70s Music

Bee Gees – How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? – 1971

About the song

Welcome to my blog, where I share my passion for music and its history. Today, I want to talk about one of my favorite songs: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart by the Bee Gees. This song was released in 1971 as the lead single on their album Trafalgar, and it was their first U.S. number one hit! But do you know the story behind this song? Let me tell you.

The song was written by Barry and Robin Gibb, the two eldest brothers of the Bee Gees. They had a period of estrangement in 1969, when Robin left the group after a dispute over who should sing lead vocals. They reunited in 1970, but they still had some unresolved issues. Barry later said: “I think we were all a little bit more mature when we came back together in 1970. We’d experienced a bit of life between us.”

The song was inspired by their own experience of mending their broken relationship. Barry said: “The song was written with the fact that Robin and I had got back together. We’d just reunited and it was a bit tenuous at that point. And so it was very personal for us.” Robin added: “It was like an open expression of ‘Can we mend our broken heart? Can we really get it back together again?’ It was very much about us.”

The song was recorded in January 1971 at the IBC Studios in London, with Robert Stigwood and the Bee Gees as producers. The arrangement featured a prominent string section, played by Bill Shepherd’s orchestra. The song also had a distinctive intro, with Barry’s falsetto voice accompanied by a harp. The song was originally intended for Andy Williams, but he turned it down. The Bee Gees then decided to record it themselves.

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The song was released in June 1971, and it became an instant hit. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on August 7, 1971, and stayed there for four weeks. It also topped the Cashbox magazine chart for two weeks. It was the first of nine U.S. number one hits for the Bee Gees. The song also reached number four on the UK Singles Chart, and number one in Canada, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. It sold over one million copies worldwide, and received a gold certification from the RIAA.

The song has been covered by many artists over the years, including Al Green, Cher, Michael Bublé, Rod Stewart, Diana Krall, and Sam Smith. It was also featured in several movies and TV shows, such as The Virgin Suicides, Sex and the City, American Idol, and The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart, a documentary about the group’s career.

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart is a timeless classic that showcases the Bee Gees’ talent for writing and singing emotional ballads. It is a song that speaks to anyone who has ever suffered a loss or a breakup, and hopes for healing and reconciliation. It is a song that reflects the Bee Gees’ own journey of overcoming their differences and reuniting as brothers and as a band.

I hope you enjoyed this introduction and learned something new about this amazing song. If you want to listen to it, you can find it on YouTube or Spotify. And if you want to read more about the Bee Gees and their music, you can check out their official website or Wikipedia. Thank you for reading!


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