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Could've Been You

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"Could've Been You"
The image of a middle aged woman up to her legs. The image is in black and white. She is wearing a baby-doll dress and got a black curly wig. Below her breast, the word CHER is written in red, while top left, the words Could've Been You are written in black.
Cher's UK 7" single cover
Single by Cher
from the album Love Hurts
  • "One Small Step (duet with Richard Page)"
  • "Love and Understanding"
ReleasedFebruary, 1992
GenrePop rock
LabelGeffen Records
Producer(s)Peter Asher
Cher singles chronology
"Love Hurts"
"Could've Been You"
"When Lovers Become Strangers"

"Could've Been You" is a rock song first performed by American rock singer Bob Halligan and later popularized by American singer-actress Cher. The song was written by Halligan and Arnie Roman for Halligan's 1991 album, Window In The Wall. Cher's cover version was produced by Peter Asher and released exclusively for the European market in early 1992 as the fourth single from Cher's twenty-first studio album, Love Hurts. Lyrically, "Could've Been You" is a message from the song's protagonist to his or her ex.

Cher's version of "Could've Been You" received positive reviews from critics and peaked at number thirty-one on the UK Singles Chart. Cher promoted the song through appearances at Top of the Pops and Aspel and Company.[1]


In 1991, Bob Halligan released his album Window In The Wall under Atco Records.[2] The only single released from the album was its lead track, "Could've Been You", which Halligan had co-written with Arnie Roman. According to Halligan, Atco Records had been going through a "political upheaval" that year and his record "was one of several recordings that was allowed to slip gently into the night".[2] Halligan "dryly notes, '["Could've Been You"] lasted three weeks at radio. It came out to the sound of one hand clapping'".[2]

Later the same year, Cher covered "Could've Been You" for her album Love Hurts. Her version was produced by Peter Asher,[3] who had previously worked with Cher on her 1991 UK number one hit "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)".[4] The B-side of the first UK 7" single release was "One Small Step", a duet with American singer-songwriter Richard Page, while the B-side of the second UK 7" single was "Love and Understanding".[5] The second UK 7" single and the Germany Maxi-single were both released with the same cover, an image of Cher in a baby doll dress, while the first UK 7" was released with the same photo cut to show only Cher's legs.[3] The whole photo was later reused for the cover of the Love Hurts tourbook.[6] The UK 12" single was the last released; its cover has a transparent vinyl and shows Cher in a long, smooth black wig.[7] In 1993, "Could've Been You" was rereleased as the B-side of Cher's "Whenever You're Near" UK 7" single.[8]

Cher promoted "Could've Been You" with a live performance on Top of the Pops on April 9, 1992,[9] six days before the beginning of her first European tour, the Love Hurts Tour in Berlin, Germany.[10] For the performance Cher wore a curly red wig and a suit with the jacket open to show a leather bra.[9] On April 11, 1992, Cher appeared on the Aspel and Company show to perform the song and be interviewed by Michael Aspel.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

"Could've Been You" received positive reviews from critics. Rock critic Jim Farber of Entertainment Weekly said of the album that "[i]t's that much more fun in numbers like 'Could've Been You', in which, seeking revenge, she gets to reach between the jerk's legs and squeeze."[11] David Wild of the Guilford County, North Carolina News & Record called "Love and Understanding", "Save Up All Your Tears" and "Could've Been You" "strong tracks" that "show that she is still an effective pop singer".[12] The review of the Worcester, Massachusetts Telegram & Gazette newspaper noted "Cher attempts to display her sexual prowess on the song, ...a great vehicle for her, an 'in-your-face' song directed to a former lover".[13]

Chart performance[edit]

The song debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number thirty-two on the week of April 18, 1992. In its second week it peaked at number thirty-one, dropping the next week to number forty-three and then to number sixty in its fourth and final week on the chart.[14] The song also entered the German Singles Chart in late May 1992, spending seven weeks on the chart and peaked at number seventy-five.[15]

Track listings[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Artwork – Kevin Reagan
  • Management – Bill Sammeth, John Kalodner
  • Photography – Herb Ritts
  • Producer – Peter Asher
  • Recorded and mixed by – Frank Wolf


Chart (1992) Peak
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[16] 73
Germany (Official German Charts)[17] 75
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[18] 31
Zimbabwe Singles Chart 12


  1. ^ a b "BFI - Film & TV Database". BFI. April 11, 1992.
  2. ^ a b c Deborah Evans Price (September 7, 1996). A Heavy Metal Songwriter Strikes Gold In Other Genres. Billboard Magazine. p. 70. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
  3. ^ a b Cher – "Could've Been You" / "One Small Step" (Geffen Records GES 19071), Retrieved 2009-11-07.
  4. ^ "allmusic ((( Mermaids > Credits )))". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2009-12-27.
  5. ^ a b c d "Could've Been You track listing". Retrieved 2009-10-21.
  6. ^ Cher – Love Hurts Tour UK Tour Book (Superb 1992 26-page), Retrieved 2009-12-27.
  7. ^ Cher – "Could've Been You" Picture Disc (Geffen Records GFSTP19), Retrieved 2009-12-27.
  8. ^ a b Martin Charles Strong, John Peel (2004). The Great Rock Discography. Canongate U.S. p. 280. ISBN 1-84195-615-5.
  9. ^ a b "Could've Been You Live". Top Of The Retrieved 2009-10-22.
  10. ^ Putti, Laura (1992-04-26). "Cher - Voce e corpo ma solo per adulti" (in Italian). Retrieved 2010-01-04.
  11. ^ Farber, Jim (1991-06-14). "Love Hurts". Entertainment Retrieved 2009-10-21.
  12. ^ Wild, David (1991-06-02). "Cole's tribute to dad earns its success". News & Record.
  13. ^ "Cher tries to rise above all this poppiness". Telegram & Gazette. 1991-06-07.
  14. ^ "Could've Been You – full Official Chart History". The Official Charts Companyaccessdate=October 15, 2016.
  15. ^ "Cher singles chart". Musicline. October 22, 2009. Archived from the original on September 5, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  16. ^ "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  17. ^ "Cher - Top Titel" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  18. ^ "Cher: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 28, 2015.

External links[edit]