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
Recorded 1994
Length 3:09
Label East West, Atlantic
The Rembrandts singles chronology
"Waiting to Be Opened"
"I'll Be There for You"
"This House Is Not a Home"

"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.[1] The song was also released as the first single from the group's third studio album LP.

Song information[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. It is strongly influenced by The Beatles, especially reminiscent of the "I Feel Fine" guitar riff, and is also highly reminiscent 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.[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]

Music video[edit]

The video features the band performing in a studio whilst 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

Chart performance[edit]

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 #3 on the UK Singles Chart in the United Kingdom and at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States as the flipside to "This House Is Not a Home". It also peaked at #1 on the U.S. Top 40 Mainstream and Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts.[4]

The song was the most successful in Canada where it peaked at number 1 for 5 consecutive weeks.[5]

In April 2004, the song was ranked at #15 on Blender magazine's list of the "50 Worst Songs Ever".[6]


Compilation usage[edit]

"I'll Be There for You" has been included on the following compilation albums:

  • Friends: Music From The TV Series (1994) – for the American series Friends' opening song;
  • Serial TV: Les Plus Grands Hits Des Séries TV
  • Happy Songs
  • Billboard Top Hits: 1995 – for Billboard's 1995 CD.

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 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[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Rembrandts: 'So no one told me it was going to be this way'". Independent. London. April 27, 2004. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  2. ^ Etkin, Jaimie. "The Amazing Story Behind "I'll Be There For You," According To The Rembrandts". Buzzfeed News. Retrieved 16 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Nashville DJ helped turn "Friends" song into radio hit". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2004-12-21. Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 202. 
  5. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  6. ^ [1] Archived December 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  8. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 8531." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 7792." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Lescharts.com – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  12. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – I'll Be There For You". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  15. ^ "Charts.nz – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  16. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". VG-lista. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  17. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  19. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  20. ^ a b c d e f The Rembrandts. "The Rembrandts | Biography, Albums, & Streaming Radio". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  21. ^ "RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1995". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 19 April 2018. 
  22. ^ "RPM Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks of 1995". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 19 April 2018. 
  23. ^ "End of Year Charts 1995". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 

External links[edit]