"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.[2] 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"[1] The single was reissued in 1980 on RSO Records with "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" as its flipside.[3]

The song has been recorded by many other musicians, including Nina Simone whose version reached No.5 in the UK in 1969, and Michael Bolton whose recording reached No.11 in the US and No.16 in the UK in 1992.


 [hide*1 Origins and lyrics

Origins and lyrics[edit]Edit

"To Love Somebody"MENU   0:00 "To Love Somebody" is a soul ballad recorded by the Bee Gees.----
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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.[4] 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.[5]

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".[6]

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

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.[7]

The simple title refrain of the chorus, "You don't know what it's like, Baby, you don't know what it's like, To love somebody...the way I love you" has the effect of being at once heartbreaking and triumphant, a self-pitying put-down to an unrequited love. "There's... a certain kind of light that never shone on me... You ain't got to be so blind, I'm a man, can't you see what I am?, I live and breathe for you, But what good does that do, If I ain't got you?".[8]

Track listing[edit]Edit

1980 single reissue[3]
No. Title Length
1. "To Love Somebody"   3:02
2. "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart"  


Chart performance[edit]Edit

Charts (1967) Peak


Australia ARIA Singles Chart 6
Belgium Singles Chart 8
Canadian RPM 100 Singles Chart 9
French SNEP Singles Chart 63
Netherlands Dutch Top 40 Charts 13
UK Singles Chart 41
US Billboard Hot 100 17

Michael Bolton version[edit]Edit

End of year chart (1993) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 83

Michael Bublé version[edit]Edit

Chart (2013-14) Peak


Poland (Polish Airplay Top 20)[10] 13

Cover versions[edit]Edit

One of the most famous Gibb compositions, "To Love Somebody" is now considered a pop standard and has been covered by many artists, most notably:

Movie soundtracks[edit]Edit

"To Love Somebody" has been used in several movies including:

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