Gin Blossoms' guitarist Jesse Valenzuela would recall writing the song with Marshall Crenshaw in a hotel in Austin, Texas where the Gin Blossoms and Crenshaw were both participating in South by Southwest. According to Crenshaw "Jesse Valenzuela had started the music and asked me to help him finish it. We didn't know each other but he sought me out...The verse melody is from me - I helped him figure out how to do the ending, the fade. [Gin Blossoms frontman] Robin Wilson wrote the lyrics, and I didn't even meet him until after I'd already heard the record on the radio."
Mitchell Leib, co-executive producer of the Empire Records soundtrack, would recall: "[With] so many other alternative [music] soundtracks out there, we had a tough time finding [a strong lead] single. I was chasing the Gin Blossoms for a while: [the groups's label] A&M was interested, but they didn't want to lend them to us." Regency Enterprises, producers of the Empire Records film, had a distribution pact with Warner Bros and the film's soundtrack was originally attached to the Warner Bros affiliate Atlantic Records: Leib - "The only way to get [the Gin Blossoms] was to move [the soundtrack] to A&M."
Billboard magazine called the single "the closest thing to a perfect pop song to hit radio in recent memory," and commented on its "breezy and wonderfully infectious melody, the boy-needs-girl lyrics, and the earnest execution."
The first track is called the LP Version, saying it was "taken from the forthcoming A&M CD Congratulations I'm Sorry." By the time it was released, "Til I Hear It from You" was not included on the album in North America, only on the international editions (UK, Europe, Australia) the song is added as the last track.
America remade "Til I Hear It From You" for their 2012 release Back Pages a cover album that according to group member Gerry Beckley comprises "killer songs that are great examples that come from our best songwriters. In the case of the Gin Blossoms [cover], it just so happens that Marshall [Crenshaw] co-wrote the song. I think the song stands on its own, and I love their version of it." It was Gerry Beckley who suggested "Til I Hear It From You" for the Back Pages project to his group co-member Dewey Bunnell who previously was unfamiliar with the song. "Til I Hear It From You" is one of three songs from Back Pages which America has added to its regular live set list - the others being "Time of the Season" and "Woodstock".