♫ To Love Somebody ♫

Last night, I said I was having a hard time finding a song I hadn’t already played, and as he sometimes does, our friend David came to the rescue with a few suggestions.  One of the suggestions was To Love Somebody by Michael Bolton.  I well remembered the song, but when I listened, it didn’t sound quite like I remembered it.  Still, I recognized it and it was one I’ve always liked, so I turned to my favourite resource for music trivia, SongFacts, and they had the song, but … by the Bee Gees, not Michael Bolton.  When I listened to the Bee Gees version, it was the one I remembered most.

So, I will offer both tonight, but first a bit of background …

Legend has it that this song was written for Otis Redding, who died before he had the chance to record it. While this is a chance Redding would have recorded the song, that’s not who the Bee Gees had in mind when they recorded it.  Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees wrote the song for their manager, Australian-born impresario and entertainment entrepreneur Robert Stigwood, who was an influential part of London’s gay showbiz establishment.  According to Barry Gibb …

“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.”

The Animals, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Nina Simone (who had a big hit with it in the UK), Janis Joplin, Michael Bolton, Roberta Flack, Rod Stewart, Michael Bublé, and Tom Jones, among others, have recorded this song.  Wait … “The Flying Burrito Brothers”???  There’s really such a group?  Ay ay ay!

The Bee Gees version charted at #17 in the U.S., #9 in Canada, and #41 in the UK, and Michael Bolton’s version at #11 in the U.S., #2 in Canada, and #16 in the UK.

To Love Somebody
Michael Bolton/Bee Gees

There’s a light
A certain kind of light
That never shone on me
I want my life to be lived with you
Lived with you
There’s a way everybody say
To do each and every little thing
But what does it bring
If I ain’t got you, ain’t got?

You don’t know what it’s like, baby
You don’t know what it’s like

To love somebody
To love somebody
The way I love you

In my brain
I see your face again
I know my frame of mind
You ain’t got to be so blind
And I’m blind, so, so, so blind
I’m a man
Can’t you see what I am?
I live and I breathe for you
But what good does it do
If I ain’t got you, ain’t got?

You don’t know what it’s like, baby
You don’t know what it’s like

To love somebody
To love somebody
The way I love you

You don’t know what it’s like, baby
You don’t know what it’s like

To love somebody
To love somebody
The way I love you

You don’t know what it’s like, baby
You don’t know what it’s like
To love somebody

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Robin Hugh Gibb / Barry Alan Gibb
To Love Somebody lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

33 thoughts on “♫ To Love Somebody ♫

  1. Pingback: ♫ Without You ♫ | Filosofa's Word

    • I was never a fan of Janis Joplin, oddly enough, so this one doesn’t much appeal to me, but … no two people share the exact same taste in music! ‘Tis what keeps the world interesting, yes? Thanks, Maddie, and hugs!

      Like

      • Most ppl either love or hate her voice. Some say her raspy screechy singing is like a cat dying lol. But no one can deny her soulful emotive energy! She’s an original, with her own powerful message, seemingly so rare these days.
        Ur totally right, variety is the spice of life, and I appreciate your voice, and your wonderful musical selections you so graciously share with us everyday!
        *Huge hugs*, have a wonderful week ahead. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was surprised that this didn’t get higher here, as my memory is that I heard it a lot. That was probably due to my Mum loving it, buying it, and playing it all the time! I later bought the album it came from, which I think reached our top ten.

    Michael Bolton? Not for me. I could never stop laughing at his hairstyle!

    As for the Flying Burrito Brothers – started by Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman after they left the Byrds, and the band that started country rock. Hugely influential! But tbh I’m not a big fan of their version of this one.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ahhh yes … that was how I came to love certain of Sinatra’s songs, hearing my mum play them endlessly! You didn’t like his hair, eh? I rather did, but then … I look at him from a different perspective than you, no doubt.

      I really thought, when I read the name of that band, that it was a joke, but then I looked them up on Wikipedia, and they were actually fairly popular. I wonder how it is that I never heard of them? Odd that.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’ve mentioned my mum’s musical tastes on my blog a fair bit recently – we sort of soak up their influence without realising it.

        No – he looked a real twat with that style 😂

        The FBB are a long time favourite of mine – a big influence on many of the bands I’ve listened to for many years.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yes, I’m sure since we heard their music day in and day out from birth, it had to have an influence. Another UK friend, Gary, often tells me he likes a certain song I’ve played because he remembers his mum playing it and dancing to it.

          I listened to several of the FBB songs, and recognized not a single one! So, I dug around Wikipedia a bit, and apparently none of their music charted in the top 100 over here. Odd, that. I was surprised to see that one … I think it may have been “Wild Horses”, was written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mums influence us in lots of ways!

            The FBB weren’t a commercial success but were very much the forerunners of their genre. Gram Parsons was friends with Jagger and Richards and is credited with encouraging them to write a number of country-based songs over the years: Faraway Eyes is the obvious example. The Stones’ own version of Wild Horses is lovely – it was released as a single over there and made the top 30.

            Like

  3. Thought I would throw the studio version of Eric Burdon and the (New) Animals into the mix. Eric does not do covers, he does round 2 originals.

    I actually thought Eric redid this song with War (I would swear I had it on a bootleg album way back when, before all my vinyl was lost or stolen), but I cannot find it anywhere on the Internet.
    The Bee Gees did the original, and I cannot dispute it as best. But Eric’s version is No. 2 in my mind…

    Liked by 3 people

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