June 8

“Alone Again (Naturally)”: Gilbert O’Sullivan’s 1972 Hit

"Alone Again (Naturally)": Gilbert O'Sullivan's 1972 Hit 1
Gilbert O’Sullivan. Photo Credits: open.spotify.com

About the Song

Released in 1972, “Alone Again (Naturally)” was originally penned and recorded by Irish singer-songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan. In addition, O’Sullivan produced it himself under the MAM Label. It is one of the tracks on his 1972 album, Back to Front.

Overall, “Alone Again (Naturally)” stayed at no. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for six weeks, non-consecutively. Billboard considered it as the 2nd best song for 1972. Meanwhile, Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 listed it as the 5th most popular song of the 1970’s. In addition, the song became massive hitting no. 1 on Billboard Adult Contemporary, and Cash Box Top 100.

Furthermore, it was a chart-topper in five other countries. It ranked no. 2 in Australia’s KMR, Ireland’s IRMA, and New Zealand’s Listener charts. In Canada, the song peaked at no. 1 on both RPM Top Singles and RPM Adult Contemporary. On the other hand, “Alone Again (Naturally)”  did not disappoint the British audience as it reached no. 3 on the U.K. Singles Official Charts Company.

Song Theme

Behind the sweet and mellow tune that oozes in this beautiful music is a message very relevant in today’s society. “Alone Again (Naturally)” is an introverted ballad focusing more on introspection. On a personal note, it is about the narrator pondering on suicide after he was left by his bride at the altar. Moreover, the song also points out the death of the narrator’s parents. These things may not necessarily be the same but it is quite similar to what most people are experiencing nowadays. Contemplating on such issues, we still try to see positivity in every side.

In an interview, O’Sullivan revealed that the song is not about himself, not autobiographical. He further said that he did not personally know his father and that he had mistreated his mother. Neil Diamond had his version of the song and he expressed his disbelief of a 21-year-old writing such song with a heavy theme.

Watch Gilbert O’Sullivan perform the original version of his 1972 hit “Alone Again”:

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Alone Again, Gilbert O'Sullivan

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