Jump to content

I (Who Have Nothing)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Uno Dei Tanti"
Songwriter(s)Giulio "Mogol" Rapetti (lyrics)
Carlo Donida (music)

"I (Who Have Nothing)" (sometimes billed as "I Who Have Nothing") is an English language cover of the Italian song "Uno dei Tanti" (English: "One of Many"), with music by Carlo Donida and lyrics by Giulio "Mogol" Rapetti.[1] The initial version, "Uno dei Tanti", was performed by Joe Sentieri in 1961. The song first recorded in English by Ben E. King in 1963 with new lyrics by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

Ben E King re-recorded "I (Who Have Nothing)" in 2001 and it was selected for the Sopranos Peppers and Eggs Soundtrack CD .

Other successful cover versions were released by Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones, also by Status Quo.[2]

Ben E. King version[edit]

"I (Who Have Nothing)"
Single by Ben E. King
from the album Young Boy Blues
B-side"The Beginning of Time"
ReleasedJune 1963
Songwriter(s)Carlo Donida, Mogol, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Producer(s)Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
Ben E. King singles chronology
"How Can I Forget"
"I (Who Have Nothing)"
"I Could Have Danced All Night"

The English lyrics for "I (Who Have Nothing)" were written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The title is a translation of a line in the Italian lyrics "Io, che non ho niente", but otherwise the English lyrics were written afresh by the lyricists. Leiber and Stoller also produced the first English language release, performed by Ben E. King in 1963. Leiber and Stoller previously had co-written and produced the song "Stand by Me" with Ben E. King in 1961.[3] The record used the same arrangement from Joe Sentieri's record (orchestra conducted by Luis Enriquez Bacalov).

In the US, the Ben E. King version reached No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and No. 16 on the Hot R&B Singles chart.[4]


Chart (1963) Peak
Australia (Music Maker)[5] 8
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 29
US Middle-Road Singles (Billboard)[7] 10
US Hot R&B Singles (Billboard)[8] 16

Shirley Bassey Version[edit]

"I (Who Have Nothing)"
Single by Shirley Bassey
B-side"How Can You Tell?"
ReleasedSeptember 1963
Songwriter(s)Carlo Donida, Mogol, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Producer(s)George Martin

Shirley Bassey recorded the song with producer George Martin as the song by Ben E. King was rising in the chart in the US, and released the song in the UK in September 1963. Her version reached No. 6 on UK charts. Bassey has performed the song at almost every live concert she gave, and it is included in many of her compilation albums, such as a version in I Am What I Am recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, and a version in Spanish ("Hoy No Tengo Nada") in her 1989 album La Mujer. She has also performed with the song's composer Donida who conducted his own music on Italian television.[9][10]


Chart (1963) Peak
Australia (Music Maker)[11] 4
New Zealand (Lever Hit Parade)[12] 6
Ireland (IRMA)[13] 10
UK Singles (OCC)[14] 6

Tom Jones version[edit]

Tom Jones recorded a version which was released in 1970. The song is the title track of his album I Who Have Nothing.[15] This became the most popular version of the song in the United States, peaking at No. 14 in 1970 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 2 on the Easy Listening chart,[16] and No. 10 in Canada.[17] This version also peaked at No. 11 in Cashbox.


Chart (1970) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[18] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[19] 21
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[20] 10
UK Singles (OCC)[21] 16
US Billboard Hot 100[22] 14
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[23] 2

Sylvester version[edit]

"I (Who Have Nothing)"
Single by Sylvester
from the album Stars[24]
B-side"I Need Somebody to Love Tonight"
ReleasedMarch 1979
GenreSoul, Disco
Songwriter(s)Carlo Donida, Mogol, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Producer(s)Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
Sylvester singles chronology
"You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)"
"I (Who Have Nothing)"

Sylvester recorded a disco version in 1979. The orchestral arrangement for the song was recorded at Island Records' Basing Street Studios.[25] This version reached No. 40 in US and No. 86 Canada.[26]


Chart (1979) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[27] 86
Ireland (IRMA)[28] 23
UK Singles (OCC)[29] 46
US Billboard Hot 100[30] 40

Other versions[edit]

Other versions which reached the Billboard charts were performed by Terry Knight and the Pack in 1966 (No. 46 US, No. 36 Canada),.[31] Liquid Smoke in 1970 (No. 82 US, No. 66 Canada),[32] Warhorse in 1972.[citation needed], Also recorded in Australia by Normie Rowe (1965) and reached #10 in Sydney, #4 in Melbourne, #23 in Brisbane, #6 in Adelaide, and #6 Perth; The Easybeats, The Dave Bridge Trio (1966) and Rob E. G. (1964/65). Additionally, it was #1 hit for Shane in New Zealand.

British rock band The Spectres, later known as Status Quo, released their version of the song produced by John Schroeder in September 1966 as a single on Piccadilly Records. This would be their debut single, nearly a year before changing their name and finding their way to mainstream popularity. The single, however, failed to chart.[33]

Swedish pop group Tom & Mick & Maniacs recorded the song sporadically between 5–7 and 15 October 1967 at Europafilm Studio in Bromma,[15] Stockholm together with producer Anders Henriksson.[34] In December of that year, it was released on their album Tom & Mick Maniacs,[35] and in February 1968, it was extracted as a single on Columbia Records, backed by "Pandemonium", an original composition.[16] It reached No. 8 on Tio i Topp, becoming their final chart hit.[36]

Also recorded, by The Righteous Brothers (1967), Leslie Uggams (1967), Little Milton (1968), Cockney Rebel (1974), Sylvester 1979).


  1. ^ Stroud, Graeme (2017). Status Quo: Song by Song. Fonthill Media.
  2. ^ "Second Hand Songs - Song:Uno dei tanti - Joe Sentieri". SecondHandSongs. Archived from the original on January 14, 2007. Retrieved 2016-05-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ Benarde, Scott R. (2003). Stars of David: Rock'n'roll's Jewish Stories. Brandeis University Press. p. 21. ISBN 9781584653035.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 325.
  5. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. August 31, 1963. p. 28.
  6. ^ "Hot 100". Billboard. August 24, 1963. p. 28.
  7. ^ "Middle-Road Singles". Billboard. August 31, 1963. p. 51.
  8. ^ "Hot R&B Singles". Billboard. September 14, 1963. p. 19.
  9. ^ "The Songs of Shirley Bassey: Song Info". Archived from the original on 2007-03-28. Retrieved 2016-05-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ BBC episode of Biography (ca. 2000)
  11. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. 7 December 1963. p. 28.
  12. ^ "Shirley Bassey". Flavour of New Zealand.
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – I Who Have Nothing". Irish Singles Chart.
  14. ^ "Shirley Bassey: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  15. ^ a b "Album Reviews". Billboard. November 7, 1970. p. 35.
  16. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 131.
  17. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - September 26, 1970" (PDF).
  18. ^ "Tom Jones – I (Who Have Nothing)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  19. ^ "Tom Jones – I (Who Have Nothing)" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  20. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4363." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  21. ^ "Tom Jones: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  22. ^ "Tom Jones Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  23. ^ "Tom Jones Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  24. ^ "www.allmusic.com". allmusic.com. Retrieved May 23, 2023.
  25. ^ Niebur, Louis (2022). Menergy: San Francisco's Gay Disco Sound. Oxford University Press. pp. 87–88. ISBN 9780197511077.
  26. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - May 26, 1979" (PDF).
  27. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 4745b." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  28. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Sylvester". Irish Singles Chart.
  29. ^ "Sylvester: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  30. ^ "Sylvester Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  31. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - January 28, 1967" (PDF).
  32. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - May 23, 1970" (PDF).
  33. ^ Schroeder, John (2016). All for the Love of Music. Matador. pp. 134–135. ISBN 9781785891656.
  34. ^ Tom Mick & Maniacs (liner notes pg. 10). Brandels, Göran. Tom & Mick & Maniacs. Riverside Records. 2013.
  35. ^ Tom Mick & Maniacs (liner notes pg. 4). Brandels, Göran. Tom & Mick & Maniacs. Riverside Records. 2013.
  36. ^ Hallberg, Eric; Henningsson, Ulf (2012). Tio i Topp - med de utslagna "på försök" 1961–74 (in Swedish). Premium. p. 378. ISBN 978-91-89136-89-2.