When I'm with You
|"When I'm with You"|
|Single by Sheriff|
|from the album Sheriff|
|Format||45 record, cassette single|
|Sheriff singles chronology|
"When I'm with You" is a power ballad by Canadian arena rock band Sheriff. The song was released in January 1983 in Canada as the second single from their self-titled debut album. A top ten hit in Canada in 1983 (and a minor U.S. hit at the same time), the song later hit number one in the United States in 1989, four years after the band separated in 1985.
This song is also notable that it was one of the few number-one hits not to have a promotional video during the MTV era. In addition, the song is known for lead vocalist Freddy Curci holding the final note for 19.4 seconds, making it the longest-held note for a male pop singer.
Composition and inspiration
Sheriff's keyboardist Arnold Lanni wrote the song after meeting Valeri Brown and falling in love with her. 'I sat down, put my coffee on the piano, tinkled some ivories, and four minutes later 80 percent of the song was written. On Valentine's Day I played the song for Valerie and said, "I don't have anything, this is all I can give you right now. It's yours." Valeri loved the song; two years later she married me.'
Lanni also played the song to his bandmates in Sheriff. "The band really liked it, so we started playing it live. That was one of the last songs we recorded when we did the record. The producer said, 'Is there anything else?' I said, 'There's this song we play, it's kind of a wimpy song.' So we played it for him and he said 'Yeah, that's kind of nice.'"
"When I'm with You" was originally released as the third single off Sheriff's debut album. The song reached number 8 on the RPM chart in the band's native Canada, where it was their biggest hit. In the US, it entered the Billboard Hot 100 on May 14, 1983, and peaked at number 61 four weeks later. Sometime thereafter, disappointed and frustrated by their continued lack of international success, the band broke up.
In November 1988, Brian Philips, Program Director at KDWB in Minneapolis, and WKTI in Milwaukee began playing the song, and eventually other radio stations nationally followed suit. This encouraged Capitol Records to re-release the song as a single. On February 4, 1989, the song hit number-one in the United States.
By that time, former Sheriff members Lanni and bassist Wolf Hassell had formed a duo named Frozen Ghost, and declined to re-form the group. Sheriff's lead vocalist Freddy Curci and guitarist Steve DeMarchi, who had both been working as couriers in the interim, subsequently formed the band Alias and charted the following year with the number 2 hit "More Than Words Can Say".
- "Clarifying the Rock Era Record for Longest-Held Note for a Hit Song". Inside the Rock Era. Blogspot. 25 March 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
- Billboard Magazine interview of Arnold Lanni by Fred Bronson.
- Behind The Vinyl "When I'm With You" by Sheriff, Freddy Curci and Steve DeMarchi @YouTube.com Retrieved 5-12-2017.
- Canadian RPM peak
- Billboard Hot 100 peak
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 220.
- "RPM 100 Hit Tracks of 1983". RPM. Retrieved October 16, 2018.