When Will I See You Again

"When Will I See You Again" is a song released in 1974 by American soul group The Three Degrees, from their third album The Three Degrees. The song was written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Sheila Ferguson sang the lead, accompanied by Fayette Pinkney and Valerie Holiday. Billboard named the song #67 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.[1]

"When Will I See You Again"
When Will I See You Again single.jpg
Single by The Three Degrees
from the album The Three Degrees
B-side"I Didn't Know"
ReleasedJune 21, 1974 (UK)
September 1974 (U.S.)
Recorded1973
GenreSoul, R&B
Length3:00
LabelPhiladelphia International Records
Songwriter(s)Gamble and Huff
Producer(s)Gamble and Huff
The Three Degrees singles chronology
"Love Is the Message"
(1974)
"When Will I See You Again"
(1974)
"Get Your Love Back"
(1974)

BackgroundEdit

Sheila Ferguson recalled that "the song was played to me by Kenny Gamble at the piano in 1973 and I threw a tantrum. I screamed and yelled and said I would never sing it. I thought it was ridiculously insulting to be given such a simple song and that it took no talent to sing it. We did do it and several million copies later, I realized that he knew more than me."[2] She would later have a #60 hit with a solo remake of the track in 1994.[3] The song is unique in that every sentence is a question, heightening the overall effect and emotion. The Three Degrees performed the song at Prince Charles' 30th birthday party at Buckingham Palace in 1978.

Music VideoEdit

The music video of this song is blocked in the USA on YouTube because of Sony Music Entertainment copyright grounds.[1]

Chart performanceEdit

It was one of the most successful recordings of the "Philly Soul" era. In the U.S., "When Will I See You Again" peaked at #2 on the pop singles chart, behind "Kung Fu Fighting" by Carl Douglas.[4]

On other US charts, the song reached #1 on the adult contemporary chart,[5] and #4 on the R&B chart in the autumn of 1974.[6] In the UK, it fared even better, spending two weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart in August 1974.[7]

Brother Beyond versionEdit

"When Will I See You Again"
Single by Brother Beyond
from the album Trust
ReleasedDecember 8, 1989
Recorded1989
GenrePop
Length3:34
LabelParlophone
Songwriter(s)Gamble and Huff
Brother Beyond singles chronology
"Drive On"
(1989)
"When Will I See You Again"
(1989)
"Trust"
(1990)

British boy band Brother Beyond covered the song on their 1989 album Trust, that was also released in the Compilation Ronny's Pop Show [1990/1] – Hochfeine Pop-Musik-Schallplatte.

Track listingEdit

CD maxi

  1. "When Will I See You Again" (Radio Mix) – 4:28
  2. "New Heights (The Clompete Mix)" (Cloud 9 Mix) – 4:25
  3. "When Will I See You Again (Extended)" (Gee Extended Mix) – 6:42

7" Single

  1. When Will I See You Again – 3:35
  2. New Heights (Edit) – 3:20

ChartsEdit

Chart (1989) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 43[18]

Thomas Anders versionEdit

"When Will I See You Again"
Single by Thomas Anders feat. The Three Degrees
from the album When Will I See You Again
ReleasedJuly 18, 1993
Recorded1992
GenrePop
Length3:30
LabelPolydor
Songwriter(s)Gamble and Huff
Producer(s)Christian De Walden, Ralf Stemmann
Thomas Anders feat. The Three Degrees singles chronology
"Standing Alone"
(1992)
"When Will I See You Again"
(1993)
"I'll Love You Forever"
(1993)

In 1993, Thomas Anders released his version of the song with The Three Degrees, which appeared on the same-named album. The success of the cover version was modest. The following year, Anders released a Spanish-language version of the song titled Una mañana de sol.

Track listingEdit

CD maxi

  1. When Will I See You Again – 3:30
  2. Thomas Anders – Is It My Love 3:40
  3. When Will I See You Again (Extended Version) – 5:15

7" Single

  1. When Will I See You Again (Precious String-House Mix) – 4:45
  2. When Will I See You Again (Precious Club Mix) – 5:10
  3. When Will I See You Again (Precious Outerspace Mix) – 5:32
  4. When Will I See You Again (Precious Pop Mix) – 5:28

ChartsEdit

Chart (1993) Peak
position
German Singles Chart 37[19]

Other cover versionsEdit

  • Geoffrey Chung arranged a reggae version released as a 7" on the Antrim label in 1974 with vocals by Marcia Griffiths (A) and Onika (B).
  • Magda Layna released the song as a single on Megatone Records in 1983.
  • Hong Kong Cantopop singer Priscilla Chan (陳慧嫻) released a Cantonese cover version "幾時再見?!" (lit.: "When Will I See You Again?!") on her album, 秋色 (lit. "Autumn Colours"), in 1988.
  • Billy Bragg's version is the second song on the NME's 1992 covers compilation Ruby Trax.
  • Japanese Singer CINDY covered the song on her 1997 compilation album Surprise.
  • U2 played the song on the Elevation Tour. It was most remembered when the band played it at Slane Castle on 25 August and 1 September 2001.
  • Erasure covered the song on their 2003 album Other People's Songs.
  • Guitarist Peter White remade the song for his 2016 album Groovin', with Amber DiLena providing vocals.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time: Critics' Picks". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  2. ^ 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 198. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ https://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1974-12-14
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 243.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 578.
  7. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 303–4. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 309. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. December 7, 1974. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  10. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "Top 100 1974-12-07". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  12. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 427. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  13. ^ Bac-lac.gc.ca
  14. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1974" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  15. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1974". Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  16. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1975/Top 100 Songs of 1975". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  17. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1975". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 2015-01-17.
  18. ^ chartsurfer.de
  19. ^ chartsurfer.de

External linksEdit