Believe (Cher song): Wikis


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Single by Cher
from the album Believe
B-side "Believe" (Xenomania Mix)
Released October 18, 1998 (UK)
October 19, 1998 (France)
November 24, 1998 (US)
April 20, 1999 (Canada)
May 25, 1999 (Japan)
Format CD single, CD maxi-single, 7", 12"
Recorded 1998
Genre Dance pop, house
Length 4:01
Label Warner Bros., Wea
Writer(s) Brian Higgins, Stuart McLennen, Paul Barry, Steven Torch, Matthew Gray, Timothy Powell
Producer Mark Taylor, Brian Rawling
Cher singles chronology
"Paradise Is Here"
"Strong Enough"
Cher European singles chronology
"The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)"
"Strong Enough"

"Believe" is a pop song by American singer-actress Cher. It was released in most countries at the end of 1998 by Warner Bros., as the first single from her twenty third album, Believe.

It became one of the best-selling singles of all time.[1] having sold over 10 million copies worldwide.[2] It won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording and was also nominated for Record of the Year.

"Believe" is noted for its use of the Auto-Tune pitch-correction software on the singer's vocals to create a peculiar sound effect, sometimes referred to as the "Cher effect".


Production background

As released, the single incorporates the work of six different songwriters, two producers and executive producer Rob Dickins, the erstwhile chairman of Warner Bros, but according to Mark Taylor the creation of "Believe" was a "strange one." Originally written only by Brian Higgins, Matthew Gray, Stuart McLennen and Tim Powell and circulated on Warner as a demo for months, nobody wanted it. Mark Taylor said that:

"Everyone loved the chorus but not the rest of the song; As we were already writing other songs for Cher, Rob asked us if we could sort it out. Two of our writers, Steve Torch and Paul Barry, got involved and eventually came up with a complete song that Rob and Cher were happy with." [3]

Once the demo version was agreed, Mark and Brian took over for the actual production, working at Dreamhouse; Mark said:

"We knew the rough direction to take, because Rob had said he wanted to make a Cher dance record. The hard part was trying to make one that wouldn't alienate Cher's existing fans."[3]

The entire track was assembled with Cubase VST on an iMac G3 computer, with other synthesizers, including a Clavia Nord Rack and an Oberheim Matrix 1000, while Cher's vocals were recorded on three TASCAM DA88 digital audio recorders with a Neumann U67 vacuum tube-amplified microphone.[citation needed]

The song was recorded approximately in ten days in Surrey, England and also contains samples from the Electric Light Orchestra songs "Prologue" and "Epilogue."


The "Cher effect"

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Cher's voice is altered by a pitch correction speed that is "set too fast for the audio that it is processing."[3] Producer Mark Taylor added the effect to Cher's vocal simply as a lark. In interviews at the time, he claimed to be testing out his recently purchased DigiTech Talker.[3] It later emerged that the effect was not created by a vocoder, but by using extreme (and then-unheard-of) settings on Antares Auto-Tune software.[3]

Taylor said about the effect that "this was the most nerve-wracking part of the project, because I wasn't sure what Cher would say when she heard what I'd done to her voice", but that when she heard it she said, "It sounds great."[3] When her record company requested that the effect be removed, she responded, "Over my dead body!".[4] After the massive success of the song, use of Auto-Tune became very popular and many other artists imitated this technique, and it would eventually become known as the "Cher effect".


Billboard gave the song a positive review, saying that the song is "the best darn thing that Cher has recorded in years".[5]

Chart performance

The song, recorded and released in 1998, peaked at number one in 23 countries worldwide[6]. On January 12, 1999, it reached the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached number one on the chart on March 2, making Cher the oldest female artist (at the age of 52)[7] to perform this feat. Cher also set the record for a solo artist with the longest span of time between #1 hits. Her previous #1 hit, "Dark Lady" had been in 1974. "Believe" also was ranked as the number-one song of 1999 by Billboard on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Dance Club Play charts, and became the biggest single in her entire career. "Believe" also spent seven weeks at number one in the UK singles chart and is still the best selling single by a female artist in the UK.[8][9]

The success of the song not only expanded through each country's singles chart, but also most countries' dance charts. In the United States "Believe" spent 23 weeks on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart, five of those weeks at #1, and 22 weeks on the European Hot Dance Charts. "Believe" also set a record in 1999 after spending 21 weeks in the top spot of the Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales chart, it was still in the top ten even one year after its entry on the chart.[10].

On 13 October 2008, the song was voted #10 on Australian VH1's Top 10 Number One Pop Songs countdown. "Believe" was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Dance Recording at 42nd Grammy Awards, it won the latter. It is the only Grammy that Cher has won in her entire music career.

Music video

The international music video for "Believe", directed by Nigel Dick, features Cher in a nightclub in a double role as singer on stage, and as supernatural being in a cage (with auto-tuned voice), surrounded by many people to whom she is giving advice. The video includes a woman who is broken hearted and feels that she can't go on when she sees her ex-boyfriend with a new spouse. The version on The Very Best of Cher: The Video Hits Collection is slightly different to the previous version (the version that is also included on the Mallay Believe Bonus VCD) with additional scenes towards the end that were not in the original video. There are also 2 'rough' versions of the video as the song was released in The UK and Europe before a video was completed. The first is a compilation of scenes from the videos of Cher's previous singles "One by One" and "Walkin' in Memphis" and the second includes a brief scene of the Believe video where Cher sings the chorus while the rest of the video is composed of scenes from "One by One".

Three official remix videos exist for this song. Two of the remix videos were created by Dan-O-Rama in 1999. Both follow different concepts from the original unmixed video. Instead of showing the significance of the lyrics the videos mostly show Cher with different colored backgrounds and people dancing. The two remixes used for these videos were the Almighty Definitive Mix and the Club 69 Phunk Club Mix. The third video entitled Wayne G. Remix was released by Warner Bros. and the concept is similar to the Club 69 Phunk Club Mix video.

Cher performed the song during the Do You Believe? Tour, The Farewell Tour and the Cher at the Colosseum While she would lip-synch the entire song on various television programs, she would only lip-synch the synthesized verses when performing on her Believe and Farewell tours and on the 2002 edition of VH1 Divas Live Since 1999, the song has been the encore to all of Cher's concerts.

World use and popularity

In the episode "Living Conditions" of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy's roommate listens to this song repeatedly.

The song is featured on the Karaoke Revolution video game.

A cover version of this song was used in the Nintendo DS game Elite Beat Agents in the first bonus level.

Indie rock bands Macha and Bedhead recorded a cover of the song on their 2000 joint EP Macha Loved Bedhead.

In 2001, "Ian Watkins" from the British pop group Steps performed this song during their Gold Greatest Hits Tour.

In the 2009 movie adaptation of Land of the Lost, two of the main characters, Dr. Rick Marshall and Will Stanton, sing the song while touching a vibrating "vortext triangle"

The South Park episode Two Guys Naked in a Hot Tub lampoons the song. The kids in the episode hate the song; the adults love it.

In Brothers & Sisters episode 12 of season 2 titled "Compromises", the Sarah Walker character, played by Rachel Griffiths, sings a karaoke version of the song in the aftermath of the break-up with her husband Joe, played by John Pyper-Ferguson.

The song is also used in the Friends episode in which Monica Geller and Chandler Bing, before their wedding, go to see Chandler's father in Vegas to invite him to their wedding and reconcile.

Formats and track listings

Believe US CD Single

  1. Believe (Album Version)
  2. Believe (Xenomania Mix)

Believe US/Canadian Maxi Single

  1. Believe (Album Version)
  2. Believe (Phat 'N' Phunky Club Mix)
  3. Believe (Club 69 Phunk Club Mix)
  4. Believe (Almighty Definitive Mix)
  5. Believe (Xenomania Mad Tim And The Mekon Club Mix)
  6. Believe (Club 69 Future Anthem Mix)
  7. Believe (Grips Heartbroken Mix)
  8. Believe (Club 69 Future Anthem Dub)
  9. Believe (Club 69 Phunk Dub)
  10. Believe (Phat 'N' Phunky 'After Luv' Dub)

Believe European/UK CD Single Pt. 1

  1. Believe (Album Version)
  2. Believe (Almighty Definitive Mix)
  3. Believe (Xenomania Mix)

Believe European/UK CD Single Pt. 2

  1. Believe (Album Version)
  2. Believe (Grips Heartbroken Mix)
  3. Believe (Club 69 Future Mix)

Official versions

  • Main Version (4:01)
  • Edit (3:45)
  • Video Edit (3:55)
  • Acapella (2:43)
  • Almighty Definite Mix (7:35)
  • Almighty Video Edit (4:46)
  • Club 69 Future Anthem Mix (9:20)
  • Club 69 Future Anthem Dub (7:35)
  • Club 69 Future Anthem Dub Edit (7:13)
  • Club 69 Future Dub (7:45)
  • Club 69 Future Mix (9:14)
  • Club 69 Future Mix Edit (6:50)
  • Club 69 Phunk Club Mix (8:43)
  • Club 69 Phunk Dub (7:04)
  • Club 69 Phunk Video Mix (4:54)
  • Grip's Heartbroken Mix (9:12)
  • Grips Heaven Dub (6:50)
  • Phat 'N' Phunky After luv Dub (6:22)
  • Phat 'N' Phunky After luv Dub Edit (6:07)
  • Phat 'N' Phunky Club Mix (7:42)
  • Xenomania Mix (4:20)
  • Xenomania Mad Tim And The Mekon Club Mix (9:15)


Weekly Chart

Chart (1998)[11] Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 1
Austrian Singles Chart 2
Belgian Singles Chart 1
Canadian Singles Chart 1
Danish Singles Chart 1
Dutch Mega Top 50 Singles Chart 1
Dutch Top 40 1
European Singles Chart 1
French Singles Chart 1
German Singles Chart 1
Irish Singles Chart 1
Italian Singles Chart 1
New Zealand's Singles Chart 1
Spanish Singles Chart 1
Swedish Singles Chart 1
Swedish Airplay Chart 1
Swiss Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 1

Annual Charts

Country Position
UK[12] 1
Australia[13] 6

All-Time Charts

Country Position
UK[14] 16[A]
  • A ^ This is the biggest selling single by a female artist ever in UK Chart history.


Country Providers Certification Sales
Australia ARIA 3x Platinum[15] 210,000
Austria IFPI Platinum[16] 30,000
France SNEP Diamond[17] 750,000
Germany IFPI 5x Gold , >2x Platinum[18] 1,250,000
Netherlands IFPI Platinum[19] 60,000
Country Providers Certification Sales
New Zealand RIANZ Gold 5,000
Norway IFPI 2x Platinum[20] 20,000
Sweden IFPI 3x Platinum[21] 60,000
Switzerland IFPI Platinum[22] 30,000
United Kingdom BPI 3x Platinum[23] 1,710,000
United States RIAA Platinum[24] 1,000,000


Preceded by
"Candle in the Wind 1997" by Elton John
Top selling single of the year (UK)
Succeeded by
"...Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears
Preceded by
"Too Close" by Next
Billboard Hot 100 Single of the Year
Succeeded by
"Breathe" by Faith Hill
Preceded by
"Gym And Tonic" by Spacedust
UK Singles Chart number-one single
October 25, 1998 - December 6, 1998
Succeeded by
"To You I Belong" by B*Witched
Preceded by
"Irreplaceable" by Kerri Ann
Irish Singles Chart number-one single
November 14, 1998 - December 19, 1998
Succeeded by
"Goodbye" by Spice Girls
Preceded by
"Chanter pour ceux qui sont loin de chez eux" by Lââm
Belgian (Wallonia) number-one single
January 2, 1999 - February 16, 1999
Succeeded by
"Mais qui est la belette ?" by Manau
Preceded by
"Goodbye" by Spice Girls
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart number-one single
January 10, 1999
Succeeded by
"Take Me There" by Blackstreet featuring Mýa, Mase and Blinky Blink
Preceded by
"Big Big World" by Emilia
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
January 16, 1999
Succeeded by
"Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" by The Offspring
Preceded by
"Mais qui est la belette ?" by Manau
French SNEP Singles Chart number-one single
January 23, 1999
Succeeded by
"Tu m'oublieras" by Larusso
Preceded by
"Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" by The Offspring
Australia ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
January 24, 1999 - February 21, 1999
Succeeded by
"..Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears
Preceded by
"Angel of Mine" by Monica
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
March 13, 1999 - April 3, 1999
Succeeded by
"No Scrubs" by TLC
Preceded by
"The First Night" by Monica
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
December 12, 1998 - January 9, 1999
Succeeded by
"Up & Down" by Vengaboys
Preceded by
"I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith
Billboard Eurochart Hot 100 number-one single
November 21, 1998 - February 20, 1999
Succeeded by
"Big Big World" by Emilia


  1. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100 1999". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 
  2. ^ Cashmere, Paul (2003-09-09). "Cher and Share Alike". Retrieved 2005-11-12. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Sillitoe, Sue & Bell, Matt (February 1999, with later correction appended). "Recording Cher's 'Believe'". Sound On Sound. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  4. ^ Neil Strauss. "Cher Resurrected, Again, by a Hit; The Long, Hard but Serendipitous Road to 'Believe'". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  5. ^ Single reviews. Billboard
  6. ^ "Believe" #1 in 23 countries
  7. ^ Record-Breakers and Trivia -
  8. ^ - List of UK Number 1's 1990's
  9. ^ Top 100 singles of all time in the UK
  10. ^ "Believe" Dance Singles Sales record
  11. ^ "Believe", in various Singles Charts (Retrieved June 20, 2009)
  12. ^ Official UK singles chart (1998). "UK charts; End of year charts". Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  13. ^ Australian Recording Industry Association (1999). "ARIA charts — End of year charts". Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  14. ^ "U.K. all-time chart". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  15. ^ ARIA: Australia
  16. ^ IFPI: Austria
  17. ^ SNEP: France
  18. ^ IFPI: Germany
  19. ^ NVPI: Netherlands
  20. ^ IFPI: Norway
  21. ^ IFPI: Sweden
  22. ^ IFPI: Switzerland
  23. ^ : UK
  24. ^ RIAA : U.S.

External links


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