I Honestly Love You

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"I Honestly Love You"
One of side-A labels of the Australian single
Single by Olivia Newton-John
from the album Long Live Love (UK) and If You Love Me, Let Me Know (US)
B-side"Home Ain't Home Anymore"
ReleasedAugust 1974 (US)
Producer(s)John Farrar
Olivia Newton-John singles chronology
"If You Love Me, Let Me Know"
"I Honestly Love You"
"Have You Never Been Mellow"
"I Honestly Love You" (1974) on YouTube
Alternative release
Side A of the UK single
Side A of the UK single

"I Honestly Love You" is a song recorded by Olivia Newton-John and released in 1974 on the album Long Live Love in the United Kingdom and If You Love Me, Let Me Know in the United States. The song became a worldwide pop hit, her first number-one single in the United States and Canada. The single was first released in Australia as "I Love You, I Honestly Love You", as per its chorus. The song was written by Jeff Barry and Australian singer and composer Peter Allen. The latter recorded it around the same time for his album Continental American.

At the 17th Grammy Awards in 1975, the single won both Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. The composition was nominated for Song of the Year but lost to "The Way We Were".[5] British arranger, keyboardist and composer Alan Hawkshaw received the award for Best Arrangement from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences for "I Honestly Love You". He also played on the recording.

In June 2007, VH1 ranked Newton-John's recording at no. 11 in its 40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs list.[6]

In popular culture[edit]

A snippet of Lynn Anderson's recording of the song plays over Chief Brody's radio in the second shark attack in Steven Spielberg's 1975 film Jaws, moments before Alex Kitner and Pippet the dog disappear beneath the waves.

It also appears in the musical about Peter Allen's life, The Boy from Oz.


Record World said that it has "delicate, lush production" and commented on "its pure emotive qualities."[7]

Chart performance[edit]

Cashbox advertisement, August 10, 1974

The single reached the top three of the Billboard Hot 100 in an unusually fast six weeks, and in its eighth week, the chart dated 5 October 1974, it spent the first of its two weeks at number one. Soon after it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, having sold one million copies. It also reached number one (three weeks) on the Adult Contemporary chart[8] and no. 6 on the Country chart.[9] The song's success also helped propel its parent album, If You Love Me, Let Me Know, to number one, on the chart dated 12 October 1974. By contrast, the single failed to reach the top 20 in the United Kingdom (no. 22), although it did chart there in 1983 when it was re-released to promote a Newton-John greatest hits album.

The single ranked number 97 on Billboard's Year-End Top 100 of 1974 – a ranking based on only 11 of its 15 weeks on the Hot 100.

In November 1977, a re-release of Newton-John's original version backed with "Don't Cry for Me Argentina", from her then-current album Making a Good Thing Better, reached number 48 during its nine-week run on the Hot 100; the single outperformed the only A-side single from the album (the title track), which five months earlier had stalled at number 87. The re-release of Newton-John's 1974 hit also re-charted on the Adult Contemporary chart, peaking at number 49.


1998 version[edit]

"I Honestly Love You '98"
Single by Olivia Newton-John
from the album Back with a Heart
GenrePop, adult contemporary
Songwriter(s)Jeff Barry, Peter Allen
Producer(s)David Foster
Olivia Newton-John singles chronology
"You're the One That I Want"
"I Honestly Love You '98"
"Back with a Heart"
Music video
"I Honestly Love You '98" on YouTube

Newton-John re-recorded "I Honestly Love You" for her 1998 album Back with a Heart, with Babyface on background vocals. The new version was released as a single, debuting on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1998. It was her first song to chart in the Hot 100 for six years, peaking at No. 67 and spent 12 weeks on the chart. It reached No. 18 on the Adult Contemporary chart and No. 16 on the Country Music Sales chart.


Chart (1998) Peak
Australia (ARIA) 88
US Billboard Hot 100 67
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[13] 18
US Country Singles Sales (Billboard) 16

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ "VH1's 40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs". Stereogum. SpinMedia. 31 May 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  2. ^ Abdelrahman, Amina Lake (21 September 2018). "35 Most Romantic Love Songs of All Time". Good Housekeeping.
  3. ^ Breihan, Tom (6 June 2019). "The Number Ones: Olivia Newton-John's "I Honestly Love You"". Stereogum. Retrieved 19 June 2023. "I Honestly Love You" is an extremely competent pop ballad...
  4. ^ a b Molanphy, Chris (17 April 2021). "Taylor's Version of Country Edition". Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia (Podcast). Slate. Retrieved 6 February 2024.
  5. ^ "Past Winners Search". GRAMMY.com. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  6. ^ "VH1's 40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs". 31 May 2007.
  7. ^ "Hits of the Week" (PDF). Record World. 17 August 1974. p. 1. Retrieved 15 March 2023.
  8. ^ Whit-burn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 181.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 248.
  10. ^ a b "National Top 100 Singles for 1974". Kent Music Report. 30 December 1974. Retrieved 15 January 2022 – via Imgur.
  11. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  12. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2014). Cash Box Pop Hits 1952-1996. Sheridan Books, Inc. ISBN 978-0-89820-209-0.
  13. ^ a b c "Olivia Newton-John Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  14. ^ "CU.S Digital Song Sales: Week of August 20, 2022". Billboard. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  15. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (17 July 2013). "Image : RPM Weekly". www.bac-lac.gc.ca.
  16. ^ "The CashBox Year End Charts:1974". Archived from the original on 25 July 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  17. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1974/Top 100 Songs of 1974". www.musicoutfitters.com.
  18. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 April 2018.