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
Genre
Length2:54
LabelRCA Victor
Songwriter(s)Darby Slick
Producer(s)Rick Jarrard
Jefferson Airplane singles chronology
"My Best Friend"
(1966)
"Somebody to Love"
(1967)
"White Rabbit"
(1967)
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]

Background[edit]

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.

Re-recording[edit]

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.

Reception[edit]

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 udiscovermusic.com 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]

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

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)
Recorded2003
GenreHouse
Length2:59
Label
Songwriter(s)Darby Slick
Producer(s)
  • Mark J Klak
  • Mirko Jacob
Boogie Pimps singles chronology
"Somebody to Love"
(2003)
"Sunny"
(2004)
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

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

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]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Starr, Larry (2008). Rock: A Canadian Perspective. Oxford Univ Pr. p. 175. ISBN 978-0195427615.
  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.
  4. ^ Richie Unterberger. "Darby Slick | Biography & History". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 2016-03-01. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  5. ^ a b "Somebody To Love by Jefferson Airplane Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Archived from the original on 2016-04-08. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  6. ^ "Spotlight Singles" (PDF). Billboard. March 18, 1967. p. 10. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  7. ^ Milano, Brett (September 11, 2020). "The Best Guitar Solos: 100 Hair-Raising Moments". udiscovermusic.com. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
  8. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles of 1967, June 17, 1967". Archived from the original on March 27, 2018. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  9. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  10. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles, June 17, 1967". Archived from the original on November 28, 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  11. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Jefferson Airplane" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  12. ^ RPM Top 100 Singles of 1967 Archived 2016-08-12 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Musicoutfitters.com". Archived from the original on 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  14. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 23, 1967". Archived from the original on September 30, 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  15. ^ "British single certifications – Jefferson Airplane – Somebody to Love". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  16. ^ "American single certifications – Jefferson Airplane – Somebody to Love". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 28, 2021. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  17. ^ "Boogie Pimps – Sunny (song)". australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on December 15, 2018. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  18. ^ Masterton, James (11 January 2004). "Week Ending January 17th 2004". Chart Watch UK. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
  19. ^ a b c d e "Offiziellecharts.de – Boogie Pimps – Somebody to Love" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  20. ^ a b "The ARIA Report: New Releases Singles – Week Commencing 26th January 2004" (PDF). ARIA. January 26, 2004. p. 24. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 23, 2008. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  21. ^ Somebody to Love (Saltshaker Remix) (UK enhanced CD single liner notes). Boogie Pimps. Data Records. 2004. DATA61CDS.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  22. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Boogie Pimps – Somebody to Love". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  23. ^ "The ARIA Report – ARIA Club Tracks – Week Commencing 22nd December 2003" (PDF). ARIA. December 22, 2003. p. 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 23, 2008. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  24. ^ "Issue 728" ARIA Top 50 Dance Singles. National Library of Australia. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – Boogie Pimps – Somebody to Love" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  26. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Boogie Pimps – Somebody to Love". Tracklisten. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  27. ^ "Hits of the World – Eurocharts" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 116 no. 6. February 7, 2004. p. 49. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  28. ^ "Boogie Pimps: Somebody to Love" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  29. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Dance Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  30. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Somebody to Love". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  31. ^ "Top 10 Dance Singles, Week Ending 8 January 2004". GfK Chart-Track. Retrieved June 17, 2019.[permanent dead link]
  32. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 12, 2004" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  33. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Boogie Pimps – Somebody to Love" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  34. ^ "Arhiva romanian top 100 – Editia 16, saptamina 19.04 – 25.04, 2004" (in Romanian). Romanian Top 100. Archived from the original on February 21, 2005. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  35. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  36. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Boogie Pimps – Somebody to Love". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  37. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  38. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  39. ^ "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Club Chart 2003". ARIA. Archived from the original on April 15, 2020. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  40. ^ "2004 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  41. ^ "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Dance Singles 2004". ARIA. Archived from the original on March 4, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  42. ^ "Top 100–Jaaroverzicht van 2004". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  43. ^ "The Official UK Singles Chart 2004" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 15, 2013. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  44. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2004 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved December 14, 2018.

External links[edit]