"Young Hearts Run Free" was written by its producer David Crawford. According to Staton, the song's genesis was a conversation she had with Crawford over lunch in Los Angeles: Staton – "Dave Crawford was always asking me: 'What's happening in your life'...and I was [then] with someone I shouldn't have been with and it was hard getting out of that...very abusive relationship"..."I [noticed] that [Crawford] was taking notes, and he said, 'You know, I’m gonna write you a song. I’m gonna write you a song that's gonna last forever.'"
Released in 1976 from the album of the same title, it spent a week at number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart. It also peaked at number twenty on theBillboard Hot 100 singles chart. Along with the tracks "Run to Me" and "Destiny," "Young Hearts Run Free" went to number eight on the dance/disco charts."Young Hearts Run Free" was one of only two songs by Staton to reach the top 10 on the UK Singles Chart, it peaked at number two behind The Real Thing's "You to Me Are Everything." The 1976 single releases had "I Know" on the B-side.
|U.S. BillboardHot 100||20|
|U.S. BillboardHot Soul Singles||1|
|UK Singles Chart||2|
In 1997 Kym Mazelle's cover from Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet reached #20 in the UK. American singer Gloria Estefan covered the song in 2005 for the series Desperate Housewives on the Music from and Inspired by Desperate Housewives album. UK singer Sonia included a version on her 1993 album Better the Devil You Know. The Swell Season did a version of the song for Levi's Pioneer Sessions 2010 Revival Recordings. Jully Black also did a cover of the song. This song was almost covered by Mikalah Gordon on the fourth installment of American Idol. German singer Lian Ross recorded this song in 2009, and it was a number 1 radio-hit in Spain; then she re-recorded and featured this one on her album "I Got The Beat" (2013). In 2008, the song was also featured in the soundtrack for Grand Theft Auto IV on the in-game radio station K109 The Studio.