Angel (Sarah McLachlan song)

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"Angel"
Single by Sarah McLachlan
from the album Surfacing and City of Angels: Music from the Motion Picture
ReleasedNovember 24, 1998 (1998-11-24)
FormatCD single
Recorded1997
GenreAdult contemporary
Length4:30 (album version)
4:00 (radio edit)
LabelNettwerk (Canada)
Arista (US)
Warner Bros. (US)
Writer(s)Sarah McLachlan
Producer(s)Pierre Marchand
Certification4× Platinum (RIAA)
Sarah McLachlan singles chronology
"Adia"
(1998)
"Angel"
(1998)
"I Will Remember You"
(live)
(1999)
Music sample
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"Angel"
Single by Sarah McLachlan
from the album Surfacing and City of Angels: Music from the Motion Picture
ReleasedNovember 24, 1998 (1998-11-24)
FormatCD single
Recorded1997
GenreAdult contemporary
Length4:30 (album version)
4:00 (radio edit)
LabelNettwerk (Canada)
Arista (US)
Warner Bros. (US)
Writer(s)Sarah McLachlan
Producer(s)Pierre Marchand
Certification4× Platinum (RIAA)
Sarah McLachlan singles chronology
"Adia"
(1998)
"Angel"
(1998)
"I Will Remember You"
(live)
(1999)
Music sample
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.

"Angel" (sometimes mis-titled in non-specialist sources as "In the Arms of an Angel"[1] or "Arms of the Angel") is a song by Sarah McLachlan that originally appeared on her 1997 album Surfacing. As McLachlan explained on VH1 Storytellers, the song is about the Smashing Pumpkins touring keyboard player Jonathan Melvoin, who overdosed on heroin and died in 1996.

"Angel" was McLachlan's second consecutive top five hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, debuting at number twelve, and then jumping to the top ten the following week, before peaking at number four. It remained at the top ten for nineteen weeks, and for twenty-nine weeks in the top 100. "Angel" was the eighteenth most successful song of 1999.

Background[edit]

"Angel" was one of the first songs written for Surfacing. McLachlan said that writing it was easy, "a real joyous occasion."[2] It was inspired by articles that she read in Rolling Stone about musicians turning to heroin to cope with the pressures of the music industry and subsequently overdosing.[2][3] She said that she identified with the feelings that might lead someone to use heroin: "I've been in that place where you've messed up and you're so lost that you don't know who you are anymore, and you're miserable—and here's this escape route. I've never done heroin, but I've done plenty of other things to escape."[2] She said that the song is about "trying not to take responsibility for other people's problems and trying to love yourself at the same time".

Release[edit]

Released as a single in 1998, "Angel" peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 on February 23, 1999 (after reaching the Top 40 on December 15, 1998), #1 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, and at #36 on the UK Singles Chart.

The song has had enduring popularity. It is often used to highlight emotional scenes on television shows, and has been featured in a number of soundtracks (including the film City of Angels and TV's Alias, As the World Turns, Cold Case, Dawson's Creek, Early Edition, Felicity, General Hospital, Providence, Strong Medicine and The Pretender). In addition, it is also used as a song of comfort and healing, most often following tragic events such as the April 1999 Columbine High School massacre and the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks. Furthermore, a large number of video tributes to loved ones uploaded by YouTube users have been set to this song.

On July 2, 2005, McLachlan performed this song at Live 8 Philadelphia with Josh Groban. She also performed the song on "Concert for Linda," dedicating it to the memory of Linda McCartney. On September 10, 2011, McLachlan performed the song to close the ceremonies at the dedication of the Flight 93 Memorial in Stonycreek Township, commemorating the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 who fought the hijackers and brought down their airplane in the September 11 attacks.

Musician Darryl McDaniels, otherwise known as D.M.C. of the hip-hop band Run-D.M.C., has said that the song saved his life.[4]

The song has a sparse arrangement — mostly McLachlan at the piano, with subtle upright bass played by Jim Creeggan of Barenaked Ladies. It was recorded in the key of D-flat major. For live performances, it is transposed up one half-step to D major, the key it was originally written in, and played without the bass.

A remix of the track by Dusted appears on McLachlan's 2001 album Remixed.

A live version with Emmylou Harris appears on a Lilith Fair compilation, McLachlan's own iTunes Originals collection, and her Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff Volume 2 compilation.

On Sunday, November 23, 2008, Sarah McLachlan performed "Angel" at the American Music Awards with artist Pink.

The song made its début on the New Zealand Singles Chart on the 6 July 2009 at number 36. The appearance in the charts was attributed to the 2009 New Zealand Stars in Their Eyes grand final the week before, where Mandy Pickering of Christchurch won the final performing the song.

This song is also often played during a contestant becoming eliminated on Indonesia Mencari Bakat (Indonesian version of America's Got Talent) on Trans TV.

This song was used in the final minutes of the season finale of season 3 for The Secret Life of the American Teenager as everyone discovers that Ben and Adrian's baby is stillborn.

The 2009 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie A Dog Named Christmas used this song in one scene.

ASPCA[edit]

Since 2007, "Angel" has been included in an advertisement for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in which McLachlan serves as the spokesperson. The song is played over video of dogs and cats in an animal shelter and is credited with helping raise millions of dollars for the ASPCA.[5]

The song was also donated by McLachlan for Tribe of Heart's movie The Witness which depicts the awakening of consciousness of a New York City construction worker with respect to the treatment of animals.[6]

Weekly charts[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1999-2012)Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[7]17
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[8]17
Germany (Media Control AG)[9]57
Luxembourg (Billboard)[10]9
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[11]99
Norway (VG-lista)[12]9
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[13]39
US Billboard Hot 100[14]4
End of year chart (1999)Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[15]18

Westlife version[edit]

"World of Our Own" / "Angel"
Single by Westlife
from the album World of Our Own
ReleasedFebruary 18, 2002
FormatCD single
RecordedRokstone Studios, London
Windmill Lane Studios, Ireland
Olympic Studios, London. 2001
GenrePop
Length3:28 (Lp Version)
3:32 (US Mix)
LabelBMG
Writer(s)Steve Mac, Wayne Hector
Producer(s)Steve Mac
CertificationSilver
Westlife singles chronology
"Queen of My Heart"
(2001)
"World of Our Own" /Angel"
(2002)
"Bop Bop Baby"
(2002)

"World of Our Own / Angel" is a song by Irish boyband Westlife recorded for their third studio album of the same name. The song peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming their 10th number-one single. This addition made them a part of a small group of artists in British chart history to achieve this feat. The song's popularity peaked when it was featured in the children's feature film You Wish!. The song was the 40th best selling single of 2002 in the UK, and received a Silver sales certification in the UK for over 200,000 copies sold. According to MTV, the single has sold sold 225,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[16] The bonus track song Evergreen was released as single only in the Philippines where it reached #3.[17]

Track listings[edit]

CD1
  1. "World Of Our Own" (Single Remix) - 3:28
  2. "Crying Girl" - 3:39
  3. "Angel" (Single Remix) - 4:22
  4. "World Of Our Own" (Video) - 3:28
CD2
  1. "World Of Our Own" (Single Remix) - 3:28
  2. "I Promise You That" - 3:35
  3. "Angel" (Video) - 4:22
DVD
  1. "World Of Our Own" (Video) - 3:28
  2. "Angel" (Video) - 4:22
  3. "Behind The Scenes Footage"
  4. "Band Messages"
  1. "World Of Our Own" (Single Remix) - 3:28
  2. "Queen Of My Heart" (Radio Edit) - 4:20
  3. "Crying Girl" - 3:39
  4. "I Promise You That" - 3:35
  5. "Uptown Girl" (Radio Edit) - 3:06
  6. "My Love" (Radio Edit) - 3:52
  7. "Against All Odds" (Featuring Mariah Carey) - 3:21
  8. "En Ti Deje Mi Amor" (Single Remix) - 3:29
  9. "Con Lo Bien Que Te" (Single Remix) - 3:52
  10. "Evergreen" - 4:07
  11. "World Of Our Own" (U.S. Remix) - 3:29

Chart performance[edit]

ChartPeak
position
Australian Singles Chart21
Austrian Singles Chart10
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[18]3
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[19]17
Danish Singles Chart5
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[20]4
German Singles Chart11
Irish Singles Chart3
Italian Singles Chart[21]51
Netherlands Singles Chart29
New Zealand Singles Chart6
Norwegian Singles Chart13
Swedish Singles Chart11
Swiss Singles Chart26
UK Singles Chart1
UK Airplay Chart3
U.S. Pop Airplay Chart41

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2002)Position
UK Singles Chart40

Release history[edit]

CountryRelease date
United KingdomFebruary 18, 2002
United StatesMay 14, 2002

Cover versions[edit]

Live cover performances[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ebony - Oct 2007 - Page 194 "He decided against killing himself while back in the United States after hearing on the radio Sarah McLachlan's song "In the Arms of an Angel." " and other examples
  2. ^ a b c Reighley, Kurt B. (August 1997), "Sarah McLachlan In The Garden", CMJ New Music Monthly (College Media Inc.): 21–25, retrieved 2010-05-12 
  3. ^ McDonnell, Evelyn (September 1997), "Lilith Fair", Spin (Spin Media LLC): 64, retrieved 2010-05-12 
  4. ^ "DMC: Saved By An Angel - How Sarah McLachlan thwarted the legendary MC's suicidal tendencies.". IGN.com. 2006-02-24. 
  5. ^ "Ad Featuring Singer Proves Bonanza for the A.S.P.C.A.". The New York Times. 2008-12-25. 
  6. ^ LaVeck, James; Stein, Jenny. "Sarah McLachlan, Angel and The Witness". Tribe of Heart. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  7. ^ "Sarah McLachlan – Angel – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  8. ^ "Sarah McLachlan – Angel – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  9. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  10. ^ "Luxembourg Digital Songs - October 8, 2011". Billboard. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Dutch Charts Single Top 100 search". Single Top 100. Retrieved 2012-10-09. 
  12. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Sarah McLachlan – Angel". VG-lista. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  13. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Sarah McLachlan – Angel". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  14. ^ "Sarah McLachlan Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Sarah McLachlan. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  15. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1999". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  16. ^ "Westlife: Official Top 20". MTV (UK). MTV Networks. Retrieved 2011-09-03. 
  17. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evergreen_(Westlife_song)
  18. ^ "Ultratop.be – Westlife – World of Our Own" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – Westlife – World of Our Own" (in French). Ultratip.
  20. ^ http://books.google.ca/books?lr=&rview=1&id=SBAEAAAAMBAJ&q=westlife#v=snippet&q=westlife&f=false
  21. ^ http://www.hitparadeitalia.it/indici/per_interprete/aw.htm
  22. ^ Hollywood Life: The Voice's' Javier Colon - I Had To Fight Hard To Sing 'Angel'
  23. ^ "The Billboard Hot 100 Week of July 02, 2011". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2012-09-13. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"I'm Your Angel" by R. Kelly & Celine Dion
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single
March 6 × May 22, 1999
Succeeded by
"You'll Be in My Heart" by Phil Collins