Jon Bellion Covers Legendary Switchfoot Track “Meant To Live”
After Switchfoot Re-Records The Beautiful Letdown Album, Bellion Covers Iconic Song At Abbey Road
Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman released a letter, announcing that the seminal song “Meant To Live” had been covered by Jon Bellion and was ready to hear. You can see the joy in his letter below.
Switchfoot rolls thru Nashville again in September, playing through the Beautiful Letdown album in front of an already SOLD OUT Ryman Auditorium.
Years ago Jon Bellion mentioned Switchfoot in a tweet as an inspiration for a song he was working on. I hit Bellion back to tell him that I’ve loved his stuff for years. Since then we’ve stayed in touch, texting from time to time.
Fast forward to this year- when we started re-recording The Beautiful Letdown; we had a lot of friends reach out with stories about how that album had impacted their lives- one of those friends was Bellion. He had this wild idea of recreating “Meant to Live”, his own version – using just his voice and strings.
So he and John Metcalfe (Peter Gabriel, Blur, Coldplay) recorded “Meant To Live” entirely with orchestral strings — recorded at Abbey Road Studios… yes THE Abbey Road, and then Bellion sang over it and what they created is stunning.
My brother Tim and I wished we could be there for the session but because of touring, we instead had to settle for joining the session via Zoom. Every now and then, John Metcalfe would lean into the Zoom feed and ask my brother or me if we heard anything that needed addressing. I would wipe a tear from my eye and try to sound composed and professional- and then go back to losing myself in the moment. I was listening to a song that was transcending anything I had ever dreamed it would be.
We were halfway around the world, on tour in Perth, when we first heard the demo. I will never forget that moment, thinking to myself – “I cannot wait for the rest of the world to hear this song.”
I wrote “Meant To Live” on a loaner guitar, on a borrowed couch, in a tear-down, rented house. At the time, I had just dropped out of college and I was living on borrowed time, chasing down a dream that didn’t seem to make any sense. Hearing Abbey Road strings playing a John Metcalfe arrangement with Bellion’s voice singing those lyrics was sublime. The moment felt like an arrival. Like a graduation, (maybe the graduation that this college dropout never got!). It’s like I’m hearing the song for the first time, and I wonder who wrote it, and where music even comes from — Bellion and I were talking about it the other day, how this version of the song truly illuminates the lyrics in a new way.
I hope this song greets you like you like an old friend. I hope this song gives you a deep breath. Maybe your heart rate slows, you close your eyes, and you’re reminded of a bigger story.
Much love to all of y’all. around the world, thanks for singing along