Bye Bye Love (The Everly Brothers song)
|"Bye Bye Love"|
|Single by The Everly Brothers|
|from the album The Everly Brothers|
|B-side||"I Wonder If I Care as Much"|
|Format||Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM|
|Recorded||March 1, 1957, RCA Studios, Nashville, Tennessee|
|Genre||Rockabilly, country, rock and roll|
|Songwriter(s)||Felice & Boudleaux Bryant|
|The Everly Brothers singles chronology|
"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, 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. The Everlys' "Bye Bye Love" is ranked 210th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time." It was the first song Paul McCartney performed live on stage, with his brother Mike at a holiday camp in Filey, North Yorkshire. The song was part of Rory Storm and The Hurricanes’ repertoire and a live version recorded in 1960 was released in 2012 on the album Live at the Jive Hive March 1960. The Beatles covered the song during the Let It Be sessions in 1969. George Harrison did a cover of the song in 1974 for his album Dark Horse, changing some of the words. The song has also been covered by Simon & Garfunkel.
The guitar intro to the song was not originally part of the song but was something that Don Everly had come up with that was just tacked on to the beginning. Chet Atkins was the lead guitar player on the session. Buddy Harman was the drummer.
George Harrison's version
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. Author Chris Ingham describes Harrison's version as "recomposed in a minor key and featuring pointedly customised lyrics". The new words were in reference to his wife Pattie Boyd having left him for their mutual friend Eric Clapton:
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, but they were incorrect, although the new couple were credited on the inner sleeve notes. Harrison had written their names along with other cryptic messages among the album's musician credits, 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."
The song also included a credit for "Rhythm Ace", which 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." In fact, Harrison played all the instruments on the recording, using the multitrack facilities at his Friar Park home studio: 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, his reading of "Bye Bye Love" drew harsh reactions from music critics when Dark Horse was released in December 1974. Decades later, it continues to find little favour with many reviewers; Richard Ginell of AllMusic calls it a "slipshod rewrite", Alan Clayson has written of the ex-Beatle's "blatant ... liberty-taking", 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."
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'". Ingham also rates "Bye Bye, Love" among the best tracks on Dark Horse, along with the title track and "Far East Man". Another advocate of Harrison's rewrite, Blogcritics' Chaz Lipp describes it as "a funky and funny comment on the dissolution of his marriage".
Other cover versions
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 No. 7 on Billboard's chart of Most Played C&W by Jockeys, while reaching No. 8 on Billboard's chart of C&W Best Selling in Stores, in a tandem ranking with its flip side, "Missing You".
French-American singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux recorded the song in 2013 for her album The Blue Room.
Livingston Taylor also made a version of the song for his 2017 album Safe Home.
- The Everly Brothers interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944–2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 117.
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