When You Really Loved Someone

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"When You Really Loved Someone"
Agnetha - When You Really Loved Someone.jpg
Single by Agnetha Fältskog
from the album A
ReleasedMarch 11, 2013 (2013-03-11) (Digital), April 15, 2013 (2013-04-15) (CD Single), May 6, 2013 (2013-05-06) (7" Picture Disc)
LabelUniversal Music
Songwriter(s)Jörgen Elofsson
Producer(s)Jörgen Elofsson, Peter Nordahl
Agnetha Fältskog singles chronology
"The One Who Loves You Now"
"When You Really Loved Someone"
"Dance Your Pain Away"
Professional ratings
Review scores
Aftonbladet link
Expressen link

"When You Really Loved Someone" is a song by Swedish recording artist and current ABBA member Agnetha Fältskog. On March 11, 2013 (2013-03-11) it was internationally released as the first single from her fifth English solo album, A.

General information[edit]

"When You Really Loved Someone" was by written and produced by Swedish songwriter and producer Jörgen Elofsson. The sound of the song and the album can be described as "very mature and worthy", according to Fältskog herself.[1] Featuring all elements that make the song fit into the category mostly described as "power ballad", it also shows some surprising synth elements in the latter half.[original research?]

"When You Really Loved Someone" is the first digital single by Fältskog. While initially no physical release of the song had been planned, high demand from fans apparently was the reason Universal Music eventually released "When You Really Loved Someone" on a 1-track CD single on April 15 and later as a limited edition 7" picture disc.[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

Upon its release, the single received a lot of media coverage, mostly in the context of Fältskog's musical comeback and news about the forthcoming album. The Swedish media reviewed the song, calling it an "epic ballad",[2] and highlighting its acoustic elements, like strings, guitars as well as the sweet harmonies.[3] Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet pointed out the contrast between production and musical elements from the 1970s and the synth-loop in the latter half of the song, which would also suit for the likes of Britney Spears.[4] Online portal Musikindustrin referred to these elements as "charming 80's synths".[5]

Promotional video[edit]

In order to promote the song, a video for "When You Really Loved Someone" was shot, featuring Fältskog herself as well as actors Max Fowler and Camilla Rowland. The scenes with Agnetha Fältskog were shot at Ulriksdal Palace, the same location as the shooting of most promotion pictures for Fältskog's current album project. Rowland, who apparently plays a young Fältskog, and Fowler, portraying her lover, shot their scenes in London. The video was directed by Simon Fowler, produced by Beau Fowler and designed by Blair Barnette.[6]

The video premiered at YouTube on March 11, 2013 (2013-03-11), the same day as the release of the single itself.


Two official remixes of "When You Really Loved Someone" were made available.[7]

Formats and track listing[edit]

Digital download
1."When You Really Loved Someone"3:31
Digital remixes[8]
1."When You Really Loved Someone" (The Alias Club Mix)6:31
2."When You Really Loved Someone" (The Alias Radio Edit)3:25
Total length:9:56

Chart performance[edit]

In the days after its release, "When You Really Loved Someone" entered the Swedish iTunes top10, peaking at number 3 behind the winner of Melodifestivalen 2013, Robin Stjernberg with his song You. As a result of its good performance in the daily iTunes chart, the song eventually entered the Swedish DigiListan download chart at number 4 on March 24.

In the end of April, BBC Radio 2 made "When You Really Loved Someone" Record of the Week and subsequently placed the song in its A List, which meant that it would be played between 15 and 20 times per week.[9] As a result, "When You Really Loved Someone" started rising in the UK Airplay Chart, eventually entering the top 30 in the first week of May 2013 with 273 plays and 23.89m impacts.[10]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[11] 19
CIS (Tophit)[12] 193
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[13] 76
Polish Singles Chart[14] 15
Swedish DigiListan[15] 4
Swedish Svensktoppen[16] 3
UK Radio Airplay Chart [17] 29

Radio and release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
(except Germany and Austria)
March 11, 2013 Digital download Universal Music Group
April 15, 2013 CD Single


  1. ^ "Abba's Agnetha comes out of retirement". bbc.co.uk. 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  2. ^ "En storslagen ballad som drar åt två håll". Aftonbladet. 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  3. ^ "Jag faller förvånat pladask för låten". Expressen. 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  4. ^ "Så låter Agnetha Fältskogs comebackskiva". Aftonbladet. 2013-03-15. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
  5. ^ "ARTIST Agneta Fältskog tillbaka på A". Musikindustrin. 2013-03-15. Retrieved 2013-03-16.
  6. ^ "Matt Mead". Matt Mead. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
  7. ^ "ABBA | the one and only ABBA Official Fanclub".
  8. ^ "ABBA | the one and only ABBA Official Fanclub".
  9. ^ "BBC - Radio 2 New Music Playlist".
  10. ^ "The UK Radio Airplay Chart".
  11. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – When You Really Loved Someone" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  12. ^ Agnetha Fältskog — When You Really Loved Someone. Tophit. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  13. ^ "Agnetha Fältskog – When You Really Loved Someone" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Lista Przebojów Radia Złote Przeboje".
  15. ^ "DigiListan 2021-10-24 - Listprogram i P3".
  16. ^ "Aktuell lista - Svensktoppen | Sveriges Radio". sverigesradio.se. Archived from the original on 2010-06-25.
  17. ^ "The UK Radio Airplay Chart".