Need You Now (song)

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This article is about the Lady Antebellum song. For other songs with the same title, see Need You Now (disambiguation).
"Need You Now"
Single by Lady Antebellum
from the album Need You Now
Released August 24, 2009 (2009-08-24)
Format Digital download
Genre Country pop
Length 3:56
Label Capitol Nashville
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
Lady Antebellum singles chronology
"I Run to You"
(2009)
"Need You Now"
(2009)
"American Honey"
(2010)

"Need You Now" is a country pop song performed by American country music trio Lady Antebellum. The band co-wrote the song with Josh Kear, and produced it with Paul Worley. It serves as the lead-off single and title track to their second studio album, Need You Now, which was released on January 26, 2010.[1] The song was their debut single in the UK and Europe and was released on April 26, 2010.[2] It won four Grammy Awards in 2011, including for Song of the Year and Record of the Year, the first country song to win both honors since "Not Ready to Make Nice" by the Dixie Chicks won both in 2006, and only the second ever.

The song spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in late 2009.[3][4] Thereafter, "Need You Now" crossed over onto various pop and adult contemporary music charts, becoming a top five hit in Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand, as well as a top ten hit in the Netherlands and Norway. The song won Single of the Year and Song of the Year at the 2010 Academy of Country Music Awards,[5] as well as Group Video of the Year at the 2010 CMT Music Awards.[6] For the chart week of March 30, 2010, the song became the group's highest charting single on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 2,[7] the best position for a country song on that chart since Taylor Swift's "Today Was a Fairytale" reached the same position the previous month.[8] The single has been certified sextuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[9]

A music video was shot for the song, directed by Dave McClister. In the video the song has an extended piano intro, and features all members of the group acting out scenes related to the storyline.[10] The song was initially released only to the country radio format in the United States and Canada on August 24, 2009,[1] but was remixed and re-released to all other formats domestically and internationally at the beginning of 2010. The song gained prominence internationally, in Europe and South America. The trio re-recorded the song again in Simlish to accompany the release of the Sims 3 expansion pack Ambitions.[11] By April 17, 2011, the song became the 9th most downloaded song in history, moving 5,000,000 copies, and surpassed Taylor Swift's "Love Story" as the most downloaded country song in history.[12][13] It has since sold over 6 million copies in the US.[14]

The song was used in television series such as Hellcats and The Glades. "Need You Now" has also been covered by several artists, including Adele with Darius Rucker, Boyce Avenue and Glee Cast. "Weird Al" Yankovic included the chorus in "Polka Face", the polka medley from his 2011 album Alpocalypse.

Content[edit]

The lyrics describe placing a call to someone in the middle of the night due to being lonely and longing for companionship. Hillary Scott commented on the song, saying that "All three of us know what it's like to get to that point where you feel lonely enough that you make a late night phone call that you very well could regret the next day." Charles Kelley told The Boot that the band's record executives initially had concerns regarding using the lyrics "I'm a little drunk", but convinced the executives to leave the content in the song.[15]

Reception[edit]

"Need You Now" has received positive reviews from music critics. It won the 2011 Grammy award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The song received a "thumbs up" review from Jim Malec of the 9513. He said that although Charles Kelley's voice had a "surprisingly stuffy tone," lead singer Hillary Scott's voice fit perfectly for "dark" songs like "Need You Now." He said that both singers had a rawness in their voices that made the song feel "real".[16] It also received a positive review from Ken Tucker of Billboard, who said, "the song finds alto Scott trading lead vocals with a soulful Kelley, and it will connect with anyone who's ever dumped a significant other and regretted it in the early morning hours."[17] Bobby Peacock of Roughstock gave a positive review as well, comparing its sound favorably to that of "I Run to You." He also thought the traded-off lead vocals gave the song "more depth," and that Kelley and Scott sang more strongly than on the debut album.[18]

Critics in Europe and North America have pointed to similarities between the song and "Eye in the Sky" by The Alan Parsons Project in 1982. Hillary Scott responded saying that she "had never even heard of him".[19][20][21]

Chart performance[edit]

A 27-second sample of Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now." The song is a country ballad.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

The song became the trio's second Number One hit on the Hot Country Songs chart for the chart dated November 28, 2009,[3] where it stayed for five weeks,[4] making it the first song to hold the number 1 position for more than four weeks since Taylor Swift's "Our Song" spent six weeks at number 1 between December 2007 and January 2008.[22] In the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the song peaked at number 2 and stayed there for two weeks, making it their highest charting single on that chart and their first Top 5. On the Canadian Hot 100, it peaked at number 2, making it their highest charting and first top five single there as well. It is only the second country song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart, the first being Faith Hill's "Breathe", which reached the top position in year 2000.[23] For the Billboard tracking period of March 29-April 4, 2010, "Need You Now" broke the record held by Hoobastank's hit "The Reason" for most spins in one week on the Adult Top 40 chart.[23] The song debuted at 28 on the UK Singles Chart in its first week of release. It was covered in a live performance for Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee concert in June 2012 by singer Cheryl Cole which saw the song re-enter the UK Charts.[24] Over a month later it climbed to 15, its highest UK chart position and after 53 weeks in the chart.[25]

On December 9, 2010, the song was named the number 2 Hot 100 song of the year by Billboard, behind "Tik Tok" by Kesha. This marks the highest position a country song has ever reached since Faith Hill's "Breathe" was ranked number 1 in the year-end chart of the year 2000.[26]

In April 2011, Need You Now replaced Taylor Swift's "Love Story" as the best-selling country song of all time in the USA.[27] It is also the second country song to sell over 5,000,000 digital copies (after Swift's "Love Story").[28] It has sold over 6.1 million copies by June 2013, the first country song to do so.[14] As of October 2013, it had sold over 6,231,000 units in the US.[29]

Due to the band winning four Grammys, Need You Now debuted at No. 32 on the German Singles Chart in February 2011, 10 months after the digital release of the single. Before that happened, the song did not sell enough to enter the chart.[30][31]

Music video[edit]

A still from the music video showing Hillary Scott singing while leaning out of a taxi.

David McClister directed the "Need You Now" music video, using a treatment he wrote in 10 minutes.[32]

The video features all three members of Lady Antebellum acting out scenes pertaining to the storyline. It begins in a hallway of a hotel where Kelley is sitting against a wall and Scott is in her room, with Haywood playing the piano. Kelley goes to a cafe and has a drink, where Haywood arrives with his love interest. Scott then leaves her room and hails a taxi. Kelley leaves the cafe and goes outside to walk to a costume ball, to which Scott is also traveling. When they arrive at the ball, they both see their love interests wearing masks and embrace them. Haywood soon arrives at the ball with his love interest. The video ends with all three members embracing their love interests.[10] The video was filmed at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto, Ontario.[33]

Of the changes between the song and its music video, one of the most noted is Kelley drinking coffee instead of whiskey, since the song states the character is intoxicated. In response, McClister admitted he simply did not want the video to be a literal adaptation of the song, as he felt sitting in a diner in the middle of the night was lonelier.[32]

Cover versions and media usage[edit]

The song is featured in the first episode of Hellcats.[34] and it also appeared in episode 12 of The Glades. In December 2010, Adele and Darius Rucker performed the song at the CMT Artists of the Year.[35][36] Boyce Avenue made a cover of the song which appears on their New Acoustic Sessions, released in December 2010.[37] Rachel Berry and Puck (portrayed by Lea Michele and Mark Salling respectively) covered it in a Glee episode called "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle".[38] The song was featured in the 2012 film Zero Dark Thirty. "Weird Al" Yankovic included the chorus in "Polka Face", the polka medley from his 2011 album Alpocalypse.

Tracklist[edit]

Digital Download
  1. "Need You Now" - 3:57
Other Versions
  • "Need You Now" (Jason Nevins Elektrotek Radio Edit) - 3:27
  • "Need You Now" (Jason Nevins Hands Up Radio Edit) - 3:27
  • "Need You Now" (Jason Nevins Rhythm Remix) - 3:29
  • "Need You Now" (DJ Dark Intensity Remix) - 4:22

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Result
2010 Academy of Country Music Single Record of the Year[5] Won
Song of the Year[5] Won
Video of the Year[39] Nominated
CMT Music Awards Group Video of the Year[6] Won
Video of the Year[6] Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Music: Country Song[40] Nominated
Country Music Association Awards Single of the Year[41] Won
Music Video of the Year[41] Nominated
American Country Awards Single of the Year[42] Won
Single by a Duo/Group[42] Won
Music Video of the Year[42] Nominated
Video by Duo/Group[42] Won
2011 Grammy Awards Record of the Year[43] Won
Song of the Year[43] Won
Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals[43] Won
Best Country Song[43] Won

Credits and personnel[edit]

The following musicians perform on this track:[44]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"Cowboy Casanova" by Carrie Underwood
Billboard Hot Country Songs number-one single
November 28 – December 26, 2009
Succeeded by
"Consider Me Gone" by Reba

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label
United States[1] August 24, 2009 Capitol Nashville
Germany[86] April 23, 2010
Italy[87]
United Kingdom[88] April 30, 2010 Parlophone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Music - Singles Review - Lady Antebellum: 'Need You Now' - Digital Spy
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  4. ^ a b "Country top 10 for chart week of December 26, 2009". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  5. ^ a b c "Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood Reign at ACM Awards". CMT.com. Retrieved April 20, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c "2010 CMT Music Awards : Nominees". Country Music Television. Retrieved 2010-04-24. 
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External links[edit]