So Very Hard To Go

Album: Tower Of Power (1973)
Charted: 17
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • 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

Rupert Hine

Rupert HineSongwriter Interviews

Producer Rupert Hine talks about crafting hits for Tina Turner, Howard Jones and The Fixx.

Chris Frantz of Talking Heads

Chris Frantz of Talking HeadsSongwriter Interviews

Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz on where the term "new wave" originated, the story of "Naive Melody," and why they never recorded another cover song after "Take Me To The River."

Sugarland

SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

Meet the "sassy basket" with the biggest voice in country music.

Grateful Dead Characters

Grateful Dead CharactersMusic Quiz

Many unusual folks appear in Grateful Dead songs. Can you identify them?

Emmylou Harris

Emmylou HarrisSongwriter Interviews

She thinks of herself as a "song interpreter," but back in the '80s another country star convinced Emmylou to take a crack at songwriting.

Mac Powell of Third Day

Mac Powell of Third DaySongwriter Interviews

The Third Day frontman talks about some of the classic songs he wrote with the band, and what changed for his solo country album.