For Your Love

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This article is about the Yardbirds song. For the Yardbirds album, see For Your Love (album). For other uses, see For Your Love (disambiguation).
"For Your Love"
Single by The Yardbirds
from the album For Your Love
B-side "Got to Hurry"
Released 5 March 1965 (1965-03-05)
Format 7-inch single
Genre Pop rock
Length 2:38
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Graham Gouldman
Producer(s) Giorgio Gomelsky
ISWC T-010.162.968-8
The Yardbirds singles chronology
"Good Morning Little Schoolgirl"
"For Your Love"
"Heart Full of Soul"

"For Your Love" is a song released by the English rock band the Yardbirds in March 1965, from their second studio album of the same name For Your Love.[1] The song was written by Graham Gouldman, produced by Giorgio Gomelsky and recorded in December 1964 at IBC Studios, London.[2]

The song was a departure from the group's blues roots in favour of a commercial pop rock sound, which Eric Clapton disapproved and led him to leave the group.[3][4][5]

It peaked at number three on UK Singles Chart,[6] and became their highest charting single in the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number six.[7]


Gouldman wrote the song at the age of 19 while working by day in a gentlemen's outfitters near Salford Docks and playing by night with the semi-professional Manchester band the Mockingbirds. He said: "I was sleeping most of the time because I'd been gigging with the Mockingbirds the night before, and then during the day when I'd got any spare time I'd write in the shop. I used to shut up the shop at lunch time and sit in the back writing."[8]

Gouldman cited The Beatles as his influence by saying, "We went down to Denmark Street and went round all the publishers trying to find a song ... we didn't get any songs that we liked or we weren't given any songs period and the Beatles had started and I thought 'well, I’m gonna really have a crack at song-writing.' I had dabbled a bit, but they were really my inspiration and gave me and I think a lot of other people the courage to actually do it. We all wanted to be like the Beatles. I wrote two songs and the record company we were with turned down one of the songs. The song they turned down was 'For Your Love', which eventually found its way to the Yardbirds."[9]

Gouldman's manager, Harvey Lisberg, was so impressed by the song he told Gouldman they should offer it to the Beatles. "I said, 'I think they're doing alright in the songwriting department, actually", Gouldman recalled.[10] Undeterred, Lisberg gave a demo of the song to publisher Ronnie Beck of Feldman's, who took it to the Hammersmith Odeon, where the Beatles were performing. By coincidence the Yardbirds were also performing on a Christmas show at the venue and Beck played the song to their manager, Giorgio Gomelsky, and the band.[8]

In 1965, the Mockingbirds began a regular warm-up spot for BBC TV's Top of the Pops, transmitted from Manchester.[11] Gouldman recalled: "There was one strange moment when The Yardbirds appeared on the show doing 'For Your Love'. Everyone clamoured around them – and there I was just part of an anonymous group. I felt strange that night, hearing them play my song."[8]

Despite the success "For Your Love" gave the Yardbirds, it signalled the departure of guitarist Eric Clapton, who played on the track. Dismayed with the group's shift from R&B to pop, Clapton left to join John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers.

Organist Brian Auger was asked to come in to play on the single. When he arrived at the recording studio they discovered that there was no organ, or even a piano, on site. They searched and all they could find was a two-tiered harpsichord. Auger crafted the intro and recorded the track. Upon leaving, he wondered, "Who, in their right mind, is going to buy a pop single with harpsichord on it."[12]

Cover versions[edit]

A cover version by Peter Blakely is featured in the 1990 film The Crossing.

The song was later recorded by Herman's Hermits, Humble Pie, The Greg Kihn Band, Nils Lofgren, Fleetwood Mac, Chilly, The Ace Kefford Stand, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Claudja Barry, Larry Williams, Tony Papa and the Theory[13] and Graham Gouldman himself.

Led Zeppelin played it several times during early concert tours between 1968 and 1969, which is audible on bootlegged material.

Krishna Das performs a kirtan version titled "Narayana/For Your Love" on his 2010 album, Heart as Wide as the World.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1965) Peak
Canada Singles (RPM)[14] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15] 3
UK Singles (NME)[16] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 6
Ireland Irish Singles Chart 10

Appearances in popular culture[edit]

The song was featured in the 1998 film, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and in the 2009 film, The Boat That Rocked. The song was also performed by Chaka Khan and Michael McDonald as the opening theme song for the sitcom of the same name.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Philip Dodd; Paul Du Noyer (October 1999). The encyclopedia of singles. Paragon. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-7525-3337-7. 
  2. ^ Crossroads (Vinyl liner). Eric Clapton. United Kingdom: Polydor Records. 1988. 835 262-1. 
  3. ^ Frank Hoffmann (23 May 2016). Chronology of American Popular Music, 1900-2000. Routledge. p. 258. ISBN 978-1-135-86886-4. 
  4. ^ The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock History: Folk, pop, mods, and rockers, 1960-1966. Greenwood Press. 2006. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-313-32960-9. 
  5. ^ Mike Clifford; Pete Frame (25 August 1992). The Harmony illustrated encyclopedia of rock. Harmony Books. p. 194. 
  6. ^ "Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 17th April 1965". UK Singles Chart. United Kingdom: The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "The Yardbirds – Billboard". AllMusic. United States. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c George Tremlett (1976). The 10cc Story. Futura. ISBN 0-86007-378-5. 
  9. ^ "Good evening and welcome to a very special I Write The Songs here on BBC Radio Wales with me, Alan Thompson". Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  10. ^ [1] Archived 13 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Dafydd Rees; Luke Crampton (1999). Q Rock Stars Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 978-0751311136. 
  12. ^ "16 BRIAN AUGER TALKS ABOUT THE YARDBIRDS, FOR YOUR". YouTube. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  13. ^ Video on YouTube
  14. ^ "RPM - Item Display: Top Singles - Volume 3, No. 17, June 21, 1965" (PDF). RPM. Canada: Library and Archives Canada. 31 March 2005. 
  15. ^ "April 1965/ Archive Chart: 17 April 1965" UK Singles Chart.
  16. ^ Rees, Dafydd; Lazell, Barry; Osborne, Roger (1995). Forty Years of "NME" Charts (2nd ed.). Pan Macmillan. p. 152. ISBN 0-7522-0829-2.