I'll Be There for You (The Rembrandts song)
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|"I'll Be There for You"|
|Single by The Rembrandts|
|from the album L.P.|
|Released||May 1, 1995|
|Format||7", CD single|
|Label||East West, Atlantic|
|The Rembrandts singles chronology|
"I'll Be There for You" is a song recorded by the American duo The Rembrandts. It is best known as the theme song to the American sitcom Friends, which premiered in September 1994 and ended in May 2004. The song was also released as the first single from the group's third studio album LP, reaching the top 10 in Australia, New Zealand, and Norway, as well as in Ireland and the United Kingdom in both 1995 and 1997. In Canada, the song reached number one for five weeks and was the highest-selling single of 1995, while in the United States, the song reached number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart for eight weeks.
"I'll Be There for You" was co-written by Friends producers David Crane and Marta Kauffman, Kauffman's husband, composer Michael Skloff, and songwriter Allee Willis, along with Phil Sōlem and Danny Wilde, both of the Rembrandts. It is strongly influenced by The Beatles, especially reminiscent of the "I Feel Fine" guitar riff, closely followed by a snatch echoing the beginning of The Monkees' "Pleasant Valley Sunday."
The original theme, which is under one minute long, was later re-recorded as a three-minute pop song. After Nashville program director Charlie Quinn, along with radio announcer and music director Tom Peace, looped the original short version into a full-length track and broadcast it on radio station WYHY, it became so popular that they had to re-record it. "Our record label said we had to finish the song and record it. There was no way to get out of it," lead singer Phil Sōlem said.
In 2009, the song was listed by Blender as one of the "50 Worst Songs Ever". On the other hand, several magazines have listed the song as one of the best TV theme songs, including Paste, Complex, and Observer.
In the United States, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart for eight weeks. When the single was released 1995, it peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart in the United Kingdom and at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States as the flipside to "This House Is Not a Home". It also peaked at number on the US Top 40 Mainstream and Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts. The song was the most successful in Canada where it peaked at number one for five consecutive weeks and was the best-selling single of 1995.
While the song did not immediately make a significant commercial impact in Australia, peaking at number 86 in October 1995, it soon re-entered the ARIA Singles Chart in August 1996 and peaked at number three on the week of October 13, spending a total of 20 weeks in the top 50. In 1997, when re-released in the United Kingdom, the song reached the top 10 once more, placing two positions shy of its number-three peak. The same situation also occurred in Ireland the same year.
The video features the band performing in a studio whilst the cast members of Friends join in.
European CD maxi-single
- "I'll Be There for You" – 3:09
- "Fixin' to Blow" – 5:03
- "Just the Way It Is, Baby" – 4:06
- "Snippets Medley" – 6:46
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Gold||5,000*|
|Norway (IFPI Norway)||Platinum||10,000*|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||600,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- American pop rock band The Goo Goo Dolls recorded their own version of this song which contained slightly altered lyrics, and a more upbeat tempo, rockier sound, as well as a glockenspiel in the rhythm track.
- Yakko, Wakko, and Dot of Animaniacs parodied the theme song as "We Won't Ever Leave" during a 1997 episode entitled "Acquaintances" (which is itself a spoof of Friends).
- American punk rock band Pink Lincolns covered this song under the title "Friends" for a 1997 compilation album titled Show & Tell.
- Fictional American band Alvin and the Chipmunks covered this song for their 2007 video game Alvin and the Chipmunks.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic had planned to record a parody for his Bad Hair Day album called "Theme for Home Improvement or I'll Repair For You". Although the Rembrandts were fine with the parody idea, the producers of Friends were not, fearing that the show's theme would be overexposed. "Theme for Home Improvement" is nevertheless a concert favorite.
In popular culture
- The 2013 comedy film We're the Millers, which stars Jennifer Aniston, features a (staged) blooper during the credits where Jason Sudeikis flips through radio stations and ends up on "I'll Be There for You". Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, and Will Poulter begin singing the song as Aniston covers her face laughing.
- Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Wilmer Flores uses the song as his walkup music. He chose it because he used the show Friends to help him learn English.
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- Etkin, Jaimie. "The Amazing Story Behind "I'll Be There For You," According To The Rembrandts". Buzzfeed News. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- "Nashville DJ helped turn "Friends" song into radio hit". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2004-12-21. Retrieved 2015-09-14.
-  Archived December 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- "The 50 Best TV Theme Songs of All Time". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "The Best TV Theme Songs11. Friends". Complex. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- "The 30 Best TV Theme Songs of All Time". 15 April 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 202.
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- "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
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- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
- The Rembrandts. "The Rembrandts | Biography, Albums, & Streaming Radio". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-09-14.
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- "Top 100 Singles 1997". Music Week. 17 January 1998. p. 27.
- "1996 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
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- "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
- "British single certifications – Rembrandts – I'll Be There for You". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved October 28, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type I'll Be There for You in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.