If I Can't Have You

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘If I Can’t Have You’

The song, “If I Can’t Have You”, was originally recorded by the Bee Gees in 1977

Disco classic “If I Can’t Have You” was written and recorded by the Gibb brothers three in 1977 and although this appeared on the sountrack to the film ‘Stayin’ Alive’, it had already been recorded by American singer Yvonne Elliman (b.1951) earlier that same year for the soundtrack to ‘Saturday Night Fever’. It was Elliman’s recording that was released commercially and topped the US chart in 1978 as well as being a huge hit globally making the top ten in the UK, Australia and most parts of Europe.

British singer Kim Wilde recorded her version in 1993 for her compilation “The Singles Collection 1981-1993”. The song was released as the lead single and bettered Elliman’s version on Australia by reaching No.3 (Elliman’s had peaked at No.9). Wilde’s “If I Can’t Have You” charted at No.12 in the UK and No.14 on the US dance chart.

A remixed version of the Bee Gees original was included on their 2007 anthology, “Greatest”, which charted on the US dance chart for the very first time, while British singer Jess Glynne recorded a version in 2016 for the musical soundtrack to ‘Saturday Night Fever’.

But which version is the best? YVONNE ELLIMAN’s original or KIM WILDE’s cover?

Take a look at some of the other posts in this series and don’t forget to follow the playlist.


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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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