For Your Love

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"For Your Love"
Italian picture sleeve
Single by the Yardbirds
B-side"Got to Hurry"
  • 5 March 1965 (UK)
  • 9 April 1965 (1965-04-09) (US)
Recorded1 February 1965[1][2]
StudioIBC, London
Songwriter(s)Graham Gouldman
Producer(s)Giorgio Gomelsky
The Yardbirds UK singles chronology
"Good Morning Little Schoolgirl"
"For Your Love"
"Heart Full of Soul"
The Yardbirds US singles chronology
"I Wish You Would"
"For Your Love"
"Heart Full of Soul"

"For Your Love" is a rock song written by Graham Gouldman and recorded by English group the Yardbirds. Released in March 1965, it was their first top ten hit in both the UK and the US. The song was a departure from the group's blues roots in favour of a more commercial pop rock sound. Guitarist Eric Clapton disapproved of this change, and chose to leave the group shortly after the single was released.[5][6][7]


Gouldman wrote the song at the age of 18 while working by day in a gentlemen's outfitters near Salford Docks and playing by night with the semi-professional Manchester band the Mockingbirds.[8] Gouldman cited the Beatles as his influence:

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]

The Yardbirds were performing on a Christmas show at the Hammersmith Odeon in London and song publisher Ronnie Beck played the song to their manager, Giorgio Gomelsky, and the band.[8]


The Yardbirds recorded "For Your Love" at the IBC Studios in London on 1 February 1965.[1][2] The majority of the song was recorded with singer Keith Relf and drummer Jim McCarty backed by session musician Ron Prentice on bowed bass, Denny Piercy on bongos, and Brian Auger on harpsichord.[1] Guitarists Eric Clapton and Chris Dreja perform only during the song's middle break section.[1] Bassist Paul Samwell-Smith assumed the production duties and is listed as musical director on the 45.[10] At the conclusion of the session, Auger wondered, "Who, in their right mind, is going to buy a pop single with harpsichord on it?"[11]

Releases and charts[edit]

Shortly after the single was released by Columbia on 5 March 1965, it became a hit in the UK.[1] When it was released a month later by Epic Records in the US, it became the group's first charting single.[1] By then, Clapton had already left the group for various reasons, including their more commercial aspirations.[12]

1965 singles charts
Chart Peak Ref(s)
UK (Record Retailer) 3 [1]
UK (NME) 1 [13]
Canada (RPM) 1 [14]
Ireland (IRMA) 10 [15]
Italy (Musica e dischi) 14 [16]
Sweden (Kvällstoppen) 13 [17]
Sweden (Tio i Topp) 5 [18]
US (Billboard Hot 100) 6 [1]
US (Cashbox Top 100) 6 [19]
US (Record World 100 Top Pops) 4 [20]

Fleetwood Mac version[edit]

Fleetwood Mac issued "For Your Love" as a single in 1973. Cash Box called this version "a totally contemporary, yet still hard rocking treatment from this great British band of rockers" that maintains the essence of the original tune.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Koda, Cub; Russo, Gregg (2001). Ultimate! (Boxed set booklet). The Yardbirds. Los Angeles: Rhino Records. pp. 27, 30, 44. OCLC 781357622. R2 79825.
  2. ^ a b Clayson, Alan (2002). The Yardbirds. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. pp. 172, 196. ISBN 0-87930-724-2.
  3. ^ Guesdon, Jean-Michel; Margotin, Philippe (2018). "The Yardbirds: A Group with Three Guitar Heroes". Led Zeppelin All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track. New York City: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. ISBN 978-0-316-41803-4.
  4. ^ Stanley, Bob (13 September 2013). "I Can't Sing, I Ain't Pretty and My Legs Are Thin: Hard Rock". Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop. Faber & Faber. p. 261. ISBN 978-0-571-28198-5.
  5. ^ Frank Hoffmann (23 May 2016). Chronology of American Popular Music, 1900-2000. Routledge. p. 258. ISBN 978-1-135-86886-4.
  6. ^ The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock History: Folk, pop, mods, and rockers, 1960-1966. Greenwood Press. 2006. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-313-32960-9.
  7. ^ Mike Clifford; Pete Frame (25 August 1992). The Harmony illustrated encyclopedia of rock. Harmony Books. p. 194. ISBN 9780517590782.
  8. ^ a b 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. ^ Columbia DB 7499 record label
  11. ^ 16 Brian Auger Talks About the Yardbirds' For Your (Interview video). Retrieved 15 January 2015 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "The Yardbirds: 'For Your Love' – Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  13. ^ Rees, Dafydd; Lazell, Barry; Osborne, Roger (1995). Forty Years of "NME" Charts (2nd ed.). Pan Macmillan. p. 152. ISBN 0-7522-0829-2.
  14. ^ "R.P.M. Play Sheet". RPM. Vol. 3, no. 17. 21 June 1965 – via Library and Archives Canada.
  15. ^ "Search by artist: 'Yardbirds'". Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  16. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e dischi (in Italian). Set "Tipo" on "Singoli". Then, in the "Artista" field, search "Yardbirds".
  17. ^ Hallberg, Eric (1993). Eric Hallberg presenterar Kvällstoppen i P 3: Sveriges radios topplista över veckans 20 mest sålda skivor 10. 7. 1962 - 19. 8. 1975. Drift Musik. p. 243. ISBN 9163021404.
  18. ^ Hallberg, Eric; Henningsson, Ulf (1998). Eric Hallberg, Ulf Henningsson presenterar Tio i topp med de utslagna på försök: 1961 - 74. Premium Publishing. p. 410. ISBN 919727125X.
  19. ^ "Cash Box Top 100" (PDF). Cashbox. No. 3 July 1965. p. 4.
  20. ^ "100 Top Pops" (PDF). Record World. No. 10 July 1966. p. 4.
  21. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 29 December 1973. p. 98. Retrieved 11 December 2021.