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"Go the Distance"
Song by Roger Bart
from the album Hercules: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
Released May 27, 1997
Recorded January 1997
Genre Pop, show tune
Length 3:14
Label Walt Disney
Composer(s) Alan Menken
Lyricist(s) David Zippel
Producer(s) Alan Menken

"Go the Distance" is a song from Disney's 1997 animated feature film, Hercules. It was written by composer Alan Menken and lyricist David Zippel, and originally recorded by American actor Roger Bart in his film role as the singing voice of Hercules. American singer-songwriter Michael Bolton recorded a pop version of the song for the film's end credits, which was also included on his 1997 album All That Matters. In the Spanish version, the song is performed by Hercules voice actor Ricky Martin, both in the movie and in the credits; this version is included on Martin's album Vuelve. Both the song and its reprise featured in a stage production of Hercules, performed upon the Disney Wonder during 2007/2008.

Production

"Go the Distance" was one of two songs written for Hercules in the film, the second being "Shooting Star", which failed to make the final cut. However, "Shooting Star" is included on the Hercules soundtrack CD, sung by Boyzone. The score for the original version of the song can be found in the Alan Menken Songbook.

Awards and chart placings

The song was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. Both awards, however, went to "My Heart Will Go On", a song by Celine Dion from Titanic, a film directed by James Cameron. "Go the Distance" peaked at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and went to #1 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, Bolton's ninth song to top this chart.

Versions

Film version

The song was recorded by American actor Roger Bart in his film role as the singing voice of Hercules.

"Go the Distance" is performed in the film by Hercules (age 15) who possesses god-like strength and finds it increasingly hard to fit in with his peers. The song serves as Hercules' prayer to the Gods to help him find where he truly belongs. His prayers are answered, as he is revealed to be the long-lost son of Zeus, king of the gods. Hercules is also told that he must become a true hero in order to rejoin his father on Mount Olympus. The number is later reprised when Hercules sets off on his quest to become a true hero, proclaiming that he wants to "go the distance" in order to prove himself.

Credits and personnel

  • Michael Bolton – lead vocals
  • Walter Afanasieff – keyboards, synth bass
  • Dan Shea – additional keyboards, computer programming
  • David Gleeson – Synclavier programming
  • Michael Landau – guitar
  • Tim Pierce – guitar
  • John Robinson – drums
  • Jeremy Lubbock – orchestra arrangement and conductor
  • Jesse Levy – orchestra contractor
  • Sandy Griffith – backing vocals
  • Claytoven Richardson – backing vocals
  • Jeanie Tracy – backing vocals

Charts

Chart (1997) Peak
position
Billboard Hot 100 24

Ricky Martin version

Ricky Martin recorded a Spanish-language version of "Go the Distance" from Hercules soundtrack, called "No Importa la Distancia" (English: "No Matter the Distance"). It was released as a single on July 1, 1997. Later, it was included on Martin's 1998 album Vuelve. A music video was also released. The song reached number ten on the Latin Pop Songs in the United States.

Charts

Chart (1997) Peak
position
US Latin Pop Airplay (Billboard) 10
Formats and track listings

European CD single

  1. "No Importa la Distancia" performed by Ricky Martin – 4:51
  2. "Já Não Há Distancia" performed by Ricky Martin – 4:45

European CD maxi-single

  1. "No Importa la Distancia" performed by Ricky Martin – 4:51
  2. "Já Não Há Distancia" performed by Ricky Martin – 4:45
  3. "Go the Distance" (Cast Version) performed by Roger Bart – 3:13

We Love Disney

The song was covered in different languages for the series We Love Disney by:

  • Harrison Craig for We Love Disney, Australia in 2014
  • Jean-Baptiste Maunier for We Love Disney, France 2 [fr] in 2014
  • Andrea Nardinocchi for We Love Disney, Italy [it] in 2015
  • David Bisbal for We Love Disney, Latin America in 2016

Other appearances

In 1998, this song was used in a tribute video to honor New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing of the NBA at Madison Square Garden minutes before Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Indiana Pacers.

In 2000, The Lettermen covered the song on their Greatest Movie Hits album.

The barbershop quartet Vocal Spectrum recorded a four-part arrangement as the last track of their 2008 album, Vocal Spectrum II.

"Go the Distance" is featured in the Triumph portion of the Happily Ever After fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

In April 2020 during COVID-19 pandemic, Disney Broadway Stars performs Go the Distance while self-isolating.

An a capella chorale arrangement of the a single chorus of the song is featured in the stage musical adaptation of the Disney Channel's Descendants franchise, sung by the "Auradonian Choir".

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