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If I Can't Have You (Bee Gees song)

"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' version appeared a month later as the B-side of "Stayin' Alive".

"If I Can't Have You"
Song by Bee Gees
A-side"Stayin' Alive"
Released
  • 13 December 1977 (US)
  • 6 January 1978 (UK)
Format
Recorded
  • January and February 1977
  • September 1977
Studio
GenreDisco
Length3:25
LabelRSO
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Audio
"If I Can't Have You" on YouTube

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.[1]

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
B-side"Good Sign"
Released
  • November 1977 (Saturday Night Fever soundtrack)
  • 23 January 1978 (single)
Format7-inch single
Recorded1977
GenreDisco
Length
  • 2:57
  • 4:00 (extended version)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Freddie Perren
Yvonne Elliman singles chronology
"I Can't Get You Outa My Mind"
(1977)
"If I Can't Have You"
(1977)
"Moment by Moment"
(1978)
Audio
"If I Can't Have You" on YouTube

The song was recorded by Yvonne Elliman for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

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. 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.

PersonnelEdit

  • 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

Chart performanceEdit

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"
Released28 June 1993
Format
Recorded1993
Genre
Length3:27
LabelMCA
Songwriter(s)
  • Barry
  • Robin
  • Maurice Gibb
Producer(s)Ricki Wilde
Kim Wilde singles chronology
"Million Miles Away"
(1992)
"If I Can't Have You"
(1993)
"In My Life"
(1993)
Music video
"If I Can't Have You" on YouTube

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".

Critical receptionEdit

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."[19]

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (1993) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[20] 3
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[21] 29
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[22] 6
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[23] 33
Germany (Official German Charts)[24] 51
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[25] 16
Ireland (IRMA)[26] 9
Italy (FIMI)[27] 13
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[28] 23
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[29] 18
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[30] 24
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[31] 18
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[32] 12
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[33] 14

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
Released2 November 2007 (2007-11-02)
Format
Genre
Length3:36 (radio edit)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Bee Gees
  • The Disco Boys
  • Finger & Kadel
Bee Gees singles chronology
"Ups & Downs"
(2005)
"If I Can't Have You (The Disco Boys remix)"
(2007)
"Stayin' Alive (Serban mix)"
(2017)

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.

Track listingEdit

  • Digital download — US version[34]
  1. "If I Can't Have You" (The Disco Boys remix) – 6:55
  • CD single
  1. "If I Can't Have You" (The Disco Boys radio edit) – 3:36
  2. "If I Can't Have You" (The Disco Boys remix) – 6:35
  3. "If I Can't Have You" – 3:22
  4. "If I Can't Have You" (The Disco Boys dub mix) – 6:55

ChartsEdit

Chart (2007) Peak
position
Germany (Official German Charts)[35] 71

Jess Glynne versionEdit

"If I Can't Have You"
 
Single by Jess Glynne
Released22 May 2016
FormatDigital download
Recorded2016
Genre
Length3:18
LabelWarner
Songwriter(s)
Jess Glynne singles chronology
"Kill the Lights"
(2016)
"If I Can't Have You"
(2016)
"I Can Feel It"
(2016)

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.[36]

Track listingEdit

Digital download[36]
No.TitleLength
1."If I Can't Have You"3:18

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (2016) Peak
position
France (SNEP)[37] 104

Release historyEdit

Region Date Label Format
Belgium 22 May 2016 Warner Digital download
France

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Gibb Songs : 1977". Columbia.edu. 20 December 1976. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Ultratop.be – Yvonne Elliman – If I Can't Have You" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  4. ^ "If I can't have you in Canadian Adult Contemporary Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  5. ^ "If I can't have you in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  6. ^ Steve Hawtin; et al. "Tsort – Chart positions around the world". Tsort.info.
  7. ^ "If I can't have you in Irish Chart". IRMA. Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2013. Only results when searching "If I can't have you"
  8. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Yvonne Elliman" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  9. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Yvonne Elliman – If I Can't Have You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  10. ^ a b "Songs from the Year 1978". Tsort.info. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Charts.nz – Yvonne Elliman – If I Can't Have You". Top 40 Singles.
  12. ^ "1978 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive – 27th May 1978". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Yvonne Elliman awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 80.
  15. ^ "Australian Chart Book". Austchartbook.com.au. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  17. ^ "Top 100 1978 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  18. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1978/Top 100 Songs of 1978". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  19. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 31 July 1993. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Kim Wilde – If I Can't Have You". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  21. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Kim Wilde – If I Can't Have You" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  22. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kim Wilde – If I Can't Have You" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  23. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 31 July 1993. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Kim Wilde – If I Can't Have You". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  25. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (08.07.1993 - 14.07.1993)" (PDF). Dagblaðið Vísir - Tónlist. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  26. ^ "Chart Track: Week 24, 1993". Irish Singles Chart.
  27. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Kim Wilde – If I Can't Have You". Top Digital Download.
  28. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Kim Wilde" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  29. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Kim Wilde – If I Can't Have You" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  30. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Kim Wilde – If I Can't Have You". Singles Top 100.
  31. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Kim Wilde – If I Can't Have You". Swiss Singles Chart.
  32. ^ "Kim Wilde: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  33. ^ "Kim Wilde Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  34. ^ "If I Can't Have You [The Disco Boys Remix] (U.S. Version) - Bee Gees". Qobuz.
  35. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Bee Gees – If I Can't Have You". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  36. ^ a b "If I Can't Have You – Single". iTunes (Belgium). Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  37. ^ "Lescharts.com – Jess Glynne – If I Can't Have You" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 10 July 2016.

External linksEdit