Give a Little Bit

"Give a Little Bit" is the opening song on Supertramp's 1977 album Even in the Quietest Moments.... The song was released as a single that same year and became an international hit for the band, peaking at number 15 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.[1] It was a chart hit in the band's native UK, reaching number 29 on the UK Singles Chart.[2] The single was re-released in 1992 to raise funds for the ITV Telethon Charity event, but failed to chart.

"Give a Little Bit"
Supertramp Give a Little Bit single cover.jpg
Single by Supertramp
from the album Even in the Quietest Moments...
ReleasedMay 1977 (1977-05)
Supertramp singles chronology
"Sister Moonshine"
"Give a Little Bit"

Its writing credits are given to Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, although it is a Hodgson composition.[3] Hodgson and Davies shared writing credits from 1974 until 1983, when Hodgson left Supertramp. The song is characterized by the ringing tones of 12-string acoustic guitars, which were recorded in the metal and glass elevators of the studio where the band recorded the song. This was to add to the overall presence and brightness of the guitars, considerably. The song also features a Hohner Clavinet played through a Leslie speaker in its bridge.

"Give a Little Bit" was first written by Hodgson when he was 19 or 20 years old before it was introduced to the band for recording five to six years later. Hodgson stated that the song was inspired by The Beatles' “All You Need Is Love”, released during the love and peace movement of the '60s.[4][5][6]

Drummer Bob Siebenberg recounted that "Roger had been working at Malibu for quite a while on this tune. I'd hear the song in hotel rooms and places like that. He had the song on a little tape when I first joined the band so I was quite familiar with the tune. We tried out various drum things and it seemed right to ride it along on the snare drum... giving it something almost like a train beat. So it's all on the snare and bass drum, with no tom-tom fills or anything."[3]

Live performancesEdit

"Give a Little Bit" was recorded to be released on the live album Paris, but the song was dropped because the band members found all the available recordings of the song to be of unacceptable quality.[7]

After Hodgson had left Supertramp, the song was included in almost all his live performances. The song has also been performed by Hodgson during his tour with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band in 2001; a recording appears on the album Ringo Starr and Friends. On Sunday 1 July 2007, Roger Hodgson sang this song as his finale for his short set at the Concert for Diana, held in Wembley Stadium in London. Princess Diana loved the song, and Hodgson said of the performance in her honor: "It was very wonderful when the audience all stood up, and the princes also, to sing 'Give a Little Bit' with me. That was a magical moment."[8] "Give a Little Bit" can also be found on Hodgson's album Classics Live, a collection of his live performances from acoustic, band and orchestra shows recorded on tour in 2010.[9]

After Hodgson's departure from Supertramp, the band included the song for the first time in their set list in 2002 during their One More for the Road Tour. The song was sung by Jesse Siebenberg. They also played the song in their 70-10 Tour in 2010.

Track listingsEdit

7" vinyl single (1977)Edit

Side one
1."Give a Little Bit"3:20
Side two

CD single (1990)Edit

1."Give a Little Bit"4:07
2."The Logical Song" (Live version)3:41
3."Bloody Well Right" (Live version)6:11

CD single (1992)Edit

1."Give a Little Bit"4:10
2."Give a Little Bit" (Live version)4:03
3."Breakfast in America"2:38

CD single (2012)Edit

Give a Little Bit (with choir)


Chart (1977) Peak
Canada RPM Top Singles 8
Dutch GfK charts[10] 2
Dutch Top 40[11] 2
German Singles Chart[12] 29
Norwegian Singles Chart[13] 9
South Africa (Springbok)[14] 4
UK Singles Chart[2] 29
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[1] 15
U.S. Cash Box Top 100[15] 12


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Silver 200,000 

 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone


Goo Goo Dolls versionEdit

"Give a Little Bit"
Single by Goo Goo Dolls
from the album Let Love In and Live in Buffalo: July 4th 2004
Released5 October 2004
GenreAcoustic rock, alternative rock
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Rick Davies/Roger Hodgson
Producer(s)Goo Goo Dolls and Rob Cavallo
Goo Goo Dolls singles chronology
"Give a Little Bit"
"Better Days"

In 2004, the Goo Goo Dolls covered the song, releasing it as a single. It peaked at number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in February, 2005.[17] It was first covered (partially) in 2001, when guitarist/lead vocalist Johnny Rzeznik appeared in an ad for The Gap singing the song along with other artists. The song opened the live album Live in Buffalo: July 4th, 2004, and later appeared as a track on their hit album Let Love In. In May 2006, their version of "Give a Little Bit" was honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in recognition of being one of the most played songs in the ASCAP repertoire in 2005.[18]

Track listingEdit

1."Give a Little Bit"3:35
3."Give a Little Bit" (Acoustic version)3:35

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (2005) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart[19] 45
Canada Hot AC Top 30 (Radio & Records)[20] 1
German Singles Chart[12] 78
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[21] 37
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary[21] 5
U.S. Billboard Adult Top 40[21] 1
U.S. Billboard Top 40 Tracks[21] 30
U.S. Billboard Radio Songs 36


  1. ^ a b "allmusic – Supertramp – Billboard singles". Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  2. ^ a b "The Official Charts Company – Supertramp – Give a Little Bit". Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  3. ^ a b Melhuish, Martin (1986). The Supertramp Book. Toronto, Canada: Omnibus Press. pp. 119–137. ISBN 0-9691272-2-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  4. ^ "Supertramp founder Roger Hodgson". Songfacts. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Roger Hodgson - Events". K-Earth 101. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Giving A Little Bit - A Conversation With Roger Hodgson". Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  7. ^ Melhuish, Martin (1986). The Supertramp Book. Toronto, Canada: Omnibus Press. pp. 163–5. ISBN 0-9691272-2-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  8. ^ "Give a Little Bit - Songfacts". Songfacts. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Classics Live CD". Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  10. ^ " – Supertramp – Give A Little Bit". Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  11. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 43, 1977". Retrieved 22 February 2009.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ a b " search results for "Give a Little Bit"". Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  13. ^ " – Supertramp – Give A Little Bit". Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  14. ^ "SA Charts 1965 – March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  15. ^ "Top 100 1977-08-20". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  16. ^ "British single certifications – Supertramp – Give a Little Bit". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  17. ^ (26 February 2005). Billboard Hot 100, Billboard.
  18. ^ "23rd Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards, Los Angeles, 2006, Most performed songs". Archived from the original on 19 November 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  19. ^ "The Goo Goo Dolls – Give A Little Bit –". Archived from the original on 16 June 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  20. ^ "RR Canada Hot AC Top 30" (PDF). p. 54. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  21. ^ a b c d "allmusic – Goo Goo Dolls – Billboard singles". Retrieved 22 February 2009.

External linksEdit