I Think We're Alone Now

Album: Tiffany (1987)
Charted: 1 1


  • This was originally recorded by Tommy James & the Shondells in 1967. It was written by Ritchie Cordell, a producer at Roulette Records who wrote many of their hits. Their version hit #4 in the US.
  • Tiffany (last name: Darwisch) was just 15 years old when this song was released in the summer of 1987. She was 16 when the album went to #1 in January 1988, making her the youngest female singer to top the US albums chart, and also the first singer born in the '70s to hit the top spot.
  • Tiffany was just 13 years old when she started recording with producer George Tobin, who met her a year earlier and was impressed with her talent. Tobin, who owned his own studio in Los Angeles, had produced Kim Carnes ("More Love") and Smokey Robinson ("Being With You"). He couldn't find an appropriate manager for Tiffany, so he handled the business side of her affairs after signing her to a production deal.

    Finding good, original songs is hard for an unknown singer, since the top songwriters want to place their cuts with established acts, so Tobin looked for cover songs for Tiffany, and came up with "I Think We're Alone Now," which she wasn't thrilled with but recorded anyway. Tobin then shopped her to record companies, and after being turned down by Clive Davis and about a dozen others, found a taker in Steve Moir at MCA Records. Unfortunately, Moir left MCA soon after, and the company gave Tiffany little support. It became clear that she wasn't going to succeed through traditional means, so Tobin went to the MCA "special projects" division and hatched an idea: the mall tour.

    Starting in Paramus, New Jersey, the 16-year-old Tiffany toured shopping malls, singing for free to whoever would listen. It was a novel approach, and it worked very well, especially when media outlets covered the story of this teenager who sang for shoppers. The mall crowd (young girls) was a great fit for Tiffany, who found a way to reach this audience long before there was Twitter.
  • Many things can happen when hormone-ravaged teenagers find themselves alone. The song is very innocent, but it's open to interpretation. In a Songfacts interview with Tiffany, she said: "It was mysterious, it was a little cheeky, but there wasn't anything really bad. It was just a little rebellious and a little bit what a teenager feels: spending time with that person, checking that person out, and having that alone time with them, no matter what happens. I definitely have heard some stories about where that song has gone over the years. With some fans I'm like, 'Too much information, thank you very much.'"
  • The song that replaced this at #1 in the US was Billy Idol's version of "Mony Mony," which was also a cover of a Tommy James & the Shondells song.
  • Tiffany's producer George Tobin shot video during her mall tour which was cobbled together to make the video. Most of the footage comes from late in the tour when her crowds grew larger.
  • Tiffany recalled to Billboard magazine in a 2011 interview: "When I heard that my hit song had went #1, I was washing dishes. I was doing my chores because I was a teenager, of course. My manager called me and said 'Congratulations, you have the number one single in the country.' I said, 'You know what? I have to get off the phone because I have to finish my chores otherwise I'm going to be busted and I won't be able to do anything.' And, he's like, 'You don't get it'... but I had to finish those chores."
  • In the 2012 movie Ted, the stuffed bear's abductor dances to this song while watching the video. Knowing that he can't resist dancing to the song, Ted uses it against him in the 2015 sequel when he plays the song to a group of guys dressed like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sure enough, the perp starts dancing.

    The song also appears in the movie Jawbreaker, starring Rose McGowan, and in the 2015 episode of The Goldbergs, "The Adam Bomb."
  • The British girl group Girls Aloud took this to #4 on the UK chart in 2006.
  • Tiffany released several albums when she reached adulthood, recording in a variety of different styles, but often doing heartfelt ballads. She also co-wrote most of her later work, and even did some of her own production. No matter what she does though, she knows that audiences will want to hear this song, and she's happy to oblige. "Usually, I have that song at the end of the show and I'm looking forward to that moment and that excitement," she told Songfacts in 2017. "I don't look at it as a bad thing. It opens the doors to allows me to continue to do music and tell my story now. There still are some hurdles sometimes because I'm painted as the 'I Think We're Alone Now' mall tour girl,' but I just keep pounding the pavement doing what I love."
  • Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day covered this in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. The song was appropriate for the time, as most of the world was stuck at home to keep the virus from spreading. "While we've all been in quarantine I've been reflecting on the things that matter the most in my life," Armstrong posted. "Family, friends and of course music. I recorded a cover of Tommy James and the Shondells 'I think we're alone now' in my bedroom. I figure if we have to spend this time in isolation at least we can be alone together."

Comments: 15

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1987 {October 24th} Tiffany performed her covered version of "I Think We're Alone Now"* on the ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time "I Think We're Alone Now" was at position #5 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, two weeks later it would peak at #1 {for 2 weeks} and it spent twenty four weeks on the Top 100...
    It also reached #1 in the United Kingdom and Canada...
    Between 1987 and 1991 the Norwalk, Connecticut native had seven records on the Top 100 chart, four made the Top 10...
    Besides the above "I Think We're Alone Now", her three other Top 10 records were "Could've Been" {#1 for 2 weeks in 1988}, "I Saw Him Standing There" {#7 for 1 week in 1988}, and "All This Time" {#6 for 1 week in 1989}...
    Tiffany Renee Darwish celebrated her 48th birthday earlier this month on October 2nd, 2019...
    * Two other versions of "I Think We're Alone Now" made the Top 100 chart, Tommy James and the Shondells' original version peaked at #4 {for 1 week} in 1967, and the Rubinoos' covered version reached #45 {for 1 week} in 1977...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 2nd 1977, the Rubinoos' performed their covered version of "I Think We're Alone Now" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #76 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; a little over a month later on May 8th, 1977 it would peak at #45...
    {See the next post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 27th 1977, the Rubinoos covered version of "I Think We're Alone Now"* entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #95; and ten weeks later on May 8th, 1977 it peaked at #45 {for 1 week} and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100...
    And exactly ten years earlier on February 27th, 1967 Tommy James & the Shondells' original version was at #41; and seven weeks later it would peak at #4 {for 1 week}...
    * It was the quartet’s only Top 100 record.
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaWhy don't artists write their own material any more? :(
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxAnother no-talent who made a buck off other people's songs.
  • James from Norwich, United KingdomSorry Mjn, but if you listen hard to the original Tommy James version it says "hands". But you're right - it does sound wierd.
    I only know because I'm rehearsing it with the band I play in - it's a really versatile,timeless song that any band can stamp their identity on.
  • John from San Francisco, CaNot to accuse anyone... but listen to the opening riff on the 1963 instrumental hit "Wild Weekend" by the Rockin' Rebels (penned by Shannon and Todaro) and the opening chords to this 1967 hit "I Think We're Alone Now" (written by Ritchie Cordell) and performed by Tommy James & The Shondells. THEY ARE IDENTICAL!!
  • Wayne from Salem, VaMy older sister bought the Tommy James and The Shondells 45 single in the 60's. I was only 8 at the time. It's not a bad tune. A simple straight forward pop song. The original version is much better than the Tiffany one. Her version sounds like something straight out of a high school talent show. And like "Mike from Germantown,MD asked "How come the original Tommy James and The Shondells version isn't on here? Give credit where credit is due.
  • Meredith from Wauwatosa, WiI love this song!!!!!! Tommy Janes and the Shondells did this song better, but Tiffany does a pretty darn good job!
  • Ryan from Largo, Fl"Weird Al" did a parody called "I Think I'm a Clone Now".
  • Mjn Seifer from Not Listed For Personal Reason, EnglandThis is on my "Brilliant Songs - Awful Videos" list. It is an excelent song and it was used on an Excelent FF.N about three years ago.

    Recently Girls A(re)Loud have released a cover of it. It isn't bad, but I prefer the orginal. They have gotten a few bits wrong. They put an "S" after "hand" and made it "Holding on to one anothers HANDS" when they didn't need to, which I find irritating for some reason.
  • Garrett from Nashville, TnTommy James did not do "I Love Rock and Roll."
    It was a mid-70's British hit for a British band, written as a response to the Rolling Stones 1973 hit "It's Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It)."
  • Mike from Germantown, MdHow Come Tommy James and The Shondells' Original Version is'nt on here?
  • Maura from Orlando, FlCool song. Especially when Snap Robinson sings it. >.< ,../
  • Steve A from Richardson, TxDon't forget Brenda Lee and LeAnn Rimes for your singers.
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