Bye Bye Love (The Everly Brothers song)

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"Bye Bye Love"
Single by The Everly Brothers
from the album The Everly Brothers
B-side "I Wonder If I Care as Much"
Released March 1957
Format 7"
Recorded March 1, 1957, RCA Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Genre Rockabilly, country, rock and roll
Label Cadence
Writer(s) Felice and Boudleaux Bryant
The Everly Brothers singles chronology
"Keep A-Lovin' Me"
"Bye Bye Love"
"Wake Up Little Susie"

"Bye Bye Love" is a popular song written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and published in 1957. It is best known in a debut recording by the Everly Brothers,[1] issued by Cadence Records as catalog number 1315. The song reached number 2 on the US Billboard Pop charts and number 1 on the Cash Box Best Selling Record charts. The Everly Brothers' version also enjoyed major success as a country song, reaching number 1 in the spring of 1957.[2] The Everlys' "Bye Bye Love" is ranked 210th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

George Harrison's version[edit]

"Bye Bye, Love"
Song by George Harrison from the album Dark Horse
Published Acuff-Rose/Opryland
Released 9 December 1974 (US)
20 December 1974 (UK)
Genre Rock
Length 4:08
Label Apple
Writer Felice Bryant, Boudleaux Bryant, George Harrison
Producer George Harrison
Dark Horse track listing

In 1974, George Harrison recorded "Bye Bye, Love" for his album Dark Horse. As well as inserting a comma in the song title, Harrison wrote additional lyrics and a radically different melody line.[3][4] Author Chris Ingham describes Harrison's version as "recomposed in a minor key and featuring pointedly customised lyrics".[5] The new words were in reference to his wife Pattie Boyd having left him for their mutual friend Eric Clapton:[6]

There goes our lady, with a-you-know-who
I hope she's happy, old Clapper too
We had good rhythm (and a little slide) till she stepped in
Did me a favour, I … threw them both out.

In a later verse, Harrison states that he has "got tired of ladies that plot and shove me", before apparently dismissing his wife's affair as "our lady … out on a spree".

Rumours circulated that Clapton himself contributed on guitar and Boyd on backing vocals,[7] but they were incorrect,[8][9] although the new couple were credited on the inner sleeve notes.[6] Harrison had written their names along with other cryptic messages among the album's musician credits,[4] whereupon an assistant then sought permission from Clapton's record company and added the standard acknowledgment, reading: "Eric Clapton appears through the courtesy of RSO Records."[10]

"Rhythm Ace" was another confusing credit, as Tom Scott explained soon after the album's release: "Rhythm Ace is an electronic machine that plays any rhythm – a boogaloo, a cha-cha or a rhumba. I suppose a lot of people will think it's a person."[8] In fact, Harrison played all the instruments on the recording, using the multitrack facilities at his Friar Park home studio:[10] two 12-string acoustic guitars, drums, Moog bass as well as bass guitar, three electric guitar parts, electric piano, bongos, together with his lead vocal and backing vocals.

While Harrison dismissed the exercise as "just a little joke" in a 1977 interview,[11] his reading of "Bye Bye Love" drew harsh reactions from music critics when Dark Horse was released in December 1974.[12] Decades later, it continues to find little favour with many reviewers; Richard Ginell of AllMusic calls it a "slipshod rewrite",[13] Alan Clayson has written of the ex-Beatle's "blatant … liberty-taking",[6] while Harrison's musical biographer, Simon Leng, views it as "one track on Dark Horse that seriously fails the quality-control test … a desperately bad offering". Leng adds: "In its own way, 'Bye Bye, Love' is a classic 1970s period piece, from the era when rock stars used music to settle their own personal scores. Thankfully, George Harrison only made that mistake once."[10]

Conversely, in a 2014 review for Uncut, Richard Williams views Harrison's reading of "Bye, Bye Love" as a highlight of an album that otherwise "only a devoted Apple Scruff could love". With this cover version, Williams suggests, Harrison "sought the kind of return to bare-bones rock'n'roll simplicity Lennon had achieved with 'Instant Karma'".[14] Ingham also rates "Bye, Bye Love" among the best tracks on Dark Horse, along with the title track and "Far East Man".[5] Another advocate of Harrison's rewrite, Blogcritics' Chaz Lipp describes it as "a funky and funny comment on the dissolution of his marriage".[15]

Other cover versions[edit]

"Bye Bye Love"
Song by Donny Osmond from the album To You with Love, Donny
Released October 11, 1971
Recorded September 8, 1971
Genre Pop
Length 2:23
Label MGM Records
Writer Felice Bryant, Boudleaux Bryant
Producer Alan Osmond, Michael Lloyd
To You with Love, Donny track listing
"Do You Want Me"
"Bye Bye Love"
"I'm into Something Good"
"Bye Bye, Love"
Song by Simon & Garfunkel from the album Bridge over Troubled Water
Released January 26, 1970
Recorded live at Ames, Iowa
Genre Folk rock
Length 2:55
Label Columbia
Producer Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Roy Halee

The Everly Brothers' country success was concurrent with another country version, recorded by Webb Pierce, at the time one of country music's top entertainers. Pierce's version reached number 7 that summer.

Rory Blackwell and his Blackjacks recorded the song the UK in 1957, issued by Parlophone/EMI.

Connie Francis covered the song in her 1959 country music tribute album Country & Western – Golden Hits (title spelt as Bye, Bye Love).

Roy Orbison covered the song in 1960 for his album Lonely and Blue, but the title was spelled "Bye-bye, love".

Ray Charles included his version of "Bye Bye Love" on his 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.

The Newbeats released a version on their 1964 debut album, Bread & Butter.[16]

Trini Lopez covered the song on his 1964 On The Move album for Reprise Records.

Arthur Alexander covered the song as a single in 1968.

The Dials covered the song in a Reggae version in 1969 for Duke Records.

The duo Simon & Garfunkel recorded it live for their 1970 Bridge Over Troubled Water album; the live recording's second chorus features an error by one member of the duo, who begins to sing "happiness" a second time before switching to "sweet caress."

Donny Osmond covered the song in 1971 for his album To You with Love, Donny.

Ray Stevens included a cover of the song on his 1973 album Losin' Streak.

Jimmy Stevens covered the song on his 1972 Don't Freak Me Out album for Atlantic Records in the UK. The album was called Paid My Dues in the US.

George Harrison recorded the song for Dark Horse in 1974.

Between 1972 and 1974, "Bye Bye Love" was covered by Singapore-based female singer Ervinna, backing music by The Charlie & His Boys, on her album Golden Hits Of 20th Century Vol. 4 with the local White Cloud Record. Hong Kong female singer Betty Chung (鍾玲玲) also recorded the song on her album Betty Chung with EMI Regal Records in 1974.

The song was featured in the 1979 film All That Jazz, sung by Ben Vereen and Roy Scheider, with some lyrics rewritten to fit that story.

"Bye Bye Love" was also recorded for David Lindley's first album, El Rayo-X, released in 1981.

Lacy J. Dalton covered the song on her 1992 album Chains on the Wind. Her version peaked at number 69 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada.[17]

A cover of the song by the Scottish band The Proclaimers is heard in the 1995 film Bye Bye Love.

"Bye Bye Love" was also included in the Ditty Bops album Moon Over The Freeway, published in 2006.

The Pearls included an uptempo version of the song on their hits compilation album A String of Pearls, released on the Revola label in 2005 .

The song was reworked for a Sea-Bond denture adhesive commercial as "Bye Bye Pastes".

In 2011, a cover of "Bye Bye Love" was performed by Allie Moss, Bess Rogers and Ingrid Michaelson at the Rockwood Music Hall.

The song was featured in Episode one of Season 2 of Masters of Sex.[18]


  1. ^ The Everly Brothers interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 117. 
  3. ^ The Editors of Rolling Stone, Harrison, Rolling Stone Press/Simon & Schuster (New York, NY, 2002; ISBN 0-7432-3581-9), p. 46.
  4. ^ a b Lindsay Planer, "George Harrison 'Bye Bye, Love'", AllMusic (retrieved 22 March 2012).
  5. ^ a b Chris Ingham, The Rough Guide to the Beatles, Rough Guides/Penguin (London, 2006; 2nd edn; ISBN 978-1-8483-6525-4), p. 134.
  6. ^ a b c Alan Clayson, George Harrison, Sanctuary (London, 2003; ISBN 1-86074-489-3), p. 343.
  7. ^ Keith Badman, The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After the Break-Up 1970–2001, Omnibus Press (London, 2001; ISBN 0-7119-8307-0), p. 135.
  8. ^ a b Michael Gross, "George Harrison: How Dark Horse Whipped Up a Winning Tour", CIrcus Raves, March 1975; available at Rock's Backpages (subscription required; retrieved 14 July 2012).
  9. ^ Mark Ellen, "A Big Hand for The Quiet One", Q, January 1988, p. 66.
  10. ^ a b c Simon Leng, While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison, Hal Leonard (Milwaukee, WI, 2006; ISBN 1-4234-0609-5), p. 152.
  11. ^ Keith Badman, The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After the Break-Up 1970–2001, Omnibus Press (London, 2001; ISBN 0-7119-8307-0), p. 203.
  12. ^ Nicholas Schaffner, The Beatles Forever, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY, 1978; ISBN 0-07-055087-5), p. 178.
  13. ^ Richard S. Ginell, "George Harrison Dark Horse", AllMusic (retrieved 11 March 2012).
  14. ^ Richard Williams, "George Harrison The Apple Years 1968–75", Uncut, November 2014, p. 93.
  15. ^ Chaz Lipp, "Music Review: George Harrison’s Apple Albums Remastered", Blogcritics, 5 October 2014 (retrieved 7 October 2014).
  16. ^ The Newbeats, Bread & Butter Retrieved April 28, 2015
  17. ^ "RPM Country Tracks". RPM. July 4, 1992. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  18. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear"
Cash Box magazine bestselling record chart
#1 record

July 27, 1957
Succeeded by
"(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear"
Preceded by
"A White Sport Coat" by Marty Robbins
C&W Best Sellers in Stores
number one single by The Everly Brothers

June 22, 1957
Succeeded by
"Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On" by Jerry Lee Lewis