- 2 Reception
- 3 Personnel
- 4 Chart performance
- 5 Cover versions
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Barry and Robin Gibb wrote the song in August 1970 with "Lonely Days" when the Gibb brothers had reconvened following a period of break-up and alienation. They originally offered the song to Andy Williams, but ended up recording it themselves. Maurice Gibb possibly had a hand in the writing of "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" although the song is officially credited to Barry and Robin Gibb. The 2009 release "Ultimate Bee Gees" officially credited Maurice for the first time as cowriter of the song, for both the "Ultimate" CD and DVD, and it was credited to the moniker Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb.
The song was recorded on 28 January 1971 in London same day as "We Lost the Road", "When Do I", "If I Were the Sky", "Bring Out the Thoughts in Me" and "Ellan Vannin". The instrumental track is: Barry Gibb (guitar), Maurice Gibb (guitar, piano, bass guitar), possibly Alan Kendall (guitar), and Geoff Bridgeford (drums), with strings and woodwinds arranged and conducted by Bill Shepherd.
Although failing to chart on the UK Singles Chart, the song became the Bee Gees' first US number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and also reached number four on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. In Spain, this single was released under the title "Cómo Puedes Arreglar Un Corazón Destrozada".
The song was performed for the first time in 1971. That performance is notable for drummer Geoff Bridgford's first appearance with the band. The song was performed as part of a medley in The Midnight Special in 1975. They performed the song in Japan on the Japanese TV special Love Sounds as well as the Mr. Natural tour in 1974. A live version recorded live in 17–18 Nov 1989 at the National Tennis Centre, Melbourne, Australia was used for the benefit albumNobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal. In 1997-1999, it was performed on the One Night Only tour as part of a medley though, the song was performed completely. The song was last performed by the Bee Gees with Maurice Gibb in 2001. The song is also in the American Hustle movie and on the movie soundtrack.
- Barry Gibb — lead and harmony vocal, guitar
- Robin Gibb — lead and harmony vocal
- Maurice Gibb — bass, piano, guitar, organ
- Geoff Bridgeford — drums
- Bill Shepherd — orchestra and strings arrangement
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||1|
|Canadian RPM Singles Chart||1|
|Chile Singles Chart||2|
|Australia ARIA Singles Chart||3|
|New Zealand RIANZ Charts||6|
|South Africa Singles Chart||7|
|Netherlands Dutch Top 40 Charts||16|
|Belgium Singles Chart||18|
|Italian FIMI Singles Chart||24|
- Al Green covered the track on his 1972 album Let's Stay Together, which also made the soundtrack to 1997's Good Will Hunting, 1999's The Virgin Suicides, 1999's Notting Hill and 2010's The Book of Eli. In 2008, Green's version was remade into a duet with Joss Stone for the soundtrack to the film adaptation of Sex and the City, with her vocals overdubbed onto the track.
- In 1977, Florence Henderson performed the song during a medley on an episode of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.
- Teddy Pendergrass recorded a version of this song on his 1991 LP Truly Blessed.
- Steve Brookstein recorded it on his 2005 number-one album Heart and Soul.
- Michael Bublé in 2003, with Barry Gibb performing backup vocals, on his self-titled album. Bublé's version reached number twenty-two on the BillboardAdult Contemporary chart.
- Jazz singer-pianist Diana Krall covered this song on her 2009 album Quiet Nights.
- Singer-actress Cher covered the song in her 1973 album Half-Breed.
- Rod Stewart recorded a version for his 2009 album Soulbook, though it was left off the final track listing.
- Barry Manilow's version appears on his 2007 album The Greatest Songs of the Seventies.
- American Idol's second winner Ruben Studdard covered the song on his debut album Soulful.
- In 2014 Eef Barzelay recorded a version for a fundraising CD titled More Super Hits Of The Seventies for freeform radio station WFMU.