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"If I Never See Your Face Again"
Single by Maroon 5 featuring Rihanna
from the album It Won't Be Soon Before Long Deluxe Edition and Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded
Released May 2, 2008 (iTunes)
May 13, 2008 (Radio)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2006 (Original version)
2008 (w/ Rihanna version)
Genre Pop rock, funk rock
Length 3:21 (Album Version)
3:18 (w/Rihanna Version)
Label A&M/Octone Records
Writer(s) Adam Levine, James Valentine
Producer Mike Elizondo, Mark "Spike" Stent, Maroon 5, Tricky Stewart
Maroon 5 singles chronology
"Won't Go Home Without You"
(2007)
"If I Never See Your Face Again"
(2008)
"Goodnight Goodnight"
(2008)
Rihanna singles chronology
"Take a Bow"
(2008)
"If I Never See Your Face Again"
(2008)
"Disturbia"
(2008)

"If I Never See Your Face Again" is a song written by Maroon 5 members Adam Levine and James Valentine for Maroon 5's second studio album, It Won't Be Soon Before Long (2007). A remix of the song was recorded with pop singer Rihanna, and was released as the fourth single from the album instead of the original version. The remix was included on the re-release of It Won't Be Soon Before Long, and is also featured on the re-release of Rihanna's third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad (2007). The song was produced by Mike Elizondo, Mark "Spike" Stent, and Maroon 5.

Contents

Background

The song deals with Adam Levine and Rihanna playing "hard to get" and shows a love-hate relationship with the two. In the song, the verses push and pull the obvious sexual desire between the two subjects. There's also underlying jealousy about other lovers between their relations, but they both seem to revert back to wanting each other. The song received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Collaboration at the 51st Grammy Awards.

Remix and single release

The original version of "If I Never See Your Face Again" was complete, but Maroon 5 enlisted Rihanna to record "bits and pieces" because they wanted to, in lead singer Adam Levine's words, "try something different".[1] James Diener, president of A&M/Octone Records, said that Maroon 5 were friends with and fans of Rihanna, having attended some of her performances, and thought that she could help them achieve Levine's goal of turning the song into a "'battle of the sexes'-style duet".[2] Because of the speed of the collaboration, Levine compared the remix of "If I Never See Your Face Again" to his experience working with rapper Kanye West on the song "Heard 'Em Say" (2005), explaining "It sounds cheesy, but if the magic is there, if the chemistry is there, you don't even have to think about it."[1]

Rihanna said she was "honored" to be approached by Maroon 5, one of her favorite bands, and made the song the only collaboration on the re-release of Good Girl Gone Bad because she had always wanted to work with them.[1] She also attributed her enthusiasm for collaborating on the remix to the song's "energy" and "badass" lyrics.[3]

Maroon 5 and Rihanna performed it for the first time live on the MTV show and it was well-received by most of the viewing public.

"If I Never See Your Face Again" was sent to U.S. mainstream radio on May 13, 2008.[4]

Chart performance

"If I Never See Your Face Again" debuted on the ARIA Singles Chart #28 on May 26, 2008. It debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at #57, but failed to make the Top 50, making the song not so a hit as the others in the U.S. On June 8, the week that Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded was released, the song charted on the UK Singles Chart at #29. The following week, the song fell a place but a week later it climbed back up to #28 but then fell out of the charts, however on July 6, the song re-entered the chart at #36. Even though the single became Rihanna's lowest charting UK single to date and her first to miss the UK Top 20, it also marked her 11th consecutive UK Top 40 single. Furthermore, it also became Maroon 5's eighth UK Top 40 single.

Music video

Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and Rihanna in the music video

The music video, directed by Anthony Mandler, was shot on an indoor soundstage in Castaic, California on April 23, 2008.[1][5] One of the sets had to be repainted between takes.[5] An MTV News reporter called the video "a fairly glam affair", and Levine referred to it as "this kind of ultra-glamorous, photography-based, late-'70s/ early-'80s situation" and "really stylish and really beautiful",[1] saying that "Rihanna's physical presence is undeniable".[5] The Guardian wrote, "The concept appears to be high-end erotica [...] If the [smartly furnished] sets resemble the kind of rooms nobody really lives in, then Rihanna sports a selection of outfits nobody really wears".[5] The video premiered on May 13 on Total Request Live.[6] Rihanna said on The Today Show, when she went to perform for the Toyota Concert Series, and MTV's TRL that this was one of her favorite videos to make and enjoyed it.

The video features scenes in which Levine and Rihanna, according to The Guardian, "flirt professionally with each other"[5] at a table (seated opposite each other), in a bedroom and on a couch. Another setting presents Maroon 5 performing the song before Rihanna, who approaches Levine to share the microphone with him. Levine and Rihanna occasionally make violent gestures—such as scratching and hair-pulling—toward each other during the video.

Track listing

EU single release
# Title Length
1. "If I Never See Your Face Again"   3:19
2. "If I Never See Your Face Again" (Remix Edit) 3:30
Standard iTunes version
# Title Length
1. "If I Never See Your Face Again" (feat. Rihanna) 3:18
Australia/New Zealand iTunes version - EP
# Title Length
1. "If I Never See Your Face Again"   3:19
2. "If I Never See Your Face Again" (Remix Edit) 3:30
3. "If I Never See Your Face Again" (Live from MSN Control Room) 4:11

Critical reception

Billboard magazine found that the "equally photogenic Levine and Rihanna trade off vocals that are as sexy on record as their energy is on the elegant, glammed-to-the-hilt video."[7]

Charts

Chart (2008) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart[8] 11
Canadian Hot 100[9] 12
Dutch Top 40[10] 11
Irish Singles Chart[11] 16
Italian Singles Chart[12] 15
New Zealand Singles Chart[13] 21
Turkish Singles Chart[14] 3
UK Singles Chart[11] 28

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Rihanna, Maroon 5 Team Up For 'Magic' Collaboration, Complete With Ultra-Glam Video". MTV News (MTV Networks). April 24, 2008. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1586264/20080424/rihanna.jhtml. Retrieved 2008-06-21.  
  2. ^ Concepcion, Mariel (April 29, 2008). "Rihanna And Maroon 5 Team Up For 'Again' Remix". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.). http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003795985. Retrieved 2008-06-21.  
  3. ^ "Rihanna Meets Maroon 5". IGN.com (IGN Entertainment, Inc.). May 2, 2008. http://music.ign.com/articles/871/871465p1.html. Retrieved 2008-06-21.  
  4. ^ FMQB: Radio Industry News
  5. ^ a b c d e Lynskey, Dorian (May 23, 2008). "Sweetness and steel". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. http://arts.guardian.co.uk/filmandmusic/story/0,,2281460,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-04.  
  6. ^ Rihanna official website @ defjam.com - News
  7. ^ Williams, Chris (2008-06-07), "If I Never See Your Face Again". Billboard. 120 (23):50
  8. ^ ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved on June 15, 2008.
  9. ^ [1] Jam.canoe.ca
  10. ^ Dutch Top 40
  11. ^ a b "Maroon 5 ft. Rihanna - If I Never See Your Face Again global chart positions and trajectories". aCharts.us. Retrieved May 2008.
  12. ^ FIMI Singles Chart
  13. ^ New Zealand RIANZ Chart
  14. ^ Turkey Top 20 Chart Retrieved July 1, 2008
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