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How Deep Is Your Love

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"How Deep Is Your Love" is a pop song written and recorded by the Bee Gees in 1977 and released as a single in September. Originally intended for Yvonne Elliman, it was ultimately used as part of the soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever. It was a number three hit in the United Kingdom and Australia. In the United States, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 on 24 December 1977 (becoming the first of six consecutive US number-one hits) and stayed in the Top 10 for a then-record 17 weeks. The single spent six weeks atop the US adult contemporary chart. It is listed at number 20 on Billboard's All Time Top 100.[1] Alongside "Stayin' Alive", it is one of the group's two tracks on the list. The song was covered by Take That for their 1996 Greatest Hits album, reaching number-one on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks.

The song was ranked number 366 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In a British TV special shown in December 2011, it was voted "The Nation's Favourite Bee Gees Song" by ITV viewers.[2]

BackgroundEdit

Following mixing for Here at Last... Bee Gees... Live, they began recording songs for what was to be the follow-up studio album to 1976's Children of the World. Then the call came from Robert Stigwood requesting songs for a movie he was producing. The Bee Gees obliged and gave him five songs, one of which was "How Deep Is Your Love".

RecordingEdit

By the time Children of the World was recorded, it was pretty much established that Barry was now the primary vocalist of the group, mostly being falsetto leads with the occasional natural breathy voice. Even most of the backing vocals were done by Barry, such that Robin and Maurice are barely heard in the mix, even though they are there. Despite this, Robin sings the melody for the chorus and audibly sings various ad libs during this song. Recordings for all of the tracks for Saturday Night Fever, including "How Deep Is Your Love", were done in the Spring of 1977. Barry worked out the melody with keyboard player Blue Weaver, though he is not credited officially as a songwriter here. A demo was made at Le Château d'Hérouville in France, with the additional recording done at Criteria Studios when they got back to Miami.[3]

Music videoEdit

Two music videos were made for this song. In one, the brothers are singing while an image of a woman shows throughout the video. Barry Gibb had his beard shaven off in this video, as in the "Night Fever" video.[4] A second video was later made in which the brothers sing while passing by a stream of rainbow lights. In this video Barry Gibb is bearded.[5]

AwardsEdit

The song won Best Pop Performance by a Group at the 20th Grammy Awards which were held on 23 February 1978. The song also received a nomination for Best Original Song at the 35th Golden Globe awards held on 28 January 1978. The award went to "You Light Up My Life" by Kasey Cisyk. At the time of both award ceremonies, the song was still in the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

LawsuitEdit

In 1983, the Bee Gees were sued by a Chicago songwriter, Ronald Selle, who claimed that the Gibb brothers stole melodic material from one of his songs, "Let It End", and used it in "How Deep Is Your Love". At trial, the jury returned a finding for Selle. The Bee Gees attorney immediately asked for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The basis for the motion was that Selle had failed to show, as was required by the law, that the Bee Gees had prior access to his song. Even Selle had admitted that he'd sent out his demo tape to only a few recording companies, none of whom did business with the Bee Gees. Selle also admitted that there were some similarities between his song and several Bee Gee compositions that predated his song by several years, as well as similarities with the John Lennon/Paul McCartney song, From Me to You. The judge ruled in favour of the Bee Gees. Selle appealed the ruling, but it was upheld by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals which agreed that Selle had not proven his case.[6][7][8]

CoversEdit

"How Deep Is Your Love" is one of the most covered songs in the Gibb catalogue performed by such artists as:

Charts and certificationsEdit

ChartsEdit

Chart Peak position
Australia 3
Austria 13
Belgium 6
Brazil 1
Canada 1
Chile 1
Finland 1
France 1
Germany 21
Ireland 2
New Zealand 6
Norway 5
South Africa 2
Spain 7
Sweden 4
United Kingdom 3
United States 1
Netherlands 15


Sales and certificationsEdit

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[9] Gold 75,000^
France (SNEP)[10] Gold 846,000[11]
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Gold 500,000^
United States (RIAA)[13] Gold 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


ReferencesEdit

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