‘The Young and the Restless’ Was Referenced on a Mary J. Blige Album
The Young and the Restless Premiered in 1973 and has since become one of the most famous soap operas of all time. At one point, it had such a big impact on American culture that Mary J. Blige even sampled its theme music on a single.
What song does ‘The Young and the Restless’ use in its intro sequence?
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Since its premiere, Y&R has used the instrumental song “Nadia’s Theme” in its intro sequence.
“Nadia’s Theme” was composed by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin Jr. in 1971 for the movie Bless the Beast and Children. At the time, it was known as “Cotton’s Dream.”
Not long after, Botkin Jr. composed another version of “Cotton’s Dream” for Y&R.
The song became known as “Nadia’s Theme” in 1976 when it was used during a montage of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci’s performances at that year’s Summer Olympics. The montage appeared on the ABC show Wide World of Sports and made many viewers interested in the song. The track was then released as a single called “Nadia’s Theme” and peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100.
How the song ended up as part of a Mary J. Blige single
In 2001, “Nadia’s Theme” was incorporated into Mary J. Blige’s single “No More Drama.”
One of the songwriters for “No More Drama” is Jimmy Jam, who is a huge fan of daytime soap operas.
“I’m a big soap opera fan, and I always wanted to do something using The Young and the Restless theme,” Jam told Rolling Stone in 2015. “We figured Mary was at a point in her life that she knew about drama and it was a song lyrically she could sing. We wrote all the lyrics, but always with the intention that she would rewrite it to make it personal to her. When we went to New York, she listened to it and said: ‘You been following me around with a spy or something? This is exactly what I’m feeling. I’m not changing a thing on this one.’”
He added, “It was her album’s title track and a very pivotal single for her because it was her declaration after all these records and all these years of abuse and sadness. She’s putting her foot down and saying ‘No more drama.’ And ironically doing it to a soap opera theme with a hip-hop beat.”
The lyrics also include the phrase “young and restless,” which is a clear reference to the famous soap opera.
How Perry Botkin Jr. reacted to Mary J. Blige’s song
Botkin Jr. had not heard of Blige before “No More Drama.” According to an Entertainment Weekly article in 2002, the late composer did not follow pop music. He only found out about his song of his being sampled because somebody told him, “Hey, your song is on MTV!”
“I woke up one morning and I’m on the cutting edge of R&B,” he said.
However, the article reported that he was “delighted” to be credited on “No More Drama.”