Piano in the Dark

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"Piano in the Dark"
Single by Brenda Russell
from the album Get Here
Released February 2, 1988
Format Single
Recorded 1987
Genre Soul
Length 5:20
Label A&M
Writer(s) Brenda Russell, Jeff Hull, Scott Cutler
Producer(s) Brenda Russell, Jeff Hull
Certification Gold (RIAA)

"Piano in the Dark" is a song by the American singer-songwriter Brenda Russell (featuring backing vocals by Joe Esposito). It was the first single to be taken from Russell's 1988 album, Get Here. On the 45 rpm single of the song, the title is listed as "Piano In The Dark" and also as "Cry, Just A Little" in parenthesis, which may be the complete title of the song. "Cry Just A Little" is a line that is repeated in the song's refrain portion.

Song Information

"Piano in the Dark" was released in early 1988, nine years after Russell's previous charting single on the Billboard Hot 100 (1979's "So Good, So Right"). The song gained heavy airplay and became Russell's biggest hit, peaking at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 8 on the R&B Chart1 and number 3 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. The song was also a moderate hit in the UK, peaking at 23.

The song earned Russell two Grammy Award nominations in 1989, including one for Song of the Year.


Chart (1988) Peak
UK Singles Chart 23
US Billboard Hot 100 6
US Billboard Hot R&B Songs 8
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 3

Cover versions

  • Pianist Alex Bugnon covered the song from his popular 1989 album Love Season.23
  • AMP (Alan Matthews Project) released a 1991 version of the original song with a dance beat, using Brenda Russell's vocal.
  • British actress/singer Bonnie Langford covered this song on her four track CD Limited Edition in 1996.
  • Pop\rock singer Jennifer Rush recorded a version on her 1997 album Credo.
  • Filipina pop singer Nina covered the song live on her love songs live album Nina Live! in 2005.
  • The song was covered by house music singer Shanie and remixed as a dance track by 7th Heaven.


  • DJ Sixty-9 vs. Discodrive featuring DJ Fierce sampled the chorus under the song "Rainbow".
  • The song was sampled by 2Pac & tha Outlawz for the song "U Can Be Touched," from their 1999 album, Still I Rise.
  • The song was sampled by Eve Stangello in the EDM track "Davali" in 2004.
  • In 2011, the Bingo Players released a dance mix Cry (Just a Little), which consisted entirely of a repetition of the first line from Piano in the Dark's main chorus: "I know I'm caught up in the middle, I cry just a little, When I think of letting go".
  • Bingo Players' version was also used in Flo Rida's 2012 hit I Cry.
  • Qwote sampled the song for his 2012 single featuring Pitbull "Letting Go".


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 507. 
  2. ^ "Love Season overview". Allmusic.com. 
  3. ^ "Berks Jazz Fest 2008: Alex Bugnon". SmoothVibes.com. 

External links

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