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To Love Somebody (song)

"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.[1] 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".[2] The single was reissued in 1980 on RSO Records with "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" as its flipside. The song ranked at number 94 on NME magazine's "100 Best Tracks of the Sixties".[3] It was a minor hit in the UK and France. It reached the top 20 in the US. It reached the top 10 in Canada.

"To Love Somebody"
Single by Bee Gees
from the album Bee Gees' 1st
B-side"Close Another Door"
ReleasedJune 1967
Format7", 45rpm
RecordedApril 1967
LabelPolydor (United Kingdom)
Atco (United States)
Spin (Australia)
Songwriter(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"
Alternative cover
Japanese cover for "To Love Somebody"
Japanese cover for "To Love Somebody"

In a 2017 interview with Piers Morgan's Life Stories, Barry was asked "of all the songs that you've ever written, which song would you choose?" Barry said that "To Love Somebody" was the song that he'd choose as it has "a clear, emotional message".[4]

The song has been recorded by many other artists, including Nina Simone, Janis Joplin, Roberta Flack, Jimmy Somerville, Michael Bolton, Billy Corgan, Rod Stewart, Michael Bublé and Hank Williams Jr.

Origins and lyricsEdit

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.[5] Redding came to see Barry at the Plaza in New York City one night. Robin claimed that "Otis Redding said he loved our material and would Barry write him a song".[6]

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.[7]

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".[8]

Barry Gibb explained in a June 2001 interview with Mojo magazine:

It was for Robert (Stigwood). 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.[9]



Michael Bolton versionEdit

"To Love Somebody"
Single by Michael Bolton
from the album Timeless: The Classics
B-side"Now That I Found You"
Released1992 (1992)
GenreSoft rock
Michael Bolton singles chronology
"Steel Bars"
"To Love Somebody"
"Drift Away"

American singer Michael Bolton covered and released it as a single from his 1992 album Timeless: The Classics. His version reached number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and became his fourth single to peak at number two in Canada, his highest position in that country. It is also his highest-charting single in France, where it reached number seven.


Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1992–1993) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[17] 39
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[18] 2
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[19] 1
France (SNEP)[20] 7
Germany (Official German Charts)[21] 61
Ireland (IRMA)[22] 13
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[23] 36
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[24] 35
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[25] 32
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[26] 16
US Billboard Hot 100[27] 11
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[28] 1
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[29] 6
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[30] 31

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1992) Position
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[31] 55
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[32] 26
Chart (1993) Position
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[33] 9
US Billboard Hot 100[34] 83

Other cover versionsEdit

Movie and TV appearancesEdit

"To Love Somebody" has been used in several movies including I Love You Phillip Morris, Y Tu Mamá También, Melody, The Wrong Man, My Entire Life and 50/50. Also this song has been used in a trailer for Joy.

The Bee Gees' version appears in a 2019 TV commercial for Facebook Groups.

The Bee Gees’ version also appears in the newly released, Baker 4 video.


  1. ^ Gilliland, John. "Show 49 - The British are Coming! The British are Coming!: With an emphasis on Donovan, the Bee Gees and the Who. [Part 6]". Digital Library. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Bee Gees - To Love Somebody (original issue)".
  3. ^ "100 Best Songs of the 1960s". NME. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  4. ^ Piers Morgan's Life Stories: Barry Gibb YouTube - Interview
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ David N. Meyer. "The Bee Gees: The Biography". Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  7. ^ Joseph Brennan. "Gibb Songs: 1967".
  8. ^ Hughes, Andrew. Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb. ISBN 9780857120045. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  9. ^ "To Love Somebody - Bee Gees".
  10. ^ "Songs Written by the Gibb Family on the International Charts" (PDF). Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Songs Written by the Gibb Family on the International Charts - part 1" (PDF). Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Bee Gees - To Love Somebody". Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Bee Gees - To Love Somebody". Dutch Charts. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  14. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  15. ^ "Bee Gees - Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  16. ^ "Bee Gees - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  17. ^ " – Michael Bolton – To Love Somebody". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1840." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  19. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 1853." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  20. ^ " – Michael Bolton – To Love Somebody" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  21. ^ " – Michael Bolton – To Love Somebody". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  22. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – To Love Somebody". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  23. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 46, 1992" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  24. ^ " – Michael Bolton – To Love Somebody" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  25. ^ " – Michael Bolton – To Love Somebody". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  26. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  27. ^ "Michael Bolton Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  28. ^ "Michael Bolton Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  29. ^ "Michael Bolton Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  30. ^ "Michael Bolton Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  31. ^ "The RPM Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1992" (PDF). RPM. Vol. 56 no. 25. 19 December 1992. p. 8. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  32. ^ "The RPM Top 100 Adult Contemporary tracks of 1992". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  33. ^ "The RPM Top 100 A\C Tracks of 1993". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  34. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1993". Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  35. ^ "RPM Country Tracks". RPM. 3 March 1990. Archived from the original on 24 February 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  36. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved 15 April 2019.

External linksEdit