On" of April that year.

In popular culture edit

A shortened remix of this version was used as the theme song for NFL Network's coverage of the 2011 NFL scouting combine.[8] The song was used by Visa in their 2016 global Olympic campaign film.[9]

The song also shares strong similarities to the theme song for As it Happens, "Curried Soul" by Moe Koffman.[10]

Edwin Starr's version appeared in the 1987 film Adventures in Babysitting[11] and in the 2016 Visa Commercial "Carpool - Road to Rio with Team USA Athletes".[12]

The song was featured playing after the opening scene of Bad Times at the El Royale, when it transitions to 1969.[13]

Michael Jackson version edit

"Twenty-Five Miles"
Single by Michael Jackson
from the album The Original Soul of Michael Jackson
B-side"Up on the Housetop"
ReleasedOctober 1987
Producer(s)Hal Davis
Michael Jackson singles chronology
"Twenty-Five Miles"
"The Way You Make Me Feel"

The Jackson 5 recorded a cover version of "Twenty-Five Miles" in 1969, but it was not heard until its inclusion on the Motown compilation album, The Original Soul of Michael Jackson, in 1987, with Michael Jackson being given sole performer credit for the track.[14] It was not the original recording, however, as it included drum machine overdubs; the original featured a hard-driving drum track by Uriel Jones, one of the Funk Brothers.[citation needed]

Jackson's version of "Twenty-Five Miles" was released as a single in the US to promote The Original Soul of Michael Jackson. The single was backed by the Christmas song "Up on the Housetop".[15] The original recording of the song was included on the 2009 set, Hello World: The Motown Solo Collection.[16]

Covers edit

In 1969, Clarence Reid released a cover of "Twenty Five Miles" on his 1969 ATCO release Dancin' With Nobody But You Babe.

In 1969, Patrick Samson realized a cover in Italian language titled "Basta" (That's enough) for his album Crimson and clover (Soli si muore) (Carosello Records, PLP 325) published in Italy and Canada.

In 1971, Melba Moore featured "Twenty Five Miles" in a medley with the song "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" on her album Look What You're Doing to the Man.

References edit

  1. ^ "45cat - Edwin Starr - Twenty-Five Miles / Love Is My Destination - Gordy - USA - G-7083". 45cat.com. Retrieved 25 April 2023.
  2. ^ Joel Selvin (2014-04-15). Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of ... p. 398. ISBN 9781619023789. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  3. ^ "Songwriter, Producer and Label Chief". Bert Berns. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  4. ^ "Of Curried Soul and Edwin Starr | Toronto Mike's Blog". Torontomike.com. 3 January 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  5. ^ Browning, Laura M. (22 September 2014). "How far would you travel for love? 14 songs that go the distance · Inventory · The A.V. Club". Avclub.com. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  6. ^ "Jimmie Rodgers - 'Tucumcari'". Genius Lyrics. Retrieved 2020-10-13.
  7. ^ "Northern soul". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  8. ^ "2011 Combine Open - NFL Videos". Nfl.com. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  9. ^ "Visa Launches Global Olympic Games Campaign: Athletes "Carpool" Their Way to Rio". investor.visa.com.
  10. ^ "Of Curried Soul and Edwin Starr | Toronto Mike's Blog". Torontomike.com. 3 January 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  11. ^ "Adventures in Babysitting (1987) - Soundtracks". IMDb.com. Retrieved 25 April 2023.
  12. ^ "Visa TV Commercial – Carpool Road To Rio With Team USA Athletes – Featuring Missy Franklin, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Maria Espinoza and Valerie Adams – Visa, Everywhere You Want To Be – Twenty Five Miles, Edwin Starr". Tvcommercialspots.com. 2016-07-04. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  13. ^ Frazier, Adam (2018-10-11). "Review: Goddard's 'Bad Times at the El Royale' is Nothin' But a Good Time". FirstShowing. First Showing LLC. Retrieved 2018-10-14. ... Edwin Starr's "Twenty-Five Miles" plays as Richard Nixon is inaugurated as the 37th president of the United States. ...
  14. ^ "The Original Soul of Michael Jackson - Michael Jackson | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  15. ^ Halstead, Craig; Chris Cadman (2003). Michael Jackson: The Solo Years. Authors OnLine. ISBN 0-7552-0091-8.
  16. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (July 21, 2009). "Hello World: The Motown Solo Collection - Michael Jackson | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved June 21, 2016.