A World Without Love

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For the song by Eddie Rabbitt, see A World Without Love (Eddie Rabbitt song).
"A World Without Love"
Single by Peter and Gordon
from the album A World Without Love
B-side "If I Were You"
Released 28 February 1964[1]
Format 7"
Recorded 21 January 1964, EMI Studios, London
Genre Pop
Length 2:41
Label Columbia, Capitol Records
Writer(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) Norman Newell
Peter and Gordon singles chronology
"A World Without Love"
(1964)
"Nobody I Know"
(1964)

"A World Without Love" is a song recorded by the English duo Peter and Gordon and released as their first single in February 1964. It was included on the duo's debut album in the UK, and in the US on an album of the same name. The song was written by Paul McCartney[2] and attributed to Lennon–McCartney.[1] The B-side was "If I Were You", written by Peter and Gordon.[3]

In the United Kingdom, the song reached No. 1 on both the Record Retailer chart[4] and the New Musical Express chart.[5] In the United States, "A World Without Love" topped both the Billboard Hot 100[6] and the Cash Box Top 100.[7] The song also reached No. 1 on the Irish Singles Chart,[8] No. 1 on New Zealand's "Lever Hit Parade",[9] No. 2 in Australia,[5] and No. 8 on Norway's VG-lista.[1]

Background[edit]

McCartney wrote the song when he was 16. When he moved into the London home of his then-girlfriend Jane Asher in 1963, sharing a room with her brother Peter Asher, he offered the song to Asher and Gordon Waller after the pair obtained a recording contract as Peter and Gordon.[10] McCartney described John Lennon's reaction to the song: "The funny first line always used to please John. 'Please lock me away –' 'Yes, okay.' End of song."[11] Lennon said of the song that "I think that was resurrected from the past. ... I think he had that whole song before the Beatles. ... That has the line 'Please lock me away' that we always used to crack up at."[12]

McCartney did not think the song was good enough for The Beatles.[11] As such, the song was never released by the Beatles, and the only known recording of the song by any member of the Beatles is the original demo of the song performed by McCartney, which is now in the possession of Peter Asher.[13] As of January 2013, Paul McCartney's demo has been leaked on YouTube.[14] It is 30 seconds in length, but offers a rare glimpse into the song's origins. The clip was played at Asher's most recent string of concerts.

It is one of two songs written by Lennon–McCartney to reach number one in the US by an artist other than the Beatles.[15] The other is "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" covered by Elton John.[15] "Bad to Me" written by Lennon in 1963 was given to Billy Kramer and reached number 1 in the UK, but it failed to do so in the US. Before giving the song to Peter and Gordon, McCartney offered it to Billy J. Kramer, who rejected it.[11] The song was one of the seven #1s written by Lennon-McCartney that charted in the US in 1964, an all-time songwriting record for most songs to top the US charts in a calendar year. (see List of Billboard Hot 100 chart achievements and milestones)

"A World Without Love" is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.[10]

Bobby Rydell version[edit]

A cover version by Bobby Rydell released May 1964 was a strong regional hit in many markets, and reached No. 80 on the Billboard Hot 100.[16] In Rydell's native Philadelphia his version reached No. 1 in a tandem ranking with the Peter and Gordon version,[17] while in the Pittsburgh market Rydell's version reached No. 4 to the exclusion of the Peter and Gordon original. In Chicago, Rydell's version reached No. 10 on the WLS "Silver Dollar Survey", in a tandem ranking with the Peter and Gordon version,[18] while reaching No. 13 independently.[19] Rydell's version also reached No. 5 in Singapore[20] and No. 9 in Hong Kong.[21]

Other versions[edit]

In 1964, The Supremes released a version of the song on the album A Bit of Liverpool.[22] Their version was a hit in some countries in Southeast Asia, reaching No. 7 in Malaysia.[23]

Del Shannon also performed a cover of this song on his 1964 album Handy Man.

Terry Black released a version of the song on his 1965 debut album, Only 16.[24]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Peter & Gordon - World Without Love, norwegiancharts.com. Accessed July 27, 2016.
  2. ^ Miles 1997, p. 111.
  3. ^ Peter & Gordon - If I Were You, norwegiancharts.com. Accessed July 27, 2016.
  4. ^ Peter and Gordon - Full Official Chart History, Official Charts Company. Accessed July 26, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Hits of the World", Billboard, May 9, 1964. p. 30. Accessed July 26, 2016.
  6. ^ Peter and Gordon - Chart History - The Hot 100, Billboard.com. Accessed July 26, 2016.
  7. ^ "Cash Box Top 100", Cash Box, June 27, 1964. p. 4. Accessed July 26, 2016.
  8. ^ Song Title Search Results for "World Without Love", The Irish Charts. Accessed July 27, 2016.
  9. ^ "Lever Hit Parade" 28-May-1964, Flavour of New Zealand. Accessed July 27, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Jackson, Andrew Grant (22 April 2013). "The Songs the Beatles Gave Away". Slate. Brow Beat: Slate's Culture Blog. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c Miles 1997, p. 112.
  12. ^ Sheff 2000, p. 173.
  13. ^ "Rare Paul McCartney Recording of 'A World Without Love' Surfaces". Rolling Stone. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  14. ^ "A World Without Love – Home Demo by Paul McCartney". YouTube. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Songs written by John Lennon, MusicVF.com. Accessed July 26, 2016.
  16. ^ "Bobby Rydell - Chart History - The Hot 100", Billboard.com. Accessed July 26, 2015
  17. ^ "Top 99 Records of the Week", WIBG Radio 99, Survey No. 230, June 15, 1964. Accessed July 26, 2016.
  18. ^ "WLS Silver Dollar Survey", WLS, May 29, 1964. Accessed July 26, 2016.
  19. ^ "WLS Silver Dollar Survey", WLS, June 12, 1964. Accessed July 26, 2016.
  20. ^ "Hits of the World", Billboard, July 18, 1964. p. 27. Accessed July 26, 2016.
  21. ^ "Hits of the World", Billboard, August 8, 1964. p. 39. Accessed July 26, 2016.
  22. ^ The Supremes - World Without Love, norwegiancharts.com. Accessed July 27, 2016.
  23. ^ "Billboard Hits of the World", Billboard, March 27, 1965. p. 28. Accessed July 27, 2016.
  24. ^ Terry Black, Only 16 Retrieved June 15, 2015

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Chapel of Love" by The Dixie Cups
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
June 27, 1964 (one week)
Succeeded by
"I Get Around" by The Beach Boys
Preceded by
"Can't Buy Me Love" by The Beatles
UK Singles Chart number-one single
23 April 1964 – 6 May 1964
Succeeded by
"Don't Throw Your Love Away" by The Searchers