So Very Hard To Go

Album: Tower Of Power (1973)
Charted: 17


  • This song about a tough goodbye was written by Tower of Power saxophone players Emilio Castillo and Stephen "Doc" Kupka. Castillo came up with the lyrics, which were inspired by a girl named Sharon, about whom he wrote the song "You're Still A Young Man."

    In our interview with Castillo, he explained: "Basically it says our relationship is ending and how hard it is to say goodbye to her. I write a lot about specific situations but I let the song play out in a general way."
  • This was the biggest chart hit for Tower of Power, reaching #17 on the Hot 100 and #11 on the R&B chart. Emilio Castillo told us: "We wrote it in one sitting and as soon as we were done writing it I knew it was going to be a hit. I actually called my manager and I said, 'We wrote a hit.' He said, 'Yeah, sure.' I go, 'No, I'm serious. We wrote a hit.' I played it for him over the phone and he heard a verse and the chorus and he goes, 'Damn, I think you're right.'"

    While the group itself never had a bigger hit, the Tower of Power horn section played on several tracks for other artists that did very well. Among them: "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" by Elton John, "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & the News, and "Everybody's Everything" by Santana.

Comments: 6

  • Stephanie from Tarpon Springs, Flstill love this meaningful, simply good song...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny
    On July 6th 1973, the Tower of Power performed "So Very Hard To Go" on the NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special'...
    Three months earlier on April 29th, 1973 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #97; and on July 22nd, 1973 it peaked at #17 (for 1 week) and spent 18 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #11 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart...
    On the same show they also performed "What Is Hip?", it stayed on the Top 100 for two weeks, at positions #98 and #91 respectfully (it did peak at #39 on the Hot R&B Singles chart).
  • Pat from Paradise, Ca, CaDuring the summer of 1973, we heard this song on Bay Area radio station KFRC AM 610 it seemed like at least once a day. And I never got tired of it. This hit, along with "You're Still a Young Man" (which got similar airplay and was just as popular the previous summer) were the songs that helped define Tower of Power. They still tour today, decades later, showing that soul music, with great brass, percussion, and vocals, endures because it touches our hearts. Those of us who grew up during the 70's maybe had a relationship like Emilio "Mimi" Castillo was thinking about when he wrote this song for his new band (see interview above). Let's just say when we hear these songs today, they bring back some good, perhaps bittersweet, memories. Who else remembers those summer hits of the 70's?
  • David from Fresno, CaDave Matthews was never a member of TOP
  • Scott from Palm Desert, CaThis and You're Still A Young Man are the two best TOP songs. Amazing they had a different lead singer and still had the same incredible passion onthis song.
  • Tim from Fort Worth, TxLenny Williams handled the vocals for this song from their self-titled second album. You may recognize the voice from a song he sang on Kenny G's album "DuoTones" entitled "Don't Make Me Wait For Love". Tower of Power was a stepping stone for quite a few musicians. Past members include Dave Mathews and smooth jazz tenor sax favorite Richad Elliot.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Julian LennonSongwriter Interviews

Julian tells the stories behind his hits "Valotte" and "Too Late for Goodbyes," and fills us in on his many non-musical pursuits. Also: what MTV meant to his career.

How The Beatles Crafted Killer ChorusesSong Writing

The author of Help! 100 Songwriting, Recording And Career Tips Used By The Beatles, explains how the group crafted their choruses so effectively.

Van Dyke ParksSongwriter Interviews

U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.

Art Alexakis of EverclearSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer of Everclear, Art is also their primary songwriter.

When Rock Belonged To MichelobSong Writing

Michelob commercials generated hits for Eric Clapton, Genesis and Steve Winwood in the '80s, even as some of these rockers were fighting alcoholism.

Rick SpringfieldSongwriter Interviews

Rick has a surprising dark side, a strong feminine side and, in a certain TV show, a naked backside. But he still hasn't found Jessie's Girl.