Featuring: Paul McCoy
"Bring Me to Life" is a song by American rock band Evanescence, released as the first single from their debut album, Fallen. At the 2004 Grammy Awards the song was honored with the award for Best Hard Rock Performance. It features guest vocals from Paul McCoy, lead vocalist of 12 Stones.
When the single was released, the track order of Fallen had not yet been finalized; although the single states the B-side "Farther Away" is the album version, it was eventually dropped from Fallen. The Bliss Mix of "Bring Me to Life", another B-side on the single, is the original version of the song before Paul McCoy's vocals were written for the Daredevil soundtrack.
Different versions of the "Bring Me to Life" single have been released, such as promos, DVDs and versions with altered track orders. A well known version, considered to be a collector's item, is the first pressing of the Australian single. On this version, the fourth track was not the video version of "Bring Me to Life", but another B-side titled "Missing". This track was removed in subsequent pressings, and was eventually released with Anywhere but Home.
There are two other demo versions of "Bring Me to Life" known to exist, both having been leaked onto the Internet. Both are often referred to as an 'acoustic version'; however, neither are available on any album; instead they can occasionally be found through websites or peer-to-peer networks. Both versions are similar in composition, with only a few differences—such as Amy Lee's voice being warped in the intro to one—setting them apart. The song itself is mainly made up of electric guitar and assorted digital sound effects. Neither of the demos feature the vocals of Paul McCoy. This original cut of the song lacks the piano in the intro, and features a guitar solo during the breakdown.
During live performances featuring "Bring Me to Life", McCoy's lines were sung by former Evanescence guitarist John LeCompt.
"Bring Me to Life" was placed at #73 on Billboard's Best of the 2000s Rock Songs list, making it the only song by a female-fronted band to be included.
Frontwoman, Amy Lee, became inspired to write the song after an incident that occurred while she was sitting in a restaurant. "I was inspired to write it when someone said something to me — I didn't know him, and I thought he might be clairvoyant," says Lee from a tour stop in Tulsa. "I was in a relationship and I was completely unhappy. But I was hiding it. I was being completely abused and I was trying to cover it up; I wouldn't even admit it to myself. So then I had spoken maybe 10 or 15 words to this guy, who was a friend of a friend. We were waiting for everyone else to show up, and we went into a restaurant and got a table. And he looked at me and said, 'Are you happy?' And I felt my heart leap, and I was like, he totally knows what I'm thinking. And I lied, I said I was fine. Anyway, he's not really clairvoyant. But he is a sociology major."
Lee has also stated the previous in an VH1 interview:
"VH1: What's the song about ("Bring Me to Life")?
Lee: Open-mindedness. It's about waking up to all the things you've been missing for so long. One day someone said something that made my heart race for a second and I realized that for months I'd been numb, just going through the motions of life." — Amy Lee, VH1 News
In an interview titled "Amy Lee: Back In Black", she said she wrote "Bring Me to Life" about her long time friend Josh, to whom she is now married.
The song initially topped Christian rock charts, partly because its lyrics were interpreted by some as a call for new life in Jesus Christ (the lyrics contain some decidedly biblical imagery). John Tesh covered the single for his worship album A Deeper Faith II.
"Bring Me to Life" was Evanescence's first international hit. In the United States, the song topped out at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, in addition to topping the Modern Rock Tracks chart for two weeks, and reaching #11 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks. In the UK, the song debuted at the top of the charts, and remained there for four weeks. In Australia, the song topped the charts for six straight weeks. Elsewhere, the song was a top-ten hit in virtually every country in the world, becoming Evanescence's biggest hit overall.