Everything I Own

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"Everything I Own"
Everything I Own - Bread.jpg
Single by Bread
from the album Baby I'm-A Want You
B-side "I Don't Love You"
Released January 29, 1972
Genre Rock, soft rock
Length 3:07
Label Elektra
Writer(s) David Gates
Producer(s) David Gates
Bread singles chronology
"Baby I'm-a Want You"
"Everything I Own"

"Everything I Own" is a song written by David Gates. It was originally recorded by Gates's rock band Bread for their 1972 album Baby I'm-a Want You.

Although initial listeners may have interpreted it as a song about a broken relationship, Gates would later reveal that it was a song about the passing of his father. "According to the book 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, at his father's funeral, a friend took David Gates aside and said, "Your dad was so proud of what you were doing." David agreed by replying, "My success would have been so special to him as he was my greatest influence. So I decided to write and record "Everything I Own" about him. If you listen to the words, 'You sheltered me from harm, kept me warm, gave my life to me, set me free,' it says it all.”[1]

The original hit number five on the American Billboard Hot 100. Billboard ranked it as the No. 52 song for 1972.[2] "Everything I Own" also reached number five in Canada.

Chart performance[edit]

Ken Boothe version[edit]

"Everything I Own"
Ken Boothe - Everything I Own.jpg
Single by Ken Boothe
from the album Everything I Own
B-side "Drum Song"
Released 1974
Genre Reggae
Length 3:49
Label Wild Flower/Federal (Jamaica)
Trojan (UK)
Writer(s) David Gates
Producer(s) Lloyd Charmers

Jamaican artist Ken Boothe's reggae version of the song "Everything I Own" in 1974 was featured on his Trojan Records album release of the same name, entitled Everything I Own (album). It reached Number One in the UK Singles charts on October 26, 1974, and stayed at the top of the charts for three weeks.[8]


Boy George version[edit]

"Everything I Own"
Single by Boy George
from the album Sold
B-side "Use Me"
Released 1987
Format 7", 12", cassette , CD
Recorded 1986 in Montserrat
Genre Reggae
Length 4:00
Label Virgin Records
Writer(s) David Gates
Producer(s) Stewart Levine
Boy George singles chronology
"Gusto Blusto" (with Culture Club) (1986) "Everything I Own" (1987) "Keep Me in Mind" (1987)

The version by Boy George reached number one on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in March 1987, becoming his first hit and only UK number one as a solo artist.[10] It was also his first solo single after a departure from his band, Culture Club. Owing more to the Ken Boothe version, the sweet reggae style was reminiscent of his earlier debut hit with Culture Club, "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?". Coming at the time of his arrest for possession of heroin, it provided a major boost to his career. Other than the UK, it was a number one in many countries (including Canada, Ireland, Italy, Norway and South Africa) and top 10 in many markets too. The track was recorded during the "Sold" sessions at Air Studios Montserrat and produced by Stewart Levine. The musicians were Ian Maidman (later aka Jennifer Maidman) bass and guitar, Vic Martin keyboards, Glen Nightingale guitar, Richie Stevens drums, and Paul 'Wix' Wickens keyboards .

Boy George played this song many times in his live shows. He re-recorded the track in an acoustic style (named the Hippy Trippy Mix) and it was released on the American CD single of "Everything I Own", a re-release from 1993. It was also remixed in a dub version for the Culture Club 2002 box set.

Chart performance[edit]

Other cover versions[edit]

The single has been recorded by Shirley Bassey, The Connells, Jack Jones, Ken Boothe, Olivia Newton-John, Georgie Fame, Boy George, *NSYNC, Jude, Rod Stewart, Crystal Gayle, Nicole Scherzinger, Chrissie Hynde, Greg London, Edison Lighthouse, Hernaldo Zuniga, Aiza Seguerra, Vanessa Hudgens and Boyzone. Although the song is frequently interpreted as a romantic love song, Gates actually wrote the song as a tribute to his late father.[15]

Andy Williams released a version in 1972 on his album, Love Theme from "The Godfather".

Cilla Black released a version in 1974 on the album, In My Life.

Brazilian singer Diana recorded a Portuguese version of the song with the title "Tudo Que Eu Tenho". The version by Ken Boothe reached number one on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in October 1974.[16] The version by Boy George also reached number one on the UK Singles Chart, in 1987.

A cover version of this song was recorded by The Remingtons, a band which comprised former Bread member Jimmy Griffin, on their 1993 album Aim for the Heart.

In 1995, Brazilian/Venezuelan singer Elisa Rego released two separate versions of the song, both of which had a distinct pop-reggae sound. One version had the original English lyrics, while the other was translated into Spanish. Both songs were released as part of her third studio album "De amor y deseo" ("Of Love and Desire").

In 1998, 'N Sync also covered the song on their debut album *NSYNC.

In 2006, Chrissie Hynde covered the song for the soundtrack to the film Happy Feet. This recording was produced by John Powell and Gavin Greenaway. On the soundtrack album Happy Feet: Music from the Motion Picture, the song is mashed up with "The Joker", recorded by Jason Mraz.

In November 2007, Tesla released a cover album A Peace of Time, which included a cover of this song. This was a studio recording with an electric guitar solo.

The song (in a new ska arrangement) is also included in the 2009 film Bandslam. It is performed by Vanessa Hudgens, and is present on the soundtrack as well.

On November 19, 2009, Greg London and "Everything I Own" won the award for Best Adult Contemporary Song for the highest charting new artist release and release on an independent label on all three AC Radio airplay charts at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards HMMA.[17][18]

In 2009 Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet covered the song on their collaborative Under The Covers Volume 2.

In 2013, Irish group Boyzone released the song as part of their anniversary album BZ20. They later performed the song at Sport Relief 2014.


  1. ^ "Everything I Own by Bread Songfacts". Songfacts.com. 1972-02-27. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  2. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1972
  3. ^ "Bread – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Bread.
  4. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/adult-contemporary/1972-03-18
  5. ^ http://tropicalglen.com/Archives/70s_files/19720311.html
  6. ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  7. ^ http://tropicalglen.com/Archives/70s_files/1972YESP.html
  8. ^ Ken Boothe, Full Official Chart History. officialcharts.com. Web. Retrieved 24 Oct. 2016. http://www.officialcharts.com/artist/15130/ken-boothe/
  9. ^ Ken Boothe (1974) Everything I Own. Roots Archives. Web. Retrieved 15 October 2016. http://www.roots-archives.com/release/2481
  10. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 472–3. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  11. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2016. 
  12. ^ http://nztop40.co.nz/chart/singles?chart=3248
  13. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2016. 
  14. ^ http://nztop40.co.nz/chart/?chart=3876
  15. ^ "David Gates & Billy Dean "Everything I Own" 1994". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  16. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 306. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  17. ^ [1] Archived September 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ "MarketWatch.com". MarketWatch.com. 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Sad Sweet Dreamer" by Sweet Sensation
UK number one single (Ken Boothe version)
October 26, 1974 for three weeks
Succeeded by
"Gonna Make You a Star" by David Essex
Preceded by
"Stand by Me" by Ben E. King
UK number one single (Boy George version)
March 10, 1987
Succeeded by
"Respectable" by Mel and Kim