To Love Somebody (song)
|"To Love Somebody"|
|Single by Bee Gees|
|from the album Bee Gees' 1st|
|B-side||"Close Another Door"|
|Genre||Blue-eyed soul, baroque pop|
|Label||Polydor (United Kingdom)
Atco (United States)
|Writer(s)||Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb|
|Producer(s)||Robert Stigwood, Ossie Byrne|
|Bee Gees UK singles chronology|
"To Love Somebody" is a song written by Barry and Robin Gibb. Produced by Robert Stigwood, it was the second single released by the Bee Gees from their international debut album, Bee Gees 1st, in 1967. The single reached No.17 in the United States and No.41 in the United Kingdom. The song's B-side was "Close Another Door" The single was reissued in 1980 on RSO Records with "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" as its flipside. The song ranked at number 94 on NME magazine's "100 Best Tracks of the Sixties".
The song has been recorded by many other musicians, including Nina Simone whose version reached No. five in the UK in 1969, Michael Bolton whose recording reached No.11 in the US and No.16 in the UK in 1992, and Gram Parsons with The Flying Burrito Brothers.
Origins and lyrics
"To Love Somebody" is a soul ballad recorded by the Bee Gees.
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At the request of Robert Stigwood, the band's manager, Barry and Robin Gibb wrote "To Love Somebody", a soulful ballad in the style of Sam & Dave or The Rascals, for Otis Redding. Although Redding came to see Barry at the Plaza in New York one night. Robin claimed that "[Otis Redding] said he loved our material and would Barry write him a song".
The Bee Gees recorded "To Love Somebody" at IBC Studios, London in March 1967 and released it as a single in mid-July 1967 in the US. Redding died in an aeroplane crash later that year, before having a chance to record the song. The song was recorded around April 1967 with "Gilbert Green" and "End of My Song" at the IBC Studios in London, England.
Robin said, "Everyone told us what a great record they thought it was, Other groups all raved about it but for some reason people in Britain just did not seem to like it". Barry said "I think the reason it didn't do well here was because it's a soul number, Americans loved it, but it just wasn't right for this country".
Barry Gibb explained in a June 2001 interview with Mojo magazine:
It was for Robert. I say that unabashedly. He asked me to write a song for him, personally. It was written in New York and played to Otis but, personally, it was for Robert. He meant a great deal to me. I don't think it was a homosexual affection but a tremendous admiration for this man's abilities and gifts.
The simple title refrain of the chorus, "You don't know what it's like, Baby, you don't know what it's like, To love somebody...the way I love you" has the effect of being at once heartbreaking and triumphant, a self-pitying put-down to an unrequited love. "There's... a certain kind of light that never shone on me... You ain't got to be so blind, I'm a man, can't you see what I am?, I live and breathe for you, But what good does that do, If I ain't got you?".
- Barry Gibb – lead vocal, guitar
- Robin Gibb – harmony vocal, organ
- Maurice Gibb – bass, piano, guitar, organ, harpsichord, Mellotron
- Vince Melouney – guitar
- Colin Petersen – drums
- Bill Shepherd – orchestral arrangement
One of the most famous Gibb compositions, "To Love Somebody" is now considered a pop standard and has been covered by many artists, most notably:
- 1969: James Carr released this song as a single and reached #44 on the R&B Charts.
- 1969: Janis Joplin's version was released on the LP I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!.
- 1969: Nina Simone covered "To Love Somebody" released on the album of the same name, and reached #5 in UK, became her second British hit single after "Ain't Got No-I Got Life".
- 1977 Jackie DeShannon - she left the second part and changed the line "I'm a man, can you see what I am?" In "I'm a woman, can you See what I am?"
- 1989: Billy "Crash" Craddock from Back on Track; peaked at number 91 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada
- 1992: Michael Bolton released it as a single as well as including it on the album Timeless: The Classics and his version reached #83 in the US Pop Charts at the end of 1993.
- 2003: Clay Aiken performed this song in front of Robin Gibb who said later, "That's the way that song should be sung!"
- 2005: Billy Corgan's version was released on his debut solo album TheFutureEmbrace, under the title "toLOVEsomebody".
Michael Bolton version
|End of year chart (1993)||Position|
|US Billboard Hot 100||83|
Michael Bublé version
|Poland (Polish Airplay Top 20)||13|
- Discogs.com. "Bee Gees - To Love Somebody (original issue)".
- Show 49 - The British are Coming! The British are Coming!: With an emphasis on Donovan, the Bee Gees, and the Who. [Part 6] : UNT Digital Library
- Discogs.com. "Bee Gees - To Love Somebody (1980 reissue)".
- "100 Best Songs of the 1960s". NME. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- Melinda Bilyeu, Hector Cook, Andrew Môn Hughes (2004). The Bee Gees: Tales of the Brothers Gibb Omnibus Press, ISBN 978-1-84449-057-8, p. 134.
- David N. Meyer. "The Bee Gees: The Biography". Retrieved 5 December 2014.
- Joseph Brennan. "Gibb Songs: 1967".
- Hughes, Andrew. Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb. ISBN 9780857120045. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- Songfacts.com. "To Love Somebody - Bee Gees".
- Janovitz, Bill. "Bee Gees - To Love Somebody". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- "Songs Written by the Gibb Family on the International Charts" (PDF). brothersgibb.org. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- "Songs Written by the Gibb Family on the International Charts - part 1" (PDF). brothersgibb.org. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- "Bee Gees - To Love Somebody". officialcharts.de. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- "Bee Gees - To Love Somebody". Dutch Charts. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- "Bee Gees - Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- "Bee Gees - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- "RPM Country Tracks". RPM. 3 March 1990. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- "Billboard Top 100 - 1993". Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- "Clay Aiken - To Love Somebody - 05/06/2003". You Tube. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Thomas, Stephen (2005-06-21). "The Future Embrace - Billy Corgan". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
- "Billboard Top 100 - 1993". Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 20. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
"I Will Be Here for You" by Michael W. Smith
|Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single (Michael Bolton version)
14–21 November 1992
"I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston