|"Need Your Love So Bad"|
|Single by Little Willie John|
|B-side||"Home at Last"|
|Recorded||New York City, September 28, 1955|
|Genre||Blues, rhythm & blues|
"Need Your Love So Bad", sometimes known as "I Need Your Love So Bad", is a song first recorded by Little Willie John in 1955. Called a "unique amalgam of gospel, blues and rhythm & blues", it was John's second single as well as his second record to reach the US charts.
The song is one of John's best known and appears on various compilation albums. In 1968, Fleetwood Mac recorded a version of the song, which reached the singles chart in the UK and the Netherlands.
"Need Your Love So Bad" follows an AABA form and a harmonic layout typical for the R&B ballad. However, the song has been described as "A tightly wound and intense plea for love ... quite different from the usual R&B ballad fare".
John recorded the song in New York City on September 20, 1955. He provides the vocal, accompanied by Robert "Bubber" Johnson on piano, Mickey Baker on guitar, Milton Hinton on bass, Calvin Shields on drums, Willis Jackson and David Van Dyke on tenor saxes, and Reuben Phillips on baritone sax.
There are differing accounts of the songwriting credits. The original King Records release lists the writer as "Willie John" as do the original Blue Horizon and CBS Records singles by Fleetwood Mac. However, some compilations show the writer as Mertis John, Willie's brother. A 2001 biography of Little Willie John includes:
Mertis Jr wrote much of the song in Korea, and brought it to Willie, who worked on it and eventually finished it off. Clearly, Willie's indelible stamp is on that tune, and Mertis restored Willie's name as co-writer in 2008.
The American performing rights organization BMI attributes the song to both William Edward John and Mertis John Jr. (Little Willie's and his brother's legal names).
King Records released John's single, which reached No. 5 on the Billboard R&B in 1956 and the B-side "Home at Last" reached No. 6 in the same chart. As one of John's most popular tunes, it has been included on various compilation albums, such as Fever: The Best of Little Willie John (1993) and The Very Best of Little Willie John (2001).
|"Need Your Love So Bad"|
|Single by Fleetwood Mac|
|B-side||"Stop Messin' Round"|
|Released||5 July 1968|
|Recorded||London, April 28, 1968 (string & horn overdubs May 15)|
|Fleetwood Mac singles chronology|
In 1968, Fleetwood Mac recorded "Need Your Love So Bad" for producer Mike Vernon's Blue Horizon Records. According to Vernon, he suggested to group guitarist and vocalist Peter Green that a string section be added. Vernon contacted Mickey Baker, who provided the guitar on John's original version, to write an orchestral score for the song.
The song was released as a single, backed with "Stop Messin' Round", and reached No. 31 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1968, and No. 7 in the Netherlands. Later in the UK, it was reissued as a single by Blue Horizon (designated as the A-side with "No Place to Go" as the B-side) and CBS as part of its "Hall of Fame Hits" series (designated as the B-side with "Albatross" as the A-side).
The song is included on several Fleetwood Mac compilation albums, including The Pious Bird of Good Omen (1969), Greatest Hits (1971), and others. In 1999, The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions 1967–1969 was released with additional takes of the song. One included additional guitar and vocal overdubs by Green that was planned for an American single, but never issued.
In 1995, guitarist and singer Gary Moore recorded the song for Blues for Greeny (1995), a tribute album to Peter Green, who sang and played guitar on Fleetwood Mac's rendition. Moore's version was also released as a single in June 1995 and reached No. 48 on the UK Singles Chart.