When I'm with You

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"When I'm with You"
Single by Sheriff
from the album Sheriff
Released 1983
1988
Format 45 record, cassette single, 7" single
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:58
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Arnold Lanni
Producer(s) Stacy Haydon
Sheriff singles chronology
"You Remind Me"
(1983)
"When I'm with You"
(1983)

"When I'm with You"
(re-release)
(1988)

"When I'm with You" is a power ballad by Canadian arena rock band Sheriff. A top ten hit in Canada in 1983, it hit number one in the United States in 1989, four years after the band separated.

The song first appeared on Sheriff's self-titled debut album (the group's only album, to date), released in 1982. It was released as a single but failed to make a big impression on the charts at the time.

After the success of "When I'm with You" several years later, Freddy Curci (lead vocalist) and Steve DeMarchi (lead guitarist) tried to put Sheriff back together, but the other band members would not release permission for use of the band name. Consequently, Curci and DeMarchi formed the band Alias, which would have a hit in 1990 with the power ballad "More Than Words Can Say".

Freddy Curci is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for holding the longest note in a pop song, timed and submitted by a Houston university, at the ending line of "When I'm with You."[citation needed]

This song is also notable that it was one of the few #1 hits not to have a promotional video during the MTV era.

Composition and inspiration[edit]

Sheriff's keyboardist Arnold Lanni wrote the song after meeting Valeri Brown and falling in love with her. 'I sat down, put my coffee on the piano, tinkled some ivories, and four minutes later 80 percent of the song was written. On Valentine's Day I played the song for Valerie and said, "I don't have anything, this is all I can give you right now. It's yours." Valeri loved the song; two years later she married me.'[1]

Lanni also played the song to his bandmates in Sheriff. "The band really liked it, so we started playing it live. That was one of the last songs we recorded when we did the record. The producer said, 'Is there anything else?' I said, 'There's this song we play, it's kind of a wimpy song.' So we played it for him and he said 'Yeah, that's kind of nice.'"[citation needed]

Chart performance[edit]

"When I'm with You" was originally released as the third single off Sheriff's debut album. The song reached #8 on the RPM charts in the band's native Canada, where it was their biggest hit. In the US, it entered the Hot 100 on May 14, 1983, and peaked at #61 four weeks later. Sometime thereafter, disappointed and frustrated by their continued lack of international success, the band broke up.[citation needed]

In 1988, a disc jockey in Rome, New York began playing the song, and local radio stations followed suit. This encouraged Capitol Records to re-release the song as a single. On February 4, 1989, "When I'm with You" hit number one in the United States. According to legend, lead vocalist Freddy Curci was working as a pizza delivery boy when he was informed that the song had reached number one.[citation needed]

By that time, former Sheriff members Lanni and bassist Wolf Hassell had formed a duo named Frozen Ghost, and declined to re-form the group. Sheriff's lead vocalist Freddy Curci and guitarist Steve DeMarchi subsequently formed the band Alias and charted the following year with the number-two hit "More Than Words Can Say".

Charts[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
position
Canadian Singles Chart 8
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 61
Chart (1989) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 1[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Billboard Magazine interview of Arnold Lanni by Fred Bronson.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 220. 
  • Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6.
  • "Billboard". Billboard Hot 100 airplay and sales charts. Retrieved June 11, 2006.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Two Hearts" by Phil Collins
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
February 4, 1989
Succeeded by
"Straight Up" by Paula Abdul
Preceded by
"Holding On" by Steve Winwood
Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks number-one single
February 4, 1989
Succeeded by
"The Living Years" by Mike + The Mechanics