For Your Love

Album: For Your Love (1965)
Charted: 3 6
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  • This was written by Graham Gouldman, who later became the bass player for the group 10cc; he wrote two other Yardbirds hits as well: "Heart Full of Soul" and "Evil Hearted You."

    Musically, Gouldman was inspired by The Animals' version of "The House Of The Rising Sun."

    "There's a general sort of popular chord sequence which is C, A minor, F and G," he Gouldman told Songfacts. "Well, 'House Of The Rising Sun' is pretty much the opposite of that. So, it starts on a minor and goes to the relative major instead of the other way around, and I really responded to that, it resonated with me. I became so enamored with the sequence that I used it on the first two chords of 'For Your Love.'"
  • This is one of the most famous rock songs to feature a harpsichord, which was arranged by Yardbirds bassist Paul Samwell-Smith, who made wholesale changes to Graham Gouldman's original demo. Gouldman observed to Uncut magazine August 2009: "The harpsichord was an absolute stroke of genius. The record just had a weird, mysterious atmosphere about it."
  • The Yardbirds wrote many of their own songs as a group, but had some of their biggest hits with the ones Gouldman wrote. What did they think of Gouldman's songs? Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty told us: "Well, they were always very original. Very interesting songs, very moody, because they were usually in a minor key, the ones we did, anyway. 'For Your Love' was an interesting song, it had an interesting chord sequence, very moody, very powerful. And the fact that it stopped in the middle and went into a different time signature, we liked that, that was interesting. Quite different, really, from all the bluesy stuff that we'd been playing up till then. But somehow we liked it. It was original and different."
  • The Yardbirds didn't have a lot of hits, but were one of the most influential and original bands of the '60 and an easy pick for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which they entered in 1992. Having a hit song was important to them, however, and this song provided that. Jim McCarty told Songfacts: "To try and get a hit song in those days was quite a difficult thing to do for us. We could come up with ideas, but our first hit song was very important for us. And with 'For Your Love' we heard it and had the demo of it and it sounded like a hit song to all of us. Yeah, there wasn't a problem doing that. It was the sort of thing that you relied on to get into that other echelon, to have a hit song. All our contemporaries were having hit songs: The Beatles and the Stones and the Moody Blues and Animals, they were all having #1 hits and we were really trying to keep up."
  • This almost didn't get recorded by The Yardbirds. Gouldman, 19 at the time, wrote it for his own group The Mockingbirds, but their demo was turned down by Columbia. Also it is believed that producer Mickie Most turned it down on behalf of Herman's Hermits and that the Animals also turned it down.

    The song found its way to The Yardbirds after their manager ran into the fledgling songwriter Gouldman when they were opening for The Beatles at a 1964 Christmas show. Gouldman loved how The Yardbirds would change tempo in the middle of a song, which is how he wrote "For Your Love."
  • This song prompted Eric Clapton to leave The Yardbirds, since he felt their music was becoming too commercial. He was replaced by Jeff Beck, who was later replaced by Jimmy Page. Clapton joined John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and would later be a member of Cream and Derek and the Dominos. One of the contributing factors to Eric Clapton's departure was, while performing the song live, his having to recreate the song's harpsichord on a 12-string guitar. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    James - Tracy, CA
  • The harpsichord on this song was played by session musician Brian Auger, who later became a solo artist of note. His biggest hit was the Bob Dylan song "This Wheel's On Fire," which was credited to Julie Driscoll With Brian Auger And The Trinity. It later became the theme tune for the BBC comedy show Absolutely Fabulous.
  • The Yardbirds were known as a great live band, but the recording technology of 1965 limited their commercial potential, as the songs they wrote themselves didn't play well in a studio setting. McCarty told us how this song gave them a breakthrough: "All the stuff that we played live and we recorded in the studio, it just sounded really tame. The studios weren't so good then, they weren't really geared for playing rock and roll or blues music. And all the ideas that we'd had up to 'For Your Love' just sounded awful. And so 'For Your Love' was the song that would sound good anyway, because it was a much more commercial song."
  • On The Yardbirds official site, bass player Chris Dreja said of this: "We owe a lot to that song because it sort of pulled us out from national to international and set the template for us - that time change in the middle, the weirdness of it." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • This song appeared in the movies Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas (1998), Harimu Ogen (1985) and Deadly Advice (1994).
  • Fleetwood Mac recorded this for their 1973 album Mystery to Me and released it as a single.
  • The musical breakdown on this track is as follows:
    Keith Relf - lead vocal
    Eric Clapton - guitar
    Chris Dreja - guitar
    Paul Samwell-Smith - bass
    Jim McCarty - drums

    Non-Yardbirds brought in to play were:
    Ron Prentiss - acoustic bass
    Brian Auger - harpsichord
    Denny Piercey - bongos
  • This song was covered by Greg Kihn in 1994. It was also used in the movies Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) and Pirate Radio (2009). >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Charlie - Las Vegas, NV
  • This was used in commercials for Zales jewelry. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
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Comments: 27

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1965 {April 16th} the Yardbirds performed "For Your Love" on the British ITV network television program, 'Ready Steady Go!'....
    At the time the song was in it's second of two weeks at #3 on the United Kingdom's Top 50 Singles chart, that was also it's peak position on the chart and it spent twelve weeks on the Top 50...
    It reached #6 on Billboard's Top 100 chart...
    Between 1964 and 1967 the London-based quintet had seven records on the UK Singles chart, five made the Top 10 with their biggest hit being "Heart Full of Soul", it peaked at #2 {for 3 weeks} in 1965, the first week it was at #2, the #1 record was "I'm Alive" by the Hollies, and for the second and third week the Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man" was in the top spot...
    Besides the above two, the group's three other Top 10 records were "Evil Hearted You" {#3 for 1 week in 1965}, "Shapes of Things" {#3 for 2 weeks in 1966}, and "Over Under Sideways Down" {#10 for 2 weeks in 1966}...
    Lead vocalist and harmonica player Keith Relf passed away at the young age of 33 on May 14th, 1976 {accidental electrocution}...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 14, 1965, Herman' Hermits performed "For Your Love" on the Dick Clark produced ABC-TV network weekday-afternoon program 'Where The Action Is'...
    At the time the Yardbird's version of "For Your Love" was at #13 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; two weeks earlier it had peaked at #6 {for 1 week}...
    The Hermit's version of the song was track four of side one on the group's second studio album, 'Herman's Hermits On Tour', and the album produced three Top 10 records, "I'm Henry the VIII, I Am" {#1 for 1 week}, "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" {#2* for 2 weeks}, and "Silhouettes" {#5 for 1 week}...
    Between 1964 and 1968 the British quintet had nineteen records on the Hot Top 100 chart; eleven made the Top 10 with two reaching #1, besides "Henry VIII", their other #1 record was "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter" for 3 weeks in 1965...
    Herman, born Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone, will celebrate his 70th birthday in four months on November 5th, 2017...
    The two weeks that "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "Stop! In The Love of Love" by the Supremes.
  • Bob from CaliforniaIf this song is important to you, you must see Humble Pie's acoustic version on YouTube. Steve Marriott at his best with a very young Peter Frampton.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 2nd 1965, the Yardbirds performed "For Your Love" on the British TV program 'Ready Steady Goes Live!'*...
    And in the U.S.A., one month and one week later on May 9th, 1965 it would entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    {See the next post below}...
    * The show would be the first time a performer sang live on the TV program 'Ready, Set, Go'.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 9th 1965, "For Your Love" by the Yardbirds entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #84; and on June 27th it peaked at #6 (for 1 week) and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100...
    Between 1965 and 1967 the group had nine Top 100 hits; with two making the Top 10, their other Top 10 record was "Heart Full of Soul" (#9 in 1965)...
    They just missed making the Top 10 for a 3rd time with "Shapes of Things"; it peaked at #11 on May 8th, 1966.
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationDrummer Jim McCarty told in August 2011 Interview:
    “We did not go into the commercial phase of the band grudgingly. But we knew we had to play the game. Choosing For Your Love was a big step. It definitely was not a traditional R&B song. It was very across the pond from what we were doing at the time.
    It was unusual, and sort of moody, and the use of bongos gave the song an almost Baroque quality. But the thing that ultimately sold us was the way the song suddenly changed tempo right in the middle. It was like nothing else being done by anybody at the time so we all agreed that it was the song to do.”

    The band entered London’s famed IBC Studios on January 5,1965 with the intent of recording For Your Love in a quick one day session. The nature of For Your Love inspired much improvisation. A harpsichord was recorded on a separate track, followed by some strident bass lines by session player Ron Prentice and, as a capper, BBC radio presenter/session bongo player Jimmy Piercey was brought in to lay down the song’s ever-present bongo runs.

    “It was a quick session,” says McCarty. “One track was the harpsichord and one track was the boogie in the middle. It was no more than three takes. Everything about it worked and the session was a quick in and out.”
  • Dcsos from New York, NyGraham Gouldman wanted to have the Beatles do the song, but when he showed up at Hammersmith Odeon to demo the song where the Beatles were playing, he found the warm up and sang it for Giorgio Gomelsky, the Yardbirds' producer, instead.
  • Giselle from Buenos Aires, ArgentinaA great song of one of the best and most underrated bands of the history.
  • Musicmama from New York, NyInteresting song. It sounds "raw," but actually has very nice harmonizations. Yes, I like..




    Yardbirds' members Paul Samwell-Smith, Keith Relf and Jim McCarty would leave the band to form-- with Relf's sister Jane, bassist Louis Cennamo and pianist John Hawken--a new band called "Renaissance." This ensemble released an eponymous album in 1969 and "Illusion" in 1971. The music consisted of experimentation between folk, rock and classical forms (You can hear allusions to Chopin, Rachminoff and other composers.) While much of the music was interesting, the production standards were primitive, at least compared to later albums.

    After "Illusion," all Renaissance except McCarty members went their seperate ways. McCarty re-formed the band with new members--the best-known of whom was vocalist Annie Haslam--and kept the "Renaissance" name. The new ensemble released a few albums that were commercialy successful in England but achieved only modest fame in the US. And their American audience was almost entirely confined to the East Coast.
  • Duke from Fresno, CaLisa of PA...Hermans Hermits did FOR YOUR LOVE on an early LP...Duke
  • Joe from Bellingham, WaGreat song, this is one of the best songs to come out of the sixties! I don't care what you all say, This song rules!, Yardbirds Rule!
  • Steve from Fenton, MoA great 60's song. Modern English used the same chord progression in "Melt With You", which is another great song.
  • Marcos from Sao Paulo, BrazilThere's a promo video of this song where the Yardbirds are all dressed with Middle-Age clothes, it's around the net somewhere. It's pretty strange, in fact. Anyway, a great song.
  • Jon from Oakridge, OrGood song. The instruments sound great when put together.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaThe song has the desperate sound, and the lyrics sound the same. Its weird to hear Eric Clapton so early in his career.
  • Warrinder from A Town, CanadaYou are correct. Jimmy Page replaced Paul Samwell Smith as the bass player in 1966. After Jeff Beck left Page become lead guitarist and Chris Dreja went to bass. They only had one guitar from then on whereas up til then Dreja played second guitar.
  • Alan from London, EnglandWhen Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck were both in the yarbirds, I believe that only Beck was playing guitar, I'm pretty sure that Page was playing bass for them at that time, and when Beck left the Yardbirds Jimmy took his spot. but anyway, this song now appears on a zales commercial to sell diamonds.
  • Anne from Atlanta, GaThis song was recorded by Fleetwood Mac before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the band. It was on the 1973 album, Mystery to Me.
  • Andrew from Oregon, MoThis song is really good its so awesome so raw so simple so good
  • Morgaine from Calgary, CanadaI love this song. I would just like to point out that Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page were in the Yardbirds together at one point, both playing guitar.
  • Ernie from Emporia, MeI think this song is one you just needed to be there at the time to appreciate it. Playing it live in a band was cool at the time, however it was crummy to dance to so didn't play it much.
  • Kendall from Thomasville, GaI love the part where they break it down and the drums do their thing. Some of the lyrics here aren't too bad either... and now that I think of it, the begining kinda reminds me of House Of the Rising sun.
  • Ash from Charleston, WvWhat this band needed were some decent guitarists. KIDDING!
  • Anthony from Clearwater, FlI think this is a true 60's classic, plain and simple!
  • Mark from Seattle, WaI like the yardbirds but I really don't like this song
  • Lisa from A Town In, PaPeter Noone of Herman's Hermitts said it was orginially offered to Herman's Hermitts but they turned it down.
  • Fiona from Napier, New ZealandMaybe the lyrics are just standard love song lyrics... but I always thought they sounded so horribly desperately sad.
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