Time in A Bottle - Jim Croce (1972)
For our LCM Classic this week we travel back to 1972 for a lovely song and hit single by US singer-songwriter Jim Croce. Jim wrote the lyrics after his wife Ingrid told him she was pregnant in December 1970. It appeared on his 1972 ABC debut album 'You Don't Mess Around with Jim'. ABC originally did not intend to release the song as a single; but when Jim was sadly killed in a plane crash in September 1973, the song's lyrics dealing with mortality and the wish to have more time had additional resonance. The song subsequently received a large amount of airplay as an album track and demand for a single release built. When it was eventually issued as a 7", it became his second and final No. 1 hit.
The arrangement features a harpsichord that producer Tommy West discovered had been left in the mixing studio: "The night before we were going to mix, I was watching a horror movie on TV, and something must have lodged in my brain because when I walked into the studio the next day, I saw this harpsichord sitting in a corner and got an idea. A jingle company had used it on a session and in walked a couple of guys from SIR [Studio Instruments Rental] to haul it away. I asked them to take a lunch break and told Bruce to put a couple of mics on it. He was whining that it was out of tune, but I asked him to let me try something. I added two tracks of harpsichord, told the movers they could remove it, walked into Jerry's office and asked if I could borrow the electric bass that was sitting on his couch, played that on just the second verse and the outro, and that was that! Radio compression worked in our favor on that record. It made the harpsichord blend with the two guitars in an unusual way. But we thought this record would only be an album cut."