At This Moment

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"At This Moment"
Single by Billy Vera and the Beaters
from the album Billy and the Beaters
Released1981 (rerelease 1986)
RecordedJanuary 17, 1981
VenueRoxy Theatre, West Hollywood, California
GenreBlue eyed soul
LabelAlfa, Rhino
Songwriter(s)Billy Vera
Producer(s)Jeff Baxter
Billy Vera and the Beaters singles chronology
"I Can Take Care of Myself"
"At This Moment"

"At This Moment" is a song that was first recorded by Billy Vera & The Beaters in 1981 during a string of performances at the Roxy in West Hollywood (January 15–17) and featured on their self-titled live album, Billy and the Beaters, released that year on the American subsidiary of Japan's Alfa Records.

When it was originally released as a single (Alfa 7005), as the follow-up to the album's first single, "I Can Take Care of Myself"[1] (which had become the band's first Billboard Top 40 hit[2]), "At this Moment" stalled on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at #79 at the end of 1981.

Then, when the song was included on several episodes of the NBC sitcom Family Ties during the 1985-86 season as the love song associated with Alex P. Keaton (played by Michael J. Fox) and his girlfriend Ellen Reed (played by Tracy Pollan, whom Fox eventually married in real life), the exposure renewed interest in the song. Reissue label Rhino Records purchased the track from the band's original record label, Alfa (the American subsidiary of which was by then inactive), and re-released it in its original version as Rhino 74403. The tune then began a revived chart run, eventually hitting #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100[3] and Adult Contemporary charts in January 1987. The song also hit the Billboard R&B Chart and the Billboard Hot Country Chart. As the song was starting to take off it came to the attention of Ron Carpentier President of RCI Music Promotion who was hired on the promotion of the song to radio and soon after the song hit the Billboard Hot Country Chart. It quickly sold over a million copies in the United States, becoming one of the last Gold-certified singles in the 45 RPM format. The song crossed over to the R&B and Country formats, reaching #40 Country.

"At This Moment," sung by Billy Vera, had a unique beginning, as it had mediocre success after its initial release, then had second life years later. This second run of the song was much more successful and it was a number 1 hit. The origin of the second release was also unusual. The song's airtime on a hit television show caused an unintentional and unexpected fury of mystery and popularity surrounding this "mystery" song. Once the song aired on an episode of Family Ties, the song immediately ignited a fury around the nation. The next day following the introduction of the song on the show, dozens of people, who had heard the song while watching Family Ties, called into radio stations across the U.S., eager to learn the song title and singer's name. Radio stations and record company executives scrambled to make the song available as a single on the radio and for purchase for customers. The song had heavy radio play for weeks after the initial Family Ties episode that featured the song.

In an interview with Rachael Ray in 2007, Michael J. Fox good-naturedly said, "Tracy and I couldn't get on the dance floor anywhere in the world for like ten years without them playing 'What did you think...' "[4]

A cover version was recorded by country music singer Neal McCoy on his 1990 debut album, also titled At This Moment. McCoy's version was released as a single, but did not chart. Another cover version of the song appears on Michael Bublé's 2009 album, Crazy Love. The song has gone on to become a modern standard with dozens of covers, including Tom Jones, Freda Payne, Danny Boone, Arthur Prysock, Wayne Newton, blues singer Little Milton and soul singer Will Downing. Seth MacFarlane also sang the song's opening lines in the character of Brian Griffin in the Family Guy episode "Brian the Bachelor", as well as in the title character in the 2015 film, Ted 2.

Chart peaks[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 Singles 79
Chart (1987) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 Singles 1
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 1
US R&B Singles 70
US Billboard Hot Country Singles 42
Canadian RPM Top Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary 1
UK Singles Chart 32
Dutch Singles Charts 26
New Zealand Singles Charts 50


  1. ^ Billy Vera Discography @Billy Vera's Official Site Retrieved 2010-07-04.
  2. ^ Chart position for "I Can Take Care of Myself" Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  3. ^ "Billy Vera & the Beaters". Billboard.
  4. ^ "Michael J. Fox and Rachael Ray". YouTube. April 27, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2012.