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
ProducerRobert 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
ProducerRobert 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 the second single released by the Bee Gees from their international debut album, Bee Gees 1st.[2] It was written by Barry Gibb and Robin Gibb, Produced by Robert Stigwood. The song's B-side was "Close Another Door"[1]

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

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 U.S. 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
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[9]83

Michael Bublé version[edit]

Chart (2013)Peak
position
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 20)[10]18

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]

External links[edit]

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