Just When I Needed You Most – Randy VanWarmer

VanWarmer was inspired to write “Just When I Needed You Most” after his old car that he loved and used for years broke down on the way to work in Denver, Colorado and by a “devastating” breakup with a girlfriend: he wrote the song six months after that breakup co-writing it with Tony Wilson of the group Hot Chocolate two years before it became a hit.

After recording “Just When I Needed You Most” for an album recorded for the UK division of Bearsville Records, VanWarmer then flew to the US to pressure Bearsville’s head office to promote the album which was duly remixed and released with “Just When I Needed You Most” as lead single although VanWarmer would recall that Bearsville evinced little enthusiasm for the track: “Nobody thought my version was an especially good version of the song [which] a few other people were thinking of cutting…Everybody just assumed mine was a demo for people to listen to who’d [then] cut the definitive version”.

It has also been asserted that “Your Light” the flip was the original intended A-side of VanWarmer’s single. Released as a single in February 1979, VanWarmer’s “Just When I Needed You Most” spent two weeks atop the US Billboard adult contemporary chart in May of that year and in June 1979 reached its peak position of No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart accruing an overall Top 40 tenure of 14 weeks and earning RIAA Gold record status.

In addition, the track reached No. 71 on the Billboard country music chart. And in September 1979 made the Top 10 on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at No. 8. VanWarmer attributed his single’s success to empathy for its heartbreak scenario: “It’s happened to everyone. That emotion is universal…I always hoped the record wasn’t wallowing in self-pity and it had some redeeming value, and I guess it does.”

VanWarmer also attributed his single’s success to the autoharp instrumental break between the second and third verses, performed by John Sebastian.

VanWarmer died on January 12, 2004, in Seattle. He had been suffering from leukemia for the previous year. Years active: 1978–2004. source

Song Lyrics:

You packed in the morning, I stared out the window
And I struggled for something to say
You left in the rain without closing the door
I didn’t stand in your way.
But I miss you more than I missed you before
And now where I’ll find comfort, God knows
‘Cause you left me just when I needed you most
Left me just when I needed you most.Now most every morning, I stare out the window
And I think about where you might be
I’ve written you letters that I’d like to send
If you would just send one to me.’Cause I need you more than I needed before
And now where I’ll find comfort, God knows
‘Cause you left me just when I needed you most
Left me just when I needed you most.You packed in the morning, I stared out the window
And I struggled for something to say
You left in the rain without closing the door
I didn’t stand in your way.Now I love you more than I loved you before
And now where I’ll find comfort, God knows
‘Cause you left me just when I needed you most
Oh yeah, you left me just when I needed you most
You left me just when I needed you most.

13 thoughts on “Just When I Needed You Most – Randy VanWarmer

  1. I know I have blogged about this song. My dad made an 8-track (yes, I am old) of ballads that my mom liked. We used to listen to it in the car on our two hour car ride to Caseville, Mi in the summers of my youth. This song (as well as Sad Eyes, Lyin’ Eyes, Sweet Music Man, and I’d Really Love To See You Tonight – to name just a few) was on that tape! There are still times when I am listening to the radio and one of these will come on and I’ll call my brother and just say, “Caseville 8-track!” LOL

    Liked by 1 person

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