Broken (Lifehouse Song)
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Broken Lifehouse Song

Single by Lifehouse
from the album Who We Are
ReleasedJuly 8, 2008
FormatDigital download
Length4:15 (New/Radio Version)
4:46 (Album Version)
Jason Wade
John Fields, Scott Faircloff
Lifehouse singles chronology
"Whatever It Takes"
"Halfway Gone"

"Broken" is a song by American alternative band Lifehouse. It is the third single released from their fourth studio album, Who We Are (2007). Lead singer Jason Wade was inspired to write the song after he visited a friend in Nashville who needed a kidney transplant. Originally released on June 18, 2007 as the fifth track on Who We Are, the song was then edited for radio to give it more of a "rock" feel. The new radio version of the song was released via digital download on July 8, 2008.

The song received positive reviews from critics, as they applauded the use of instruments in the song. The song charted at number 83 and 84 in the United States and Canada respectively, and later charted in New Zealand at number 21. The song's music video premiered on on September 16, 2008. It is set in the scene of a tunnel where Wade is walking away in the opposite direction of a car crash. Lifehouse has played "Broken" live on several occasions, including on Soundstage and at the 2011 Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands. A seven-minute extended version is often the final song in their concert setlist.

Background, release and composition

The song was written by Jason Wade, who originally finished the song in a hotel room after he visited a friend in Nashville who needed a kidney transplant.[1][2] It was produced by John Fields and Scott Faircloff.[3] In an interview with Alternative Addiction, Wade said, "Broken is the song that moves me the most. I wrote it in Nashville, about 6 months ago. I was in my hotel room at 3 AM, I was out there visiting a friend... he's really sick, he needs a kidney transplant."[4] Furthermore, he said, "That [the] song just kinda fell in my lap, and I really haven't written a song like that since 'Hanging by a Moment' where it just happened within a 15 minute time period."[4] Broken was released as the third single from the album on June 18, 2007.[5] The song was then edited for radio to give it more of a "rock" feel and was released via digital download on July 8, 2008.[6][7]

According to the sheet music published at by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the song is set in common time with a slow tempo of 69 beats per minute.[8] It is composed in the key of C major with Wade's vocal range spanning from the low-note of G3 to the high-note of G5.[8] The song has a basic chord progression of F2-Am7-F2-Am7-F2-Am7-C/G-G.[8] Alex Lai of described as a song "[that] features great string use and takes a tender tone".[9] A review from Alternative Addiction said that the song was one of the best Wade has ever written and noted "[that] the more you listen to it, the better it gets."[10]

Chart performance

In the United States, "Broken" debuted at number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of November 8, 2008.[11] It fluctuated on the chart for several weeks, before reaching its peak of 83.[12] The song debuted at number 70 on the Billboard Digital Songs chart and peaked at number 38 after being on the chart for three non-consecutive weeks.[13] On the Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart, the song debuted at number 38 for the week of August 2, 2008 and after moving around the chart for 32 consecutive weeks, the song eventually peaked at number seven.[14] The song was certified Platinum by the RIAA in January 2013.[15]

The song also charted internationally. "Broken" debuted at number 92 on the Canadian Hot 100 for the week of January 26, 2008.[11] On July 26, 2008, the song reappeared in the chart and peaked at number 84.[16] It debuted at number 40 on the New Zealand Singles Chart for the week of May 26, 2008.[17] After being on the chart for 13 consecutive weeks, the song eventually peaked at number 21.[17]


Music video

Lifehouse lead singer Jason Wade looks on the scene of a deadly car crash.

The music video for "Broken" was filmed on August 24, 2008 in Los Angeles and was directed by Kiefer Sutherland and Frank Borin.[18] It first premiered on on September 16, 2008.[19] Wade and Sutherland then appeared together on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown on September 20, 2008 to debut the music video on VH1.[19] In an interview with Ultimate Guitar, Wade described his experience with working with Sutherland by saying, "Whilst listening to the song a little while back, Kiefer came up with the video's concept. Working with him was a great experience; with all of the expressions and very moments, Kiefer was extremely hands on. With him handling direction, acting in the music video was extremely easy."[20]

The video starts with Jason Wade in the driver's seat of a car, with the other members of Lifehouse in the car with him. The traffic is at a stand still in a tunnel, as a swarm of people have abandoned their vehicles and are walking through. Wade and the band members get out of the car, and begin walking in the opposite direction of the crowd to the other side of the tunnel. Wade pushes through the people, who are in a rush to get to the entrance of the tunnel and is constantly focused on his destination to get to the end. When he reaches the tunnel's end, he sees the wreckage of a car crash with firefighters and paramedics cleaning up the mess. Wade then sees a girl observing what appears to be herself, dead inside one of the crashed car. He then looks to the left, and sees an old man observing himself, dead on the ground. As Wade looks into the other car, he sees himself, also seemingly dead. Upon this, Wade frantically runs back into the tunnel towards his car. Then he sees himself in the car with the band members, however everyone seems to be frozen as he bangs on the windows. Suddenly Wade is inside the car again, and a police officer comes to the window, motioning him to continue driving, since he is stopped in the middle of the tunnel for no apparent reason.

Live performances

Lifehouse performed "Broken" along with other songs on Nissan Live Sets on Yahoo! Music in 2007.[21] On October 15, 2007, Lifehouse performed an acoustic version of the song on VH1.[22] In January 2008, the band performed the song as part of a set list on the PBS show Soundstage.[23] The song was also performed live at the 2011 Pinkpop Festival on June 11, 2011, as part of a set list of songs at the festival.[24]

Media appearances

"Broken" was featured on General Hospital, Criminal Minds, Grey's Anatomy[25] and One Tree Hill.[26]

The song was used in the trailer for The Time Traveler's Wife.

Cover versions

Daniel Evans, a finalist on series 5 of The X Factor (UK) recorded a mellow contemporary version and was a standout track on his 2013 iTunes EP "Reflections"

In 2016, Trisha Yearwood covered the song for the soundtrack to the U.S. version of The Passion and performed the song during the live broadcast for the special. It was sung in the story where Mary, the mother of Jesus, grieves over the death of her son. Her version peaked at number 48 on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart, and number 17 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart[27]

Credits and personnel

Credits and personnel adapted from Allmusic.[28]


Chart (2008-2009) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[29] 84
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[30] 21
US Billboard Hot 100[31] 83
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[32] 7

Certifications and sales

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[15] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Broken". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "Lifehouse – Biography, Photos, News, Videos, Reviews and Tour Dates and Tickets". Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Lifehouse – Who We Are (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved .
  4. ^ a b "Lifehouse : News: Lifehouse Announces A Third Single". Geffen Records. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "Lifehouse Releases "Who We Are"". Geffen Records. Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "Lifehouse : News: "Broken" Available on iTunes". Geffen Records. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Broken (New / Radio Version – Single by Lifehouse –". Apple Inc. Retrieved .
  8. ^ a b c "Lifehouse – Broken Sheet Music (Digital Download)". Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "Who We Are Album Review". Retrieved .
  10. ^ "Review of "Who We Are" by Lifehouse". Alternative Addiction LLC. Retrieved .
  11. ^ a b "Broken – Lifehouse". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved .
  12. ^ "Lifehouse Album & Song Chart History (Billboard Hot 100)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "Lifehouse Album & Song Chart History (Digital Songs)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Lifehouse Album & Song Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved .
  15. ^ a b "American single certifications - Lifehouse - Broken". Recording Industry Association of America.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.
  16. ^ "Lifehouse Album & Song Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved .
  17. ^ a b " – Lifehouse – Broken". Hung Medien. Retrieved .
  18. ^ "Lifehouse : News: The Making of "Broken"". Geffen Records. Retrieved .
  19. ^ a b "Lifehouse : News: Music Video For "Broken" directed by Kiefer Sutherland and Frank Borin Premieres on". Geffen Records. Retrieved .
  20. ^ "Lifehouse : News: Lifehouse: 'We Want to Move Forward and Push Ourselves". Geffen Records. Retrieved .
  21. ^ "Nissan Live Sets: Lifehouse". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved .
  22. ^ unplugged.jhtml ""Broken (Unplugged)" by Lifehouse" Check |url= value (help). MTV Networks. Retrieved .
  23. ^ "Soundstage . Lifehouse . Setlist". PBS. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "PinkPop 2011". Retrieved .
  25. ^ "Grey's Anatomy: Lay Your Hands on Me". January 2008. Retrieved 2011.
  26. ^ "Music of episode 5.09 - "For Tonight You're Only Here To Know"". One Tree Hill Music. February 2008. Retrieved 2011.
  27. ^ "Trisha Yearwood Album & Song Chart History: "Christian Songs"". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2016.
  28. ^ "Who We Are – Lifehouse". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved .
  29. ^ "Lifehouse Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
  30. ^ " - Lifehouse - Broken". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
  31. ^ "Lifehouse Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
  32. ^ "Lifehouse Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-07-16.

External links

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