Islands in the Stream (song)
|"Islands in the Stream"|
|Single by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton|
|from the album Eyes That See in the Dark|
|B-side||"I Will Always Love You" (US)
"Midsummer Nights" (UK)
|Released||July 1983 (US)|
|Recorded||May 1983, Middle Ear, Miami Beach
Lion Share Recording Studios and Ocean Way Recording, Los Angeles
|Writer(s)||Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb|
|Producer(s)||Barry Gibb, Albhy Galuten, Karl Richardson|
|Kenny Rogers singles chronology|
"Islands in the Stream" is a song written by the Bee Gees whose title is named after the Ernest Hemingway novel and sung by American country music artists Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. It was released in August 1983 as the first single from Rogers' album Eyes That See in the Dark and the second pop number-one for both Rogers and Parton (after Rogers' "Lady" in 1980 and Parton's "9 to 5" in 1981).
The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, as well as Country and Adult Contemporary charts. It has also been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over two million physical copies in the US. In 2005 the song topped CMT's poll of the best country duets of all time; Parton and Rogers reunited to perform the song on the CMT special.
Rogers and Parton went on to record a Christmas album together, and had an additional hit with their 1985 duet "Real Love". The Gibbs originally wrote the song for Marvin Gaye in an R&B style, only later to change it for the Kenny Rogers album.
The song is sung in C major moderate 4/4 time, with Rogers and Parton alternating lead vocals, and in two-part harmony. Their version features a key change from C major to A-flat major. By contrast the Bee Gees' recorded version has no key change, and is sung throughout as a solo lead vocal with 3-part harmony on the final chorus.
It knocked Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" out of No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100, also topping the Country and Adult Contemporary listings. In December of that year it was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over two million physical copies in the US. It has also sold 569,000 digital copies in the US as of November 2013.
In Australia the song was number one for one week in December 1983 and became one of the highest selling singles of 1984.
The song reached a peak of No. 7 in the UK singles chart. It has sold 245,577 digital copies in the UK as of July 2014.
Later in the UK: In the 2009 Comic Relief show a charity single was performed, "(Barry) Islands in the Stream", with Rob Brydon and Ruth Jones (both actors appearing as their characters from the UK TV comedy Gavin & Stacey) and singer Tom Jones. It reached No.1 in the UK singles chart on 15 March 2009. 
In popular media
In April 2008 South Bend, Indiana, radio station WZOW played the song continuously for several days on end, a stunt drawing attention to the station's format change from alternative rock to adult contemporary.
- Kenny Rogers – vocals
- Dolly Parton – vocals
- Barry Gibb – vocals, guitar, arranger
- Maurice Gibb – guitar, bass, synthesizer
- Tim Renwick – guitar
- George Terry – guitar
- George Bitzer – piano, synthesizer
- Albhy Galuten – piano, synthesizer, arranger
- Ron Ziegler – drums
- Joe Lala – percussion
- Peter Graves – horns
- Whit Sidener – horns
- Ken Faulk – horns
- Neal Bonsanti – horns
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||1|
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||1|
|Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)||4|
|Canada Adult Contemporary Tracks (RPM)||1|
|Canada Country Tracks (RPM)||1|
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||1|
|Germany (Media Control Charts)||25|
|Italy (Musica e Dischi)||49|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||4|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||2|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||2|
|UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)||7|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks||1|
"True" by Spandau Ballet
|Billboard Adult Contemporary (chart) number-one single
October 15, 1983 (4 weeks)
"All Night Long (All Night)" by Lionel Richie
"Total Eclipse of the Heart"
by Bonnie Tyler
|Billboard Hot 100
October 29 – November 5, 1983
"All Night Long (All Night)"
by Lionel Richie
"Lady Down on Love"
|Billboard Hot Country Singles
October 29 – November 5, 1983
"Somebody's Gonna Love You"
by Lee Greenwood
|RPM Country Tracks
November 12 – 19, 1983
"One of a Kind Pair of Fools"
by Barbara Mandrell
- Danish blues-rock singer Peter Thorup and pop-singer Anne Grete Rendtorff had great success with a version with Danish lyrics in 1984 callet Skibe uden Sejl (Ships without Sailcloth). The song was used as titletrack for the Danish TV-serie Måske i morgen (maybe tomorrow) shown on Danish national television DR.
- Swedish pop and country singer Kikki Danielsson covered the song on her 1983 album Singles Bar, with lyrics in Swedish by Ingela "Pling" Forsman as "Öar i ett hav" ("Islands in a sea").
- Canadian vocalist Leslie Feist recorded a version of this song with her friends the Constantines. It appeared as number 9 on the bonus disc in the Deluxe Edition of The Reminder.
- In 1994 the majorcan singer Tomeu Penya recorded a version of this song with lyrics in a Balearic dialect of catalan, entitled Illes dins un riu (Islands in a stream) in the album Una Aclucada d'ull. This version was a duet sung with Adriana Ceballos an argentinian singer, this song became very popular in Catalonia.
- In the US television series The Office, Michael Scott performs a karaoke version of the song in the E-mail Surveillance episode. While waiting for someone to join him for the duet, Michael awkwardly finds himself singing the female part in falsetto until he is finally joined by the Jim Halpert character.
- It is the opening track of Barry Manilow's 2007 album The Greatest Songs of the Eighties, sung with Reba McEntire.
- My Morning Jacket covered Islands in the Stream in the encore of their August 12, 2011 concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. The song featured Neko Case, who performed as the opening act earlier in the evening.
- The chorus of the hip-hop song Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are) is an interpolation of the chorus of "Islands in the stream".
- The song was covered by the characters Vanessa Jenkins (Ruth Jones) and Bryn West (Rob Brydon) on an episode of the UK television series Gavin & Stacey. It was reprised by the same characters in a 2009 Comic Relief sketch, which also featured Tom Jones.
- In 2009 Namibian singer Nianell and South African singer Dozi released a version on their album "It Takes Two".
- In 2010 South African, Afrikaans singers Ray Dylan and Elizma Theron covered the song.
- In 2012 Frankie and Tonicha Quinnell covered the song on Frankie's Debut Album "Imagine Me".
- In 2014 Tzvi Hersh and Yehoshua Roysman covered the song on their debut album Red Badge of Honor.
- A portion of the song was covered by James Stinson (Wayne Brady) in the first episode of How I Met Your Mother's ninth season, The Locket.
Bee Gees' recorded version
|"Islands in the Stream"|
|Song by Bee Gees from the album Their Greatest Hits: The Record|
Middle Ear, Miami Beach, Florida
|Genre||Pop, hip hop|
|Producer||Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb|
|Their Greatest Hits: The Record track listing|
The Bee Gees recorded a new version for their retrospective 2001 compilation Their Greatest Hits: The Record, with solo vocal by Robin Gibb, it also appeared on their 2004 Number Ones and on the 2010 Mythology box set. The chorus of Pras' 1998 hit "Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)", which in turn is a reworking of the original Rogers and Parton release, replaces the final chorus in the studio recording. The Bee Gees "live" version of the song appears on their One Night Only album as well as the compilation Love Songs.
Barry Gibb's demo version
|"Islands in the Stream"|
|Song by Barry Gibb from the album The Eyes That See in the Dark Demos|
Miami Beach, Florida
|The Eyes That See in the Dark Demos track listing|
- Barry Gibb – vocals, guitar
- Robin Gibb – vocals
- Maurice Gibb – vocals, guitar
- Albhy Galuten – piano, synthesizer
Comic Relief version
|"(Barry) Islands in the Stream"|
|Single by Vanessa Jenkins and Bryn West featuring Sir Tom Jones and Robin Gibb|
|from the album Islands in the Stream|
|Released||March 8, 2009|
|Format||Digital download, CD single, DVD single|
|Genre||Pop, country, comedy|
|Writer(s)||Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, Robin Gibb|
|Robin Gibb singles chronology|
On March 8, 2009, actors Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon, in character as Vanessa Jenkins and Bryn West from the hit BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey, released a version of the song as a single for Comic Relief. Sir Tom Jones also features on the song, performing the final verse and chorus, whilst Robin Gibb appears on the single as a backing vocalist. Re-titled "(Barry) Islands in the Stream", in reference to the Barry Island setting of Gavin & Stacey, it entered the UK Singles Chart at #1 on March 15, 2009. By peaking at #1, this meant the Gibb Brothers had achieved #1 songs in five successive decades, the first songwriters to achieve this feat. The video was filmed in Barry Island, Las Vegas and the Nevada desert, with both Gibb and Jones appearing in the video alongside Jones and Brydon. Nigel Lythgoe also makes a cameo appearance as a talent competition judge.
- CD single
- "(Barry) Islands in the Stream" – 3:56
- "Wisemen" – 3:14
- "Somethin' Stupid" – 2:48
- "Islands in the Stream" (music video) – 4:21
- DVD single
- "(Barry) Islands in the Stream" (full-length video) – 8:56
- "(Barry) Islands in the Stream" (making of the video) – 14:30
"Right Round" by Flo Rida featuring Kesha
|UK Singles Chart number-one single
(Vanessa Jenkins and Bryn West Comic Relief version)
March 15, 2009
"Poker Face" by Lady Gaga
- The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits
- "American single certifications – Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton – Islands in the Stream". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
- Johnny Walker interview with Robin and Barry Gibb BBC Radio 2 30 August 2010 17:00
- Matt Bjorke (November 13, 2013). "Country Chart News – The Top 30 Digital Singles – November 13, 2013: CMA Awards Drive Sales; Eric Church "The Outsiders" #1; Taylor Swift "Red" #3". Roughstock.
- "Country Bites News snippets June 30 - July 6, 2014". Country Routes News. 13 July 2014.
- :Indiana Aiwaves:
- "Austriancharts.at – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton – Islands in the Stream" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Chartverfulgong > Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton > Islands in the Stream – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
- "Charts.org.nz – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton – Islands in the Stream". Top 40 Singles.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton – Islands in the Stream". VG-lista.
- Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton – Islands in the Stream". Singles Top 60.
- "Swisscharts.com – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton – Islands in the Stream". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "Chart Stats – Kenny Rogers And Dolly Parton – Islands in the Stream". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on July 27, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
- Information at Svensk mediedatabas
- The Greatest Songs of the Eighties at AllMusic
- "It Takes Two – Nianell & Dozi". Retrieved January 7, 2014.
- Gibb Songs : 2001
- Gibb Songs : 1983
- What's On TV.co.uk