"When You're Gone" is a song performed by the Canadian singer Avril Lavigne for her 2007 album The Best Damn Thing. It was co-written and produced by Butch Walker and released as the album's second single on June 19, 2007.
Avril Lavigne has said the song "is about being with someone you love, and you have to say goodbye, and all the little things you miss about them". The song may have been inspired by Lavigne's husband, Deryck Whibley, although in an interview in Northern Ireland with The Belfast Telegraph she did not confirm this. According to her, she did not intend the song to be a love song, but she was writing a slow song and the process brought out "all that emotional stuff" in her. "It's not cheesy, because I wrote it", she said. "If I was older, a professional writer coming up with all that, that would be lame."
Billboard magazine describes the song as "a power ballad with a piano and synth introduction". Composer Rob Mathes orchestrated the song with a genuine string section, although the brief opening note before the piano came in, was on a synthesizer.
Music video Edit
The video was directed by Marc Klasfeld, who is most well-known from his works of director for Sum 41's music videos. Lavigne reportedly came up with the concept for the video. It features a young pregnant woman whose husband is away fighting in the war, an elderly man whose wife has recently died, and a teenage couple who are forbidden by the girl's mother to be together. The video portrays three relationships in different age groups but in the same situation. Lavigne said that the video is very personal.
Portions of the video were filmed at California State University, Northridge's Botanic Garden. The video was premiered on MuchMusic in Canada on June 6, 2007 during the 5 pm broadcast of MuchOnDemand. It was premiered on TRL on June 21. On August 22, it reached the #1 spot for the first time. The video reached #1 on MuchMusic in Canada on August 24. Avril later performed the song on the Late Show with David Letterman on September 6.
Chart performance and promotion Edit
Before its release as a single in the United States, "When You're Gone" reached number ninety on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number seventy-seven on the Billboard Pop 100, in the Billboard issue dated May 5, 2007. "When You're Gone" debuted at number thirty-two on UK Singles Chart, and peaked at number three. The single has also done well on the charts in Canada. On the 9th of November, "When You're Gone" also reached number one on the Argentinian Top 40 Chart after 15 weeks, making it one of Avril Lavigne's longest enduring hits that could achieve a #1 spot. 'When You're Gone' also became the first and nearly only English performed song so far that could reach the Number 1 of the Argentinian Top 40 Chart in 2007, as before the song topped the charts in November, no song could make it.
The song was used in the second season finale of the MTV show The Hills, playing during the climatic "moving out" scene between former best friends Lauren and Heidi. It was also used in the series 7 finale of "2 Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps". Lavigne performed the song on June 15, 2007 on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. There is an acoustic version of the song on the deluxe edition of The Best Damn Thing on the iTunes Store. It is very different from the album version and was produced by Dr. Luke.
Japanese single CD Edit
- ."When You're Gone" (album version)
- "When You're Gone" (instrumental)
- "Girlfriend" (Japanese version)
UK CD 1/French single Edit
- "When You're Gone" (album version)
- "Girlfriend" (Dr. Luke remix feat. Lil' Mama)
UK CD 2/Australia/Taiwan single Edit
- "When You're Gone" – 3:57
- "Girlfriend" (Dr. Luke Remix) – 3:25
- "Girlfriend" (Submarines' Time Warp 66 mix) – 3:12
- "When You're Gone" (video) – 4:08