I Honestly Love You

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"I Honestly Love You"
Single by Olivia Newton-John
from the album Long Live Love (UK)
If You Love Me, Let Me Know (US)
B-side "Home Ain't Home Anymore" (U.S.)
"Get Your Paper Dues" (UK)
Released 28 April 1974
Format 7"
Recorded January 1974
Genre Country pop
Length 3:40
Label MCA
Writer(s) Jeff Barry & Peter Allen
Producer(s) John Farrar
Certification Gold (US)[1]
Olivia Newton-John singles chronology
"If You Love Me, Let Me Know"
(1974)
"I Honestly Love You"
(1974)
"Have You Never Been Mellow"
(1975)

"I Honestly Love You" (first released in Australia as "I Love You, I Honestly Love You", per its chorus) was a worldwide pop hit single for Olivia Newton-John in 1974. The song was Newton-John's first number-one single in the United States and Canada, thus cementing her as a household name in North America.

Released on the Long Live Love album in the United Kingdom by EMI, it was eventually released on the album If You Love Me, Let Me Know in the United States on MCA. The song was written by Jeff Barry and the Australian composer Peter Allen; the latter recorded it around the same time on his album Continental American. It also appears in the musical about Allen's life, The Boy from Oz. VH1 placed the song at No. 11 on its "40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs" list.[2] The song won Newton-John both the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 17th Grammy Awards.[3] Andy Williams released a version in 1974 on his album, You Lay So Easy on My Mind.

A snippet of the song plays over Chief Brody's radio in the second shark attack in 1975's "Jaws", moments before Alex Kitner and Pippet the dog disappear beneath the waves.

Chart performance[edit]

The song topped the charts in the U.S. on 5 October 1974, and went on to sell over two million copies, being certified Platinum. It also reached number one (three weeks) on the Adult Contemporary charts.[4] and number six on the Country charts.[5] The song won Grammy Awards for Female Pop Vocal Performance and Record of the Year. The song's success also helped propel its parent album, If You Love Me, Let Me Know, to number one. By contrast, the single failed to reach the top-twenty in the United Kingdom (#22), although it did chart there in 1983 when it was re-released to promote a Newton-John greatest hits album.

Newton-John re-released the original hit version of the song in 1977, backed with "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from her then-current album Making a Good Thing Better, and it reached number forty-eight Pop (outperforming the only single from Making a Good Thing Better, the title song, which stalled at number eighty-seven). The song also recharted on the Adult Contemporary chart at No. 49.

1998 version[edit]

"I Honestly Love You '98"
Single by Olivia Newton-John
from the album Back with a Heart
Released 1998
Format CD single
Recorded 1998
Genre Pop, country
Length 4:04
Label MCA
Producer(s) John Farrar

In 1998, Newton-John released a new version of "I Honestly Love You" from her album Back with a Heart, which featured Babyface on background vocals, and reached number sixty-seven on the Billboard Hot 100, her first U.S. charted single in six years. The 1998 version also charted on the AC chart at No. 18 and in Country Music Sales at No. 16.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1974) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 1
Swedish Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 22
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 6
U.S. Billboard Easy Listening 1
Chart (1977) Peak
position
Canadian RPM Top Singles 55
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 48
U.S. Billboard Easy Listening 49
Chart (1983) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 52
Chart (1998) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 88
U.S. Billboard Country Singles Sales 16
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 67
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 18
Preceded by
"I Love My Friend" by Charlie Rich
Billboard Easy Listening number-one single
14 September 1974 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Tin Man" by America
Preceded by
"Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" by Barry White
Cashbox Top 100 number-one single
21 September 1974 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Rock Me Gently" by Andy Kim
Preceded by
"Nothing from Nothing" by Billy Preston
Cashbox Top 100 number-one single
19 October 1974 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Can't Get Enough" by Bad Company
Preceded by
"Rock Me Gently" by Andy Kim
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
5 October 1974 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Nothing from Nothing" by Billy Preston
Preceded by
"Another Saturday Night" by Cat Stevens
RPM Top Singles number-one single
5 October 1974 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Beach Baby" by The First Class
Preceded by
"Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town" by Charley Pride
RPM Country Tracks number-one single
16 November 1974 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Carefree Highway" by Gordon Lightfoot
Preceded by
"The Night Chicago Died" by Paper Lace
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
18 November 1974 (four weeks)
Succeeded by
"Kung Fu Fighting" by Carl Douglas

References[edit]

  1. ^ "American single certifications – Olivia Newton-John – I Honestly Love You". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  2. ^ "VH1's 40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs". 31 May 2007. 
  3. ^ "Past Winners Search | GRAMMY.com". grammy.com. Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 181. 
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 248. 

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
"Killing Me Softly with His Song" (Roberta Flack, 1974)
Grammy Award for Record of the Year
1975
Succeeded by
"Love Will Keep Us Together" (Captain & Tennille, 1976)
Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
1975
Succeeded by
"At Seventeen" (Janis Ian, 1976)