Everything I Own
|"Everything I Own"|
|Single by Bread|
|from the album Baby I'm-A Want You|
|B-side||"I Don't Love You"|
|Released||January 29, 1972|
|Bread singles chronology|
"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. The original reached No. 5 on the American Billboard Hot 100. Billboard ranked it as the No. 52 song for 1972. "Everything I Own" also reached No. 5 in Canada.
Jamaican artist Ken Boothe's reggae version of the song was No. 1 in the UK Singles chart in 1974. A version by Boy George reached No. 1 in the charts in the UK, Canada, Ireland and Norway in 1987, Boy George's first hit and only UK No. 1 as a solo artist.
Although initial listeners may have interpreted it as a song about a broken relationship, Gates revealed that it was written in memory of his father who died in 1963 before he achieved his success with Bread. According to the book 1000 UK No. 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, "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, you gave my life to me, set me free', it says it all." As for the title, Gates said that he once sent his mother an orchid for her birthday at a time when he could barely afford it: "She was so touched – my dad wrote to tell me I could have had "anything she owned" in return." Typically Gates wrote the lyrics after the music. Although the lyrics were written so it could be interpreted as a love song, Gates said: "When I played it for my wife, she knew right away that it was about my father. She cried."
Ken Boothe version
|"Everything I Own"|
|Single by Ken Boothe|
|from the album Everything I Own|
|Studio||Federal studios, Kingston|
|Label||Wild Flower/Federal (Jamaica)|
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. Boothe first heard Andy Williams' version of the song in Canada, and included the song in his album as he needed extra songs for the album. The song was recorded at the Federal studios in Kingston, Jamaica and reached No. 1 in Jamaica when it was released. It was then picked by Trojan Records for release in the United Kingdom. It reached No. 1 in the UK Singles charts on October 26, 1974, and stayed at the top of the charts for three weeks. Although the song was a success, Boothe did not receive royalties because Trojan Records went bankrupt in 1975.
- Ken Boothe – Vocals
- Willie Lindo – Guitar
- Lloyd Parks – Bass
- Paul Douglas a.k.a. Paul Williams – Drums
- Federal Soul Givers
- Lloyd Charmers – Producer, Organ, Piano & Percussion
- Buddy Davidson & George Raymond – Mixing Engineer
Boy George version
|"Everything I Own"|
|Single by Boy George|
|from the album Sold|
|Recorded||1986 in Montserrat|
|Boy George singles chronology|
The version by Boy George reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in March 1987, becoming his first hit and only UK No. 1 as a solo artist. 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 No. 1 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.
William Ruhlmann from AllMusic stated in his review of Sold, "But it's still that bouncy, vulnerable voice, notably on the reggae-tinged hit "Everything I Own", that remains his trademark." On the 1993 version, Larry Flick from Billboard commented, "Refurbished for George's new "At Worst, The Best Of" compilation, oh-so charming track should meet with greater approval this time around—thanks to George's revived strength at radio and radio's increasing penchant for reggaevibed covers." Irish newspaper Kerryman wrote that the singer "returns with the deceptive tune that was aired by American group Bread. While it may not be a brilliant return the Boy needs our support. Lets hope this will mark the beginning of a full rehabilitation." A reviewer from People Magazine described it as an "atrocious" reggae version, and added, "To fit the reggae meter George must resort to a sort of hiccup on the chorus, “I would give everything I o-own." Oh-oh, Boy!" British newspaper Reading Evening Post reviewed the song as a "croaky and tired sounding version of the old hit."
Other cover versions
This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2015)
The single has been recorded by Shirley Bassey, The Connells, Jack Jones, Zdravko Čolić, Ken Boothe, Olivia Newton-John, Georgie Fame, Boy George, William Tarmey, *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.
Joe Stampley released this song twice. First on his 1972 album, If You Touch Me (You've Got to Love Me), and then again in 1976 on his All These Things album. He released it as a single in 1976 and it peaked at No. 12 on the Country charts.
Brazilian singer Diana recorded a Portuguese version of the song with the title "Tudo Que Eu Tenho". The version by Ken Boothe reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in October 1974. The version by Boy George also reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, in 1987.
Country star Crystal Gayle released her version as a single in 1983 where it peaked at No. 93 on the UK Singles Chart.
In 1994, Malaysian band Lost Souls did a Hard Rock cover of the song for their debut album "Believe in Yourself". The song stayed at No. 1 on all English radio charts for several weeks, making them the first ever Malaysian band to sell 70,000 copies for an English album. In 1995, they had the opportunity to be the opening act for Bon Jovi's first concert in Malaysia, playing to an audience of 55,000 people.
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 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.
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.
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