Cry Me a River (Justin Timberlake song)

"Cry Me a River"
Single by Justin Timberlake
from the album Justified
Released November 11, 2002[1]
Format Digital download, CD single, 12" single
Recorded 2002
Genre Pop, R&B
Length 4:48
Label Jive
Writer(s) Justin Timberlake, Tim Mosley, Scott Storch
Producer Timbaland, Scott Storch
Certification Silver France[2]
Justin Timberlake singles chronology
"Like I Love You"
(2002)
"Cry Me a River"
(2002)
"Work It"
(2003)
Timbaland singles chronology
"Ching Ching"
(2002)
"Cry Me a River"
(2002)
"Lovely"
(2006)
Music sample
Justin Timberlake - "Cry Me a River"

"Cry Me a River" is the second single from Justin Timberlake's solo debut album Justified. Released on December 17, 2002, the single, which features guest vocals and production by Timbaland & Scott Storch, won Timberlake a Grammy Award for "Best Male Pop Vocal Performance" in 2004.

Contents

Background information

The title of the song comes from the otherwise unrelated song "Cry Me a River", written in 1953 by Arthur Hamilton and sung by Julie London in the movie The Girl Can't Help It. The song is supposedly a re-telling of Timberlake's break-up with Britney Spears.[citation needed]. It includes accusations of her infidelity with lyrics like, "You don't have to say what you did/I already know, I found out from him/Now there's just no chance, for you and me, there'll never be/And don't it make you sad about it."

The music video, directed by Francis Lawrence, depicts him exacting revenge upon Spears, portrayed by Lauren Hastings, by breaking into her house and filming himself with another woman kissing passionately, and watching as she returns to find the video playing on her television. The video's success started a feud between producer Timbaland and Scott Storch, who claimed he was uncredited for producing (the booklet credits him as clavinet player and writer).[3]

Reaction

Rumors of Britney Spears cheating as the underlying reason of their breakup eight months before had been surfacing for a while, and for many, the song and the music video confirmed their beliefs. US Weekly ran a cover story, titled "Britney Vs. Justin: The War Is On", immediately after the release of the video. Timberlake, however, said, "The video is not about her. The video is about me."[4]

Yet according to Spears' account in an October 2003 Rolling Stone interview,[5] she received a call from Timberlake saying he supposedly wanted to get back together with her and craftily added on that she was in a music video with him saying, "Don't worry about it. It's not a big deal." Spears, who had not seen the video, admits to naively allowing him to do so and became infuriated after watching the video upon its promotion. When she later asked about why he made such a defaming video of her, Timberlake replied according to Spears, "Well, I got a controversial video." She retorted, "You did. [Claps her hands, as if for a dog that just performed a trick.] Yay for you." She acknowledged it was a great publicity stunt commenting, "So he got what he wanted. I think it looks like such a desperate attempt, personally. But that was a great way to sell the record. He's smart [laughs]. Smart guy."

In 2003, it was rumored that Britney supposedly responded through her single "Everytime" from her album In the Zone. The songs lyrics are an apologetic response to Timberlake's song as she sings, "I may have made it rain, please forgive me, my weakness caused you pain, and this song's my sorry". However, Spears has neither confirmed nor denied this rumor but has commented that there was no response track to Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" in this album.

The music video "Cry me a River" is most infamously known as having Justin Timberlake kick a picture frame across the room with a photo of Britney Spears inside.

There is a widespread discussion whether or not this song is related to Justin Timberlake's 2007 single "What Goes Around... Comes Around". Critics regard the song as a sequel to this song as the lyrics of this song and "What Goes Around" are similar. Justin Timberlake denies any relationship between "Cry Me a River" and "What Goes Around."

Reception

The song was very well received by fans and critics alike. Aside from all the allegations that the song and video were about his split with Britney Spears, the song became Timberlake's breakthrough track and helped propel him to individual mainstream success. Cry Me a River became a hit very quickly and a favourite almost instantly. It would also lead Timberlake to his first of many individual Grammy awards. On Rolling Stone's updated version of their The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, "Cry Me a River" was listed at number #484.[6]

Track listings

US CD Single
  1. "Cry Me a River" [Album Version]
  2. "Cry Me a River" [Instrumental]
  3. "Cry Me a River" [Dirty Vegas Vocal Mix]
  4. "Cry Me a River" [Junior's Earth Club Mix]
UK CD1
  1. "Cry Me a River" [Original Version]
  2. "Cry Me a River" [Dirty Vegas Vocal Mix]
  3. "Cry Me a River" [Bill Hamel Vocal Remix]
  4. "Cry Me a River" [Enhanced Video]
UK CD2
  1. "Cry Me a River" [Johnny Fiasco Vocal]
  2. "Like I Love You" [Basement Jaxx Vocal Mix]
  3. "Like I Love You" [Deep Dish Zigzag Remix]

Remixes/official versions

  • Album Version - 4:47
  • Official Remix featuring 50 Cent - 4:52

Music video

Shot in late October and early November 2002 in Malibu, California, the video begins with a blond woman, supposedly meant to be Britney Spears, walking out of her house hand-in-hand with an unidentified man. The couple leave in her car as Timberlake rolls down the window of the a car from which he has been watching her with a friend. He breaks into the house by throwing a rock through a window and proceeds to walk through the house, not causing any other visible damage, except for a picture which he kicks across the room (the picture is one of Britney Spears). He searches some drawers to find a video camera. The driver of the car, who brought the distraught Justin, signals for a brunette woman in the back to go in. Her facial gesture and blase automaton interaction with Justin, indicate she is doing the driver a favor in doing this. She begins undressing and kissing him while he films. They are just there for a moment, so it is clear, not much else happens. The brunette exits. Justin's ex returns; he follows her around the house then hides in a closet as she takes a shower. As he gets closer to her, eventually touching the glass surrounding of the shower, she senses someone else in the room and turns around but Timberlake is gone. She leaves the bathroom and goes into her bedroom, where the video made by Justin and his new lover is playing on the television as the music video ends. You only see the blond woman's face once.

Chart performance

"Cry Me a River" peaked at #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on January 21, 2003, and was - at that point - Timberlake's most successful single, until "Sexyback" reached the number-one position in 2006. In the UK, "Cry Me a River" peaked at #2 for two consecutive weeks (part of a long string of singles for Timberlake to just miss hitting the top, broken by "Sexyback" in 2006). In Australia, "Cry Me a River" debuted (and peaked) at #2 on the ARIA singles chart. In Indonesia, "Cry Me a River" was peaked at number two for seven non-consecutive weeks. Three weeks of that stuck behind "Beautiful" from Christina Aguilera, following week, the song drop to number eight. But, the next week the song rose to number four and rose again to number two, and stuck again there for 4 weeks, behind Avril Lavigne's "I'm with You". The song ended the chart with being the 17th Top 100 Year-End in the country.

"Cry Me a River" also performed well in other countries, peaking at #6 in the Netherlands and France (Timberlake's first French Top 10 single and his highest charting hit until "What Goes Around... Comes Around" reached #5 in 2007). "Cry Me a River" reached the #10 position in both Sweden and Norway, and was a Top 20 success in New Zealand (#11), Finland (#19) and Switzerland (#20).

Timberlake's single was certified Silver in France for sales of 100,000 copies.[2]

Cover versions

  • "Cry Me a River" was covered by Lostprophets as a B-side to their 2004 single "Last Train Home", by Hope Kills on their album One for the Saints, Two for the Sinners, and by The Cliks on their album Snakehouse.
  • 50 Cent also collaborated with Timberlake on two remixes. One remix uses "The World" from 50 Cent's underground album God's Plan.
  • In 2006, New Found Glory covered the song for an online performance on Yahoo Music & Pepsi Smash's "Cover Art" feature. The video can be found on YouTube.
  • The music video was also parodied in 2006 in Bob Sinclar's music video for "Rock This Party".
  • Irish singer Lucia Evans covered the song for her debut album Natural Woman.
  • Jonny Craig has been known to cover "Cry Me a River" during concerts with Emarosa and Isles & Glaciers.
  • Leona Lewis has performed "Cry Me a River" live in The Labyrinth Tour.
  • In 2011, Taylor Swift has performed "Cry Me a River" live on her Speak Now World Tour.

Charts and certifications

Chart (2002–03) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[10] 2
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 75)[11] 29
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[12] 7
Belgium (Ultratop 40 Wallonia)[13] 5
Denmark (Tracklisten)[14] 11
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[15] 19
France (SNEP)[16] 6
Germany (Media Control AG)[17] 13
Ireland (IRMA)[18] 6
Italy (FIMI)[19] 14
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[20] 6
New Zealand (RIANZ)[21] 11
Norway (VG-lista)[22] 10
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[23] 10
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 20
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[25] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[26] 3
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[27] 2
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[28] 11
US Pop Songs (Billboard)[29] 3

Certifications

Country Provider Certification
Australia ARIA Gold[30]

References

  1. ^ http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1458390/20021028/timberlake_justin.jhtml?headlines=true
  2. ^ a b http://www.disqueenfrance.com/fr/monopage.xml?id=259165&year=2003
  3. ^ Justin Timberlake Credits below
  4. ^ Justin, Britney At War? - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News
  5. ^ Rolling Stone Interview with Britney Spears "Sometimes It's Hard To Be A Woman"
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Cry me a River cover by Paolo Nutini
  8. ^ Cry Me a Rive Live at V Festival
  9. ^ Justin Bieber - Cry Me a River - YouTube
  10. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  11. ^ "Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River" (in French). Ultratop 40. Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  14. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River". Tracklisten. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  15. ^ "Finnishcharts.com – Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River". Suomen virallinen lista. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  16. ^ "Lescharts.com – Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River" (in French). Les classement single. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  17. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche - musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  18. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  19. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River". Top Digital Download. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100. Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  21. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River". Top 40 Singles. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  22. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River". VG-lista. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  23. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River". Singles Top 60. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  24. ^ "Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  25. ^ "Chart Stats - Justin Timberlake - Cry Me A River". The Official Charts Company. Chart Stats. http://www.chartstats.com/release.php?release=30365. Retrieved April 11, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Justin Timberlake Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Justin Timberlake. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  27. ^ "Justin Timberlake Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play for Justin Timberlake. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  28. ^ "Justin Timberlake Album & Song Chart History" Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Justin Timberlake. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  29. ^ "Justin Timberlake Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Justin Timberlake. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  30. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2003 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. http://www.aria.com.au/pages/aria-charts-accreditations-singles-2003.htm. Retrieved April 11, 2011. 

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