I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know

Album: Child Is Father to the Man (1967)
Play Video


  • This song was written by Blood, Sweat & Tears founder Al Kooper and is the second track from the group's debut - and only album recorded with that lineup - Child Is Father to the Man. While the song itself didn't see single release, it did see some substantial play on progressive rock stations.
  • From Al Kooper's biography Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards: "'I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know' was a split tribute to Otis Redding and James Brown. (The lyrics were a nod to Otis' song 'I Love You More Than Words Can Say,' and the melody was 'reminiscent' of James Brown's 'It's a Man's World.') On December 6 ('67), Otis died in a plane crash and it really f***ed me up. The next night we began recording the album. I insisted we record 'I Love You' first. Nobody objected. We put down a blistering track, and it looked like this was gonna be an easy album to make. We overdubbed Freddie [Lipsius]'s solo and Steve [Katz]'s fills, and then it was time to put a vocal on it."

    Kooper goes on to say that the band was so nervous about his vocal skills, that he prepared a practical joke to ease the tension. On the first recording take, he started singing the lyrics in French, having memorized them that way beforehand. Everybody stopped in shock and he innocently smirked "Oh, you wanted me to sing it in English?" Then there was take two...

    Going on from BB&BB: "Now my eyes were screwed shut, and I was thinkin' about Otis and this sounds clichéd as hell, but it's true. I was saying to myself, "This is for you." And I was singing. One take. They called me into the booth for playback, and everyone was smiling."

    In spite of this song's success, the band eventually did kick Al Kooper out. It was a cross between wanting a different lead vocalist, and creative differences with the rest of the band objecting to Kooper's tight control. For one thing, Kooper insisted on including one song, "The Modern Adventures of Plato, Diogenes, and Freud," which he wrote, and the rest of the band hated. He got his way by the grace of producer John Simon's mediation, and Kooper points to that moment as the beginning of the breakup of the band. The chief rivals here are Kooper and Colomby; these two continue bitter feuds to this very day over whose idea was what and who gets the money from Child Is Father to the Man.
  • The album cover art is famous for being a funny/creepy photo trick, showing each of the band members sitting and standing with child-sized versions of themselves. We all know that. But did you know about the popular blog meme using Photoshop (although Gimp can do it, too) to swap heads between a baby and an adult? It's called a "manbaby" and there's a page about it at Know Your Meme which seems at a loss to explain exactly whence this meme originated... but we know, don't we?

Comments: 1

  • Sandy from Enterprise, FlPittsburgh - 1969 - Dave Kurowski and John Stover- Shadyside apartment - "Second floor is in" - Sandy and Sheila - this album playing over and over and over and . . . .
    because we were all too busy doing other things
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Lita Ford

Lita FordSongwriter Interviews

Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.

James Williamson of Iggy & the Stooges

James Williamson of Iggy & the StoogesSongwriter Interviews

The Stooges guitarist (and producer of the Kill City album) talks about those early recordings and what really happened with David Bowie.

Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire

Verdine White of Earth, Wind & FireSongwriter Interviews

The longtime bassist of Earth, Wind & Fire discusses how his band came to do a holiday album, and offers insight into some of the greatest dance/soul tunes of all-time.

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top Proverb

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top ProverbSong Writing

How a country weeper and a blues number made "rolling stone" the most popular phrase in rock.

Boz Scaggs

Boz ScaggsSongwriter Interviews

The "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" singer makes a habit of playing with the best in the business.

Holly Knight ("The Best," "Love Is A Battlefield")

Holly Knight ("The Best," "Love Is A Battlefield")Songwriter Interviews

Holly Knight talks about some of the hit songs she wrote, including "The Warrior," "Never" and "The Best," and explains some songwriting philosophy, including how to think of a bridge.