I'll Be There for You (The Rembrandts song)

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"I'll Be There for You"
TheRembrandtsIllBeThereForYouMaxiCDCover.jpg
Single by The Rembrandts
from the album L.P.
ReleasedMay 1, 1995
RecordedSeptember 1994[citation needed]
Genre
Length3:09
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Gavin MacKillop
The Rembrandts singles chronology
"Waiting to Be Opened"
(1993)
"I'll Be There for You"
(1995)
"This House Is Not a Home"
(1995)

"I'll Be There for You" is a song recorded by American duo The Rembrandts. It is best known as the main theme song to the NBC sitcom Friends, which was broadcast from 1994 to 2004.[1] 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.

Background[edit]

"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.

The original theme, which is under one minute long, was later re-recorded as a three-minute pop song.[2] 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.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

In 2009, the song was listed by Blender as one of the "50 Worst Songs Ever".[4] On the other hand, several magazines have listed the song as one of the best TV theme songs, including Paste,[5] Complex,[6] and Observer.[7]

Chart performance[edit]

When "I'll Be There for You" was released in 1995, it topped the US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart for eight weeks and also peaked atop the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary and Mainstream Top 40 charts.[8][9][10] On the Billboard Hot 100, it reached number 17 as a double A-side with "This House Is Not a Home".[11] The song experienced the best commercial success in Canada, where it peaked at number one for five consecutive weeks and was the best-selling single of 1995.[12][13] In the United Kingdom, it reached number three on the UK Singles Chart, and it peaked at the same position on the Irish Singles Chart the same year.[14][15] In Scotland, it topped the country's singles chart.[16]

While the song did not immediately make a significant commercial impact in Australia, peaking at number 86 in October 1995,[17] 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.[18] In 1997, when re-released in Europe, the song reached the top 10 in Ireland and the United Kingdom once more, placing two positions shy of its number-three peak in both countries.[15][19] This re-release also saw the song reach the top 40 in Flemish Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.[20]

Music video[edit]

The video features the band performing in a studio while the cast members of Friends join in.

Track listing[edit]

European CD maxi-single

  1. "I'll Be There for You" – 3:09
  2. "Fixin' to Blow" – 5:03
  3. "Just the Way It Is, Baby" – 4:06
  4. "Snippets Medley" – 6:46

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[37] Platinum 70,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[40] Gold 5,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[41] Platinum  
United Kingdom (BPI)[43] Platinum 844,000[42]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Cover versions[edit]

  • 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 parodied the theme song as "We Won't Ever Leave" during a 1997 Animaniacs 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.
  • British girl pop band Loose Chippins covered this song on a single which failed to reach the charts.
  • 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.
  • Meghan Trainor covered the song on September 22, 2019 to celebrate for the Friends 25th Anniversary at the Empire State Building light show.[44]

In popular culture[edit]

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.

On the 25th anniversary of the show, Jonas Brothers appeared in a music video of the theme song featuring Priyanka Chopra, Sophie Turner and Danielle Jonas.[45][46]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Rembrandts: 'So no one told me it was going to be this way'". Independent. London. April 27, 2004. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  2. ^ Etkin, Jaimie. "The Amazing Story Behind "I'll Be There For You," According To The Rembrandts". Buzzfeed News. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  3. ^ "Nashville DJ helped turn "Friends" song into radio hit". Archived from the original on December 21, 2004. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  4. ^ "Blender is coming soon". Archived from the original on December 31, 2009.
  5. ^ "The 50 Best TV Theme Songs of All Time". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  6. ^ "The Best TV Theme Songs11. Friends". Complex. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  7. ^ "The 30 Best TV Theme Songs of All Time". Observer. April 15, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  8. ^ "The Rembrandts Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "The Rembrandts Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "The Rembrandts Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  11. ^ a b "The Rembrandts Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Top RPM Singles: Issue 8531." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1995". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  15. ^ a b c "The Irish Charts – Search Results – I'll Be There For You". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  17. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  18. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  19. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100 25 May 1997 – 31 May 1997". Official Charts Company. May 25, 1997. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  20. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  21. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 7792." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  22. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 12 no. 38. September 23, 1995. p. 16. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  23. ^ "Lescharts.com – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  24. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  25. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (30.7. '95 – 5.8. '95)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). July 29, 1995. p. 20. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  26. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 30, 1997" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  27. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  28. ^ "Charts.nz – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  29. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". VG-lista. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  30. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". Singles Top 100. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  31. ^ "The Rembrandts Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  32. ^ "The Rembrandts Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  33. ^ "RPM Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks of 1995". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  34. ^ "Árslistinn 1995". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). January 2, 1996. p. 25. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  35. ^ "End of Year Charts 1995". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  36. ^ "Top 100 Singles 1995". Music Week. January 13, 1996. p. 9.
  37. ^ a b "1996 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  38. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1997" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  39. ^ "Top 100 Singles 1997". Music Week. January 17, 1998. p. 27.
  40. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There for You". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  41. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  42. ^ "25 years of Friends: 10 chart facts about the show's theme song I'll Be There For You that will surprise you". Official Charts. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  43. ^ "British single certifications – Rembrandts – I'll Be There for You". British Phonographic Industry.
  44. ^ Zemler, Emily (September 23, 2019). "Hear Meghan Trainor Cover 'Friends' Theme Song 'I'll Be There For You'". Rolling Stone.
  45. ^ "Jonas Brothers Honor the 'Friends' 25th Anniversary With Cute Video". Entertainment Tonight.
  46. ^ "Jonas Brothers Put Their Own Spin on 'Friends' Opening to Celebrate Sitcom's 25th Anniversary: Watch". Billboard.

External links[edit]