Me and Mrs. Jones

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"Me and Mrs. Jones"
MeandMrsJones45.jpg
Single by Billy Paul
from the album 360 Degrees of Billy Paul
B-side"Your Song"
Released13 September 1972[1]
Format7-inch single
Recorded1972
StudioSigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
GenreSoul
Length4:45
LabelPhiladelphia International
Songwriter(s)Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, Cary Gilbert
Producer(s)Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff
Billy Paul singles chronology
"This is Your Life"
(1972)
"Me and Mrs. Jones"
(1972)
"Am I Black Enough for You?"
(1973)

"Me and Mrs. Jones" is a 1972 soul song written by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Cary Gilbert, and originally recorded by Billy Paul. It describes an extramarital affair between a man and his lover, Mrs. Jones. In the song, the two meet in secret "every day at the same cafe", at 6:30, where they hold hands and talk. The two are caught in a quandary: "We got a thing going on/ We both know that it's wrong/but it's much too strong/to let it go now".

Billy Paul version[edit]

"Me and Mrs. Jones" was a #1 single originally performed by Billy Paul, recorded and released in 1972 on CBS Records' Philadelphia International imprint. The single, included on the album 360 Degrees of Billy Paul, was written by Cary 'Hippy' Gilbert, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, and arranged by Bobby Martin.

The single became Paul's only #1 single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, peaking at that position for three weeks in December 1972. "Me and Mrs. Jones" also achieved this feat on Billboard's R&B Singles chart, remaining at the top position for four weeks.[2] On the Hot 100, it replaced "I Am Woman" by Helen Reddy and was replaced by Carly Simon's "You're So Vain". It also hit #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart. For two weeks - 3rd-10th February 1973 - it peaked at number 12 on the UK Singles Chart.[3]

The radio edit versions were shorter, omitting the second verse, as well as shortening the coda. The video for this song features Paul playing piano in a recording session, with an unlit green cigar, accompanied by dancers.[4]

The saxaphone quotes the first seven notes of the song "Secret Love", heard in the intro and outta of the song. Both Sammy Fain, and Paul Francis Webster sued Cary Gilbert plus Gamble and Huff for quoting the song without written approval beforehand. Both Fain and Webster won the damages in a lawsuit, with half of the proceeds of the song going to Fain and Webster.

In 2009, Essence magazine included the song in their list of the "25 Best Slow Jams of All Time".[5]

Reviewing the song for Stereogum in 2019, Tom Breihan said: "It’s a finely observed song, one that never judges its characters or imagines a way out of its situation. But it’s also schmaltz. One of Gamble and Huff’s great strengths was their sense of rhythmic push; it’s what would make them so ideally suited for the early days of disco. But we don’t hear that on "Me And Mrs. Jones." Instead, it's a lush and lazy sprawl of a song. It all sounds magnificent, these guitars and pianos and saxophones all luxuriating into each other. But there's no force to it, no urgency."[6] In his obituary for Paul in The New York Times William Grimes said: "The arrangement has been described as having "A lush string arrangement and punchy horn parts complemented Mr. Paul’s velvety, husky baritone, which built from a near-whisper at the beginning of the song to a wrenching, drawn-out shout of “Me and Mrs. Jones” at climactic points.[7]

Chart history[edit]

Michael Bublé version[edit]

"Me and Mrs. Jones"
Mrs. Jones.png
Single by Michael Bublé featuring Emily Blunt
from the album Call Me Irresponsible
ReleasedSeptember 3, 2007 (2007-09-03)
FormatCD single, digital download
Recorded2007
GenreBig band
Length4:33 (album version)
Label143, Reprise
Songwriter(s)Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, Cary Gilbert
Michael Bublé featuring Emily Blunt singles chronology
"Everything"
(2007)
"Me and Mrs. Jones"
(2007)
"Lost"
(2007)

"Me and Mrs. Jones" was recorded in 2007 by Canadian-Italian crooner Michael Bublé and released as the second single from his third major-label studio album, Call Me Irresponsible. The song is a collaboration with Bublé's then-girlfriend, Emily Blunt, who appears at the end of the track to perform the final verse.

Background[edit]

Bublé's version of "Me and Mrs. Jones" was well received by critics, with Okayplayer stating; "he skillfully portrays the pain of this song’s affair and his take on the final verse could stand with anyone else’s." The single was also promoted by its performance during Bublé's AOL Sessions performances.[18] The track has also been performed at many of his concerts. Due to his break-up with then-girlfriend Emily Blunt shortly before the release of the single, the release was cancelled, the physical single pulled, and little or no promotion for the song was undertaken. Thus, "Me and Mrs. Jones" was not eligible to chart in any major music charts; however, it did chart in Switzerland due to strong downloads from the album.[19]

A short promotional music video was first broadcast on French television during April 2007. The clip alternates between scenes of Bublé performing by the window, in the dark, as it rains, used in the official music video, and scenes of a blonde woman during a day at the beach, horseback riding and watching the sunset as the clip ends.[20] The official music video was first broadcast during July 2007. It consists mainly of the scenes Bublé standing performing by the window, as seen in the French promotional clip. Some scenes show a brunette woman, representing "Mrs. Jones". Some shots from the promotional video of "Lost" were also used, particularly the ones where Bublé is sitting on a white bed. The video was directed by Sean Turrell.[21]

Track listing[edit]

  • UK CD single #1 (Withdrawn)
  1. "Me and Mrs. Jones" (Album Version) - 4:33
  2. "It's All in the Game" - 2:36
  • UK CD single #2 (Withdrawn)
  1. "Me and Mrs. Jones" (Album Version) - 4:33
  2. "Dream a Little Dream" - 3:08
  3. "Me and Mrs. Jones" (Live Version) - 4:48

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
position
Brazilian Singles Chart (ABPD)[22] 86
Swiss Music Charts[citation needed] 68

Other notable versions[edit]

In film and television[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Billy Paul - Me And Mrs. Jones" – via www.45cat.com.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 452.
  3. ^ The Guinness Book of Top 40 Charts, second edition, 1996
  4. ^ "Billy Paul. Me And Mrs Jones. Original Video". YouTube. 2008-10-05. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  5. ^ "25 Best Slow Jams of All Time".
  6. ^ "The Number Ones: Billy Paul's "Me And Mrs. Jones"". March 18, 2019.
  7. ^ Grimes, William (April 25, 2016). "Billy Paul, Singer of the Hit 'Me and Mrs. Jones,' Dies at 81" – via NYTimes.com.
  8. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (doc)|format= requires |url= (help). Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1973-02-03. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  10. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". www.flavourofnz.co.nz.
  11. ^ https://tsort.info/music/yr1973.htm
  12. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  13. ^ "Billy Paul Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  14. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 12/29/73". tropicalglen.com.
  15. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1973/Top 100 Songs of 1973". www.musicoutfitters.com.
  16. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1973". tropicalglen.com. Archived from the original on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  17. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  18. ^ "'Me and Mrs. Jones' (AOL Sessions) Video by Michael Buble - AOL Music". Music.aol.com. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
  19. ^ Steffen Hung. "Michael Bublé - Me And Mrs Jones". swisscharts.com. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
  20. ^ "Michael Buble Mrs Jones - Vidéo Dailymotion". Dailymotion.com. 2011-03-23. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
  21. ^ v16513256hyk5dFQ3 Archived July 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  23. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 172.
  24. ^ "Freddie Jackson Me & Mrs. Jones Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  25. ^ "Blessings - Taufik Batisah | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  26. ^ O'Sullivan, Charlotte (6 December 2002). "Will the Real Mrs Jones Stand Up". The Independent. London.