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I Love You

by

Climax Blues Band



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This song developed a large following and continues to get airplay on many radio stations. It's a pure love song about a woman who enters a man's life and changes his world for the better. The message of love and friendship, along with the line, "You got what it takes so I made you my wife," made the song very popular at weddings.
Bass player Derek Holt wrote this song. He told us: "It was about meeting my first wife, meeting the lady that's going to encourage me to do what I did best, and that was be a musician, with no qualms about it. I used to go away from home, used to leave her behind, and used to come back. I was a hippie, a drinking hippie with really long hair. We had a great time - I'm meeting my wife, since then I've never looked back. You know, pretty much out living a dream, because, 'Ooo, I love you.' You could say it's for one person, but it's quite generic. At that particular moment in time, everything was right. You know, usually songs appear from nowhere, and that one appeared in a couple of hours. Why, I have no idea, but it did. And I guess the influence was the person I was with at the time."
Holt: "That song was written in my house. After a couple of hours just sitting in my studio I came up with this song I Love You - words, solo, drums, the whole thing. And I thought, 'Well, it's a lovely song.' We had a guy come over from L.A., an American producer called John Ryan, who arrived in Stafford to do some pre-production on an album that we were going to record in Los Angeles called Flying The Flag. So he came to England and spent probably 2 weeks with us going through all the tracks that we'd got. And he said, 'Does anybody have any more songs?' I'd already played my song to the band and they didn't really like it; it was a little bit too lovey, so I said to John Ryan, 'I've got this song called 'I Love You.'' He said, 'Well, play it for me.' So I plugged in my cassette, played it, then he said, 'That's a hit.' Just like that. Everybody just sort of looked at each other and said, 'Oh, bloody hell.' So anyway, we ended up going to Los Angeles, and that song was recorded with just me and the drummer because the other two guys weren't really into the song. So it's me, the drummer, and a fantastic keyboard player named Nicky Hopkins. He's since died, unfortunately. He was the sort of legendary keyboard player, he played with The Stones and lots of people like that, and he was great. So it was me, Nicky Hopkins and the drummer in the studio. We all sat down together and played the basic backing track. I then put the bass on it, sang it, did all the harmonies, then I got Pete - the guitarist - to play the lead solo, which was the solo that I wanted to be played. So he played the solo, because he was the guitarist - reluctantly. Then John Ryan said, 'This song needs some strings.' So he got a string section in at whatever cost it was, which also pissed the other guys in the band off to think that the strings were a big part of my song. Then Warner Brothers arrived to hear all the tracks, and everybody was blown away by 'I Love You,' this song that I believed in, the producer believed in, but none of the other guys did, and it became a hit. And it's just unbelievable that nobody else in the band recognized it other than the producer and me. So the story's quite phenomenal, really. And it's also probably one of the reasons why the band split up in the end, because they weren't into playing it live, and I was. The song was in the charts, we had the tour booked, and two guys in the band said, 'We're not going to go to America to promote Derek Holt's career.' How's that for faith?"
After forming in 1968 as The Climax Chicago Blues Band (they dropped the "Chicago" to avoid confusion with the group of that name), The Climax Blues Band had their first hit in 1976 with "Couldn't Get It Right." They had a strong following and worked hard touring Europe and America, but this song created a great deal of tension in the band. Says Holt: "There had been a 4 or 5 year gap in between hits, and it was just like, 'Here we are again, we've got another song.' It was like a gift to be given another chance at stardom, and we could have taken it up another level. Sadly, the other guys just didn't want to know. I could write a book about the situation, you wouldn't believe what happened, but there just came a point when it was like, 'Well, what's the point in carrying on?'"
The Climax Blues Band continued into the '90s without Holt, but they never played this song live. Says Holt: "We toured for years and years, and it just became a bloody nightmare, really. I guess what I should have done, really, was say to the guys - in hindsight now - say right, if you don't come to America with me, I'll get somebody else. That's what I should have done instead of backing off and bowing out. That's the way it goes, but even now looking back 20-odd years, it's bloody sad. It's a very sad tale. You can't even buy any Climax CDs now, you can hardly buy any product. Neither Pete Haycock or Colin Cooper seemed to want to have anything to do with me, but I just think it would be nice to have it re-released and maybe have the albums back in the shops again."
This song is very hard to find, since it does not appear on compilations, is not available for download and the original album is out of print. Since the band refused to perform it and distanced themselves from it, the song suffered from a lack of promotion that kept it from becoming a much bigger hit and severely restricted its availability. It is not included on other Climax Blues Band greatest hits packages.
Holt: "The only time I've ever performed that song live in America, I went to Florida last year (2005) to Clearwater with my family, and I ended up in a karaoke bar. It's called Big Ben's, it's like an English pub. My wife and I sat down, the reason we went to the pub was because we dig liver and onions and a pint of real English beer. So we went down there and sure enough there's karaoke on, and the karaoke book gets put onto your table. We were sifting through it, and I'm looking at Climax Blues Band. Couldn't Get It Right wasn't even in the book, but Climax Blues Band I Love You was in the book. So my wife called the guy over. She said, 'This song I Love You,' this guy here was in The Climax Blues Band and he wrote it and he sang it.' And the guy said, 'Never.' Anyway, I went up on the stage, and of course as soon as I opened my mouth and started singing it, it was obvious it was me. I was him. And the place went wild. I never bought a drink again the whole night. That's the one and only time. In fact, I've got a photograph of it with my little girl. She came up with me and helped me sing it. She's only 10, but we stood there and everybody got up and danced and as soon as it finished everyone was like, 'Bloody hell, where's the limo?'" (thanks to Derek Holt for speaking with us about this song)
This song appeared in the end credits of the 2008 controversial Kevin Smith movie Zack and Miri Make a Porno starring Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks. (thanks, Logan - Troy, MT)
Climax Blues Band
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Comments (24):

On February 15, 1981, "I Love You" by the Climax Blues Band entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #80; and on June 14th it peaked at #12 (for 1 week) and spent over a half-year on the Top 100 (27 weeks)...
Between 1977 and 1981 the quartet had four Top 100 records; with "Couldn't Get It Right" being their biggest hit, it reached #3 (for 1 week) on May 15th, 1977.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
I love this song. Just heard it on Pandora. I'm wondering though if he's still with this woman. He states above that this was about meeting his "first wife" which tells me that they may no longer be together. Divorce or did she pass on?
- Jon, Midland, MI
I have the original print 45; SOOOO glad I do!
- Karen, Manchester, NH
One of the greatest love songs ever written and performed. The lyrics are such that most anyone can relate to how they meet someone who comes into their life as a friend and over time helps change them into being a better person. As years go by, we need to forever thank that special person for the impact they've made. At more than 30 years since it's releast, "I love you" by the Climax Blues Band is still top material. Derek Holt, you did well!
- Keith, Bear, DE
A very beautiful song that brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it.
- lisa, atlanta, GA
I love this song why can't I purchase it for my Zune :)
- jill, east china, MI
I know Derek Holt personally. He's a genuine and really nice man and, I think, couldn't have written this song unless he was. I really admire his exceptional abilities. Readers might like to know that Derek still makes good music and hasn't lost the gift of writing lyrics that stop you in your tracks. As someone said to me "What woman wouldn't go weak at the knees if they heard this?"
- Roy, Southall, United Kingdom
One of my favorite songs of all time. I downloaded the song to my iPod free from limewire.com
- Dan, Orange County, CA
This song has such wonderful memories of my first and only true love. Every time I hear it it takes me back to the most memorable times of my life. It's really too bad this song is not available for purchase.
- Renee, Lapeer, MI
I absolutley love this song. This was our Wedding Song and it was almost like the song was written for us and our Wedding. We have been married for over 25 years and I listen to the song when ever I can.
- Pat, Oshawa, ON
I first heard the song in the summer of 1981. While vacationing with my parents in Ocean City, Maryland that July (I was 16 at the time), I met a girl who I instantly started liking, and the radio station we had on at the cottage frequently played "I Love You", making that song, all the way to this day, remind me of her whenever I hear it!
- Timothy, Aston, PA
Watch this rarely seen video of this great song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qx3V18-KTdA
- jeffrey, Brooklyn, NY
Everything Steve has written is True. It was the best song ever made. I do still Love him with all my heart. This song is so meaningful to us. I did not hear it much in my travel's and time away from him. But if I had I would have remembered this special song made just for us.
I remember the part where he picked me off the ground at the skating rink. I will never Love Like I have him. Thank you for bringing this special song into our lives. It means so much to Steve and I. Thank you CBB
- Carla, Oklahoma City, OK
This is the best song ever for two people truly in love. I first heard this song in 1980 at the skating rink where I met my first true love and high school sweetheart Carla. This became our song. We didn't end up together like we should have but everytime I'd hear this song I'd think about her and wonder where she was and why we broke up. 25 years after we last seen each other we got back in touch and it's like we never broke up. Our feelings are still there and as strong as ever. We are now planning on getting married. So thank you Climax Blues Band for this beautiful song and especially thank you Carla for still loving me because I still Love You.
- steve, Muldrow, OK
I have this on an old K-tel LP from 1981. It's in the house somewhere.LOL I saw the band as the middle act in a concert headlined by Bachman Turner Overdrive back in 75. They were awesome and stole the show.
- Fred, Birmingham, AL
Great song! The first time I heard it, I thought it was Paul McCartney. I've read some of Derek Holt's comments and it's really sad that his bandmates were so petty about the song.
- Sam, Lincoln, NE
This song word for word described my relationship with my fiance. When we met he was an alcholic who was down and out. I actually did tell him he was much too young and if he kept living that way he would die. He always said I took him by the hand and brought him back to life. He recovered and became a hard working man, who did ask me to be his wife. We had the world and enjoyed it fully and it was like a dream. But like most dreams you wake up. I lost the love of my life on July 1, 2007, God called him home. We played this song at his memorial, not a dry eye was there. Everyone said this song was us, and I thank this group every day in prayer for giving me such a wonderful reminder of my life with Joey.
- J-Ana, Waco, TX
I was 15 and my husband was 17 when we started dating in 1981. The day we knew it was forever was the day he put the song on the stereo and he took my hand and we danced while he sang this song in my hear. Afterwards, he told me the song said everything he was never able to say himself and that I was going to be his forever. Well, it's 2007 and we have been together for 26 wonderful years and married for 21 years. Every anniversary my husband puts this song on and we dance and he sings it to me just like he did on that day back in 1981. To this day, anytime I hear "I Love You" I will cry no matter where I am (I even have tears in my eyes as I write this). This has been the best song that has ever been written and released. Thank you Climax Blues Band ..... I Love You!!
- Mary, Kissimmee, FL
A absolutely beautiful song.I remember it quite well in the early summer of 1980.
- James, yucaipa, CA
This is one of my favorite songs, and I'm really surprised the band themselves didn't much like it. It's not just a sappy ballad, but very Beatle-esque in its sound, reminding me especially of George Harrison's music.
- N.I., Baltimore, MD
Such a beautiful, simple tune. I have that CD compilation that Andrew mentions, and I cherish it. Truly a classic love song!

"Since then, I?ve never looked back, it?s almost like living a dream, oooh, I got you!
If ever a man, had it all, it would have to be me, and oooooooooh, I love you!"
- Michael, San Diego, CA
This song is now available on CD. There is an import from an independent label that has done a greatest hits package of the Climax Blues Band entitled "25 Years: 1968-1993". This greatest hits package is two CD's long, and does contain the song I Love You. Available at Amazon.com, and other online retailers.
- andrew, hatfield, PA
This really is the greatest song. It was in heavy rotation in Chicago for years in the 1980s when I was in highschool and I think it definitely influenced my life in a postive way in terms of expectations and understandings of what relationships can be about and like. It is a crime it's never been on a compilation. It must have made all of the members in the band money, how after all these years can they be opposed to that? I remember driving around and my best friend flipping between the 60+ radio stations in Chicago so we could listen to it almost continuously.
- Jaibe, Carol Stream, IL
One of my all time favorite love songs! I wish I could hear it more often!
- Chris, Chicago, IL
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