Today’s Song of the Day is “Up Where We Belong” by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, in honor of Jennifer Warnes’ 75th (!) birthday. While Warnes is best known for her Grammy Award winning performance for this song with Cocker and for the Grammy winning “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” with Bill Medley, she was brought on to this song due to her previous soundtrack successes. She had won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song “It Goes Like It Goes” for the 1979 motion picture Norma Rae, and was nominated in the same category in 1981 with “One More Hour” for the 1981 motion picture Ragtime. She had the idea for the song to be a duet that she would perform with Cocker.
As if all these songs were not as successful as it is, Warnes also recorded the song “As Long As We Got Each Other” as a duet with B.J. Thomas for the theme for the TV show Growing Pains.
Along with “Up Where We Belong”, Joe Cocker is known for his cover of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends”, as well as his cover of Billy Preston’s “You Are So Beautiful”. And this may not be ’80s, but GenXers may also know his song “(All I Know) Feels Like Forever” from the 1992 film, The Cutting Edge.
“Up Where We Belong” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, as well as a Golden Globe Award. The song also won Warnes and Cocker the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and hit #1 (for three weeks running) on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was certified platinum for over two million sales in the United States. In 2020, the song was included on Billboard magazine’s list of the 25 Greatest Love Song Duets.