When I Need You
"When I Need You" is a popular song written by Albert Hammond and Carole Bayer Sager. Its first appearance was as the title track of Hammond's 1976 album When I Need You. Leo Sayer's version, produced by Richard Perry, was a massive hit worldwide, reaching number 1 on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in February 1977 after three of his earlier singles had stalled at number 2. It also reached number 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 for a single week in May 1977; and the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks. Billboard ranked it as the No. 24 song of 1977. Sayer performed it on the second show of the third season of The Muppet Show.
The melody of the "hook" line, or chorus of "When I Need You" is identical to the part of the Leonard Cohen song "Famous Blue Raincoat", where the lyrics are as follows: "Jane came by with a lock of your hair, she said that you gave it to her that night, that you planned to go clear." The melody of these lyrics matches the lyrics of "When I Need You" as follows: "(When I) need you, I just close my eyes and I'm with you, and all that I so want to give you, is only a heart beat away."
In a 2006 interview with the Globe & Mail Cohen said:
I once had that nicking happen with Leo Sayer. Do you remember that song 'When I Need You'?" Cohen sings the chorus of Sayer's number one hit from 1977, then segues into 'And Jane came by with a lock of your hair', a lyric from 'Famous Blue Raincoat'. 'Somebody sued them on my behalf … and they did settle', even though, he laughs, 'they hired a musicologist, who said, that particular motif was in the public domain and, in fact, could be traced back as far as Schubert.
The same melody can be heard in Elton John's "Little Jeannie" in the lyrics: "Stepped into my life from a bad dream / Making the life that I had seem / Suddenly shiny and new"
Rod Stewart version
Rod Stewart recorded the song for his 1996 ballad compilation album If We Fall in Love Tonight. This version was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and was released as the second single from the album, though it did not chart in the US or UK.
Celine Dion version
After Dion finished her Falling into You Tour in June 1997, she began to record her next English album. Dion and her manager and husband René Angélil wanted to include few cover versions on it. David Foster came up with the idea of recording Leo Sayer's hit "When I Need You." The song, recorded at Paramount Studios and Chartmaker Studios, was produced by Foster and included on Dion's Let's Talk About Love album, released on November 15, 1997. Dion performed this song during the Let's Talk About Love avec Julie Snyder Canadian TV show in late 1997.
After a string of successful singles like "My Heart Will Go On" and "Immortality," Sony Music Entertainment decided to release "When I Need You" as a promotional single in Brazil (September 1998). Two previous singles were very successful in Brazil. However, with no music video and no promotion "When I Need You" failed to repeat the success of Dion's earlier songs.
Authors of "When I Need You" worked with Dion also on several other songs. Albert Hammond wrote "Just Walk Away", included on The Colour of My Love album (1993) and Carole Bayer Sager wrote "The Prayer", which became a part of These Are Special Times (1998).
EW editor David Browne wrote: "an obligatory remake (a precisely enunciated version of Leo Sayer's When I Need You)". The New York Observer editor Jonathan Bernstein: "A sliver of redemption is found in the passable version of Leo Sayer’s “When I Need You”".
Formats and track listings
Brazilian promotional CD single
- "When I Need You" – 4:12
Cliff Richard version
Format and track listings
- "When I Need You"
- "My Pretty One"
- "Never Let Go"
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 336–7. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of #1 Hits, 5th Edition (Billboard Publications)
- Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
- Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1977
- "This page is available to GlobePlus subscribers". Theglobeandmail.com. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
- Glatzer, Jenna (2005). Céline Dion: For Keeps. Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 0-7407-5559-5.
- Browne, David (1997-11-21). "White Noise". EW.com. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
- Bernstein, Jonathan. "Celine Dion: Is She Cool? Someday, Maybe, but Not Now". Observer. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
- "The Official Cliff Richard website: News". Cliffrichard.org. 2013-04-20. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
"Don't Cry for Me Argentina" by Julie Covington
|UK Singles Chart number one single
(Leo Sayer version)
February 19, 1977 (3 weeks)
| Succeeded by|
"Chanson D'Amour" by The Manhattan Transfer
"Right Time of the Night" by Jennifer Warnes
|Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single (Leo Sayer version)
April 23, 1977
| Succeeded by|
"Hello Stranger" by Yvonne Elliman
"Hotel California" by The Eagles
|Billboard Hot 100 number one single
(Leo Sayer version)
May 14, 1977 (one week)
| Succeeded by|
"Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder