To Love Somebody (song)
|"To Love Somebody"|
|Single by Bee Gees|
|from the album Bee Gees' 1st|
|B-side||"Close Another Door"|
|Label||Polydor (United Kingdom) |
Atco (United States)
|Bee Gees UK singles chronology|
|Bee Gees US singles chronology|
"To Love Somebody" is a song written by Barry and Robin Gibb. Produced by Robert Stigwood, it was the second single released by the Bee Gees from their international debut album, Bee Gees 1st, in 1967. The single reached No. 17 in the United States and No. 41 in the United Kingdom. The song's B-side was "Close Another Door". The single was reissued in 1980 on RSO Records with "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" as its flipside. The song ranked at number 94 on NME magazine's "100 Best Tracks of the Sixties". It was a minor hit in the UK and France. It reached the top 20 in the US. It reached the top 10 in Canada.
In a 2017 interview with Piers Morgan's Life Stories, Barry was asked "of all the songs that you've ever written, which song would you choose?" Barry said that "To Love Somebody" was the song that he'd choose as it has "a clear, emotional message".
The song has been recorded by many other artists, including Hank Williams Jr., Nina Simone, Janis Joplin, Roberta Flack, Jimmy Somerville, Michael Bolton, Billy Corgan, Rod Stewart, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Gram Parsons, Michael Bublé, James Carr, Karl Blau, and The Revivalists.
Origins and lyrics
At the request of Robert Stigwood, the band's manager, Barry and Robin Gibb wrote "To Love Somebody", a soulful ballad in the style of Sam & Dave or The Rascals, for Otis Redding. Redding came to see Barry at the Plaza in New York City one night. Robin claimed that "Otis Redding said he loved our material and would Barry write him a song".
The Bee Gees recorded "To Love Somebody" at IBC Studios, London in March 1967 and released it as a single in mid-July 1967 in the US. Redding died in an aeroplane crash later that year, before having a chance to record the song. The song was recorded around April 1967 with "Gilbert Green" and "End of My Song" at the IBC Studios in London, England.
Robin said, "Everyone told us what a great record they thought it was, Other groups all raved about it but for some reason people in Britain just did not seem to like it." Barry said, "I think the reason it didn't do well here was because it's a soul number, Americans loved it, but it just wasn't right for this country".
Barry Gibb explained in a June 2001 interview with Mojo magazine:
It was for Robert (Stigwood). I say that unabashedly. He asked me to write a song for him, personally. It was written in New York and played to Otis but, personally, it was for Robert. He meant a great deal to me. I don't think it was a homosexual affection but a tremendous admiration for this man's abilities and gifts.
- Barry Gibb – lead vocals and backing vocals
- Robin Gibb – backing vocals
- Maurice Gibb – bass and backing vocals
- Vince Melouney – electric guitar and backing vocals
- Colin Petersen – drums
- Bill Shepherd – orchestral arrangement
Michael Bolton version
|"To Love Somebody"|
|Single by Michael Bolton|
|from the album Timeless: The Classics|
|B-side||"Now That I Found You"|
|Michael Bolton singles chronology|
American singer Michael Bolton covered and released it as a single from his 1992 album Timeless: The Classics. His version reached number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and became his fourth single to peak at number two in Canada, his highest position in that country. It is also his highest-charting single in France, where it reached number seven.
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||2|
|Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)||1|
|Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)||31|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||61|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||36|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||35|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||32|
|UK Singles (OCC)||16|
|US Billboard Hot 100||11|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||1|
|US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)||6|
|US Rhythmic (Billboard)||31|
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||55|
|Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)||26|
|Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)||9|
|US Billboard Hot 100||83|
Movie and TV appearances
The Bee Gees' version also appears in a 2019 McDonald's television commercial.
The Bee Gees’ version also appears in the newly released, Baker 4 video.
Other cover versions
- 1967: Lulu included on her album Love Loves To Love Lulu. The album reached number 24 on the US charts.
- 1968: Gary Puckett & The Union Gap covered "To Love Somebody" on their gold-selling album Woman, Woman released in early 1968.
- 1968: The Sweet Inspirations recorded the song, which reached number 30 on the R&B charts.
- 1968: Eric Burdon and the Animals covered "To Love Somebody" released on their album Love Is.
- 1969: James Carr released this song as a single and reached number 44 on the R&B Charts.
- 1969: Nina Simone covered "To Love Somebody" released on her album To Love Somebody, which reached number five in the UK and became her second British hit single after "Ain't Got No-I Got Life".
- 1969: Janis Joplin covered "To Love Somebody" on her solo album I Got Dem Ol Kozmic Blues Again Mama!.
- 1973: The Flying Burrito Brothers covered the song on their album Honky Tonk Heaven.
- 1977: Narvel Felts released the song, reaching number 22 on the Hot Country Singles chart.
- 1988: Bonnie Tyler covered "To Love Somebody" on her solo album Hide Your Heart.
- 1989: Billy "Crash" Craddock from Back on Track; peaked at number 91 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada.
- 1990: Jimmy Somerville released a version that reached number eight in the United Kingdom, becoming his most recent top-ten entry in the UK. It also charted highly in several other countries, reaching number seven in Ireland and attaining top-five positions in Austria, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.
- 1992: Alternative band Mule (band) covered song on her single I'm Hell/To Love Somebody.
- 2002: Eagle Eye Cherry covered this song in an acoustic version for the Original Soundtrack Y Tu Mamá También.
- 2005: Billy Corgan covered this song on his first solo album TheFutureEmbrace (with Robert Smith from The Cure for the back vocals).
- 2013: Michael Bublé covered this song for his eighth studio album To Be Loved, the album's fifth single. It reached number 13 in Poland.
- 2017: Sophia Fletcher from her album Nature of Truth.
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