Need Your Love So Bad

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"Need Your Love So Bad"
Need Your Love So Bad single cover.jpg
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]


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]

Whitesnake released a cover version as the B-side to their single, Gambler, from the 1984 album Slide It In. The song was also released as a bonus track on the Japanese version of the same album.


  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. ^ Archived December 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  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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