The song received positive critical appreciation, with reviewers listing it as one of the highlights from Born This Way. After the release of the parent album, "Yoü and I" charted in Canada, United Kingdom and the United States, due to digital downloads from the parent album. Season ten American Idol contestant Haley Reinhart performed "Yoü and I" in May 2011 prior to its release, earning positive reviews. Her studio recording was released to the iTunes Store as a single, and appeared on the compilation album, American Idol Top 5 Season 10. The accompanying music video for "Yoü and I" was released on August 16, 2011. "Yoü and I" was written by Lady Gaga and produced by Gaga and Robert John "Mutt" Lange, and was one of the first songs previewed from the album. Gaga said that the song was written in New York, while she was busy playing her old piano.
Lady Gaga "You and I" Song
The singer had first played "Yoü and I" at Elton John's White Tie and Tiara Ball in June 2010. She said that the song was bit of a "rock-and-roll tune", predicting that it may not be released as a single from Born This Way, but that it will remain "very dear" to her heart. Footage of the performance appeared on the Internet soon after, and positive response encouraged Lady Gaga to perform the song during the first concert of the North American leg of The Monster Ball Tour in Montreal. Gaga told MSNBC's Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry that "'Yoü and I' was written about the most important person that I ever met." Although Gaga did not confirm who that person is, People revealed it to be Lüc Carl, her former boyfriend she had made amends with. They clarified that "Yoü and I" talked about how they had got back together in their relationship.
"Yoü and I" has rock music and country music influences, and samples "We Will Rock You" (1977) by British rock band Queen; their guitarist Brian May is also featured on the track. It was recorded by Tom Ware and Horace Ward at the Warehouse Productions Studio in Omaha, Nebraska, and Allertwon Hill in the United Kingdom, respectively. Along with May, Justin Shirley Smith also played guitars, while Gene Grimaldi did the mastering of the track. Additional recording and programming were done by Olle Romo. Before production credits were announced in April 2011, Gaga had teased that "someone legendary" would be producing the track. Gaga, a Queen fan, and took her stage name after their song "Radio Ga Ga", admitted to "[falling] to the floor crying and laughing" when she found out that May agreed to the collaboration. Lange requested that Gaga record a "rough lead vocal" for the track while she was touring.
Gaga later recalled: "I had about 30 cigarettes and a couple of glasses of Jameson and just put on a click track and sang my face off, thinking we'd redo the vocals." However, Lange was satisfied with Gaga's recording and it was used as the final recorded vocals for the track. Ware recalled that the song was recorded the night after Gaga's March 17, 2011, concert for The Monster Ball Tour. Gaga welcomed his opinions and encouraged his input, which according to him, helped make the four-hour session the best working experience he has had with a celebrity. "She was flattering toward the studio — and Omaha, too, for that matter. She is a bright young lady with remarkable music instincts who charts her own path," he added. The music video for "Yoü and I" was filmed in Springfield, Nebraska.
In the video, Gaga walks from New York City to Nebraska to get her boyfriend back. According to Gaga: "I'm walking with no luggage and no nothing and it's just me and my ankles are bleeding a little bit and there's grass stuck in my shoes and I've got this outfit on and it's real sort of New York clothing and I'm sprinting... And the [video is about the] idea that when you're away from someone you love, it's torture," she continued. "I knew I wanted the video to be about me sprinting back and walking hundreds of thousands of miles to get him back." The music video was announced to be released alongside the 1,000th message posted by Gaga on her Twitter account. Gaga confirmed to MTV News that the video is set to premiere August 18, 2011 on MTV at 7:49 ET. However, Gaga posted three tweets which, together, read "FUCK THURS DAY", before posting her thousandth Twitter message, including the link to the music video, which was uploaded onto Gaga's YouTube channel two days prior to the scheduled television premiere. The video features Lady Gaga's two alter egos: Jo Calderone, Gaga's male ego, and Yuyi, a mermaid.
Prior to the release of Born This Way, season ten American Idol contestant Haley Reinhart sang "Yoü and I" as one of two performances for the "Songs from Now and Then" episode. It was requested by Jimmy Iovine, head of Gaga's record label and Reinhart received Gaga's permission prior to the performance. Reviews of Reinhart's performance were mostly positive. Len Melisurgo from The Star-Ledger considered the selection to be risky, since the song had not been released, but accepted that Reinhart "sounded amazing" by hitting "some really high notes". Brian Mansfield from USA Today described Reinhart's performance as an "old-fashioned dance-hall groove, kind of like a mid-'70s Elton John number. It's perfectly suited to that slippery growl that such a distinctive component of Haley's style. By the end of the song, she turns it into a gospel-style rocker, and she takes it to the house." Mansfield also noted that the American Idol judges—Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler—reacted positively to it. On the contrary, Jim Farber from New York Daily News considered the choice as risky and was thankful when Reinhart performed a more familiar song for her second round. On May 5, 2011, Reinhart's studio recording of "Yoü and I" was released as a digital single to the iTunes Store, and also appeared on the compilation album American Idol Top 5 Season 10. Mansfield, who had initial misgivings about Reinhart as a singer, complimented her studio recording of the track, feeling that if Reinhart could "get another 10 songs this good when it comes time to cut the record, then all my initial misgivings about this girl will vanish into thin air."