To Love Somebody (song)

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"To Love Somebody"
Single by Bee Gees
from the album Bee Gees' 1st
B-side"Close Another Door"[1]
ReleasedJune 1967 (United Kingdom)
July 1967 (United States)
August 1967 (Australia, New Zealand)
Format7", 45rpm
RecordedApril 1967
GenreBlue eyed soul, baroque pop
Length3:02
LabelPolydor (United Kingdom)
Atco (United States)
Spin (Australia)
Writer(s)Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Producer(s)Robert Stigwood, Ossie Byrne
Bee Gees UK singles chronology
"New York Mining Disaster 1941"
(1967)
"To Love Somebody"
(1967)
"World"
(1967)
Bee Gees US singles chronology
"New York Mining Disaster 1941"
(1967)
To Love Somebody"
(1967)
"Holiday"
(1967)
Bee Gees' 1st track listing
Alternative cover
Japanese cover for "To Love Somebody"
 
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"To Love Somebody"
Single by Bee Gees
from the album Bee Gees' 1st
B-side"Close Another Door"[1]
ReleasedJune 1967 (United Kingdom)
July 1967 (United States)
August 1967 (Australia, New Zealand)
Format7", 45rpm
RecordedApril 1967
GenreBlue eyed soul, baroque pop
Length3:02
LabelPolydor (United Kingdom)
Atco (United States)
Spin (Australia)
Writer(s)Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb
Producer(s)Robert Stigwood, Ossie Byrne
Bee Gees UK singles chronology
"New York Mining Disaster 1941"
(1967)
"To Love Somebody"
(1967)
"World"
(1967)
Bee Gees US singles chronology
"New York Mining Disaster 1941"
(1967)
To Love Somebody"
(1967)
"Holiday"
(1967)
Bee Gees' 1st track listing
Alternative cover
Japanese cover for "To Love Somebody"

"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.[2] 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"[1] The single was reissued in 1980 on RSO Records with "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" as its flipside.[3]

The song has been recorded by many other musicians, including Nina Simone whose version reached No.5 in the UK in 1969, and Michael Bolton whose recording reached No.11 in the US and No.16 in the UK in 1992.

Origins and lyrics[edit]

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"To Love Somebody" is a soul ballad recorded by the Bee Gees.

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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.[4] 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.[5]

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".[6]

Barry Gibb explained in a June 2001 interview with Mojo magazine:

It was for Robert. 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.[7]

The simple title refrain of the chorus, "You don't know what it's like, Baby, you don't know what it's like, To love somebody...the way I love you" has the effect of being at once heartbreaking and triumphant, a self-pitying put-down to an unrequited love. "There's... a certain kind of light that never shone on me... You ain't got to be so blind, I'm a man, can't you see what I am?, I live and breathe for you, But what good does that do, If I ain't got you?".[8]

Track listing[edit]

1980 single reissue[3]
No.TitleLength
1."To Love Somebody"  3:02
2."How Can You Mend a Broken Heart"   

Personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Charts (1967)Peak
position
Australia ARIA Singles Chart6
Belgium Singles Chart8
Canadian RPM 100 Singles Chart9
French SNEP Singles Chart63
Netherlands Dutch Top 40 Charts13
UK Singles Chart41
US Billboard Hot 10017

Michael Bolton version[edit]

End of year chart (1993)Position
US Billboard Hot 100[9]83

Michael Bublé version[edit]

Chart (2013-14)Peak
position
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 20)[10]13

Cover versions[edit]

One of the most famous Gibb compositions, "To Love Somebody" is now considered a pop standard and has been covered by many artists, most notably:

Movie soundtracks[edit]

"To Love Somebody" has been used in several movies including:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Discogs.com. "Bee Gees - To Love Somebody (original issue)". 
  2. ^ Show 49 - The British are Coming! The British are Coming!: With an emphasis on Donovan, the Bee Gees, and the Who. [Part 6] : UNT Digital Library
  3. ^ a b Discogs.com. "Bee Gees - To Love Somebody (1980 reissue)". 
  4. ^ Melinda Bilyeu, Hector Cook, Andrew Môn Hughes (2004). The Bee Gees: Tales of the Brothers Gibb Omnibus Press, ISBN 978-1-84449-057-8, p. 134.
  5. ^ Joseph Brennan. "Gibb Songs: 1967". 
  6. ^ Hughes, Andrew. Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb. ISBN 9780857120045. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Songfacts.com. "To Love Somebody - Bee Gees". 
  8. ^ Janovitz, Bill. "Bee Gees - To Love Somebody". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1993". Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 20. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  11. ^ "Download The Black Crowes 9/3/08, BC Roadshow, Victoria, BC MP3 and FLAC". Liveblackcrowes. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  12. ^ "RPM Country Tracks". RPM. 3 March 1990. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  13. ^ Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, Woman, Woman Retrieved 28 September 2011
  14. ^ Billy Joe Royal, "To Love Somebody" Retrieved 23 September 2012.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"I Will Be Here for You" by Michael W. Smith
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single (Michael Bolton version)
14–21 November 1992
Succeeded by
"I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston