Rise

Album: Rise (1979)
Charted: 13 1
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Songfacts®:

  • Herb's nephew, Randy Badazz Alpert, wrote this with Andy Armer. When the 3M Company lent a 32-track digital recorder to A&M Records (then co-owned by Alpert), they had some time to experiment. Randy told Songfacts: "It was Herb's idea to record The Lonely Bull and several other of his old hit records in a dance format, and though I did not particularly like the idea I did go ahead and work up some new dance arrangements for those old songs. I had played 'Rise' and several other new songs for Herb several weeks before the recording session and he loved two out of the three songs. We had always intended to record Rise during the session. That song was never an after thought. We did try recording The Lonely Bull and one other song before we switched to Rise. The room seemed to light up when we started to record that tune. It was a magical moment for both Herb and me."
  • On the Armer/Badazz audition tape, this was a stomper, going 128 beats per minute. Alpert slowed it to about 100 BPM so "People could dance and hug each other at the end of the night."
  • After this was released, it got an unexpected boost when it was used in a critical scene in the TV series General Hospital - the rape of Laura by Luke (Anthony Geary, who plays Luke, suggested the song to the series' music director). The song was repeated several times a week for a short period afterward, until the storyline changed to make Luke and Laura a romantic couple.

    It wouldn't be the last time General Hospital bumped a song up the charts: In 1983, "Think Of Laura" by Christopher Cross was used as Luke and Laura's love theme, and exposure on the show pushed it to #9 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  • This was Alpert's second #1 (after "This Guy's in Love With You"), making him to only solo performer to be credited with a #1 vocal and a #1 instrumental single. "Rise" is the instrumental.
  • This became a hit in the UK - ironically at 135 BPM - as British club DJs did not realize that American 12-inch singles are played at 33 revolutions per minute, not 45 (the European standard).
  • All of the music for Notorious B.I.G.'s hit "Hypnotize" was sampled from this. "Hypnotize" was a Billboard #1 Pop, R&B, and Rap song and was Top 10 in most countries throughout the world in 1997. So the "Rise" music was actually a #1 record twice in a span of 28 years.
  • To follow this up, "Rotation" was released in January 1980 and was a minor Top 40 hit in America. There was another single called "Street Life" which was released in late spring of 1980. "Beyond" was released at the end of summer 1980. (Thanks to Randy Badazz Alpert for telling us about this song)
  • This song won a Grammy in 1980 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. It was the third time that Alpert won a Grammy. His last 2 songs that won Grammys were "A Taste of Honey" (1965) and "What Now My Love?" (1966). >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA

Comments: 8

  • Mavis from Upper MidwestI like the jazzy urban feel of this, it’s like a sweltering city at night.
  • Ricky from Ohsweken, Ontario CanadaThis song was also used in a scene in WKRP in Cincinnati.
  • Alan from Joliet, IlThis was a monster hit, peaking at #1 in the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts, but it went top-ten in the R&B charts and top 20 in disco. Not quite up to the overall monster chart-crushing "This Masquerade" (George Benson, 1976, top five in all four of those charts), but close.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxThis tune was Herb’s “rebirth” and his first personal hit in almost 10 years (The Carpenters were A&M’s cash cow during the 70s.).
    I actually saw the “rape scene” when it was broadcast – very bizarre direction, with the camera panning back and forth across the ceiling of the disco as the misdeed was done. Other tunes from the ‘Rise’ album were also used during that time on ‘General Hospital.’
    I heard Herb interviewed on Larry King’s radio show a few years later and when a caller asked him about that use for ‘Rise,’ he became noticeably uncomfortable and said that while he appreciated the exposure that it had given his new work, he had grown to regret that it had been used for such an ‘evil’ scene. He didn’t like thoughts of rape coming into people’s minds when they heard it play.
  • Leya Qwest from Anchorage, AkThe next and last instrumental hit of Alpert's was "Route 101." Released in 1982, it surfaced and remained in the top 40 of Billboard's 100 chart for months. Not a mega-smash like "Rise," yet it did keep Herb in the the consciousness of jazz trumpet admirers during the early 80's.
  • Michael from Wakefield, Ma"Rise" ran over seven minutes in its full version; the mix played on radio omits the third and fourth verses and the bridge, and shortens the outro by nearly a minute.
  • Jay from Geneva, CheezlandSampled by Notorious B.I.G. for "Hypnotize" from his "Life after Death" album (1997).
  • Charles from Charlotte, NcThe followup single (released in the summer of 1980)was an instrumental titled 'Beyond". It ran more than 6 minutes and was not as popular as "Rise".
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