I Got a Name

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This article is about the album. For the song, see I Got a Name (song).
I Got a Name
Studio album by Jim Croce
Released December 1, 1973[1]
Recorded The Hit Factory, New York City
Genre Folk rock, pop
Length 30:57
Label ABC (USA)
Vertigo (UK)
Producer Terry Cashman, Tommy West
Jim Croce chronology
Life & Times
(1973)
I Got a Name
(1973)
Photographs & Memories
(1974)
Singles from I Got a Name
  1. "I Got a Name"
    Released: September 1973 (1973-09)
  2. "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" / "Salon and Saloon"
    Released: April 1974 (1974-04)
  3. "Workin' at the Car Wash Blues" / "Thursday"
    Released: June 1974 (1974-06)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[3]
Robert Christgau C+[4]

I Got a Name is the fifth and final album by American singer-songwriter Jim Croce, released on December 1, 1973.[5] It features the ballad "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song", which reached #9 in the U.S. singles chart, and the ballad "Salon and Saloon", the last song Croce recorded in his lifetime. The song was written by his guitarist Maury Muehleisen and was included on the album as a gift to the writer. The song is noted for its sparse piano only vocal backing. This would be Croce's final album recorded during his lifetime, as Croce died in a plane crash shortly before the album's title song was released, leaving wife Ingrid Croce and son Adrian J. Croce. The title track, the theme from the film The Last American Hero, was another posthumous hit for Croce, reaching #10 in the U.S. singles chart.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I Got a Name"   Charles Fox, Norman Gimbel 3:09
2. "Lover's Cross"   Jim Croce 3:04
3. "Five Short Minutes"   Jim Croce 3:29
4. "Age"   Jim Croce, Ingrid Croce 3:46
5. "Workin' at the Car Wash Blues"   Jim Croce 2:32
6. "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song"   Jim Croce 2:34
7. "Salon and Saloon"   Maury Muehleisen 2:31
8. "Thursday"   Sal Joseph 2:28
9. "Top Hat Bar and Grille"   Jim Croce 2:47
10. "Recently"   Jim Croce 2:34
11. "The Hard Way Every Time"   Jim Croce 2:29

Songwriting[edit]

Croce's wife Ingrid Croce[6] has an autobiographical cookbook, Thyme In A Bottle, in which she writes interesting anecdotes about Jim. What she wrote about "I'll Have To Say 'I Love You' in a Song" is this.

"One weekend, after being on the road for many months, Jim got a chance to come home to relax with his family. We settled in to enjoy our time alone together. Though Jim was expecting company the next day, avoiding confrontation he never told me that we were to be joined by an entire film crew! The next morning, 15 people from Acorn Productions descended upon our house to record a promotional film of Jim Croce at Home on the Farm.
"I prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole film crew and after the group left, I questioned Jim about our finances. After a year and a half of his working so very hard on the road, we were barely making ends meet, but Jim wouldn't talk about it. He hated questions as much as he hated confrontation, especially about money. He stormed out of our bedroom and went down to the kitchen table to brood. The next morning he woke me gently by singing his new song. 'Every time I tried to tell you the words just came out wrong. So I'll have to say "I love you" in a song.'"

[7]

"I Got a Name" in Film & Television[edit]

Prior to the album's release, the song "I Got a Name" (written by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel) was featured as the theme song to the 1973 film The Last American Hero (also shown on television as Hard Driver). Croce was chosen by Fox and Gimbel to sing the song after hearing Croce sing for the first time on a Croce record they had been playing. Fox thought that Croce's voice was a perfect fit for both the song and the film. Croce agreed to sing the song after hearing Fox play it over the telephone. The version of the song that appears in the film was recorded exclusively for the film. The version on the album is a totally different recording.

In 1976 the song was performed by Lena Horne on the Muppet Show.

In 1987 a version of the song was used in a commercial for Western Air Lines.

In 1997 the song appears in a scene of the Ang Lee film “The Ice Storm”.

In 2006 an edited version of "I Got a Name" was the theme song for the film Invincible starring Mark Wahlberg.

In August 2012 a Remax commercial featured Jim Croce singing the song.

In 2012 the song appeared on the soundtrack of the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained. [8]

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Producers: Terry Cashman, Tommy West

Chart positions[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Year Chart Position
1974 US Billboard 200 2
1974 Canadian RPM 100 2

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1974) Position
RPM Top 100 Albums 27[9]

Singles[10]

Year Single Chart Position
1973 "I Got a Name" Adult Contemporary 4
1973 "I Got a Name" Pop Singles 10
1974 "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" Adult Contemporary 1
1974 "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" Pop Singles 9
1974 "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" Country 68
1974 "Workin' at the Car Wash Blues" Adult Contemporary 9
1974 "Workin' at the Car Wash Blues" Pop Singles 32

Certifications[edit]

Country Certifications
United States Gold

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strong, Martin Charles & John Peel Great Rock Discography
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Rolling Stone review
  4. ^ Robert Christgau review
  5. ^ VH1 Artist Discography entry at http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/croce_jim/373780/album.jhtml
  6. ^ Ingrid,
  7. ^ Songfacts on "I Have to Say I Love You in a Song", Songfacts.com
  8. ^ Tracklist: "Django Unchained" Soundtrack, Complex.com
  9. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1974". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 1974-12-28. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  10. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications)