Too Little Too Late
|"Too Little Too Late"|
|Single by JoJo|
|from the album The High Road|
|B-side||"Get It Poppin'"|
|Released||July 24, 2006 (North America)
November 6, 2006 (UK, Ireland)
|Format||CD single, digital download|
(Los Angeles, California)
Sony Music Studios
(New York City, New York)
|Label||Da Family, Blackground, Universal Motown|
|Writer(s)||Billy Steinberg, Josh Alexander, Ruth-Anne Cunningham|
|Producer(s)||Josh Alexander, Vincent Herbert, Billy Steinberg|
|JoJo singles chronology|
"Too Little Too Late" is a song by American recording artist JoJo. It was written by Billy Steinberg, Josh Alexander, and Ruth-Anne Cunningham for JoJo's second studio album The High Road. It was co-produced by Alexander, Vincent Herbert, and Billy Steinberg. "Too Little Too Late" was released as the album's first single in North America on August 15, 2006 and in the UK on January 15, 2007. "Too Little Too Late" broke the record for the biggest jump into the top three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, moving from number 66 to number three in one week; this record was previously held by Mariah Carey, whose single "Loverboy" rose from number 60 to number two in August 2001. However, the record was ultimately broken by Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You", which jumped from number 97 to number one on the issue dated February 7, 2009. It remains JoJo's biggest hit single in the US to date, and her only one to reach the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100.
"Too Little Too Late" was written by Josh Alexander, who composed the music in the verse and chorus. Billy Steinberg and Ruth-Anne Cunningham worked on the lyrics and the melody for the bridge. The beginnings of "Too Little Too Late" trace back to Universal Records Executive VP of A&R Bruce Carbon, who placed a publishers ad in a trade journal saying that JoJo was looking for songs to be on her latest album. Billy Steinberg and Josh Alexander sent their demo (sung by co-writer Ruth-Anne Cunningham) to Bruce's office in New York City, who then arranged a meeting between Josh, Billy, and Vincent Herbert at Blackground Records. Herbert agreed to co-produce it with Billy and Josh in September 2005.
Lyrically, the song is about disappointment and getting over your first love, according to JoJo. Radio Disney played this song on their station but had to edit one short part of the song from "Come with me, stay the night" to "Come with me, stay awhile".
The company Wavegroup did a cover of the song for the game Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore.
The song is in 4/4 time but can be analyzed as 9/8 alternating with 7/8. It is based around a 22-note rhythmic motif that can be broken down into three sets of triplets plus a half measure and another group of three and two, or 123-123-123-12-123-12 (3/8 + 3/8 + 3/8 + 2/8 + 5/8). It may be counted as 1-1-and-2 2-1-and-2 3-1-and-2 4-1-and 1-1-and-2 2-1-and. This device gives the song a push-pull feel which makes the beat seem like it is both falling behind and being rushed. The most recognizable change in meter occurs in the middle of the song before the scream where the upbeat is emphasized on "it's just too little, too late", which could be considered one bar of 3/8 (it's just too) and 5/8 (little too late). As far as vocal range the song expands from E3 (what do you expect to me to say/because to you, it's just a game/and now you wanna communicate), to several C#5's at the chorus, two F#5's after the bridge, all in full voice. In head voice a few C#6's and an E6 at the end of the song, totalizing 3 octaves of vocal range.
Promotion and release
The single was leaked to the Internet on June 29, 2006, having been buzzed about since December 2005. JoJo first performed the single on August 15 during the Miss Teen USA broadcast. She has also performed it on TRL, The Today Show, The Tonight Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The View, CD USA, The Megan Mullally Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, Sessions@AOL, and Music Choice.
The single was released to iTunes on September 12, 2006. Numerous mixes have been produced since the track's release in July 2006. Notable mentions are Full Phat, Josh Harris, and Raul Rincon. A remix of this song is featured on the dance video game Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party. A Spanish version of the song was released on select non-US editions of The High Road.
The track received mainly positive reviews. Bill Lamb from About.com praised the track calling it "One of the best byproducts of TV talent shows like American Idol", and "She could sing then, and she's just getting better with age as amply demonstrated on 'Too Little Too Late'." Matt Collar of Allmusic also gave the song a positive review, saying "Jojo is an assured and likeable performer who can somehow embody the yin-yang persona of a suburban cheerleader slinging hip-hop attitude, as she does in the video for the ridiculously overwrought and utterly addictive lead-off single, 'Too Little Too Late'."
Alex Macpherson from The Guardian gave the song a positive review, saying "JoJo is, however, at her best when compulsively dissecting emotional situations straight out of high-school movies via the medium of big, heartfelt choruses: the wonderfully weepy pinnacle comes with the bleak resignation of 'Too Little Too Late'." Evan Sawdey from PopMatters gave the song a mixed review, while the album as a whole got a negative one. "Certainly, the lead single 'Too Little Too Late' is appropriately melodramatic, covering the exact same ground that 'Leave (Get Out)' covered but without the angry chorus (if it ain't broke ...). It's something that Alanis Morissette might have recorded for her last I'm-no-longer-angry-and-therefore-am-content-with-plain-ballads album. As repackaged as it is, it actually has something that the rest of the album is sorely lacking: personality."
"Too Little Too Late" initially debuted at number 13 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles the week of August 19, 2006, topping the chart the week after. The following week, it jumped to the Billboard Hot 100 at number 90. By its fifth week, "Too Little Too Late" moved from number 66 to number three, making it one of the biggest jumps in Billboard history, especially for a top three entry. It is her first, and so far, only single to make it to the top ten and the top three of the Hot 100 chart. The single has sold 821,000 digital downloads as of March 2007.
In the UK, the single entered the UK Singles Chart at number 22 based on downloads alone two weeks before its physical CD release. This is because from 2007, the UK has changed charting rules and downloaded singles can enter the UK Singles Chart at any time. When the song was released to physical CD, it went up the chart to number four, its peak position. This made it JoJo's second top five and third top ten single in the UK. The song also reached number one on the UK iTunes Top 100 Songs on January 10. With "Too Little Too Late" having spent six weeks in the top ten, and 11 weeks in the top 40, it has been named her most successful single in the UK, although "Leave (Get Out)" peaked at number two. The song also managed to stay in the top 75 until late April.
The music video was directed by Chris Robinson for HSI Productions represented by Robin Frank Management. It was filmed between May 19 and 23. Originally, a contest sponsored by JoJo's label and street team would've allowed a fan onto the set of the video to interview her personally on May 19 in Los Angeles but was cancelled at the last minute. JoJo gave fans a sneak peek of the video on June 3 in a short behind the scenes segment on CD USA.
On June 11, pictures from the set of the first scenes from the video leaked onto Wireimage.com. Robin Williams and his daughter Zelda appeared in the photos and in footage featured in the "Lights, Camera, Action (Behind the Scenes of the Video Shoot)" section on the Target exclusive The High Road bonus DVD. The full video can be accessed in "Visual Imagery (JoJo Videos)" on the DVD. The world premiere of "Too Little Too Late" was on July 17 on AOL Music's First View.
The video was given a soccer theme because it was shot during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, not because she broke up with soccer star Freddy Adu as many believed at the time. On her MySpace, JoJo said she wanted to use the video to expose soccer to an audience who may be unfamiliar with the sport. UCLA Bruins men's team players Sean Alvarado, Greg Folk, Maxwell Griffin, Damon James, James Jaramillo, Jason Leopoldo, Edwige Ligonde, Mikey Meschures, Kyle Nakazawa, Eric Reed, Sal Zizzo, and former goalkeeper Eric Conner were involved in the video shoot. Initially, everyone was told by their coaches that they were needed for a Lindsay Lohan project. Lead male actor Mike Zaher (who was 20 when the video was shot) commented that he would've earned over $8,000 for the three day shoot, but due to NCAA regulations, him and his teammates' status as non-professional athletes prohibited them from accepting any charges for their work in order to stay eligible for the next season. Shooting took place on location at East Los Angeles College's Weingart Stadium for the soccer game scenes as well as at Universal Studios' Universal CityWalk and a house off Interstate 10.
The video starts with an acting sequence in which JoJo confronts her boyfriend David, played by junior defender Mike Zaher, after she spots him at a frat party flirting with another girl, with a drink in his hand. In the dramatic opening scene, JoJo is very upset. The couple talk and David finally invites JoJo to an important soccer game for his team. As the video progresses, JoJo sings next to the window in her room. She walks around the room looking at photos, reminiscing about the time they spent together and how generally ungrateful he was. These shots are intercut with David playing at the important soccer game. In the video's finale, rain begins to pour on the game. We see JoJo taking down photographs of the couple and picking up a stuffed animal that David had bought her in happier times. She takes it outside and throws it in the garbage can. It is raining, proving that this is the same moment as the game and she has chosen not to attend. David's team is down one goal with 2:14 seconds remaining in the second half. As he makes the shot for the home team, JoJo sings in the rain. He is not quick enough, failing to score the tying goal and the game ends, suggesting that JoJo's absence from the game has had an unfavourable effect on his performance. The video ends with the camera zooming out and panning away from JoJo's window as the rain subsides. Noticeable in the video is a poster for the Rockcorps Boost Mobile concert at Radio City Music Hall on September 24, 2005, an ad for Q-Tip's single "For the Nasty", and the book "Riding on a Blue Note: Jazz and American Pop" by Gary Giddins, which she is reading on top of the car at the game. The fountain in front of the Universal City Hard Rock Cafe is also visible. The video for "Too Little Too Late" premiered in the UK on October 14, 2006 on The Box's Kopooka Hot. "Too Little Too Late" was released on CD on January 15, 2007, in the UK. The song was added to Radio 1's playlist, under the C-list on November 29, 2006, and was upgraded to the B-list at a later date. The video premiered on teen network The N on November 17, 2006 at 7:55 p.m. EST.
- UK and Australian CD single
- "Too Little Too Late" (Album Version) – 3:39
- "Get It Poppin'" – 3:41
- European CD maxi single
- "Too Little Too Late" – 3:47
- "Too Little Too Late" (Full Phatt Remix featuring Tah Mac) – 4:24
- "Too Little Too Late" (Full Phatt Remix) – 3:53
- "Too Little Too Late" (Instrumental) – 3:47
- "Too Little Too Late" (Video) – 4:04
- Album Version – 3:41
- Full Phatt Remix – 3:53
- Full Phatt Remix featuring Tah Mac – 4:24
- No Puedes Volver (Spanish Version) – 3:41
- Sarkhan (English & Spanish Mix)
- Josh Harris Radio Mix – 3:55
- Josh Harris Club Mix – 7:19
- Josh Harris Dub – 7:34
- Raul Rincon Vocal Version – 7:44
- Raul Rincon Dub Version – 7:44
- Raul Rincon Late Nite Dub Version – 7:44
- DJ Rufato's Anthem Mix - 11:41
- Lead and background vocals: JoJo
- Vocal arrangement: Ruth-Anne Cunningham and JoJo
- Engineers: Josh Alexander, Paul Foley
- Mixing: Dave Russell
- Assistant engineer: Katia Lewin
- chartsingles.net - Single Schedule
- Cohen, Jonathan (September 21, 2006). "All Timberlake, All The Time On Billboard Charts". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved June 19, 2009.
- Pietroluongo, Silvio; Cohen, Jonathan (January 29, 2009). "Kelly Clarkson Breaks Record For Hot 100 Jump". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved June 19, 2009.
- Billy Steinberg Talks About His Hit
- Daniel Rossen - Too Little Too Late (JoJo Cover)
- JoJo – Too Little Too Late
- JoJo, The High Road
- Caulfield, Keith (March 9, 2007). "Ask Billboard: End of the 'Road'?". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved June 1, 2007.
- UCLA Soccer Team Plays A New Part
- Picked Out Of Crowd, Player Makes Music Video Appearance
- "Australian-charts.com – JoJo – Too Little Too Late". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
- "JoJo – Too Little Too Late – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Ultratop.be – JoJo – Too Little Too Late" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 200705 into search.
- "JoJo – Too Little Too Late Hitlisten.nu" (in Danish). Tracklisten.
- "JoJo Album & Song Chart History" European Hot 100 for JoJo.
- "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ – Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
- "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
- "Italiancharts.com – JoJo – Too Little Too Late". Top Digital Download.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – JoJo – Too Little Too Late" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
- "Charts.org.nz – JoJo – Too Little Too Late". Top 40 Singles.
- "Swedishcharts.com – JoJo – Too Little Too Late". Singles Top 60.
- "JoJo – Too Little Too Late – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "JoJo" UK Singles Chart.
- "JoJo – Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2007 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved October 2, 2008.
- "Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
- "2006 Year End Charts – Hot 100 Songs". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 100 Singles 2007". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
- "UK Year-End Charts 2007". The Official Charts Company. ChartsPlus. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Ads Test Payola Case Settlement (The New York Times)
- Video shoot photos from WireImage
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics