Everywhere That I'm Not

Composed by Steve Barton

Song Review by

Some lore about Translator's universally acclaimed and beloved new wave-era single from 1982: The band was signed on the strength of a demo tape of the song received by a San Francisco college radio station; the album version was produced by David Kahne who later went on to star in productions by the Bangles and other chart-toppers. It was not written in the wake of John Lennon's death, as many fans and critic's have mistakenly claimed, but it is four minutes and three seconds of pure pop pleasure executed by four young men -- two songwriters, two guitars, bass, and drums -- with a bona fide Beatles fixation. Much like McCartney's lyrical bass lines that worked in tandem with Starr's swinging drums, it is the rhythm section driving this one -- the jangle rock guitar sound simply punctuates the melody. The singer's frustration at trying to hook up with the person who's "everywhere that I'm not" is palpable as the desperation of his search is mimicked in the meandering melody. With each chorus -- "that's impossible that's im, that's impossible that's imposs, that's impossible" -- he becomes increasingly tense and nervous to the point where he's screaming the title refrain. This was the most enduring song by San Francisco's entry into the new wave, mainstream sweepstakes.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1982 415 Records
No Image 1986 Columbia 4:03
Richard Blade's Flashback Favorites 1993
Various Artists
Oglio Records 4:02
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:04
Translation 1995 Oglio Records 4:01
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Risky Business / Sony Music Distribution 4:07
Just Say New Wave 1996
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:04
Everywhere That We Were: The Best of Translator 1996 Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 4:03
Rock on! Around the World 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 4:04
New Wave Hits of the '70s & '80s 2002
Various Artists
Immediate / Sony Music Distribution 4:04
New Wave 80's [Madacy] 2005
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 4:03
Collection 2007 Evangeline (UK) 4:05
Sometimes People Forget 2015 Omnivore
The  Box Set Series: The '80s 2015
Various Artists
Columbia / Legacy / Sony Music Entertainment 4:03
blue highlight denotes editor's pick