(Love Is) Thicker Than Water

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"(Love Is) Thicker Than Water"
Single by Andy Gibb
from the album Flowing Rivers
ReleasedSeptember 1977
RecordedOctober 1976
StudioCriteria (Miami)
Length3:23 (single version)
4:16 (album version)
Songwriter(s)Barry Gibb, Andy Gibb
Andy Gibb singles chronology
"I Just Want to Be Your Everything"
"(Love Is) Thicker Than Water"
"Shadow Dancing"

"(Love Is) Thicker Than Water" is a song performed by Andy Gibb, released in September 1977 as the second and final single from his debut album, Flowing Rivers. The song was his second single that topped the US Billboard Hot 100. It was mainly written by Barry Gibb, with help from Andy Gibb. The B-side of this song was "Words and Music" in the US, but "Flowing Rivers" in the UK.[2] It became a gold record.

Billboard magazine describes the song as "a midtempo ballad that changes pace from a lushly romantic and soft [Andy] Gibb vocal to an uptempo instrumental drive. Plenty of melody and another catchy hook".[3] Cash Box said that "the choral harmonies are full of pop appeal, while the arrangement adds a grandiose touch that will attract more progressive tastes."[4]

Writing and recording[edit]

"(Love Is) Thicker Than Water" was written by Barry Gibb in Bermuda with Andy Gibb credited as co-writer.[5] Andy Gibb later revealed writing a song with Barry:

I did one song with Barry, 'Thicker Than Water' which I thought was good", Gibb explains, "Even though it says on the credits 'B. & A. Gibb', it is really Barry's song - it is very hard to write with Barry, but he said, 'Help me think of a great title'. That was a period where Barry was thinking of titles first and seeing how they would inspire him to write a song. I said, 'How about Thicker Than Water?' I did not say 'Love Is' just 'Thicker Than Water', he said 'That's great!' and then he came up with 'Love is higher than a mountain' and he just went on from there, but the title was totally my idea.[6]

"(Love Is) Thicker than Water" was recorded in October 1976 at the Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida, during the same time as "I Just Want to Be Your Everything". On the two tracks, Joe Walsh of Eagles played guitar.[7] The song was certified Gold in the United States on 16 February 1978 as Robert Stigwood presented Gibb with his first gold record at the Roxy in Los Angeles.[6]

Billboard reviewed the song concluding that it has "plenty of melody and another catchy hook."[8] Record World said that it "flows with a light touch and a clever chorus/hook."[9]


As evidence of the Gibb brothers' U.S. chart domination in 1978, atop the March 4, 1978 Hot 100 the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" was displaced by this song,[10] which in turn was displaced two weeks later by the Bee Gees' "Night Fever", which in turn was displaced eight weeks later by Yvonne Elliman's "If I Can't Have You". Since Barry Gibb had a hand in writing all four of these songs, he became the only person in history to write four consecutive US number-one singles, a feat unmatched to this day.

The song was released in February 1978 in Netherlands.[11]

On October 7, 1977 Andy performed the song, and "I Just Want to Be Your Everything", on The Midnight Special.

Chart performance[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Breihan, Tom (December 4, 2019). "The Number Ones: Andy Gibb's "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water"". Stereogum. Retrieved July 5, 2023. "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water" is a pretty good pop song...[it] has echoes of disco and '70s soul...
  2. ^ Brennan, Joseph. "Gibb Songs: 1977". Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Billboard Top Single Picks". Billboard. 5 November 1977. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  4. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. November 5, 1977. p. 22. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  5. ^ "Island Ignited Bee Gees' Musical "Fever"". Bernews. Archived from the original on 30 December 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b Hughes, Andrew (2009). The Bee Gees - Tales of the Brothers Gibb. ISBN 9780857120045. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  7. ^ Brennan, Joseph. "Gibb Songs: 1976". Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard. November 5, 1977. p. 104. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  9. ^ "Hits of the Week" (PDF). Record World. November 5, 1977. p. 1. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  10. ^ "Andy Gibb's Billboard singles history". Rovi Corporation / Billboard. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
  11. ^ "Andy Gibb - (Love Is) Thicker than Water". Discogs. February 1978. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  12. ^ David Kent (1993). Australian Charts Book 1970—1992. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  13. ^ "CAN Charts > Andy Gibb". RPM. Archived from the original on 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2013-05-20.
  14. ^ "CAN Charts > Andy Gibb". RPM. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 2016-12-12.
  15. ^ "Andy Gibb - (Love Is) Thicker Than Water". charts.nz. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  16. ^ a b "US Charts > Andy Gibb". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-05-20.
  17. ^ "1978 Cashbox Top Singles". Cashbox Archives. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  18. ^ a b Gerard. "Songs Written by the Gibb Family on the International Charts" (PDF). brothersgibb.org. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  19. ^ "Kent Music Report No 236 – 1 January 1979 > National Top 100 Singles for 1978". Kent Music Report. Retrieved 8 January 2022 – via Imgur.com.
  20. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum - Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts - 1980s (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  21. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 2015-07-23. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  22. ^ Top 100 Hits of 1978/Top 100 Songs of 1978
  23. ^ "Billboard: Easy Listening Top 50". Billboard. 25 March 1978. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  24. ^ "Cash Box Top 100". Cashbox Magazine Archives. May 6, 1978. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  25. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.

External links[edit]