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Album: 21Released: 2011Charted:
Adele wrote this tune with Bleeding Love
songwriter Ryan Tedder. She told The Sun
how she hooked up with the American songwriter: "I met him, very briefly, for the first time in an elevator in LA and I had balloons. He heard me laugh so he started popping the balloons to see who was behind them. Then I walked into the studio and he was there because he was supporting James Morrison. I'd just had a big argument with my ex-boyfriend. I walked in and even though I'd only met him in the elevator before, I was like, 'Who does he think he is? He's always turning the tables on me.'"
The song was performed by Gwyneth Paltrow in the April 19, 2011 episode of Glee. The actress had an occasional part as the kooky substitute teacher Holly Holliday in the show.
Adele revealed in a track-by-track video interview that the song was written following a confrontation with her former boyfriend, who is the subject matter of much of 21. She had found herself distressed about the way her ex had kept "turning the tables" on her during their arguments, and Tedder used this idea as a concept for the song.
Adele revealed to Radio Times that after writing this piano ballad, she originally thought that, "we should give it to Leona Lewis, 'Bleeding Love' is one of my favorite songs ever." Lewis was a classmate of Adele at the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology.
This was the first song that Ryan Tedder came up with for Adele. He recalled to NME
: "The first day in the studio, I'd come up with an idea for 'Turning Tables' because the phrase reminded me of 'Chasing Pavements
'. We worked on the song, recorded it, and later that night I messaged her saying, 'I'm sitting here listening to your song and I'm covered in goosebumps.' And she wrote back saying, 'I'm sitting here listening to it and I'm crying. Maybe that's a good sign? That was when we really hit it off."