If I Can't Have You (Bee Gees song)
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"If I Can't Have You" is a disco song written by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb in 1977. The song initially appeared on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in a version by Yvonne Elliman, released in November 1977. The Bee Gees' own version appeared a month later as the B-side of "Stayin' Alive".
|"If I Can't Have You"|
|Song by Bee Gees|
The song later appeared on the Bee Gees' compilation Their Greatest Hits: The Record. The remixed version was released and remastered in the compilation Bee Gees Greatest in 2007 and marked the return of the Bee Gees to the US Hot Dance Tracks charts after 28 years. According to Maurice, this track was the first song they did while they were recording the other songs for the film. The recording was started at Château d'Hérouville as a basic track only and completed later at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles.
Yvonne Elliman versionEdit
|"If I Can't Have You"|
A-side label of US 7" single
|Single by Yvonne Elliman|
|from the album Saturday Night Fever and Night Flight|
|Yvonne Elliman singles chronology|
Although Yvonne Elliman had cut her 1976 album Love Me with producer Freddie Perren, who was a major force in the disco movement (Perren had produced the Sylvers' 1976 number 1 "Boogie Fever" and would soon collaborate with Gloria Gaynor on the disco anthem "I Will Survive"), Love Me had showcased Elliman not as a disco artist but rather as a pop ballad singer, notably on the title cut, a Barry Gibb composition that Elliman turned into an international hit. It was originally intended that Elliman's contribution to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack would be another ballad written by the Gibb brothers, "How Deep Is Your Love".
Meanwhile, the Bee Gees recorded their own version of "If I Can't Have You" for the film. However, RSO Records chairman and Bee Gees manager Robert Stigwood, who was executive-producing the Saturday Night Fever album, dictated that the Bee Gees record "How Deep Is Your Love" and Elliman be given the disco-style "If I Can't Have You".
Stigwood's decisions proved a success as the soundtrack's first single, the Bee Gees' version of the ballad "How Deep Is Your Love", shot to number one, followed to the top spot by the soundtrack's second and third singles, also by the Gibb brothers, "Stayin' Alive" and "Night Fever". Elliman's "If I Can't Have You", produced by Perren, was released as the fourth single off the Saturday Night Fever album in February 1978. Billboard Magazine praised Elliman's "powerful" vocal performance. As the first single off the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack not performed by the Bee Gees, "If I Can't Have You" would become the fourth number 1 hit from the album, reaching the number one spot on the US Hot 100 in Billboard dated May 13, 1978, ending an eight-week number 1 tenure by "Night Fever". "If I Can't Have You" was the fourth consecutive US number 1 to be co-written by Barry Gibb, and the RSO record label's sixth consecutive number one on the US Hot 100. The B-side of the Elliman single was a song from the Love Me album, "Good Sign", a composition by Melissa Manchester and Carole Bayer Sager which had also served as the B-side of Elliman's hit "Hello Stranger".
Far from the success going to Elliman's head or giving her ideas of following up the sudden disco success with a deeper foray into the genre, a contemporary interview by journalist Peter J. Boyer found Elliman dismissive of her number 1 hit, referring to it in conversation only casually as "that current thing from Saturday Night Fever". In spite of the coattail success she's had with "If I Can't Have You", it's a disco song and Elliman decided her broad, husky vocals are best suited elsewhere. "If I Can't Have You" was featured on Elliman's February 1978 album release Night Flight, which, apart from that song, was produced by Robert Appère and was not disco-oriented. No song from Night Flight was issued as a follow-up single to "If I Can't Have You", Elliman's next single being a rock ballad entitled "Savannah" which failed to consolidate Elliman's potential mainstream stardom. Elliman did return to disco music in 1979 with "Love Pains" which returned her to the US Top 40 one more time before she dropped out of the music scene in the 1980s.
Elliman's "If I Can't Have You" was also featured in the 1999 film Big Daddy as well as on its soundtrack album.
- Yvonne Elliman – lead vocals
- Bob Bowles – guitar
- Sonny Burke – keyboards
- Paulinho da Costa – percussion
- Scott Edwards – bass
- James Gadson – drums
- Freddie Perren – synthesizer, percussion
- Julia Tillman Waters, Marti McCall, Maxine Willard Waters - backing vocals
- Bob Zimmitti – percussion
Kim Wilde versionEdit
|"If I Can't Have You"|
|Single by Kim Wilde|
|from the album The Singles Collection 1981–1993|
|B-side||"Never Felt So Alive"|
|Released||28 June 1993|
|Kim Wilde singles chronology|
The song was covered in 1993 by British singer Kim Wilde and recorded as one of two new tracks on her compilation album The Singles Collection 1981–1993. The single reached number 12 in the UK. It became Wilde's biggest hit of the 1990s and one of the biggest hits of her career in Australia, where it reached number 3. In Europe the song also peaked within the top 10 in Belgium and Ireland, and within the top 20 in Iceland, the Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland. It was released in several extended remixes on the 12" and CD-single formats. The B-side was an exclusive non-album track called "Never Felt So Alive".
Music & Media wrote about the song: "The brothers Gibb-a.k.a. the Bee Gees wrote this song for Yvonne Eliman in the heyday of disco in the end of the '70s and Wilde recycles the song in the dance era. The kids will absolutely go wild(e) on this one."
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||29|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||6|
|Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)||33|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||51|
|Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)||16|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||23|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||18|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||18|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||12|
|US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)||14|
|Belgium (Ultratop Flanders)||46|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||170|
If I Can't Have You (The Disco Boys remix)Edit
|"If I Can't Have You (The Disco Boys remix)"|
|Single by Bee Gees|
|from the album Bee Gees Greatest|
|Released||2 November 2007|
|Length||3:36 (radio edit)|
|Bee Gees singles chronology|
On 2 November 2007, Rhino Records and Reprise Records released a remix version of "If I Can't Have You" by German house music production duo The Disco Boys. The song was released as a single from the remastered version of Bee Gees Greatest (2007), originally released in 1979, and reached the US Hot Dance Club Play chart, peaking at #47 in January, 2008.
- Digital download — US version
- "If I Can't Have You" (The Disco Boys remix) – 6:55
- CD single
- "If I Can't Have You" (The Disco Boys radio edit) – 3:36
- "If I Can't Have You" (The Disco Boys remix) – 6:35
- "If I Can't Have You" – 3:22
- "If I Can't Have You" (The Disco Boys dub mix) – 6:55
|Germany (Official German Charts)||71|
Jess Glynne versionEdit
|"If I Can't Have You"|
|Single by Jess Glynne|
|Released||22 May 2016|
|Jess Glynne singles chronology|
In 2016, English singer and songwriter Jess Glynne re-recorded "If I Can't Have You" in support of the French musical Saturday Night Fever, which was to premiere in 2017. Warner Music France released her rendition as a digital single on 22 May 2016.
|1.||"If I Can't Have You"||3:18|
|Belgium||22 May 2016||Warner||Digital download|
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- "Swedishcharts.com – Kim Wilde – If I Can't Have You". Singles Top 100.
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- "Jaaroverzichten 1993" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
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- "If I Can't Have You – Single". iTunes (Belgium). Retrieved 9 July 2016.
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