When You're Gone (Avril Lavigne song)
|"When You're Gone"|
|Single by Avril Lavigne|
|from the album The Best Damn Thing|
|Released||19 June 2007
(see release history)
(Los Angeles, California);
Abbey Road Studios,
|Writer(s)||Avril Lavigne, Butch Walker|
|Avril Lavigne singles chronology|
"When You're Gone" is a song written by Franco-Canadian singer Avril Lavigne and Butch Walker. It was written for Lavigne's 2007 album, The Best Damn Thing. It was co-written and produced by Butch Walker and released as the album's second single on 19 June 2007. On YouTube, the song has generated over 100 million views.
Avril Lavigne has said the song "is about being with someone you love, and you have to say goodbye, and all the little things you miss about them". The song may have been inspired by Lavigne's then-husband, Deryck Whibley, although in an interview in Northern Ireland with The Belfast Telegraph she did not confirm this. According to her, she did not intend the song to be a love song, but she was writing a slow song and the process brought out "all that emotional stuff" in her. "It's not cheesy, because I wrote it", she said. "If I was older, a professional writer coming up with all that, that would be lame."
Billboard magazine describes the song as "a power ballad with a piano and synth introduction". Composer Rob Mathes orchestrated the song with genuine string section, although the brief opening note, before the piano came in, was on a synthesizer.
Bill Lamb of About.com gave "When You're Gone" four out of five stars saying "Avril Lavigne's biggest hit singles are anything but subtle. "When You're Gone" is a big, yearning pop ballad pulling out all the stops on its words of the pain of separation from a loved one. A moody synth chord drops into a keyboard figure followed by downbeat strummed guitar accompanying Avril's opening vocals. The musical scene is set for an emotionally cathartic singalong". Alex Nunn wrote that Avril hasn't lost her sense in ballads with this song. Stylus was mixed calling the song "turgid and humdrum," but "taken at times by an exhilarating slickness." Dave Donnely was mixed to positive: "Ballad and expected next single ‘When You’re Gone’ may be the best of the bunch, though it’s superficially like any number of pop-rock ballads, with contemplative lyrics lending the album a little bit of emotional depth. The theme, separation from a lover, is universal, and the lyrics simple: “I always needed time on my own/I never thought I’d need you there when I cried/And the days feel like years when I’m alone/And the bed where you lie is made up on your side.” PopMatters stated that this song tries to match "I'm With You" but it fails.
The video was directed by Marc Klasfeld, who is most well-known from his works of director for Sum 41's music videos. Lavigne reportedly came up with the concept for the video. The video portrays three relationships in different age groups, but in the same situation involving these relationships on the verge of being destroyed. The first relationship involves a pregnant woman whose husband is fighting in the war. The second involves an elderly man whose wife has recently died. And the third involves a teenage couple caught going out by the girl's pushy mother who forbids her to see him ever again. Lavigne said that the video is very personal. In the end, the scenes break out daylight with the teenage girl returning to the place where the duo were caught, the elderly man drinking to his wife in a graveyard, and an SMS from the pregnant woman's husband, with the text "I'm okay. I miss U". Lavigne is then seen running in a field once more until the screen fades out.
Portions of the video were filmed at California State University, Northridge's Botanic Garden. The video was premiered on MuchMusic in Canada on 6 June 2007 during the 5 pm broadcast of MuchOnDemand. While in the United States it was premiered on MTV's TRL on 21 June. It reached the No. 1 spot on both TV music channel countdowns on August.
Chart performance and promotion
Before its release as a single in the United States, "When You're Gone" reached number ninety on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number seventy-seven on the Billboard Pop 100, in the Billboard issue dated 5 May 2007. The song later re-entered the charts and peaked at numbers twenty-four and sixteen, respectively. It did well on the charts in Canada where it reached number eight. As of July 2013, "When You're Gone" sold 1,211,000 digital copies in the United States.
The single did well in European charts ending at number four of the European Hot 100. "When You're Gone" debuted at number thirty-two on UK Singles Chart, and peaked at number three. It ended the year as the 54th most purchased song in the UK. In Ireland, it reached number four. In the Continental Europe, "When You're Gone" peaked inside top twenty in countries such as Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden. However, the song was a minor hit in Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia), where it failed to reach top twenty.
The song was used in the second season finale of the MTV show The Hills, playing during the climatic "moving out" scene between former best friends Lauren and Heidi. It was also used in the series 7 finale of 2 pints of lager and a packet of crisps. Lavigne performed the song during European and Asian festivals that took part of her 2007 Promotional Tour as well as TV shows and award shows worldwide.
Charts and certifications
|United States||19 June 2007|
|Japan||20 June 2007|
|Latin America||22 June 2007|
|Belgium||29 June 2007|
|Netherlands||2 July 2007|
|Italy||6 July 2007|
|Taiwan||15 July 2007|
|Australia||28 July 2007|
|2007||Planeta Awards||Best Ballad||Won|
|Best Pop Vocal Performance||Won|
|2008||MuchMusic Video Awards||People's Choice: Favourite Canadian Artist||Won|
|Imperio Music Awards||Video of the Year||Won|
|Socan Awards||Best Pop Song||Won|
|2009||BMI Awards||Best Pop Song||Won|
|2012||VEVOCertified Awards||100.000.000 Views||Won|
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- "When You're Gone" music video
- Avril Lavigne's Official Site
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics