Time in a Bottle

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"Time in a Bottle"
Time in a Bottle.jpg
Single by Jim Croce
from the album You Don't Mess Around with Jim
B-side "Hard Time Losin' Man"
ReleasedNovember 1973
RecordedJanuary–March 1972
Label ABC
Songwriter(s) Jim Croce
Producer(s) Terry Cashman, Tommy West
Jim Croce singles chronology
"I Got a Name"
"Time in a Bottle"
"It Doesn't Have to Be That Way"

"Time in a Bottle" is a song by singer-songwriter Jim Croce. He wrote the lyrics after his wife Ingrid told him she was pregnant in December 1970. [2] It appeared on Croce's 1972 ABC debut album You Don't Mess Around with Jim and was featured in the 1973 ABC made-for-television movie She Lives! After he was killed in a plane crash in September 1973, the song was aired frequently on radio, and demand for a single release built. The single of "Time in a Bottle" became Croce's second and final track to reach number 1 in the United States. [3]


Production and arrangement

The arrangement features a harpsichord that producer Tommy West discovered had been left in the mixing studio. [4]


Cash Box magazine called the song "a sweet, tender ballad filled with Croce’s magical vocal touch". [5] Record World called it "an instant classic and an extremely moving record." [6]

"Time in a Bottle" was the third posthumous Billboard number-one hit after "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding and "Me and Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin. [7]

After the single finished its two-week run at the top of the charts in early January 1974, the album You Don't Mess Around with Jim became No. 1 for five weeks. [8]

In 1977, Time in a Bottle was chosen as the title of a compilation album of Croce's love songs.

Track listing

7" Single (ABC-11405) [9]

  1. "Time in a Bottle" – 2:24
  2. "Hard Time Losin' Man" – 2:23

Charts and certifications


United StatesGold (RIAA) [17]

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  19. "Marketing & Media Decisions". Decisions Publications. April 30, 1983. Retrieved April 30, 2018 via Google Books. Mateus highlights "Time in a Bottle" campaign on spot tv. Thirty- second spots created by Shaller Rubin & Winer link Mateus with romance and intimacy to the tune of Jim Croce's love ballad, "Time ...
  20. "Art Direction". Advertising Trade Publications. April 30, 1984. Retrieved April 30, 2018 via Google Books. Last year's Mateus ad centered around Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle," and the current spot continues on a similar note with its "Spend the good times with Mateus" ...
  21. "Beverage World". Keller Publishing Corporation. April 30, 1985. Retrieved April 30, 2018 via Google Books. The major advertislng support for Mateus during the past growth year was the 'Time in a Bottle" television spot, with its message. "Spend the Good Times with Mateus."
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