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Time In A Bottle by Jim Croce

Album: You Don't Mess Around With JimReleased: 1972Charted:
1
  • This hit #1 14 weeks after Croce was killed in a plane crash. Croce started touring after he completed I Got A Name. On September 30, 1973 a plane carrying Croce and five other people crashed upon takeoff as he was leaving one college venue to another 70 miles away. No one survived the accident, and among those killed was Maury Muehleisen, who played guitar on Croce's albums. Terry Cashman, who produced Croce, told us, "Jim and Maury got together and all of the sudden Jim started writing these great songs, and Maury came up with these really wonderful guitar parts - the two guitars were like an orchestra."
    "Time In A Bottle" entered the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week ending December 1, 1973 and finally reached #1 for the week ending December 29, a little over 3 months after he died.
  • Jim Croce wrote this song the night that he found out his wife, Ingrid, was pregnant. The couple had been married for five years, and Ingrid found out she was pregnant when she went to a fertility specialist. She recalls a mix of terror and delight in Jim's reaction when she told him the news. The child was a boy named Adrian, who grew up to become the singer-songwriter A.J. Croce.
  • This was never intended to be a single - it was released on Croce's first major-label solo LP You Don't Mess Around With Jim in 1972. The album had already yielded the #8 title track and #17 "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)." His second LP, Life And Times, had given Croce his first #1 single, "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown." "Time In A Bottle" became a hit over a year after it was first released when it was used in the ABC made-for-TV movie She Lives, about a woman dying of cancer.
  • The song's producer, Terry Cashman, was less than thrilled with the idea of recycling old songs, but ABC Records management loved the idea and OK'ed the use of the tune in She Lives. The movie aired September 12, 1973 (as Croce was putting the finishing touches on his I Got A Name LP). Television stations were deluged with telephone calls from viewers who wanted to know where to buy the song. The next day, ABC Records had received orders for 50,000 copies of You Don't Mess Around With Jim, with sales of about 200,000 by the end of September 1973.
  • This was also included in the soundtrack of the movie The Last American Hero.
  • "I Got a Name" was released in the wake of Croce's death. The week that "I Got a Name" hit #10 (November 17, 1973), This was finally released as a single. Six weeks later, it became the third posthumous #1 of the rock era (after "Dock Of The Bay" and "Me And Bobby McGee").
  • The international drug lord in the movie The Hangover 2 sings this while he and the gang are going up an elevator in Bangkok to make a money for hostage deal.
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Comments: 11

Beautiful, beautiful song. I miss Croce!Carolyn - Knoville, Tn
I miss the songs he never wrote. I believe his best works were never hits. "Alabama Rain" Walkin Back to Georgia" and especially "Photographs and Memories." "Operator" and "Time in a bottle" are easily his most haunting that bit the charts, but the album cuts are the very best.Ed - Asheville, Nc
Ricardo Arjona Is A Guatemalan Singer That Became Famous By Singing This Song In Spanish As A Tribute To His All Time Idol Jim Croce The Song In Spanish Is "Tiempo En Una Botella" And It's Shown On The Album "Animal Nocturno"Luis Medina - Livermore, Mexico
Jim Croce is one of the best and yet, the most under reated songwriters of all time. Not enough people know about him, or have even heard his songs. He had a way of singing in a way that you knew that he had experienced everything he was singing. Jim Croce's word spoke in a melacholy way and yet somehow uplifted you. More people should know about Jim Croce and find out about him. In my book there are very few songwriters who are in his league or greater. I only just sit and imagine what he would of done if he did not die in the begining of his prime.Robert - Chicago, Il
I had seen on an interview show that Jim had written Time in a Bottle in honor of his then very small son A.J.Karl - Akron, , Oh
The Muppet Show was for families. I remember the old muppet scientist singing this song. It was poignant.Lalah - Wasilla, Ak
Jim Croce could encapsulate what millions of people felt, and put those feelings into a song with a beautiful, and in this case, almost haunting, melody. What a gift! For him, and then for all of us to listen to. Here it is, the year 2007 & I still feel badly that he was killed at such a young age. It made an impression on me as I was only a teenager at the time, but my mom & older sister loved Jim Croce & I did, too. Still do. Lots of his music on my ipod.Camille - Toronto, Oh
Jim Croce died on September 20, 1973 and not on September 30, 1973, contrary to what is stated above.Ron - Milwaukee, Wi
This song, Operator, Walkin Back to Georgia and A Long time ago were written in one week at his kitchen table in Penn. Jim Croce's wife Ingrid told Jim that she was pregnant. After a failed album, and years of touring, he knew that he only had one more chance before he would have to work odd jobs for the rest of his life. He sat down that night, and wrote Time in a Bottle for his unborn son Adrian.Luke - Mesa, Az
This was once done on the old Muppet Show. It was brilliant and profound in its unique way. I can't remember which episode it was, but if you can get the chance to check it out, I think you will be deeply moved. While you're at it, check out the Muppets' take on Kenny Rogers and "The Gambler." The Muppet Show was for kids, but they were never afraid to do something for the adult audience as well.Jerry - Brooklyn, Ny
One of the most beautifully songs written EVERMark - Watertown, Sd