We have a very special Singled Out to celebrate Five For Fighting kicking off a unique and intimate tour where he will be joined by the FFF sting quartet. We asked John Ondrasik (aka Five For Fighting) to tell us about one of his most beloved songs: "Superman". Here is the story:
I couldn't write Superman today. I've found in the last twenty years, since writing that song, that it's pretty damn "easy to be me". But to a young songwriter facing the rejection of the music industry for over a decade, you might understand the "It's not easy to be me" sentiment. Superman was a gift. It came, beginning to end, in about 45 minutes. (The joke is I've been looking for that 45 minutes ever since...) I was also lucky to not be aware of the half dozen or so "Superman" songs that previously existed as that might have moved me to select another target for the symbolism.
When I first wrote Superman I didn't think it was for me. I fancied myself as a rocker back in the day, and I spoke to my publisher about giving the song to another artist. My producer Gregg was not so sure. He kept insisting we record that little song "Superman" (Yes we called it the little song). I remember every time we would come back to the production and add a guitar, or a string line, that I thought if anyone ever heard "Superman" they might relate to it's theme of inherent humanity.
Like many popular songs, Superman almost didn't see the light of day. It was not the first single off the "America Town" record. The first single, "Easy Tonight", was just successful enough for Columbia records to go after a second song. I knew this was my last shot, and I figured if I was going to go down in flames, it might as well be with "Superman".
When Superman first came out radio would not play it. The piano was not front and center on pop radio, and the tune didn't "fit" the formats. But the stars aligned, the zeitgeist was nicked, and Superman became a popular song around the world, as well as being one of the songs that found a place recognizing the heroes and the loss of 9-11.
Superman has taught me quite a few life lessons. That little things turn into big things, and sometimes you don't know your doing that big thing while doing that little thing. That perseverance pays off, and that music can make a difference like no other medium.
I'm pleased to release this new version of Superman on our just released Five For Fighting Live with String Quartet.It's the same song, with a new dimension and intimacy. Yes, I couldn't write Superman today, but Clark Kent will always be my first-born, and for that, I am beyond grateful.
Find out where you see Five For Fighting play on this special tour (where the new album will be available ahead of general release) and check out details about the brand new Cold Black Soundtrack, which features new recordings a very special version of "Superman" right here!
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