This tender piano ballad finds Gerry Beckley singing about how he is ready to carry on now that his girl has left him. It seems he might wither in his quest, however, as he sings in the chorus, "I need you like the flower needs the rain."
Beckley was just 16 when he wrote the song; at the time, he was in a band called Daze with Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek, who later became his bandmates in America. The trio, who were all the sons of American military personnel stationed in England, attended London Central High School, which served the children of those stationed at the nearby Air Force base.
This was included on America's debut album and slated to be the first single. The band reconsidered, however, and decided to record a new song to release as a single instead. That single was "A Horse With No Name," which shot to #1 in the US and #3 in the UK. "I Need You" was then released as the follow-up. Subsequent releases of the album included "Horse."
In addition to singing lead on this track, Beckley also played piano and bass. Dewey Bunnell was on 6-string acoustic guitar, and Dan Peek played 12-string electric. Session man Dave Atwood played drums.
Harry Nilsson released a cover of this song on his 1976 album ...That's the Way It Is. In his Songfacts interview, Gerry Beckley said that Nilsson was going to record the song as the follow-up to his #1 hit "Without You," but decided against it when he found out America was putting it out as a single. "By the time Harry got around to it, he was not in great shape," said Beckley. "His voice had taken quite a turn."
Roger from Scanterbury, CanadaThis is a GREAT song, then & now.
Barry from Sauquoit, NyAmerica's 'I Need You' was the highest charted of the eight other records with the same title, and they were all different songs. They were by Paul Carrack, The Impressions, Chuck Jackson, The Friends of Distinctions, The Euclid Beach Band, Ricky Nelson, N-Dubz, and Tim McGraw!!!