Time in a Bottle
|"Time in a Bottle"|
|Single by Jim Croce|
|from the album You Don't Mess Around with Jim|
|B-side||"Hard Time Losin' Man"|
|Producer(s)||Terry Cashman, Tommy West|
|Jim Croce singles chronology|
"Time in a Bottle" is a hit single by singer-songwriter Jim Croce. Croce wrote the lyrics after his wife Ingrid told him she was pregnant, in December 1970. It appeared on his 1972 ABC debut album You Don't Mess Around with Jim and was featured in the 1973 ABC made-for-television movie "She Lives!". ABC originally did not intend to release the song as a single; but when Croce was killed in a plane crash in September 1973, its lyrics, dealing with mortality and the wish to have more time, had additional resonance. The song subsequently received a large amount of airplay as an album track and demand for a single release built. When it was eventually issued as a 7", it became his second and final No. 1 hit. After the single had finished its two-week run at the top in early January 1974, the album You Don't Mess Around with Jim became No. 1 for five weeks. In 1977, "Time in a Bottle" was used as the title for a compilation album of Croce's love songs.
Production and arrangement
The arrangement features a harpsichord that producer Tommy West discovered had been left in the mixing studio:
"The night before we were going to mix, I was watching a horror movie on TV, and something must have lodged in my brain because when I walked into the studio the next day, I saw this harpsichord sitting in a corner and got an idea. A jingle company had used it on a session and in walked a couple of guys from SIR [Studio Instruments Rental] to haul it away. I asked them to take a lunch break and told Bruce to put a couple of mics on it. He was whining that it was out of tune, but I asked him to let me try something. I added two tracks of harpsichord, told the movers they could remove it, walked into Jerry's office and asked if I could borrow the electric bass that was sitting on his couch, played that on just the second verse and the outro, and that was that! Radio compression worked in our favor on that record. It made the harpsichord blend with the two guitars in an unusual way. But we thought this record would only be an album cut."
7" Single (ABC-11405)
- "Time in a Bottle" – 2:24
- "Hard Time Losin' Man" – 2:23
Charts and certifications
|United States||Gold (RIAA)|
In popular culture
- The song started receiving widespread airplay in September 1973, after it was featured over the end credits of the ABC TV movie, She Lives!, starring Desi Arnaz Jr. and Season Hubley.
- Maureen McCormick performed the song on a 1977 episode of the variety show The Brady Bunch Hour.
- This song was performed on a 1977 episode of The Muppet Show.
- The song was used in television commercials for Mateus wine in 1983.
- The song appeared in the MacGyver episode "Flame's End."
- The song's melody was mimicked in a Chinese remake used in the movie Fleet of Time featuring Faye Wong
- The song has been played on episodes of the British TV series Heartbeat when a sad event (such as a death of one of the main characters) occurs.
- The song was sung by Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) and Alan Garner (Zach Galifinakis) in an elevator in The Hangover Part II.
- The song was featured in X-Men: Days of Future Past in a slow-motion sequence showcasing the character Quicksilver.
- "Time in a Bottle" was used in The Last Man on Earth episode "Dead Man Walking", during the funeral of a minor character named Gordon (portrayed by Will Ferrell).
- The song was used for the funeral scene for Robert De Niro's deceased wife in Dirty Grandpa (2016).
- In 2016, Apple released an iPhone 6s commercial called "Timer" featuring "Time in a Bottle". The commercial also features Sesame Street's Cookie Monster interacting with Siri.
- A cover of the song was made by the singer Yungblud for the 2019 film Hobbs and Shaw.
- In 2019, the song was featured in season 8 of American Horror Story.
- Croce's group from college, the Villanova Spires, sings the song every year as homage to him.
- The song was featured in the 2019 movie Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
- Hyatt, Wesley. The Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits, Billboard Books, 1999, p. 132.
- Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 7th edition, Billboard Books, 2000, p. 159.
- Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard Book of Top Pop Albums 1955–1985, Record Research Inc., 1985, p. 88, 505.
- Eskow, Gary. "Classic Tracks: Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle"". Mix (magazine). Retrieved April 26, 2015.
- "Jim Croce – Time in a Bottle". discogs. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
- "Time in a Bottle (song by Jim Croce) ••• Music VF, US & UK hits charts". musicvf.com. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
- "Australian Top 100 Singles – Week ending 27 October 1974". rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
- "Top Singles – Volume 20, No. 23, January 19 1974". collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
- "Adult Contemporary – Volume 20, No. 23, January 19 1974". collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
- "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1974". www.cashboxmagazine.com. Archived from the original on December 13, 2010.
- "The RPM Year-End Charts: 1974". collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on June 3, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
- "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
- "Gold and Platinum". Archived from the original on September 24, 2015.
- "YouTube: Maureen McCormick – Time in a Bottle". Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- Nichelson, Ted (2009). Love to Love You Bradys: The Bizarre Story of the Brady Bunch Variety Hour. ECW Press. p. 287. ISBN 9781550228885.
- Jackson, Don (January 9, 2013). "Jim Croce hits Number 1 with 'Time in a Bottle'". WMJI. Archived from the original on September 15, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- "Marketing & Media Decisions". Decisions Publications. April 30, 1983. Retrieved April 30, 2018 – via Google Books.
Mateus highlights "Time in a Bottle" campaign on spot tv. Thirty- second spots created by Shaller Rubin & Winer link Mateus with romance and intimacy to the tune of Jim Croce's love ballad, "Time ...
- "Art Direction". Advertising Trade Publications. April 30, 1984. Retrieved April 30, 2018 – via Google Books.
Last year's Mateus ad centered around Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle," and the current spot continues on a similar note with its "Spend the good times with Mateus" ...
- "Beverage World". Keller Publishing Corporation. April 30, 1985. Retrieved April 30, 2018 – via Google Books.
The major advertislng support for Mateus during the past growth year was the 'Time in a Bottle" television spot, with its message. "Spend the Good Times with Mateus."
- Board, Josh (May 26, 2011). "MOVIE REVIEW: The Hangover Part II". SanDiego.com. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- O'Connell, Sean (May 23, 2014). "How Did They Film Quicksilver's Amazing X-Men: Days Of Future Past Scene?". Cinema Blend. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
- "Apple enlists help of Cookie Monster to highlight 'Hey Siri' in new iPhone 6s ad". Apple Insider. Retrieved March 16, 2016.