Released in February 1979, “Just When I Needed You Most” is a 1979 hit written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Randy VanWarmer. In fact, he co-wrote it with fellow songwriter Tony Wilson. On the other hand, record producer Del Newman produced this four-minute song for Bearsville Records.
After its official release as a single, “Just When I Needed You Most” became a hit for VanWarmer. It entered on different music charts in 1979. To note, it spent two weeks atop the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. In four months, it peaked at no. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. In addition, it also penetrated the country charts reaching no. 71. Several months later, the song entered the UK Singles Chart and clinched the 8th spot.
Furthermore, “Just When I Needed You Most” accrued an overall Top 40 tenure for 14 weeks. Also, it earned an RIAA Gold record status with its total sales.
“Just When I Needed You Most:” A Story of VanWarmer’s Heartbreak
Randy VanWarmer is a songwriter and what better way to write a song than to get the story from his own. Indeed, “Just When I Needed You Most” is one of his masterpieces that has withstood time and many fans didn’t exactly know the real story behind.
VanWarmer got the inspiration to write the song when he found himself on his way to work in Denver, Colorado. The old car that he loved and used for years broke down. As he sat there in his broken car, memories started to appear in his mind. He remembered the devastating heartbreak he had with his ex-girlfriend. The wearing out of his loved car and his break-up drove him to pen the song.
As a matter of fact, he penned the song six months after the break-up co-writing it with his friend Tony Wilson. No one ever knew nor VanWarmer himself that it would become a hit. He then flew to the United States to pressure Bearsville Records to promote his album with the song its lead single. However, VanWarmer said that Bearsville showed little interest for the track. He recalled:
“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.”
With the success of the song, Vanwarmer attributed all the achievements from his heartbreak scenario. He roots all these back in his story that may be familiar with other people, too. He revealed:
“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.”
Watch Randy VanWarmer perform his 1979 hit “Just When I Needed You Most” below:
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just when i needed you most, Randy Vanwarmer