For this week’s edition of Song Saturday, we’re featuring a standout ballad and third single from Gwen’s second solo album, “4 In The Morning”.
Based on a melody that Gwen and Tony had been working on previously for Love.Angel.Music.Baby., the pair wrote “4 In The Morning” together shortly after her first solo tour wrapped up in 2005. Gwen once referenced inspiration from both Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song” and Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face”. The song was recorded by Tony in his home Kingsbury Studios, Electric Lady Studios in New York and The Nook Studio in Studio City in 2006. Tony and his brother Neil produced the track together with additional help from Mark ‘Spike’ Stent. It’s also noted that Gabe contributed the keyboards on the track.
“4 In The Morning” was generally loved by critics and is hailed as one of the best songs off of The Sweet Escape by fans. Gwen referred to the track as one of her favorites from the album. “4 In The Morning” was more successful overseas and peaked only at #54 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was released in Europe and Australia with several notable remixes including the Thin White Duke Edit. “4 In The Morning” was also released on a 12″ vinyl for promo in the US in May of 2007.
Directed by Sophie Muller, the music video debuted in April 2007 and peaked at #7 on MTV’s Total Request Live. Wikipedia describes the gorgeous video as “a tearful and distraught Stefani, lying in bed as she begins to sing to the camera. In a white inside out L.A.M.B. T-shirt, she wanders around her apartment lost and questioning her lover, who is in fact absent from the video. The lyrics describe an argument, which she has with an off-screen lover throughout the video. After lying around her apartment and crying during a bath, she leaves her house and travels in a car, as she sits tearfully in the back. The video ends with Stefani rolling on the bed.”
The single wasn’t given too much promo by Interscope but the single was performed nightly on tour in 2007. Gwen was also featured on the grand finale of season six of American Idol with a performance of “4 In The Morning” taken from on tour via satellite.