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

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"I'll Be There for You"
TheRembrandtsIllBeThereForYouMaxiCDCover.jpg
Single by the Rembrandts
from the album L.P.
B-side
  • Album snippets (US)
  • "Fixin' to Blow" (UK)
ReleasedMay 23, 1995 (1995-05-23)
Genre
Length3:09
Label
Composer(s)Michael Skloff
Lyricist(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)
Audio sample

"I'll Be There for You" is a song by American pop rock duo the Rembrandts. The song was written by David Crane, Marta Kauffman, Michael Skloff, and Allee Willis as the main theme song to the NBC sitcom Friends,[4] which was broadcast from 1994 to 2004.[5] American rock band R.E.M. were originally asked to allow one of their songs to be used for the Friends theme, but they turned the opportunity down. "I'll Be There for You" was subsequently written and Warner Bros. Television selected the only available band on Warner Bros. Records to record it: the Rembrandts. In 1995, after a Nashville radio station brought the song to mainstream popularity, Rembrandts members Danny Wilde and Phil Sōlem expanded the theme song with two new verses and included this version on their third studio album, L.P. (1995).

The extended version of the song was released to US radio on May 23, 1995, and was issued in the United Kingdom on August 7, 1995, as the first single from L.P.. Following the song's release, it reached 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 most successful 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 and release[edit]

The title theme of Friends was initially going to be "Shiny Happy People" by American rock band R.E.M., but when the band rejected the offer, Warner Bros. Television instead decided to recreate R.E.M.'s sound by enlisting the Rembrandts to write an original theme.[6] The Rembrandts did not want to record the song, but since they were the only available band on Warner Bros. Records, they relented to the company's demands.[7] The original lyrics of "I'll Be There for You", a single verse as needed for the length of the series' opening credits, were co-written by Friends producers David Crane and Marta Kauffman, with songwriter Allee Willis. The Rembrandts members Phil Sōlem and Danny Wilde later lengthened it by writing the second verse and bridge.[7][8] The music was composed by Kauffman's husband, Michael Skloff.[8]

The original theme, which is under one minute long, was later re-recorded as a three-minute pop song.[9] 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.[10] The handclaps at the end of the first line of the song were a last-minute addition, with Sōlem admitting that it was a wise decision and naming it the best part of the track.[7] The three-minute version of "I'll Be There for You" was serviced to American contemporary hit radio on May 23, 1995.[11] In the United Kingdom, a CD single and cassette single were issued on August 7, 1995.[12] On May 12, 1997, the CD and cassette were re-issued in the UK to commemorate the video release of the first season of Friends.[13][14]

Composition[edit]

"I'll Be There for You" is an upbeat song about traveling, dead-end jobs, and friendship.[15]

Critical reception[edit]

In 2009, the song was listed by Blender as one of the "50 Worst Songs Ever".[15] Conversely, several magazines have listed the song as one of the best TV theme songs, including Paste,[16] Complex,[17] and Observer.[18]

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.[19][20][21] On the Billboard Hot 100, it reached number 17 as a double A-side with "This House Is Not a Home".[22] In Canada, the song peaked at number one for five consecutive weeks and was the most successful single of 1995.[23][24] 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.[25][26] In Scotland, it topped the country's singles chart.[27] The song sold 322,000 copies in the UK during 1995.[7]

While the song did not immediately make a significant commercial impact in Australia, peaking at number 86 in October 1995,[28] 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.[29] 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.[26][30] This re-release also saw the song reach the top 40 in Flanders, France, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.[31] As of May 2021, "I'll Be There for You" has sold 925,000 copies and has been streamed 20.7 million times in the UK since streaming figures were introduced in 2014. According to the Official Charts Company, the song is streamed an average of 96,000 times a week.[7]

Music video[edit]

The video features the band performing in a studio while the cast of Friends join in. Some scenes are shot in black-and-white. The Rembrandts members Phil Sōlem and Danny Wilde disclosed during a live interview on The Today Show on September 20, 2019, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the song that the video was shot on the set of SNL (Studio 8H).[32][33]

Track listings[edit]

Several formats of the single feature snippets of six tracks from L.P. These tracks are "Don't Hide Your Love", "End of the Beginning", "Lovin' Me Insane", "Drowning in Your Tears", "This House Is Not a Home", and "What Will It Take".

Personnel[edit]

Credits are lifted from the European CD single liner notes.[8]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Certifications and sales for "I'll Be There for You"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[58] Platinum 70,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[62] Gold 5,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[63] Platinum  
United Kingdom (BPI)[64] Platinum 925,000[7]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Release dates and formats for "I'll Be There for You"
Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United States May 23, 1995 Contemporary hit radio [11]
United Kingdom August 7, 1995
  • CD
  • cassette
[12]

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.
  • American punk rock band Pink Lincolns covered this song under the title "Friends" for a 1997 compilation album titled Show & Tell.
  • Meghan Trainor covered the song on September 22, 2019, to celebrate the Friends 25th Anniversary at the Empire State Building light show.[65]

In popular culture[edit]

On the 25th anniversary of the show, Jonas Brothers appeared in a music video of the theme song featuring Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sophie Turner and Danielle Jonas.[66][67]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robinson, Marc (2002). Brought to You in Living Color: 75 Years of Great Moments in Television & Radio from NBC. Wiley. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-471-09016-8.
  2. ^ Runtagh, Jordan. "Surprise! The 12 Greatest Hidden Tracks In Music". VH1. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  3. ^ Ygelsias, Matthew (May 21, 2007). "The Ultimate Nineties Alt-Rock Playlist". The Atlantic.
  4. ^ Friends TV show every season intro, retrieved July 10, 2021
  5. ^ "The Rembrandts: 'So no one told me it was going to be this way'". The Independent. London. April 27, 2004. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  6. ^ White, Adam (November 1, 2019). "Friends theme song was written to sound like REM's 'Shiny Happy People', claims Michael Stipe". The Independent. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Copsey, Rob (May 25, 2021). "Friends reunion: Why the Show's Theme Song I'll Be There for You Is Still So Popular". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d I'll Be There for You (European CD single liner notes). The Rembrandts. East West Records America. 1995. 7559-64429-9.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  9. ^ Etkin, Jaimie; Orley, Emily; Yandoli, Krystie Lee (September 21, 2014). "The Amazing Story Behind "I'll Be There for You," According to the Rembrandts". Buzzfeed News. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  10. ^ "Nashville DJ helped turn "Friends" song into radio hit". WKRN-TV. Archived from the original on December 21, 2004. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  11. ^ a b "Selected New Releases" (PDF). Radio & Records. No. 1094. May 12, 1995. p. 23. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  12. ^ a b "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. August 5, 1995. p. 31. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  13. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. May 10, 1997. p. 46.
  14. ^ Jones, Alan (May 31, 1997). "The Official UK Charts". Music Week. p. 13.
  15. ^ a b "The 50 Worst Songs Ever! Watch, Listen and Cringe!". Blender. April 1, 2009. Archived from the original on December 31, 2009. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  16. ^ "The 50 Best TV Theme Songs of All Time". pastemagazine.com. May 25, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  17. ^ "The Best TV Theme Songs11. Friends". Complex. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  18. ^ "The 30 Best TV Theme Songs of All Time". Observer. April 15, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  19. ^ "The Rembrandts Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  20. ^ a b "The Rembrandts Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  21. ^ a b "The Rembrandts Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  22. ^ a b "The Rembrandts Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  23. ^ a b "Top RPM Singles: Issue 8531." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  24. ^ a b "RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1995". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  25. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  26. ^ a b c "The Irish Charts – Search Results – I'll Be There For You". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  27. ^ a b "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  28. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  29. ^ a b "The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  30. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100 25 May 1997 – 31 May 1997". Official Charts Company. May 25, 1997. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  31. ^ a b "The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  32. ^ Richter, Erin (June 2, 1995). "Details about The Rembrandts video shoot". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
  33. ^ The Rembrandts perform the Friends theme song ' I'll Be There for You'. Today. September 20, 2019. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved May 28, 2021 – via YouTube.
  34. ^ I'll Be There for You (US 7-inch vinyl disc). The Rembrandts. East West Records America. 1995. 7-64429.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  35. ^ I'll Be There for You (UK 7-inch single vinyl disc). The Rembrandts. East West Records. 1995. A 4390 LC.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  36. ^ I'll Be There for You (UK cassette single sleeve). The Rembrandts. Elektra Records, East West Records America. 1995. A4390C, 7559-64390-4.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  37. ^ I'll Be There for You (European & Australian CD single liner notes). The Rembrandts. Elektra Records, East West Records America. 1997. A4390CD, 7559-64391-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  38. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 7792." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  39. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 12, no. 38. September 23, 1995. p. 16. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  40. ^ "The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  41. ^ "The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  42. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  43. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (30.7. '95 – 5.8. '95)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). July 29, 1995. p. 20. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  44. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e Dischi (in Italian). Retrieved June 6, 2022. Set "Tipo" on "Singoli". Then, in the "Artista" field, search "Rembrandts".
  45. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 30, 1997" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  46. ^ "The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  47. ^ "The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  48. ^ "The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". VG-lista. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  49. ^ "The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". Singles Top 100. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
  50. ^ "The Rembrandts Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  51. ^ "The Rembrandts Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  52. ^ "RPM Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks of 1995". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  53. ^ "Árslistinn 1995". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). January 2, 1996. p. 25. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  54. ^ "End of Year Charts 1995". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  55. ^ "Top 100 Singles 1995". Music Week. January 13, 1996. p. 9.
  56. ^ "1995 The Year in Music" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 107, no. 51. December 23, 1995. p. YE-80. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 28, 2021. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  57. ^ "The Year in Music: Hot 100 Singles Airplay" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 107. December 23, 1995. p. Y-32. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  58. ^ a b "1996 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  59. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1997" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  60. ^ "Jaarlijsten 1999" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  61. ^ "Top 100 Singles 1997". Music Week. January 17, 1998. p. 27.
  62. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There for You". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  63. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  64. ^ "British single certifications – Rembrandts – I'll Be There for You". British Phonographic Industry.
  65. ^ Zemler, Emily (September 23, 2019). "Hear Meghan Trainor Cover 'Friends' Theme Song 'I'll Be There For You'". Rolling Stone.
  66. ^ "Jonas Brothers Honor the 'Friends' 25th Anniversary With Cute Video". Entertainment Tonight.
  67. ^ "Jonas Brothers Put Their Own Spin on 'Friends' Opening to Celebrate Sitcom's 25th Anniversary: Watch". Billboard. September 22, 2019.