It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over

Album: Mama Said (1991)
Charted: 11 2
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Songfacts®:

  • Kravitz wrote this about the actress Lisa Bonet. They got married in 1987 and had a daughter, Zoe, a year later. But in 1991, their marriage was on the rocks, and Kravitz wrote "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over" hoping to reconcile their relationship. They ended up getting divorced in 1993, but later settled in as good friends.
  • This was the first big hit for Kravitz. He had a minor hit in 1989 with his first single, "Let Love Rule," off the LP of the same name. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chet - Saratoga Springs, NY
  • The song was heavily inspired by the Motown sound and by Earth, Wind & Fire. The horn section at the end is played by the brass section of Earth, Wind & Fire.
  • Kravitz played all the instruments on this track except the strings and horns. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Martin - Rostock, Germany, for above 2
  • Kravitz told Rolling Stone about the night he wrote the tune: "I remember being in a hotel room in LA and I had a Fender Rhodes that I'd brought up to the room. I sat in the dark, 'cause it was a very dark time for me, and played with the chords. All of a sudden I came up with the chord structure and the song came out. It was my belief that it ain't over 'til it's over. There's always a chance we can pull this together and make this happen. It didn't go that way, but that was the song."
  • It took some convincing from the record label for Kravitz to put this on the album – not because he thought it would fail, but because he thought it would succeed. He told The Guardian: "I said: 'I'm not putting that song on 'cos it's a hit.' I wanted to stay underground and give it to Smokey Robinson."
  • Kravitz knew the song was big when he walked down the streets of New York City and heard it playing out of cars. Once the video started its rotation, he had to quit taking the subway because people started to recognize him. "It f--ked up my commute," he said.
  • This was used in the movies Boxing Helena (1993) and Hope Springs (2012). A version by Rosemary Butler and John Townsend was also featured in the 1992 romantic comedy The Cutting Edge. It plays during the New Year's Eve party when Doug meets Kate's boyfriend for the first time.
  • British singer Mutya Buena, of the girl group the Sugababes, sampled this on her 2007 single "Real Girl."
  • This was used in a 2021 Super Bowl commercial for Stella Artois beer called "Heartbeat Billionaire," where Kravitz encourages us to value our heartbeats, not our dollars.

Comments: 5

  • Jan from Antwerp, --The album 'Mama Said' will always have a special place in my heart and in my record collection. I was 16 when this album came out and it was one of those records that everybody liked.
    But around that same time my first girlfriend (the first TRUE girlfriend, well you know what I mean) broke up our relationship and I felt really heartbroken. And Lenny helped me out. This album was going about his break up with Lisa Bonet and with song titles like 'It Ain't Over 'till It's Over', 'Stand By My Woman', 'More Than Anything In This World' and 'All I Ever Wanted' he discribed extactly how I was feeling at the time. I too wanted my girlfriend back and couldn't believe that our love was over. So, it was like, Lenny is my pal, he knows exactly how I'm feeling.
    Me and the mentioned girlfriend tried to get it back on a few years later but it wasn't the same anymore but Lenny Kravitz will always remain my 'buddy'.
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiWhen I fist heard this.I thought it was one of the Jacksons.I read on music choice it was about Lisa Bonet.
  • Alan from Singapore, SingaporeOne of the Sugababes, Mutya Buena, sampled this song on her song "Real Girl"
  • Sophia from London, EnglandI love this song and lenny looks really nice in the video too. ;)
  • Brett from Edmonton, CanadaThe title was originally a famous line quipped by his holiness Yogi Berra ("a nickel ain't worth a dime anymore"). Great song.
see more comments

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