Reason to Believe

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For other songs and albums titled Reason to Believe, see Reason to Believe (disambiguation).

"Reason to Believe" is a song written, composed, and first recorded by American folk singer Tim Hardin in 1965. It has since been recorded by artists including the Carpenters and Rod Stewart in 1971 and 1993.

Tim Hardin version[edit]

After having had his recording contract terminated by Columbia Records, Tim Hardin achieved some success in the 1960s as a songwriter based in Greenwich Village. The original recording of "Reason to Believe" comes from Hardin's debut album, Tim Hardin 1, recorded in 1965 and released on the Verve Records label in 1966 when he was 25.[1]

Tim Hardin's original recording of the song is also on the soundtrack to the 2000 film Wonder Boys.

The Carpenters version[edit]

The Carpenters[2] recorded "Reason to Believe" for their second LP, Close to You, in 1970. On television, they performed it on the The 5th Dimension Travelling Sunshine Show on August 18, 1971[3] and Make Your Own Kind of Music on September 7, 1971. [4] Richard Carpenter remixed the song for the release of the 1995 compilation, Interpretations: A 25th Anniversary Celebration.

Rod Stewart version[edit]

"Reason to Believe"
German cover of the "Reason to Believe" single with reversed sides
Single by Rod Stewart
from the album Every Picture Tells a Story
B-side "Maggie May"
Released July 1971
Format 7" single
Recorded 1971
Genre Soft rock, folk rock
Length 4:10
Label Mercury Records
Writer(s) Tim Hardin
Rod Stewart singles chronology
"It's All Over Now"
"Reason to Believe" / "Maggie May"
"Every Picture Tells a Story" (Spain)


Rod Stewart's version, released in 1971 on the Every Picture Tells a Story album, reached #62 on its own before the B side, Stewart's signature song "Maggie May", overtook it on its way to top the Billboard Hot 100.

A live version was released in 1993, when it received considerable airplay as part of his MTV Unplugged appearance and subsequent Unplugged...and Seated album. It re-charted, reaching number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100. The 1993 single includes the live version of "It's All Over Now", which was recorded during the MTV Unplugged session but does not appear on the live album.

Altogether "Reason to Believe" has logged a total of 41 weeks on the Hot 100, more than any other Rod Stewart single.

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly singles chart (1993) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[5] 19

Other versions[edit]

  • The Youngbloods recorded "Reason to Believe" for their second LP, Earth Music, in 1967.[6] It was re-released on the compilation album, Sunlight in 1971.[7]
  • Scott McKenzie recorded the song for his The Voice of Scott McKenzie album, released in 1967.
  • Ricky Nelson recorded it for his album Another Side of Rick, released in 1967.
  • Denny Laine recorded the song with Electric String Band, released in 1967.
  • Peggy Lee recorded the song in 1968 for release on a 45" single along with another Hardin song, "Misty Roses". A live recording of the song by Lee form the same year was released on the album 2 Shows Nightly.
  • One of the foreign-language groups who covered this song was the Dutch band Brainbox in 1969.
  • Don Williams recorded it for his 1995 album Borrowed Tales.
  • Aled Jones recorded a version which appears on the 2007 album Reason to Believe.
  • Although they had not yet released a recording of it as of Summer 2009, Crosby, Stills & Nash were performing it live during their 2009 U.S. concert tour.
  • Rickie Lee Jones recorded a version on her album The Devil You Know, released in 2012.


Preceded by
"Go Away Little Girl" by Donny Osmond
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
2 October 1971 (five weeks)
Succeeded by
"Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves" by Cher