Everybody Needs Somebody to Love
|"Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"|
|Single by Solomon Burke|
|A-side||"Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"|
|B-side||"Looking for My Baby"|
|Genre||Rhythm and blues, soul|
|Writer(s)||Jerry Wexler, Bert Berns, Solomon Burke|
|Solomon Burke singles chronology|
"Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" is a song written by Bert Berns, Solomon Burke and Jerry Wexler, and originally recorded by Solomon Burke under the production of Bert Berns at Atlantic Records in 1964. Burke's version charted in 1964, but missed the US top 40, peaking at #58.
Wilson Pickett covered the song in 1966, and his version (which explicitly mentions Solomon Burke in the opening section) made it to #29 pop, and #19 R&B in early 1967. Other notable versions of "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" were recorded by The Rolling Stones and The Blues Brothers.
Composition and recording
On 28 May 1964, Burke recorded two unreleased songs, and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" (Atlantic 2241), that was also written by Burke (but also credited to Bert Berns and Jerry Wexler), which was Burke's most prominent bid for an enduring soul standard. Burke claims he was the sole writer on the song but was talked into sharing credit by Wexler and Berns.
In an interview Burke recalled the song's origins: "I used to do it in church when I was a kid and it was a march for the offering. We would play it with tubas, trombones and the big bass drum and it sounded really joyful. I played it to Jerry Wexler and Bert Berns, who thought that it was too fast, and had the wrong tempo."
In August 2008, Burke recalled that he had hired musicians from Charlotte, North Carolina, to play at a gig in Long Island and he drafted them in to play the instrumental riff on "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love". Burke described the recording: "Got the band cooking, get a bit of echo, we went through it, came back out, said to Jerry [Wexler], 'Whaddya think?' He said, 'Too fast. Doesn't have any meaning.' (Engineer) Tommy (Dowd) says, 'What can we lose? His band's here, let's just cut it.'" In this song, Burke employs the style of a black preacher, in "which he begins by delivering his message in a style of a sermon, and offering salvation".
Dave Marsh explains that in this song, "the porcine, gilt-fingered lay preacher testifies from the top but what you ought to hear is writ large between the lines, especially in the stentorian opening sermon. That is, when Burke sings "[There's a song I sing, and I believe] If everybody was to sing this song, it could save the whole world."
In 1997, Burke recalled: "When I did it for Jerry Wexler and Bert Burns (sic), they told me that song would never make it. I said, 'Well, I tell ya what—I'll give you a piece of it.' They said, 'That's the way we'll get the record played, so we'll take a piece of it.' In those days, they took a piece of your songs—a piece of the publishing—but in the end, you didn't have any pieces left. Even now, I'm still struggling to get the publishing, the royalties, and that'll never happen."
Jerry Wexler maintained in 2002: "I know Solomon is upset about that, and I wrote him a long letter explaining how we wrote the song together and that he has always gotten his share of the royalties. I know that because I get royalty checks for the song. The whole process of making a record is a collaborative affair and the issue of who does just what on a song sometimes gets confusing, but not on that song. We wrote it in Bert's apartment. Bert had a guitar and we wrote it together."
Burke's version, while later ranked #429 on the Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and ranked #447 in Dave Marsh's book, In The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made, which was released in July 1964, and was in the US Pop Charts for 8 weeks, but only reached #58.
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- "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" was covered twice by The Rolling Stones almost immediately in January 1965, for their 1965 album The Rolling Stones No. 2. The version on the US The Rolling Stones Now! album was an earlier version of the song and apparently issued by mistake.
- Wilson Pickett covered it on his album The Wicked Pickett in 1966.
- Dusty Springfield performed the song in 1967 on her TV show The Dusty Springfield Show.
- It was performed live by The 13th Floor Elevators in the 1960's. A live version of the song is on their 1968 album Live. It is featured also as a bonus track on 2005 reissue of their first album The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators (1966) and on the 3 disc box set The Psychedelic World of the 13th Floor Elevators (2002).
- Led Zeppelin was known to cover it live as part of a medley in "Whole Lotta Love".
- It was covered in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers and its soundtrack The Blues Brothers: Music from the Soundtrack featuring John Belushi as "Joliet" Jake Blues on lead vocals and Dan Aykroyd as Elwood Blues on harmonica and vocals. The song was also included on the band's Definitive Collection album. In 1989 it was released as a single in the UK, backed by "Think" and it peaked at #12.
- Genesis covered it as a part of their medley "Turn It On Again" in their live shows since 1983 thru the 1990's.
- The Jerry Garcia Band performed the song live during the 1990s and a version appears on the album Shining Star.
- The song also featured predominantly in the BBC television sitcom 2point4 children, where Ben, Jenny and David performed the song at Jenny's school auditions on the Series 4 episode 26 "Frenzy" on October 3, 1994.
- Since c. 2004, the song has been used in adverts for Celebrations.
- In 2004, Westlife performed the song live on their Turnaround Tour.
- Mick Jagger performed this song at the Grammys on February 13, 2011, in honor of Solomon Burke.
- Atlantic Records Discography: 1964. Jazzdisco.org. Retrieved on 2011-04-07.
- Robert Hilburn, "His Legacy on the Line", Los Angeles Times (August 11, 2002)
- Spencer Leigh, "Solomon Burke: The 1960s 'King of Rock and Soul' Who Enjoyed a Modern Renaissance", The Independent (October 11, 2010)
- Solomon Burke, in Mojo Magazine (August 2008), quoted in "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love by Solomon Burke"
- Michael Haralambos, Soul Music: The Birth of a Sound in Black America, (Da Capo Press, 1985):101.
- Dave Marsh, In The Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made (Da Capo Press, 1999):297.
- Solomon Burke, in Robert Wilonsky, "Soul Survivor", Dallas Observer (March 20, 1997)
- Jerry Wexler, in Robert Hilburn, "His Legacy on the Line", Los Angeles Times (August 11, 2002)
- "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" at the Wayback Machine (archived June 18, 2008), Rolling Stone 963 (December 9, 2004), see
- James Hector, The Complete Guide to the Music of the Rolling Stones (Omnibus Press, 1995):27–28.
- Jay Warner, On This Day in Black Music History (Hal Leonard Corporation, 2006):173.