I Think We're Alone Now

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"I Think We're Alone Now"
Single by Tommy James and the Shondells
from the album I Think We're Alone Now
B-side "Gone, Gone, Gone"
Released January 5, 1967
Format 7" single
Recorded 1966
Genre Power pop
Length 2:08
Label Roulette
Writer(s) Ritchie Cordell
Producer(s) Ritchie Cordell
Tommy James and the Shondells singles chronology
"It's Only Love"
(1966)
"I Think We're Alone Now"
(1967)
"Mirage"
(1967)

"I Think We're Alone Now" is a song written by Ritchie Cordell. It was initially a 1967 hit for the American recording artists Tommy James and the Shondells, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has since been covered several times by other artists. The 1987 recording by Tiffany reached #1 on the charts of various countries including the U.S., U.K., Canada, and New Zealand. Other cover versions have also charted, including those by The Rubinoos (#45 US, 1977) and Girls Aloud (#4 UK, 2006).

Original version by Tommy James and the Shondells[edit]

"I Think We're Alone Now" was a 1967 hit for Tommy James and the Shondells, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 during a 17-week stay. The recording was produced by Ritchie Cordell and Bo Gentry.

Rock critic Lester Bangs called the single "the bubblegum apotheosis".

"I Think We're Alone Now" stands out as one of Tommy James' most successful recordings and was sampled in a scene in the 1980s slasher film Mother's Day.

Like a lot of early Tommy James and the Shondells releases, only band members Tommy James and Eddie Gray were featured on the record (the rest of the band provided background vocals). Studio musicians were used as the rest of the rhythm section to back up the Shondells. These musicians include Artie Butler playing Ondioline electric keyboard, Al Gorgoni on guitar, Joe Macho on bass, and Bobby Gregg on drums.

Cordell wrote or co-wrote many songs for James, including the follow-up single "Mirage" and its B-side "Run, Run, Baby, Run", and 1968's "Mony Mony".

Lene Lovich version[edit]

"I Think We're Alone Now"
Single by Lene Lovich
from the album Stateless
B-side "Lucky Number"
Released July 1978
Format 7" single
Recorded 1978
Genre New wave
Length 2:45
Label Stiff
Writer(s) Ritchie Cordell
Producer(s) Les Chappell
Lene Lovich singles chronology
"I Think We're Alone Now"
(1978)
"Lucky Number"
(1979)

In 1978, American singer Lene Lovich covered the song. It was originally released with her hit song "Lucky Number" as a B-side. Lovich recorded the song after contacting the radio presenter Charlie Gillett, who helped her get signed by Dave Robinson of Stiff Records. Robinson liked the record and immediately proposed it to be released as a single. However, her song "Lucky Number" gained more attention, was later re-released as a lead single and peaked at number 3 on the UK Singles Chart.

"I Think We're Alone Now" appeared on her debut album Stateless (1978) and she would later record the song in other languages, including German and Japanese.[1]

Track listings and formats[edit]

  • 7" single (UK)[2]
  1. "I Think We're Alone Now" – 2:45
  2. "Lucky Number" – 2:20




Tiffany version[edit]

"I Think We're Alone Now"
Single by Tiffany
from the album Tiffany
B-side "No Rules"
Released August 1987
Format 7" single, 12" single, CD single
Recorded 1987
Genre Synthpop, pop rock, teen pop, bubblegum pop
Length 3:47
Label MCA Records
Writer(s) Ritchie Cordell
Producer(s) George Tobin
Tiffany singles chronology
"Danny"
(1987)
"I Think We're Alone Now"
(1987)
"Could've Been"
(1988)
Music video
"Tiffany - I Think We're Alone Now" on YouTube

The song was re-popularized when American singer Tiffany covered the song for her first album Tiffany (1987). Tiffany's version of the song spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (and was unusually followed on the top spot by another Tommy James & the Shondells cover, "Mony Mony" by Billy Idol) and three weeks at #1 on the UK Singles Chart. The video was shot in a shopping mall in Ogden, Utah, which echoed the way her early career had been promoted. Elements of the video were filmed in the now demolished Bullring Centre in Birmingham, UK.

When George Tobin, Tiffany's manager, gave Tiffany the cassette of the original version by Tommy James & the Shondells, Tiffany hated the idea of recording a version of her own for her album mostly because she thought the song was neither modern enough nor hip enough. It turned out to be her biggest hit once she recorded it.

"I Think We're Alone Now" was not the first single from Tiffany's debut album. The first single was "Danny," but radio started picking up "I Think We're Alone Now," another selection on the album. It became a runaway #1 hit and was the eighteenth highest selling single for 1987[3] and the thirty-second highest selling single in Australia for 1988.[4]

This version is referenced in the alternative group Weezer's song "Heart Songs" on the band's 2008 Red Album, but in the song it is mentioned that it was sung by Debbie Gibson, another teen idol who was around at the same time as Tiffany. When Rivers Cuomo wrote the song, he had noticed the oversight on his part and that he knew that the song was recorded by Tiffany, but he left the part in the song where he mentions Debbie Gibson singing the song. (As of late August 2013, Gibson was not known to have recorded any of her own versions of the selection.)

In 1990, the song was featured in the Philippine Basketball Association's All-Star practices and courtesy of Vintage Sports.[5]

The video was featured in the 2012 film Ted and the song was also on the soundtrack.

Track listings and formats[edit]

7"/CD single
  1. "I Think We're Alone Now" – 3:47
  2. "No Rules" – 4:05
12" vinyl single
  1. "I Think We're Alone Now" (extended version) – 6:35
  2. "I Think We're Alone Now" (single version) – 4:25
  3. "I Think We're Alone Now" (dub version) – 6:35

Charts[edit]

Chart (1987-88)[6] Peak
position
Australia (ARIA) 46
Australia (Kent Music Report) 13
Austrian Singles Chart 24
Canadian Singles chart 1
Dutch Singles Chart 2
French Singles Chart 9
German Singles Chart 14
Irish Singles Chart 1
Italian singles Chart 5
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
Norwegian Singles Chart 3
South African Singles Chart 1
Swiss Singles Chart 10
UK Singles Chart 1
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 7
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play 26
Preceded by
"Heaven Is a Place on Earth" by Belinda Carlisle
UK number one single (Tiffany version)
January 24, 1988
Succeeded by
"I Should Be So Lucky" by Kylie Minogue
Preceded by
"Bad" by Michael Jackson
Billboard Hot 100 number one single (Tiffany version)
November 7, 1987 - November 14, 1987
Succeeded by
"Mony Mony" by Billy Idol

Snuff version[edit]

"I Think We're Alone Now"
Single by Snuff
Released August 12, 1998
Format CD single, 7" single
Recorded 1997
Genre Hardcore punk
Length 1:50
Label Fat Wreck Chords
Writer(s) Ritchie Cordell
Producer(s) Snuff
Snuff singles chronology
"Sweet Days"
(1998)
"I Think We're Alone Now"
(1998)
"(Don't Fear) The Reaper"
(1998)

In 1989, Snuff covered the song for their first album "Snuff said". In 1998, Snuff covered the song for the compilation album Punk Chartbusters Vol 3. Unlike the original, this version is very punk-heavy. In addition to the original length of the song that was released, many different length versions of the song exist: there is such an extended version with a length from 6:36 minutes, a 3:00 minutes long remix, and an a capella version, which contains a length from 5:50 minutes. On the B-side of the song is the single Christmas song.

Track listings and formats[edit]

7"
  1. "I Think We're Alone Now" – 1:50
  2. "Christmas song" – :05
CD single
  1. "I Think We're Alone Now" – 1:50
  2. "I Think We're Alone Now" (extended version) – 6:36
  3. "I Think We're Alone Now" (remix) – 3:00
  4. "I Think We're Alone Now" (a capella version) – 5:50


Girls Aloud version[edit]

"I Think We're Alone Now"
Single by Girls Aloud
from the album The Sound of Girls Aloud
B-side
Released 18 December 2006
Format
  • CD single
  • digital download
Recorded 2006
Genre Dance-pop
Length 3:42 (single mix/version)
3:18 (album version)
Label Fascination
Writer(s) Ritchie Cordell
Producer(s) Xenomania
Girls Aloud singles chronology
"Something Kinda Ooooh"
(2006)
"I Think We're Alone Now"
(2006)
"Walk This Way"
(2007)
Music video
"I Think We're Alone Now" on YouTube

In 2006, the British all-female pop group Girls Aloud covered "I Think We're Alone Now" for their greatest hits album The Sound of Girls Aloud and the soundtrack of It's a Boy Girl Thing. Girls Aloud's version was produced by Brian Higgins and his production team Xenomania. The song was recorded just days before the group's greatest hits was sent to be manufactured. Following a single remix, "I Think We're Alone Now" was released as a contender for the Christmas number one. It reached the top five on the UK Singles Chart.

The music video, inspired by heist films, features Girls Aloud robbing a Las Vegas casino. "I Think We're Alone Now" was promoted through various live appearances and was featured on 2007's The Sound of Girls Aloud: The Greatest Hits Tour. The track was criticised and labelled "pointless" by contemporary music critics.

Background and release[edit]

Until three days before the greatest hits was manufactured, a cover of Irene Cara's "What A Feeling" was going to be in place of "I Think We're Alone Now".[7] Girls Aloud had called their record label on a Friday afternoon to say they'd rather record "I Think We're Alone Now"—the group recorded the song the following morning and the album was mastered on Monday, three days afterwards.[7] The album version was drastically reworked for the single release, due to the initial version being hasilty recorded. Higgins said that "Xenomania used the only idea they could think of, which was to make the song sound like 'Something Kinda Ooooh'".[7] Sarah Harding said, "We’ve given it a Girls Aloud twist, made it a bit clubbier, and also brought it up to date."[8] The single features an alternative vocal arrangement and an entirely new backing track. Later pressings of the greatest hits include the single version of "I Think We're Alone Now".

The song was released on 18 December 2006. It was available on two CD single formats and as a digital download. The first disc included a previously unreleased track entitled "Why Do It?", co-written by Girls Aloud.[9] The second CD format features a number of remixes, as well as a cover of the Christmas classic "Jingle Bell Rock". Girls Aloud's cover of "Jingle Bell Rock" was originally featured on the Christmas bonus disc that came with the limited edition of 2005's Chemistry.[10] The artwork for the second disc features Girls Aloud draped over a Fender guitar amplifier.

Girls Aloud's version of "I Think We're Alone Now" appears on the soundtrack to the film It's a Boy Girl Thing (2006), starring Samaire Armstrong and Kevin Zegers.[11] The film was produced by Elton John's partner David Furnish.[11]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Girls Aloud's cover of the song was widely slated by music critics. It was called "cheap, obnoxious, totally pointless and, destined to be loved only by people too out of their heads on Christmas spirit to know any better."[12] Adam Burling of musicOMH exclaimed, "Christmas does funny things to people. Even pop groups as reliably excellent at singles as Girls Aloud toss out pointless, lazy covers in a ruthless attempt to snare that coveted seasonal chart-topper from the X-Factor's clutches."[13] A BBC Music review of The Sound of Girls Aloud chose to "ignore the Xmas party cover".[14] Yahoo! Music stated "the karaoke rendition[s] of [...] Tiffany's 'I Think We're Alone Now' really drag this collection down".[15] On the other hand, John Murphy of musicOMH said the cover "actually does the impossible by making Tiffany's version sound good".[16]

Chart performance[edit]

The single debuted at #50 on the UK Singles Chart a week prior to its physical release, due to download sales.[17] The following week, "I Think We're Alone Now" peaked at #4 on the Christmas chart, being beaten by Leona Lewis' "A Moment Like This".[18] The song slipped to #7 in its second week.[19] It spent a total of seven weeks in the top 75.[20] The song also peaked at #11 on the Irish Singles Chart and spent six weeks in Ireland's top 50.[21] As their 17th best selling single it has sold a total of 85,000 copies.

Music video[edit]

The video, directed by Alex Hemming and Nick Collett, is based on films like Ocean's 11 and Casino.[7][22] During the video, the group attempt to rob a Las Vegas casino.[22]

Three different endings to the video were shot. The first shows the girls getting caught and tied up after opening a box full of money in the casino's safe; the second features Kimberley Walsh (with her back to the camera) removing her clothes in front of casino owners, causing them to faint; and the third features the girls playing with the money. 3 customers were allowed to vote on their favourite ending from November 8 to November 15, 2006.[23] The latter ending won the vote, despite the version with Kimberley stripping being uploaded to the internet.[24] Since March 2007, all versions of the video have been made available to download on iTunes (UK Store only).[25]

Live performances[edit]

The band performed the song at the following events:

Track listings and formats[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "I Think We're Alone Now".

Credits and personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Other cover versions[edit]

The song has been covered by a number of artists including The Killers, The Turtles, Wind - lead vocals by Tony Orlando, The Monkees, Trust Company, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, The Spinto Band, Pascal featuring Karen Parry, Butt Funnel, The Click Five, Bel's Boys, The Birthday Massacre, Comadre, The Pipettes, RatCat, Screeching Weasel, The Crimea, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, The Sadness (alternately titled "Tiffany") and Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship.

A Spanish adaptation "Ahora Estoy Solo" has been recorded by several Mexican (Los Hitters) and Spanish groups.

A Japanese adaptation "Futari no Sekai" (ふたりの世界) was recorded by (Yōko Nagayama) on her album Tokyo Menu (トーキョー・メニュー).

The Tiffany version of the song was spoofed by "Weird Al" Yankovic on his 1988 album, Even Worse, as "I Think I'm a Clone Now".

Dave Garr, who wrote a good deal of song parodies about computers, covered this as "I Think We're a Clone Now". The parody dealt with the licensing of the Macintosh from Apple Computer to other companies during the short period in which Macintosh clones were made. The video was recorded in 1995 at Apple's headquarters and features the building and its landmarks of the day, references to former Apple CEOs Mike Spindler and John Sculley, and some vintage Macintosh computers including a Macintosh Classic and an Apple Lisa.

Also, as part of RadioShack's new "TheShack" commercial campaign, one commercial features a man in an office cubicle with headphones on singing part of the bridge and chorus in a falsetto range to Tiffany's version.

Swedish group Cosmo4 covered Tiffany's version of "I Think We're Alone Now" for their debut album "Around The World" as requested by the Russian record label Style Records. Despite the album having been shelved, the song was released to the compilation Dance 2008, Vol. 2 in Thailand by the record label Red Beat in 2008.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Juneau, Jason. "Innovation in New Wave:Lene Lovich", Perfect Sound Forever, September, 2001.
  2. ^ I Think We're Alone Now (UK 7-inch Single liner notes). Lene Lovich. Stiff Records. 1978. BUY 32. 
  3. ^ "The Top 100 Pop Singles of 1987". 80sxchange.com. Retrieved June 4, 2007.
  4. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1988". ARIACharts. Retrieved June 4, 2007.
  5. ^ PBA All-Stars and PBL All-Stars Scrimmage (1990)
  6. ^ Tiffany chart positions:
  7. ^ a b c d Robinson, Peter (2009). "I Think We're Alone Now". The Singles Boxset (Booklet). Girls Aloud. London, England: Fascination Records. pp. 32–33. 
  8. ^ Jacqui Swift (2006-12-22). "Girls are loud and proud". The Sun. News International. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  9. ^ "Girls Aloud - I Think We're Alone Now (CD, Single, CD1)". Discogs. Zink Media Inc. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  10. ^ "Girls Aloud - Chemistry (CD, Album + CD, Bon)". Discogs. Zink Media Inc. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  11. ^ a b "Elton's heart's meltin' at Xmas". The Sun. News International. 2006-12-20. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  12. ^ "Girls Aloud, I Think We're Alone Now". Western Mail. Trinity Mirror. 2006-12-20. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  13. ^ Adam Burling (2006-12-09). "Girls Aloud - I Think We're Alone Now (Polydor)". musicOMH. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  14. ^ Talia Kraines (2006-11-14). "Girls Aloud The Sound of Girls Aloud: the Greatest Hits Review". BBC Music. BBC. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  15. ^ Adam Webb (2006-11-02). "Girls Aloud - The Sound Of Girls Aloud". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo!. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  16. ^ John Murphy (2006-10-03). "Girls Aloud - The Sound Of: The Greatest Hits (Polydor)". musicOMH. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  17. ^ "I Think We're Alone Now". ChartStats.com. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  18. ^ "X Factor's Leona has festive No 1". BBC News. BBC. 2006-12-25. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  19. ^ "Archive Chart - 6th January 2007". The Official UK Charts Company. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  20. ^ "Girls Aloud". The Official UK Charts Company. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  21. ^ "I Think We're Alone Now". aCharts.us. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  22. ^ a b "Girls have Christmas all tied up". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. 2006-11-08. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  23. ^ "Girls Aloud are in pole position". The Sun. News International. 2006-11-08. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  24. ^ Kim's Aloud to keep kit on in video, Sunday Mail
  25. ^ "Download Girls Aloud Music on iTunes". Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  26. ^ "Chart Track: Week 51, 2006". Irish Singles Chart.
  27. ^ "Archive Chart: 2006-12-31" UK Singles Chart.

External links[edit]