Home (Phillip Phillips song)
Phillips first performed the song on the season's final performance night on May 22, 2012, and then again on the finale after he was declared the winner. His recording of "Home" was released as a single on May 23, 2012 and included as a track on the compilations American Idol Season Finale - Season 11 EP and Journey to the Finale released at the same time. The song was also included on his debut album, The World from the Side of the Moon, released later in November that year.
The single debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 with a first week sales figure of 278,000 downloads. It has the biggest digital sales week for any Idol winner's coronation song, and it became the best selling of all coronation songs, as well as the best-selling song by any Idol alum. It has sold over 5 million copies in the United States.
The song was written by Drew Pearson and Greg Holden, and chosen by Jimmy Iovine as a coronation song for the eventual winner of Season 11 of American Idol, Phillip Phillips. According to Drew Pearson, it was originally intended for Greg Holden, but was submitted to Idol as a possible finale number by Pearson's publishing company, Pulse Recordings. Pearson and Holden had previously not met before but were brought together to write the song, with Holden the primary lyricist. The song was written in three hours in Pearson's studio in Burbank, California in November 2011. Originally it had only two verses, but an arrangement change was made about a month after it was written, and the second verse was repeated. Pearson cited Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire, and a few Irish bands as influences for the song. A demo was recorded, and Holden had performed the song in his tour, but he expressed no intention of releasing his recording of the song. According to Holden, the song is about a friend who was going through a very difficult time, and it was his way of reaching out and saying that "you know someone's here for you".
After the release of the song, Phillips said that while the song and its writers are "really good", "it's not really something I would write". He also revealed that he had wanted to use a song he co-wrote with his brother-in-law, "Drive Me," as the coronation song. In interviews after the finale, he said, "The song that I did tonight that supposedly is my single, it's not really my single, I told them it's not my single." He also said, "I have my own stories to tell," and added "[but] I couldn’t do my song [on the finale]; we just didn’t have enough time." Philip stated that he writes songs in the "jazz and rock alternative sound; not really rock-rock." Phillips said that "I "didn't have time to let it grow and become my own before we recorded it"." Later he said he was "starting to grow a connection" with the song, and that "I kind of sing it like me, and on the guitar I do some different strummings on some parts, so it's coming along."
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The song "Home" was well-received when it was first performed on American Idol. Phillips received a standing ovation—the only one of the night—from the judges. Randy Jackson said, "Dude, I loved the song, I love you, I loved the production, I loved the marching band--everything about that was perfect!" Jennifer Lopez said, "That was a Phillip song and there is nothing on the radio that sounds like that!" and Steven Tyler offered the opinion that, "By virtue of your vulnerability and style, you made the world your home."
Professional reviewers have praised the song unanimously, calling it one of the best American Idol coronation songs of all time. Popdust gave it a good review saying, "it runs with the necessary thematic elements needed to market someone who came from a reality competition show, while picking up more interesting styles that focus on instrumentals and arrangement in addition to vocals." American Songwriter thought that the song "has all the elements of a current hit: British folksiness, anthemic marching-band-ness, rootsy singalong", and suggested that Phillips "got lucky with a pretty good [song]".
EW Music Mix gave the song an A-, and likened it to Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes. They added, "The triumphant track is easily the coolest, most relevant song ever used as a reality TV coronation song." Vulture's blog critic also noted the song's similarity to Mumford & Sons, and that it reminded him of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros's song also called "Home". He was enthusiastic about the song and thought that "when the drumline walks out onstage...it hits a groove and becomes the first of these Idol winner songs I can actually imagine becoming a hit song." The influence of Mumford & Sons in the song led its band member Ben Lovett to wonder if they had recorded the song when he first heard it.
Spin, who titled their post "'American Idol' Shocker: Phillip Phillips' Coronation Song 'Home' Doesn't Suck", called the tune "shockingly good — especially for an Idol coronation song, which have a tendency to be horrifyingly embarrassing."
Chart and sales performance
"Home" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 10, the first time in four years a coronation single from an American Idol winner has reached the top 10. David Cook's single "The Time of My Life" debuted at No. 3 in the week ending May 25, 2008. "Home" sold 278,000 the first week, the biggest digital sales week ever for a winner's coronation song, surpassing David Cook's "Time of My Life," which had first week sales of 236,000 in 2008. It is also the second-best digital sales week ever for any "Idol" contestant, behind Kelly Clarkson's 2009 song "My Life Would Suck Without You" which sold 280,000 in its debut week.
The song was later used in the NBC women's gymnastics coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and the song re-entered the Hot 100 at 84 on August 1 on the strength of a one-night boost in sales after its first airing. The song then sold over 105,000 copies in a three-day span the next week, and totalled 228,000 for the week. It also re-entered the Top 10 and reached a new high of No. 9 in the Hot 100 chart the same week, the first song to reach the Hot 100's Top 10 in separate chart runs in a single calendar year. The following week its sales exceeded a million. The song hit No. 1 on 11 separate Billboard charts, including Rock Digital Songs, Hot Digital Songs, Hot Digital Tracks, adult alternative Triple A, Triple A Audience, Adult Top 40, and Adult Contemporary. The song reached a new peak at No. 8 in the Hot 100 chart in the week his album The World from the Side of the Moon debuted in the Billboard 200 chart in November. It climbed to No. 7 a week later, dropped to No. 8 and No. 9 in subsequent weeks in December and January, then resumed its ascent to a new peak at No. 6 in mid-January 2013. Together with increasing radioplay, it again started posting sales of more than 100,000 units per week from mid-November until late February 2013. This song reached its 5 million sales mark in the US in March 2014. As of May 2014, the song has sold 5,099,000 copies in the US.
The music video was directed by Joseph Toman and was shot over three days (July 14–16) while on the road with the American Idol tour, traveling from Denver to Salt Lake City. The video premiered on Phillip Phillips' Vevo site on August 2, 2012. Much of the video interweaves black-and-white imagery of American landscapes with footage of Phillips jamming on the tour bus. The purpose of the video, according to the director, was to "make something that felt real and show people who Phillip really is", to "give a sense of journey, both for the viewer and the star", and "the idea of feeling home, at peace, even when you can't actually be 'home.' "
In popular culture
Phillips performed this song during the 36th Annual Capitol Fourth on July 4, 2012. The song quickly became a song popularly used as backing soundtrack in films, television shows, and commercials after its release. It appeared in the trailer for the film Trouble with the Curve, the trailer for the 2014 Disneynature film Bears, as well as the ending credits of Parental Guidance. It was in a television commercial for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, played at the end of Suburgatory episode "Krampus," and was performed as a mash-up with Simon & Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound" on Glee. The song was used in a number of commercials - it was first used in a commercial for American Family Insurance in the US, then Vizio, Coldwell Banker, Mazda, and Walmart. It was also used by Tim Hortons in their advertisement for their new Tassimo T-discs in Canada, and by Vax in the United Kingdom.
On April 17, 2013, two days after the Boston Marathon bombings, the song was used in a photo montage dedicated to the first responders, as part of the pre-game ceremony before the Boston Bruins match against the Buffalo Sabres at the TD Garden, in Boston, Massachusetts. The song was also used to close out the 2014 Dinesh D'Souza film America: Imagine the World Without Her in a 3 minute sequence celebrating the values of United States.
Use in the Olympics
The song was sampled in the segment on US women gymnastics during the 2012 United States Olympic Trials, then again during the 2012 London Olympics coverage on NBC. Phillips commented "It's an honor for them to use that song, and I'm so proud of it and how well it has done." After the games, Phillips performed the song twice for members of the gold medal winning gymnastics team in Boston and New York.
Charts and certifications
|United States||May 23, 2012|
|Italy||February 15, 2013|
|United Kingdom||June 3, 2013|
- List of number-one digital songs of 2012 (U.S.)
- List of Adult Top 40 number-one singles of 2012
- List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 2013 (U.S.)
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I Love You This Big
|American Idol winner's singles
| Succeeded by|
I Am Beautiful