You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

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"You Don't Have to Say You Love Me"
Artwork for Dutch vinyl single
Single by Dusty Springfield
Released25 March 1966
Recorded9–10 March 1966
StudioPhilips Studio, Stanhope Place, London
GenreTraditional pop
LabelPhilips BF 1482[1]
Songwriter(s)Vicki Wickham, Simon Napier-Bell,[1] Pino Donaggio, Vito Pallavicini
Producer(s)Johnny Franz[1]
Dusty Springfield UK singles chronology
"Little by Little"
"You Don't Have to Say You Love Me"
"Goin' Back"
Dusty Springfield US singles chronology
"I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself"
"You Don't Have to Say You Love Me"
"All I See is You"

"You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" (originally a 1965 Italian song, '"Io che non vivo (senza te)", by Pino Donaggio and Vito Pallavicini) is a 1966 hit recorded by English singer Dusty Springfield that proved to be her most successful single, reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart[2] and number four on the Billboard Hot 100. Elvis Presley recorded a cover version in 1970 which was a hit in both the US and the UK. Other covers have charted in the UK, Ireland, Italy and Finland.

Original Italian version[edit]

"Io che non vivo (senza te)" ("I, who can't live (without you)") was introduced at the 15th edition of the Sanremo Festival by Pino Donaggio — who had co-written the song with Vito Pallavicini — and his team partner Jody Miller. The song reached the final at Sanremo and, as recorded by Donaggio, reached No. 1 in Italy in March 1965. "Io che non vivo (senza te)" was prominently featured on the soundtrack of the Luchino Visconti film Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa (aka Sandra), starring Claudia Cardinale, which was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival that September.

Dusty Springfield version[edit]

Dusty Springfield, who participated at the 1965 Sanremo Festival, was in the audience when Donaggio and Miller performed "Io che non vivo (senza te)" and, although she did not know the meaning of the lyrics, the song moved Springfield to tears.[citation needed] She obtained an acetate recording of Donaggio's song, but allowed a year to go by before actively pursuing the idea of recording an English version.

On 9 March 1966, Springfield had an instrumental track of Donaggio's composition recorded at Philips Studio Marble Arch. The session personnel included guitarist Big Jim Sullivan and drummer Bobby Graham. Springfield still lacked an English lyric to record, but Springfield's friend Vicki Wickham, the producer of Ready Steady Go!, wrote the required English lyric with her own friend Simon Napier-Bell, manager of the Yardbirds. Neither Wickham nor Napier-Bell had any discernible experience as songwriters. According to Napier-Bell, he and Wickham were dining out when she mentioned to him that Springfield hoped to get an English lyric for Donaggio's song, and the two light-heartedly took up the challenge of writing the lyric themselves: "We went back to [Wickham]'s flat and started working on it. We wanted to go to a trendy disco so we had about an hour to write it. We wrote the chorus and then we wrote the verse in a taxi to wherever we were going."[citation needed]

Neither Wickham nor Napier-Bell understood the original Italian lyrics. According to Wickham they attempted to write their own lyric for an anti-love song to be called "I Don't Love You", but when that original idea proved unproductive, it was initially adjusted to "You Don't Love Me", then to "You Don't Have to Love Me", and finalised as "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me", a phrasing that fitted the song's melody. Napier-Bell later gave the same title to his first book, an autobiographical account of the British music scene of the 1960s.

Springfield recorded her vocal the next day. Unhappy with the acoustics in the recording booth she eventually moved into a stairwell to record. She was only satisfied with her vocals after she had recorded 47 takes.[citation needed]

Released on 25 March 1966 in the UK, the single release of Springfield's recording became a huge hit and remains one of the songs most identified with her. When she died from breast cancer in March 1999, the song was featured on Now 42 as a tribute.

The song hit number one in the UK charts and number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.[3] It proved so popular in the US that Springfield's 1965 album Ev'rything's Coming Up Dusty was released there with a slightly different track listing, and was retitled with the same name as the hit single (the B side of the US single, "Little by Little", was issued in the UK as a separate A side and reached No.17 there). The song also topped the charts peaking at number one in The Philippines and peaked at number one in NME top thirty charts, it stayed in the number 1 position for two weeks from the week commencing 14 May 1966 to the week ending 28 May 1966. It also hit number one in Melody Maker magazine in May 1966.


Cash Box described the song as a "hauntingly plaintive slow-shufflin’ ode about an understanding gal who has no intention of tying her boyfriend down to her."[4]

In 2004, the song made the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time[5] at No. 491.


Chart (1966) Peak
UK Singles Chart[6] 1
New Musical Express[7] 1
Melody Maker[8] 1
Australian Go-Set[9] 2
Canada RPM 4
The Official Finnish Charts[10] 6
German Media Control[11] 33
Irish Singles Chart[12] 4
The Netherlands[13] 33
Philippines Singles Chart[14] 1
New Zealand singles Chart[15] 9
US Billboard Hot 100[16] 4
US Cashbox[17] 3
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[18] 8

Elvis Presley version[edit]

"You Don't Have to Say You Love Me"
Single by Elvis Presley
from the album That's the Way It Is
A-side"You Don't Have to Say You Love me"
B-side"Patch It Up"
Released6 October 1970
Recorded6 June 1970
StudioRCA’s Studio B Nashville
LabelRCA Records
Songwriter(s)Vicki Wickham, Simon Napier-Bell, Pino Donaggio, Vito Pallavicini
Elvis Presley singles chronology
"I've Lost You" / "The Next Step Is Love"
"You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" / "Patch It Up"
"I Really Don't Want to Know" / "There Goes My Everything"

"You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" was recorded by Elvis Presley for his 1970 album release That's the Way It Is, from which it was issued as the second single 6 October 1970. The track had been recorded in the evening of 6 June 1970 in Studio B of RCA Studios (Nashville), being the third of seven songs recorded that night. The session producer, Felton Jarvis, felt that the second take was good enough to serve as the master track but Presley insisted on a third and final take.[19]

Reaching No.11 on the Hot 100 in Billboard magazine, "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" afforded Presley a No.1 hit on the Billboard Easy Listening chart, also reaching No.56 on the Billboard C&W chart.[20] It became a gold record. A hit for Presley in both Australia (No.7) and Canada (No.6), "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" was twice a hit for Presley in the British Isles, with its original release reaching No.9 in the UK and No.17 in Ireland, in which territories the track's 2007 re-release charted with respective peaks of No.16 and No.29.[3] The single went on to become the best-selling record of 1971 in Japan, with Oricon reporting sales of 225,000 copies, making Presley the first foreign artist in history to do so, until Michael Jackson released Thriller in 1984.[21]

Other versions[edit]

English-language cover versions[edit]

"You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" has been recorded by many artists, including:

International cover versions[edit]

Most international versions of the song were subsequent to Dusty Springfield's 1966 success with "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" and reference that version's lyrics rather than the Italian original.

The Italian original, "Io che non vivo (senza te)", has been remade by Milva, Morgan (album Italian Songbook Vol 2/ 2012), and Russell Watson (album La Voce/ 2010). Patrizio Buanne also recorded "Io Che Non Vivo (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)" for his 2007 album Forever Begins Tonight, the track featuring lyrics from both the Italian and English-language versions.

In October 1965, Richard Anthony recorded a French version of "Io che non vivo (senza te)", "Jamais je ne vivrai sans toi", which served as the title cut of an album release. In Quebec, Anthony's version of "Jamais je ne vivrai sans toi" competed with a local cover version by Margot Lefebvre, with both tracks co-ranked at No.38 in the annual listing of the top hits of 1966.[22]

A Catalan rendering of "Io che non vivo", entitled "Jo no puc viure sense tu", was a 1965 single release for Renata. Pino Donaggio himself recorded a Spanish version of the song, entitled "Yo que no vivo sin ti", which was remade in 1971 by Angélica María for her self-titled album, and in 1987 by Luis Miguel on his album Soy Como Quiero Ser. Miguel's version ranked No.26 on the Hot Latin Tracks in Billboard.[citation needed]

One of the earliest non-English renderings of "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" was the Finnish "En koskaan", recorded by Kristina Hautala on 24 May 1966, which entered the Finnish Top Ten in November 1966 – in effect superseding Springfield's version which had reached No.6 in Finland earlier that month. "En koskaan" spent eleven weeks in the Top Ten, also peaking at No.6.[citation needed]

"You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" has also been rendered in Croatian as "Moju ljubav nisi hteo", recorded by Nada Knežević (sr), and also as "Nemoj reći da me voliš", recorded by Sanjalice Archived 2011-09-17 at the Wayback Machine. It has been sung in Dutch as "Geloof me", recorded by André Hazes, in German as "Alle meine Träume" recorded by Peter Beil (de), as well as Corry Brokken and Ingrid Peters, while other German renderings have been recorded by Angelika Milster (de) ("Unser Traum Darf Niemals Sterben") and by Trude Herr ("Ich Sage, Wat Ich Meine").

Sales and certifications[edit]

Elvis Presley version
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Japan 308,000[23]
United States (RIAA)[24] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 100. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 190. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ a b "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me - Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  4. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 7 May 1966. p. 22. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  5. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Retrieved 5 November 2008.[dead link]
  6. ^ "Dusty Springfield: Artist Chart History". Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Dusty Springfield Chart History: NME Top Thirty". Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  8. ^ "Dusty Springfield Chart History: Melody Maker". Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  9. ^ Billboard Magazine, June 1966. 25 June 1966. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  10. ^ Billboard Magazine, November 1966. 26 November 1966. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  11. ^ "German charts" (in German). Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  12. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  13. ^ "Dutch Muziek Parade 1966". Muziek Parade. Archived from the original on 3 July 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  14. ^ Billboard Magazine, October 1966. 29 October 1966. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  15. ^ Dusty Springfield - Flavour of New Zealand Archived 2021-07-09 at the Wayback Machine. Flavour of New Zealand
  16. ^ Miles, Barry. The British Invasion. Sterling. p. 98.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  18. ^ "Dusty Springfield Chart History: Adult Contemporary". Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  19. ^ Jorgensen, Ernest (1998). Elvis Presley: A Life In Music. NYC: St Martin's Griffin. ISBN 978-0312263157.
  20. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 196.
  21. ^ 【オリコン年間】BTSアルバム『BTS,THE BEST』が自身初の年間1位 海外アーティストではマイケル・ジャクソン『スリラー』以来37年ぶり [[Oricon Annual] BTS album "BTS, THE BEST" topped the list, is the first foreign artist in 37 years since Michael Jackson's "Thriller"] (in Japanese). Oricon. 22 December 2021. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  22. ^ "Palmarès rétro 1966". Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  23. ^ "List of best-selling international singles in Japan". JP&KIYO. 2002. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  24. ^ "American single certifications – Elvis Presley – You Don_t Have to Say You Love Me". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 25 April 2013.