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 LP
Released May 1, 1995
Format 7", CD single
Recorded 1994
Genre Power pop, pop rock, alternative rock, jangle pop
Length 3:09
Label East West, Atlantic
Writer(s) David Crane, Marta Kauffman, Michael Skloff, Allee Willis, Phil Sōlem, Danny Wilde
Producer(s) Kevin Bright, David Crane, Marta Kauffman
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 pop rock duo The Rembrandts. It is best known as the theme song to the American sitcom Friends, which premiered during 1994 and ended in 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 was initially offered to the rock bands They Might Be Giants and R.E.M.[2] 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. 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 music video of the song featured the six main stars of Friends, taking the singing and dancing roles of the band after, amusingly, attacking them all and bemusing everyone else on the set with their daft behavior. The video was included as a bonus feature on several of the show's Complete Season DVD Boxsets.

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

6 15 18~

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 peak 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]


Chart (1995–1997) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[7] 3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[8] 10
Canada (RPM)[9] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[10] 20
France (SNEP)[11] 25
Germany (Official German Charts)[12] 77
Ireland (IRMA)[13] 5
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 3
Norway (VG-lista)[15] 5
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[16] 34
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[17] 3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[18] 17
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay[18] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks[18] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks[18] 7
U.S. Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks[18] 23
U.S. Billboard Top 40 Mainstream[18] 1

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]

  • The 2013 comedy film We're the Millers, which stars Jennifer Aniston, features a 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.
  • Comedian Rob Paravonian critiqued the song during a stand-up comedy session at a Zanies Comedy Club in 2007. A comedian whose acts are based chiefly around music, he pointed out some inconsistencies in the lyrics:

But those people who weren't even satisfied with just having a theme song to a popular sitcom, they wanted it to be a hit on the radio. And it's only a thirty-second song! So they had to stretch it out to three minutes. And what they did, they slapped on more verses and more choruses. And they weren't paying attention, and I can prove it. The second verse of that song has nothing to do with the rest of the song. The second verse goes like this:

You're still in bed at 10; your work began at 8;
You burned your breakfast; so far, things aren't going great

First of all, I don't know anyone who burns their breakfast because I don't know anyone who cooks their breakfast when they're two hours late from work. It's like, "I'm late! Where's the skillet?" But I'm gonna let that slide... it's the next line that really bugs me. Because it goes like this:

Your mama told you there'd be days like these...

Your mama told you there'd be days like these? But the first line of the song is: So no one told you life was gonna be this way... They forgot what they wrote![19]

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. ^ [1] Archived August 14, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  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. ^ [2] 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. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  10. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  11. ^ "Lescharts.com – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  12. ^ "Musicline.de – The Rembrandts Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  13. ^ Jaclyn Ward. "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  14. ^ "Charts.org.nz – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  15. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". VG-lista. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  16. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Rembrandts – I'll Be There For You". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  17. ^ "Archive Chart: 1995" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  18. ^ a b c d e f The Rembrandts. "The Rembrandts | Biography, Albums, & Streaming Radio". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-09-14. 
  19. ^ Paravonian, Rob (2007). "The Friends Theme and Sugar Ray". RobPRocks. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 

External links[edit]