Use Me

Album: Still Bill (1972)
Charted: 2
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  • This song is about a guy whose girlfriend walks all over him. His friends try to convince him to break up with her, but he enjoys the abuse and won't consider leaving. As Withers explains in the 2009 documentary Still Bill, he didn't write it about a particular person. He came up with the song when he was working as a mechanic making airplane parts - the original inspiration was his employer. After all, he was making $3 an hour and wasn't getting much attention from the ladies.
  • Still Bill was Withers' second album, and it also included his hit "Lean On Me." Withers' band for the album was keyboardist Ray Jackson, bassist Melvin Dunlop, guitarist Benorce Blackman and drummer James Gadson. In 2003, Withers told Mojo magazine that they rehearsed in Gadson's garage, and then, "We cut that whole Still Bill album in eight hours for $7,500. I loved that band." According to Gadson, he played the groove for about 5 minutes before Withers came up with the song.
  • Artists who covered this song include Grace Jones, Al Jarreau, Hootie & The Blowfish, Better Than Ezra and Widespread Panic.
  • Bill Withers performed this and "Lean On Me" on the TV show Soul Train in 1972. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • This song appears in the movies Anchorman, Starsky & Hutch, American Beauty and Any Given Sunday. (Read our interview with Bill Withers.)

Comments: 7

  • Esskayess from EarthA later song that spotlighted Withers, "Just the Two of Us," portrayed a much nicer twosome than this song did.
  • Daniel Hunter from Va Beach,vaGreat song classic, real music RIP man.
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenNote the last lines of the song: "Talking about you using me, but it all depends on what you do. It ain't too bad the way you're using me, 'cause I sure am using you to do the things you do." Sounds pretty symbiotic.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 20th 1972, "Use Me" by Bill Withers entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #80; and on October 8th, 1972 it peaked at #2 {for 2 weeks} and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100...
    It also reached #2 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1971 and 1977 he had eleven Top 100 records; three made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "Lead On Me" for three weeks on July 2nd, 1972...
    At least for the two weeks he was at #2 with "Use Me", the #1 records were by soul brothers; the first week it was "Ben" by Michael Jackson and for the 2nd week it was "My Ding-A-Ling" by Chuck Berry...
    He was on the Top 100 a twelfth time when he appeared on Grover Washington Jr's "Just The Two Of Us", which peaked at #2 {for 3 weeks} in 1981...
    William Harrison Withers, Jr. celebrated his 76th birthday last month on the 4th of July 4th {2014}.
  • Seth from Shreveport, LaSong was also in the movie "Poolhall Junkies"
  • Marlene from Montreal, QcIt's not so much that she's abusive. It's more like a sexual relationship where she's simply using him and probably treating him badly. But the sex is so good that he's willing to put up with it. In other words, we should all be so lucky.
  • Reno from Copenhagen, DenmarkGrace Jones' version was backed by reggae kings Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare on her 1981 album "Nightclubbing".
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