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To Love Somebody (song)

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Title: To Love Somebody (song)  
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Subject: Bee Gees' 1st, Janis Joplin, Bee Gees, American Idol (season 6), The Very Best of Jimmy Somerville, Bronski Beat and The Communards
Collection: 1967 Singles, 1967 Songs, 1992 Singles, Atco Records Singles, Bee Gees Songs, Billboard Adult Contemporary Number-One Singles, Billy "Crash" Craddock Songs, Billy Joe Royal Songs, Bonnie Tyler Songs, Booker T. & the M.G.'s Songs, Dusty Springfield Songs, Gary Puckett & the Union Gap Songs, Hank Williams, Jr. Songs, Janis Joplin Songs, Joe Cocker Songs, Lulu (Singer) Songs, Michael Bolton Songs, Nina Simone Songs, Polydor Records Singles, Pop Ballads, Roberta Flack Songs, Rock Ballads, Rod Stewart Songs, Song Recordings Produced by Robert Stigwood, Songs Written by Barry Gibb, Songs Written by Robin Gibb, The Animals Songs, Tom Jones (Singer) Songs
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To Love Somebody (song)

"To Love Somebody"
Single by Bee Gees
from the album Bee Gees' 1st
B-side "Close Another Door"[1]
Released June 1967 (United Kingdom)
July 1967 (United States)
August 1967 (Australia, New Zealand)
Format 7", 45rpm
Recorded April 1967
Genre Blue-eyed-soul, baroque pop
Length 3:02
Label Polydor (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"
"To Love Somebody"
Bee Gees US singles chronology
"New York Mining Disaster 1941"
To Love Somebody"
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, Michael Bolton whose recording reached No.11 in the US and No.16 in the UK in 1992, and Gram Parsons with The Flying Burrito Brothers.


  • Origins and lyrics 1
  • Track listing 2
  • Personnel 3
  • Chart performance 4
    • Michael Bolton version 4.1
    • Michael Bublé version 4.2
  • Cover versions 5
  • Movie soundtracks 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Origins and lyrics

"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] Although Redding came to see Barry at the Plaza in New York one night. Robin claimed that "[Otis Redding] said he loved our material and would Barry write him a song".[5]

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.[6]

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".[7]

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.[8]

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?".[9]

Track listing

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


Chart performance

Charts (1967) Peak
Australia ARIA Singles Chart 6
Belgium Singles Chart 8
Canadian RPM 100 Singles Chart 9
French SNEP Singles Chart 63
Netherlands Dutch Top 40 Charts 13
UK Singles Chart 41
US Billboard Hot 100 17

Michael Bolton version

End of year chart (1993) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 83

Michael Bublé version

Chart (2013–14) Peak
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 20)[11] 13

Cover versions

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

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


  1. ^ a b "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 "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. ^ David N. Meyer. "The Bee Gees: The Biography". Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Joseph Brennan. "Gibb Songs: 1967". 
  7. ^ Hughes, Andrew. Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb.  
  8. ^ "To Love Somebody - Bee Gees". 
  9. ^ Janovitz, Bill. "Bee Gees - To Love Somebody".  
  10. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1993". Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 20. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Download The Black Crowes 9/3/08, BC Roadshow, Victoria, BC MP3 and FLAC". Liveblackcrowes. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  13. ^ "RPM Country Tracks".  
  14. ^ Woman, WomanGary Puckett & The Union Gap, Retrieved 28 September 2011
  15. ^ Billy Joe Royal, "To Love Somebody" Retrieved 23 September 2012.

External links

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
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