Need Your Love So Bad

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"Need Your Love So Bad"
Single by Little Willie John
B-side "Home at Last"
Released 1955 (1955)
Format 10" 78 rpm single
Recorded New York City, September 28, 1955
Genre Blues
Length 2:14
Label King (Cat. no. 4841)
Writer(s) Mertis John Jr.

"Need Your Love So Bad" sometimes known as "I Need Your Love So Bad", is a blues song first published in 1955 and written by Mertis John Jr.


The first recording of the song was by Mertis John's younger brother Little Willie John[1][2][3] and was released by King Records.[2] Willie John's single achieved No. 5 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1956[4] and the B-side "Home at Last" reached No. 6 in the same chart.[4] While using the AABA form and a harmonic layout typical for the R&B ballad,[5] "Need Your Love So Bad" has been described as "A tightly wound and intense plea for love, [...] quite different from the usual R&B ballad fare".[6] The songwriting credit has often been incorrectly attributed to Little Willie John.[7] An example of this is the 1969 Fleetwood Mac album The Pious Bird of Good Omen, on which the original label gave the credit to Little Willie John.[8] The performing rights organisation BMI credits the song to both John brothers.[9]

Little Willie John's version of the song was used in the soundtrack to the film Wonder Boys in 2000.[10] The song has also appeared on various compilation albums, such as The Very Best of Little Willie John, released in 2001 by Collectables Records as a CD.[11]


B.B. King recorded the song in December 1967 under the title "I Need Your Love" for his album Lucille. Fleetwood Mac subsequently released a cover of the song as a single,[2] which reached No. 31 in the UK Singles Chart in August 1968.[12] Other artists who have released cover versions of the song include, David Byron, Whitesnake, Gary Moore (on his tribute album, Blues For Greeny), Irma Thomas, Buddy Guy, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Lee, Bonnie Tyler, Eva Cassidy, Deborah Bonham, Sting, The Allman Brothers Band, Pee Wee Crayton, and Robert Palmer.


  1. ^ "Little Willie John, Need Your Love So Bad by Mertis John". Retrieved 2002-03-20. 
  2. ^ a b c "Little Willie John by Richard Tapp". Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  3. ^ "Soul Greats, Marble John". Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  4. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 228. 
  5. ^ Appen, Ralf von / Frei-Hauenschild, Markus "AABA, Refrain, Chorus, Bridge, Prechorus — Song Forms and their Historical Development". In: Samples. Online Publikationen der Gesellschaft für Popularmusikforschung/German Society for Popular Music Studies e.V. Ed. by Ralf von Appen, André Doehring and Thomas Phleps. Vol. 13 (2015), p. 31, 35.
  6. ^ Grendysa, Peter A. (1993). Fever: The Best of Little Willie John (liner notes). Rhino Records. p. 1. R2 71511. 
  7. ^ Ron Wynn. "Fever: The Best of Little Willie John - Little Willie John - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved December 22, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Fleetwood Mac, Pious Bird of Good Omen , image of disc label". Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  9. ^ "Entry for Need Your Love So Bad, BMI". 
  10. ^ "The AFI Catalog of Feature Films: Wonder Boys". Retrieved March 19, 2010. 
  11. ^ "The Very Best of Little Willie John". Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  12. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 205. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

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