“How Deep Is Your Love” by Bee Gees
You probably don’t need anyone to tell you that “How Deep Is Your Love” is a pretty poetic love song. And it would appear that the vocalist and addressee, the apple of his eye, already have an established romantic relationship going on. But reading in between the lines, the situation is as if the former may be convinced that he’s more committed than the latter.
On top of that, he also seems to be under the impression that outside parties are trying to mess up what they have. Or in the very least he acknowledges that “in a world of fools” it’s not easy to successfully perpetuate a romance.
So that’s why the vocalist wants to know ‘how deep is the love’ of his significant other. Indeed as he puts it, this is something that she ‘needs to show’ him. Or described otherwise, the vocalist verifies that he is in fact in love but, most simply interpreted, comes off as if he’s also insecure. So he’s looking for assurance from his partner that her feelings for him are also “deep” enough that she’s not only committed to be his sweetheart but also endure the external challenges which will materialize along the way.
All in all, the song’s narrator is looking for some concrete assurance that the powerful love he has for the addressee is reciprocal.
Who wrote “How Deep Is Your Love”?
“How Deep Is Your Love” was officially written by the Bee Gees, i.e. the following:
- Barry Gibb
- Robin Gibb (1949-2012)
- Maurice Gibb (1949-2003)
And to note one Blue Weaver, who plays piano on the track, is also known to have heavily contributed to this composition.
The Bee Gees produced this classic alongside Karl Richardson and Albhy Galuten, both of whom were regular collaborators of the band.
It was officially released by RSO Records on September of 1977.
This song was originally created to be featured on one of the Bee Gees’ own albums. However, as they were enlisted to work on the soundtrack to John Travolta’s Saturday Night Fever (1977), this song ended up premiering on that project instead.
And it did subsequently make the playlist of the Bee Gees Greatest compilation album of 1979.
Initially, the idea was being thrown around that this song should be recorded by Yvonne Elliman. Such did not materialize, but she did appear on the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever via another song the Bee Gees wrote called “If I Can’t Have You”, which also went to become a major chart success.
Success of “How Deep Is Your Love”
“How Deep Is Your Love” was a serious international hit, not only charting in nearly 20 countries overall but also reaching number one in nations as diverse as Brazil, Chile, France, Finland and the United States.
In fact this song topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box Top 100. Additionally, it peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart and has been certified gold in the United Kingdom, US and a few other countries.
Accordingly a number of artists have covered this piece throughout the years, including Johnny Mathis (1978), Luther Vandross (1993) and PJ Morton (2017).
In 1995 an American act known as Portrait laid down a rendition of “How Deep Is Your Love” to notable chart success, and Take That, a crew from Manchester, actually scored a major international hit with their version in 1996.
The original version of this song took home a Grammy Award in the category of Best Pop Performance by a Group in 1978. And in 2019, the aforenoted PJ Morton cover won a Grammy of its own, that time around for Best Traditional R&B Performance.
On an interesting side note, an obscure musician by the name of Ronald Selle took the Bee Gees to court over this song. According to Ronald, the group plagiarized the melody of a song he composed called “Let It End” onto “How Deep Is Your Love”.
Selle did gain some traction in court, as in the jury siding with him, but the judge shot the lawsuit down. However, the case proved notable in music industry history, as it established that one musician cannot be formally accused of plagiarizing another unless the former heard the latter’s material beforehand. Selle was unable to show evidence that the Bee Gees actually heard his song prior to writing theirs.
To be perfectly honest, melody-wise, “How Deep Is Your Love” bares some strong resemblance to Ronald Selle’s “Let It End” (which can be listened to below).