You Didn't Have to Be So Nice

Album: Daydream (1965)
Charted: 10

Songfacts®:

  • This paean to how nice John Sebastian was being being treated by his girl was one of Lovin' Spoonful's poppier offerings. Sebastian recalled to Uncut magazine: "We started off in a world of 45 singles, so our only game still was three minutes of heaven every time out. That was all. We thought of it as four man Phil Spector music. We wanted it to have that big quality, but we didn't want to hire the Wrecking Crew."

    "Our producer Eric Jacobsen understood something about this funny hybrid that we were working on," he continued. "Things like the chimes on 'You Didn't Have to Be So Nice' were our attempts at creating that kind of vibe: harmonica, slide whistles and penny whistles. I hate calling it folk-rock. They called The Byrds folk-rock and then they were too lazy to come up with something else for our band, but we weren't really drawing from the Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan catalogue. It was a time of a lot of seriousness, and a lot of fake seriousness, and people talking about Important Things. And Loving Spoonful didn't really go for that. We were just trying to entertain."
  • Brian Wilson stated the Lovin' Spoonful's vocal layering on this song inspired The Beach Boys hit "God Only Knows."
  • A cover by Amy Grant and Kevin Costner is sung during the end credits of Costner's 1997 film, The Postman.

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 11, 1965, the Lovin' Spoonful performed "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice" on the Los Angeles-based syndicated television program, 'Shivaree'...
    At the time the song was at #39 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, six weeks later it would peak at #10 {for 1 week} and it spent nine weeks on the Top 100...
    It was the quartet's second of seven straight records to make the Top 10; started with "Do You Believe in Magic" {#9 for 1 week}, this one , "Daydream" {#2 for 2 weeks}, "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?" {#2 for 2 weeks}, "Summer in the City" {#1 for 3 weeks}, "Rain On The Roof" {#10 for 1 week}, and finally "Nashville Cats" {#8 for 1 week}...
    Between 1965 and 1969 the quartet had fourteen records on the Top 100 chart, with the above seven making the Top 10...
    Their one Top 20 record was "Darling Be Home Soon", it peaked at #15 {for 1 week} in 1967...
    Sadly, lead guitarist 'Zal' Yanovsky passed away at the young age of 57 on December 13th, 2002...
    May he R.I.P.
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