Somebody to Love (Jefferson Airplane song)

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"Somebody to Love"
Somebody to Love - Jefferson Airplane.jpg
Single cover
Single by Jefferson Airplane
from the album Surrealistic Pillow
B-side"She Has Funny Cars"
ReleasedApril 1, 1967 (1967-04-01)
RecordedNovember 3, 1966
StudioRCA, Hollywood, California
LabelRCA Victor
Songwriter(s)Darby Slick
Producer(s)Rick Jarrard
Jefferson Airplane singles chronology
"My Best Friend"
"Somebody to Love"
"White Rabbit"
Music videos
Don't You Want Somebody To Love on YouTube, by Jefferson Airplane with vocals by Grace Slick (1967) (2:56 minutes, with lyrics)
Don't You Want Somebody To Love on YouTube, by Jefferson Airplane with lead vocals by Grace Slick. Live at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival (1967). (3:04 minutes)
Don't You Want Somebody To Love on YouTube, by Jefferson Starship with Cathy Richardson on lead vocals, Paul Kantner, David Freiberg, Donny Baldwin, Slick Aguilar, Chris Smith, Marty Balin. Live from the 2012 PBS Special, My Music: 60s Pop, Rock and Soul. (3:19 minutes)

"Somebody to Love" (originally titled "Someone to Love") is a rock song that was written by Darby Slick. It was originally recorded by The Great Society, and later by Jefferson Airplane. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Jefferson Airplane's version No. 274 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[3]


Written by The Great Society guitarist Darby Slick[3] after realizing his girlfriend had left him, and first performed by that band, which included his then-sister-in-law Grace Slick on vocals, the song made little impact outside of the club circuit in the Bay Area. The song was recorded on December 4, 1965 and released in February 1966 as a single with the B-side another Darby Slick composition titled "Free Advice" on the Northbeach label (Northbeach 1001) and received minimal circulation outside of San Francisco.[4] San Francisco in the mid-'60s was the center of free love, but Darby Slick saw a downside to this ethos, as it could lead to jealousy and disconnect. This song champions loyalty and monogamy, as the singer implores us to find that one true love that will nurture us and get us through the tough times.[5] However, the lyrics do not treat love as something that randomly happens to a person, but rather as an action that a person, male or female, may choose to take. This subtle but profound difference in philosophy places this song in opposition to songs that speak of "falling in love" as if love is something that happens to a person outside of their conscious intention.


When Grace Slick departed to join Jefferson Airplane, she took this song with her, bringing it to the Surrealistic Pillow sessions,[3] along with her own composition "White Rabbit". Subsequently, the Airplane's more ferocious rock and roll version became the band's first and biggest success, reaching No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.[3] The group's first hit song, "Somebody To Love" was also one of the first big hits to come out of the US West Coast and San Francisco Bay area counterculture scene, to which numerous artists and musicians would be drawn over the following few years.

Slick's original performance of the song with The Great Society is more subdued, with the Jefferson Airplane version sounding far more accusatory and menacing on lines such as "Your mind is so full of red" and "Your friends, baby, they treat you like a guest."[5] The lyrics are in the second person, with each two-line verse setting a scene of alienation and despair, and the chorus repeating the title of the song, with slight variations such as: "... / Don't you need somebody to love? / Wouldn't you love somebody to love? / ..." Like the album on which it appeared, this song was instrumental in publicizing the existence of the Haight-Ashbury counterculture to the rest of the United States.


Billboard described the song as a "wild dance number loaded with vocal excitement," calling it a "hard driver, featuring powerful female vocal in the lead [which] never stops from start to finish."[6] Brett Milano of rated Jorma Kaukonen's psychedelic guitar solo at the end of the song as one of the 100 all-time greatest, stating that it opens "with those three sustained wailing notes and [closes] with those sign-off chords that leave the song forever unresolved."[7]




Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[15] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[16] Gold 500,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Boogie Pimps version[edit]

"Somebody to Love"
Boogie Pimps StL remix cover.jpg
Saltshaker Remix cover
Single by Boogie Pimps
ReleasedApril 7, 2003 (2003-04-07)
Songwriter(s)Darby Slick
  • Mark J Klak
  • Mirko Jacob
Boogie Pimps singles chronology
"Somebody to Love"
Music video
"Somebody to Love" on YouTube

A remix of "Somebody to Love" was the debut single of German electronic music duo Boogie Pimps. It was first released in Germany in April 2003 and became a worldwide hit the following year, reaching No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 7 on the Irish Singles Chart. The song also became a top-twenty hit in Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands. In most of these territories, this was their only hit single, as the follow-up single "Sunny" failed to chart.[17]

Background and release[edit]

In December 2001, Mark J. Klak and Mirko Jacob of Boogie Pimps decided to cover the song after watching the 1998 film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, in which "Somebody to Love" is featured. The band's result initially failed to attract attention from German record labels, but the song soon became popular via underground white label releases.[18] It was then picked up by German label Superstar Records and released as an official single on April 7, 2003.[19] In the United Kingdom, it was released in early 2004, while in Australia, it was issued as a CD single on January 26, 2003.[20]

Track listings[edit]

German maxi-single[19]

  1. "Somebody to Love" (radio edit) – 3:30
  2. "Somebody to Love" (radio mix (clear)) – 3:46
  3. "Somebody to Love" (main club mix) – 5:10
  4. "Somebody to Love" (Moonbootica mix) – 6:54
  5. "Somebody to Love" (ClubReise (Mirko Jacob mix)) – 5:24
  6. "Somebody to Love" (CaterpillarClassich (Mark J Klak mix)) – 7:10

UK enhanced CD single[21]

  1. "Somebody to Love" (radio edit)
  2. "Somebody to Love" (DJ Flex Executive edit)
  3. "Somebody to Love" (Pimps club mix)
  4. "Somebody to Love" (DJ Flex Executive remix)
  5. "Somebody to Love" (Ian Knowles remix)
  6. "Somebody to Love" (CD-ROM video)

Australian maxi-single[19]

  1. "Somebody to Love" (radio edit) – 2:59
  2. "Somebody to Love" (club mix) – 6:02
  3. "Somebody to Love" (DJ Flex & Sandy Wilhelm Executive remix) – 7:38
  4. "Somebody to Love" (Santos Somebody to Rock remix) – 6:47
  5. "Somebody to Love" (Santos Another Planet remix) – 7:48
  6. "Somebody to Love" (Raymond Barry remix) – 5:33



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[44] Gold 35,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
Germany April 7, 2003 (2003-04-07) Maxi-CD Superstar [19]
Australia January 26, 2004 (2004-01-26) CD [20]


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  2. ^ Gallucci, Michael (January 28, 2016). "Top 10 Jefferson Airplane Songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved May 17, 2021. Slick checks in with her all-time greatest vocal (she originally cut the song with her pre-Airplane band the Great Society), and the hook is bigger and brighter than most of the band's psychedelic folk-outs.
  3. ^ a b c d "500 GREATEST SONGS OF ALL TIME". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2015-03-11. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
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External links[edit]