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"You're the Voice" is a song written by Andy Qunta, Keith Reid, Maggie Ryder and Chris Thompson, and recorded by the Australian singer John Farnham and released as a single in September 1986 ahead of his album, Whispering Jack.[2][3] "You're the Voice" was one of the biggest hits of 1986 in Australia, topping the Kent Music Report singles chart for seven weeks from 3 November to 21 December.[4] At the ARIA Music Awards of 1987 it won Single of the Year.[5]

"You're the Voice"
You're The Voice (Single).jpg
Single by John Farnham
from the album Whispering Jack
B-side"Going, Going, Gone"
Released15 September 1986[1]
Producer(s)Ross Fraser
John Farnham singles chronology
"Love (It's Just the Way It Goes)"
"You're the Voice"
"Pressure Down"
Audio sample

The music video was recorded with celebrities (Derryn Hinch and Jacki Weaver) and musicians (James and Vince Leigh of Pseudo Echo, Greg Macainsh): none of whom are on the original audio recording; and were assembled by Farnham's talent manager, Glenn Wheatley.[6] Wheatley later recalled, "[it] was done on a shoestring budget. I called in Derryn and Jacki, some of the guys from Pseudo Echo (James and Vince Leigh) and Greg Macainsh from Skyhooks are in the band, it was pretty much anyone who'd do me a favour."[6]

"You're the Voice" re-entered the Australian singles chart more than 25 years after its original release (reaching No. 64), thanks to its appearance (to advertise the company's SYNC voice control system) in a 2012 Ford TV commercial.[7]

The power ballad[8] is also one of Farnham's biggest successes in Europe, charting at No. 1 in Germany and Sweden and reaching the Top 10 in Austria, Ireland, Switzerland and the UK. Although "You're the Voice" was also successful in Canada (reaching the Top 20), in the US, the track performed relatively poorly, missing the chart on its initial 1987 issue. BMG/RCA re-released the song in the US in February 1990 after Farnham made the Adult Contemporary chart with "Two Strong Hearts". Farnham's version eventually spent eight weeks on the US charts, peaking at No. 82, but in the US the song is probably best known for a charting version issued in 1991 by the band Heart.

Chart historyEdit

Chart (1986–87) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[4] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[9] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[10] 20
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[11] 13
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[12] 12
Denmark (Hitlisten)[13] 9
Ireland (IRMA)[14] 3
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[15] 15
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[16] 13
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[17] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[18] 3
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[19] 6
West Germany (Official German Charts)[20] 1
Chart (1990) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[21] 82

Uses in popular cultureEdit

The song has been featured in numerous TV and film productions, including the film Hot Rod, the BBC series Merlin, the film Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and comedian Peter Kay's Car Share.[22]

Heart versionEdit

"You're the Voice"
Single by Heart
from the album Rock the House Live!
B-side"Wild Child" (live)
ReleasedOctober 1991 (1991-10)
RecordedNovember 1990
Producer(s)Richie Zito
Heart singles chronology
"You're the Voice"
"Will You Be There (In the Morning)"

As a lead promotion for their first live album Rock the House Live! in 1991, US rock band Heart released their live version of "You're the Voice" as a single. It was captured during the US leg of their Brigade world tour in November 1990. The single performed moderately well, reaching No. 20 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. In the UK, the single was a minor hit, reaching No. 56.

It was released in multiple limited edition formats in different territories, with the UK boasting the highest number of these:

  1. 7" etched one-sided single
  2. 7" red vinyl single
  3. 10" red vinyl single
  4. 12" etched one-sided single
  5. CD single

A studio version of the track had been recorded in late 1989 as part of the sessions for the Brigade album, though it did not make the album track list. This studio version would not see release until July 2000, when it was included on the greatest hits package, Greatest Hits: 1985–1995.

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (1991) Peak
Canadian Singles Chart[23] 65
UK Singles Chart[24] 56
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart[25] 20
"You're the Voice"
Single by Alan Parsons
B-side"White Dawn"
Released1995 (1995)
FormatCD single
RecordedFebruary 1995
StudioParsonics, Santa Barbara, California
Length4:14 (radio edit)
LabelCNR Music
Songwriter(s)Andy Qunta, Keith Reid, Maggie Ryder, Chris Thompson
Producer(s)Alan Parsons
Alan Parsons singles chronology
"Luciferama (live)"
"You're the Voice"
"Brother up in Heaven"

World Liberty ConcertEdit

"You're the Voice" was performed at the World Liberty Concert in 1995 by Alan Parsons Band, Chris Thompson, and Metropole Orkest. The only official release associated with the concert, the single featured a studio recording of the song, rather than the live version.

The B-side was a live recording of "White Dawn", which was performed by the Metropole Orkest and Gelders Opera and Operetta Gezelschap (GOOG) choir. The song was arranged by Andrew Powell and conducted by Dick Bakker.[28] During the performance of "White Dawn", a battle was simulated that included gunfire, which can be heard around the middle of the recording.

The radio edit of the "You're the Voice" single was also featured on Alan Parsons: The Very Best Live (1995).[29]

Track listingEdit

  1. "You're the Voice (Radio Edit)" – (Qynta, Thompson, Reid, Ryder) – 4:14
  2. "White Dawn" – (Parsons) Lead Vocals Chris Thompson – 4:50

Other cover versionsEdit


A UK hardcore track released by Waxman in 1996 sampled "You're the Voice".


  1. ^ "Australian Music Report No 635 – 15 September 1986 > Singles: New Releases". (original document published by Australian Music Report). Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  2. ^ McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'John Farnham'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 29 August 2004. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
  3. ^ "Voice Events – The Official John Farnham Fan Club – You're the Voice". Retrieved 18 January 2009.
  4. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. Note: Kent Music Report (KMR) was used contemporaneously for Australian Singles and Albums charting from mid-1974 until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  5. ^ "Winners by Year 1987". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  6. ^ a b Adams, Cameron (11 April 2018). "Why John Farnham was nearly rock-blocked from 'You're the Voice'". News Corp Australia. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  7. ^ The ad on Ford Australia's website. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  8. ^ "The 21 best power ballads".
  9. ^ " – John Farnham – You're the Voice" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  10. ^ " – John Farnham – You're the Voice" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ "Wallonia peak".
  12. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada".
  13. ^
  14. ^ " search results". Retrieved 18 January 2009.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – John Farnham" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  16. ^ " – John Farnham – You're the Voice". Top 40 Singles.
  17. ^ " – John Farnham – You're the Voice". Singles Top 100.
  18. ^ " – John Farnham – You're the Voice". Swiss Singles Chart.
  19. ^ "john-farnham - full Official Chart History - Official Charts Company".
  20. ^ " – John Farnham – You're the Voice". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  21. ^ "allmusic - John Farnham - Billboard singles". Retrieved 18 January 2009.
  22. ^ "BBC Playlists - Peter Kay's Car Share: Forever FM". BBC.
  23. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  24. ^ "heart - full Official Chart History - Official Charts Company".
  25. ^ "Heart". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  26. ^ "Alan Parsons – Luciferama (Live)". Discogs. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  27. ^ "Alan Parsons – Brother Up In Heaven". Discogs. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  28. ^ "Alan Parsons – You're The Voice". Discogs. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  29. ^ "Alan Parsons – The Very Best Live". Discogs. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  30. ^ "Marju Länik ja Kontakt - Terassüdamega mees (1987) Stereo". Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  31. ^ Chintamani, Gautam. "I am a Nadeem-Shravan fan and I am not ashamed to admit it". Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  32. ^ Artsitas, Konstantinos. "The Voice: Δείτε την εντυπωσιακή έναρξη του πρώτου Live". Must. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  33. ^ "Impact* - Ballistic Bootlegs 9". Discogs.
  34. ^ Theart, ZP. "I AM I - The Official website of Heavy Rock Band I AM I, featuring singer ZP Theart".
  35. ^ "Julian Assange Rocks Out In Spoof Election Video".
  36. ^ Farrant, Hugo & Nanni, Giordano (Writers & Producers) (25 August 2013). Aussie Election: A Game of Polls - feat. Julian Assange Farnham [RAP NEWS 20] (YouTube video). Ecuadorian embassy, London: Juice Rap News.

External linksEdit