(Robin) Thicke’s “When I Get You Alone”: Revisit His Long-Haired Debut Single

Second Spin is our look back at our favorite pop gems that never got their due. They may be gone, but we’re here to make sure they’re not forgotten.

Robin Thicke is currently burning up the charts with “Blurred Lines,” a leading contender for Song of the Summer. The guy totally exudes cool, but not in a threatening or douchey way, despite the explicit sexual nature of that song’s video. Suave, you might even say. But that wasn’t always the case. Some of you may remember when Robin looked less like a guy who could slip into any posh nightclub and more like a holdout from the Seattle grunge era (see above). It’s true! In 2002, he dropped his debut single, “When I Get You Alone,” under the name Thicke, back when he was rocking long hair and a goatee and writing songs for the likes of Christina Aguilera and Brandy.

So head below to travel back to a simpler time, when Robin Thicke was scruffy and playing a scrappy, happy bike messenger for his first music video. (Also, see if you can spot the Russell Simmons cameo.)

Thicke — “When I Get You Alone” (2002)

The song was catchy, yes, but it was also a little nerdy thanks to its reliance on Walter Murphy‘s dorky disco hit “A Fifth Of Beethoven.” Much has changed for the singer in the 11 years since he dropped this early aughts artifact. Among other things, Robin has married a beautiful actress, landed a No. 1 single and built up enough capital to attract top hip-hop guest spots. But when you revisit this song, you’ll realize that much has stayed the same. For instance, he already exhibited plenty of confidence and sexual swagger (“Baby girl, you the shit / That makes you my equivalent / You can keep your toys in the drawer tonight”), and demonstrated a taste for topless women in his videos.

I distinctly remember adding this song to my beer pong playlist my freshman year of college after downloading it from LimeWire. Anyone who remembers the clunky P2P program knows this was not a user-friendly experience, meaning I must’ve really wanted the song. But I’m not even sure how I came across it. Radio and MTV were almost nonentities in terms of music discovery for college students at that point. Not that this song was getting much play on either — it failed to chart in the US, although it was successful overseas.

I think maybe I saw it on the back of a cereal box? (Back in the day, cereal boxes would have mail-in offers for various CDs and singles, if you’ll recall. I never actually ordered any, but I always read about them, because cereal comprised roughly 75% of my diet until a few years ago and thus roughly 75% of my reading.) The reason I took interest initially was because he was Alan Thicke‘s son. He comes from very likable stock!

And while I loved this song, I never further explored Thicke’s catalog, probably because I had moved on to “In Da Club” or Room On Fire or Dave Matthews Band‘s Central Park live album. Oh, and there was a little solo debut by a former boy band star who had similar vibes and went by the name of Justin Timberlake. To think, I could’ve been so ahead of the curve.

**UPDATE: As one of our commenters pointed out below, the song appeared in an accompanying Sprite commercial!

Do you remember this song, or is it new to you? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!

  • CK

    If you’re anything like me, you heard this song in a Sprite commercial on one of the music channels. I have been a Robin Thicke fan since this very song from back in the day and the minute I saw this post, I remembered exactly where I first heard it. Thanks for the memory!

  • AXG

    I remember seeing his name Thicke as a writing credit on Brandy’s first album, but I didn’t catch on to him until “Lost Without U” which i loved. Great song, thanks for sharing.

  • Jorge David

    He was still the man! Would love to hear him sing this: http://smarturl.it/AcousticBestFriend

  • Haterade

    “exudes cool,” and “not… douchey?” I sincerely hope this is just a case of sarcasm not carrying over to text. Anyone who makes a video with a hashtag and their own name constantly flashing on the screen is clearly grade-A douche material. “Blurred Lines” is ONLY a hit thanks to Pharelle’s ability to cover-up horrible lyrics (the implied rhyme of “hug me” with “f**k me” stands out) with an incredibly catchy hook and beat.

  • Sashelle

    “Haterade, u can go suck it. Robin Thicke is a VERY fine man and I LOVE all his songs. So shutup!!

  • Sashelle

    You also need to check your spelling. U may need to check with a doctor!
    People always sweating Robin, I don’t know why. A lot of people like his music. There’s no need for jealousy.
    If u are reading this Robin, I love everything about you. I’ll defend you in anything. Marvin Gaye’s kids had no reason to sue you. I love you