Til I Hear It From You

Album: Empire Records soundtrack (1995)
Charted: 39 11

Songfacts®:

  • The music industry trade magazine Billboard called this "The closest thing to a perfect pop song to hit radio in recent memory," a sentiment appreciated by the band's guitarist, Jesse Valenzuela.

    "This song reminds me why I work. I can count on hearing it in grocery stores, and I like playing it," he said in a Songfacts interview. "It's really nice pop perfection, and just saccharin enough. As an artist, you have to start realizing what you do carries some value, even monetarily. And this song is a pretty big one for me to help me realize that this is what I'll do for a living from now on. And how lucky I am - because it's all I really love doing, and I get to do it all the time."
  • Gin Blossoms lead singer Robin Wilson wrote the lyrics to this song. The music was composed by the band's guitarist Jesse Valenzuela with help from Marshall Crenshaw, most famous for his 1982 hit "Someday, Someway." Crenshaw told Songfacts that he and Valenzuela didn't know each other, but Jesse tracked him down to help finish the song. Crenshaw wrote the verse melody and worked on the ending.
  • This song has a "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" theme where the guy hears secondhand that his girl is about to leave him. In this case, chooses not to believe it until he hears it from her directly.
  • This song first appeared in the 1995 movie Empire Records and featured on the soundtrack. The film, starring Liv Tyler and Renée Zellweger, is set in an independent record store where the young workers deal with an impending takeover from a national chain. In 1996, "Til I Hear It From You" was included as a bonus track on some releases of the Gin Blossoms album Congratulations I'm Sorry.
  • Empire Records hit theaters in September 1995 but "Til I Hear It From You" didn't rise up the charts until February 1996, around the time their album Congratulations I'm Sorry was released along with their next single, "Follow You Down."

    The band spent years in the musical trenches before breaking through with "Hey Jealousy" in 1993, but then they split up in 1997 as the hits were coming fast and easy. That year, they accepted an award from ASCAP (American Society of Composers and Publishers) for having two of the most-played songs on American radio the previous year ("Til I Hear It From You" and "Follow You Down."
  • The first time Jesse Valenzuela heard this song over the public announcement system at a grocery store, he says he almost wanted to tell somebody, "Hey! That's my song!" but he resisted. He remembers being proud, but being very anonymous at the time. Then there was the trip to Lowe's (home improvement department store). "One time my wife and I went there for lighting fixtures, and she wanted one," he told Songfacts. "I said, 'Let's go for the cheaper one.' And she wanted one that was just a little more expensive. And I was like hemming and hawing, and all of a sudden one of my songs came on the radio, and she said, 'It's not as if you can't afford to get me the more expensive one.' I was like, 'All right.' She did have a case."

Comments: 3

  • Brian from Boston, MaI'm pretty sure this was released in 95 not 96 as indicated on the top of this page.This song came from the Empire Records soundtrack.The movie did not do very well but the soundtrack had a lot of good music from 90's bands that were popular at the time or just becoming popular.Great soundtrack.Great song .Great band from a decade that had a lot of great music.Were have all the good bands gone? I mean new bands that can write a decent song
  • Brian from Boston, MaDoes anyone know what this song is about
  • Mike from Manahawkin, NjDidn't see it mentioned so I thought I would add one. This song was co-written by Marshall Crenshaw. A great song writer and performer. Got to see him at the Stone Poney way back when. Bruce joined him on stage for a few standards. It was a great night.
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