Bye Bye Love (The Everly Brothers song)

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"Bye Bye Love"
ByeBye Love Everly Bros.jpg
Single by The Everly Brothers
from the album The Everly Brothers
B-side"I Wonder If I Care as Much"
ReleasedMarch 1957
FormatVinyl, 7", 45 RPM
RecordedMarch 1, 1957, RCA Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
GenreRockabilly, country, rock and roll
Songwriter(s)Felice & 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." 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.[3] Chet Atkins was the lead guitar player on the session.[4] Buddy Harman was the drummer.[5]

George Harrison's version[edit]

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.[6][7] Author Chris Ingham describes Harrison's version as "recomposed in a minor key and featuring pointedly customised lyrics".[8] The new words were in reference to his wife Pattie Boyd having left him for their mutual friend Eric Clapton:[9]

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,[10] but they were incorrect,[11][12] although the new couple were credited on the inner sleeve notes.[9] Harrison had written their names along with other cryptic messages among the album's musician credits,[7] 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."[13]

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."[11] In fact, Harrison played all the instruments on the recording, using the multitrack facilities at his Friar Park home studio:[13] 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,[14] his reading of "Bye Bye Love" drew harsh reactions from music critics when Dark Horse was released in December 1974.[15] Decades later, it continues to find little favour with many reviewers; Richard Ginell of AllMusic calls it a "slipshod rewrite",[16] Alan Clayson has written of the ex-Beatle's "blatant ... liberty-taking",[9] 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."[13]

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'".[17] Ingham also rates "Bye Bye, Love" among the best tracks on Dark Horse, along with the title track and "Far East Man".[8] Another advocate of Harrison's rewrite, Blogcritics' Chaz Lipp describes it as "a funky and funny comment on the dissolution of his marriage".[18]

Other cover versions[edit]

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,[19] 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".[20]

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

The song was covered by Ray Charles on his seminal 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.[21]

Simon & Garfunkel included a live version of the song on their 1970 album Bridge over Troubled Water.[22]

An uptempo version is included in the 1973 duet album Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man by Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn.[23]

The 1979 film All That Jazz features a rendition of the song performed by Roy Scheider and Ben Vereen with rewritten lyrics.[24]

David Lindley covered the song in 1981 on the album El Rayo-X, issued by Asylum Records.[25]

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.[26]

A cover of the song by the Proclaimers is heard in the 1995 film Bye Bye Love.[citation needed]

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.


  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. ^ Michael Kosser. "How Nashville Became Music City, U.S.A.: 50 Years of Music Row". p. 90. Retrieved 2016-08-28.
  4. ^ "Inductee explorer | Rock & Roll Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2016-08-28.
  5. ^ "Buddy Harmon | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-08-28.
  6. ^ The Editors of Rolling Stone, Harrison, Rolling Stone Press/Simon & Schuster (New York, NY, 2002; ISBN 0-7432-3581-9), p. 46.
  7. ^ a b Lindsay Planer, "George Harrison 'Bye Bye, Love'", AllMusic (retrieved 22 March 2012).
  8. ^ a b Chris Ingham, The Rough Guide to the Beatles, Rough Guides/Penguin (London, 2006; 2nd edn; ISBN 978-1-84836-525-4), p. 134.
  9. ^ a b c Alan Clayson, George Harrison, Sanctuary (London, 2003; ISBN 1-86074-489-3), p. 343.
  10. ^ Keith Badman, The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After the Break-Up 1970–2001, Omnibus Press (London, 2001; ISBN 0-7119-8307-0), p. 135.
  11. ^ 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).
  12. ^ Mark Ellen, "A Big Hand for The Quiet One", Q, January 1988, p. 66.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Keith Badman, The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After the Break-Up 1970–2001, Omnibus Press (London, 2001; ISBN 0-7119-8307-0), p. 203.
  15. ^ Nicholas Schaffner, The Beatles Forever, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY, 1978; ISBN 0-07-055087-5), p. 178.
  16. ^ Richard S. Ginell, "George Harrison Dark Horse", AllMusic (retrieved 11 March 2012).
  17. ^ Richard Williams, "George Harrison The Apple Years 1968–75", Uncut, November 2014, p. 93.
  18. ^ Chaz Lipp, "Music Review: George Harrison's Apple Albums Remastered", Blogcritics, 5 October 2014 (retrieved 7 October 2014).
  19. ^ Most Played C&W by Jockeys", Billboard, July 22, 1957. p. 73. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  20. ^ C&W Best Selling in Stores", Billboard, June 10, 1957. p. 58. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  21. ^ Cook, Stephen. "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music – Ray Charles". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  22. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  23. ^ "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man – Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  24. ^ Denby, David (1979-12-31). "Broadway Melody of 1979". New York. pp. 61, 63. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  25. ^ Greenwald, Matthew. "El Rayo-X – David Lindley". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  26. ^ "RPM Country Tracks". RPM. July 4, 1992. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2013.

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