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How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

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"How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" is a song released by the Bee Gees in 1971. It was written mainly by Barry and Robin Gibb. It was the lead and first single on the group's 1971 LP Trafalgar.

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Writing and recording

Writing and recording[edit]Edit

Barry and Robin Gibb wrote the song in August 1970 with "Lonely Days" when the Gibb brothers had reconvened following a period of break-up and alienation. They originally offered the song to Andy Williams, but ended up recording it themselves. Maurice Gibb possibly had a hand in the writing of "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" although the song is officially credited to Barry and Robin Gibb. The 2009 release "Ultimate Bee Gees" officially credited Maurice for the first time as cowriter of the song, for both the "Ultimate" CD and DVD, and it was credited to the moniker Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb.[1]

The song was recorded on 28 January 1971 in London same day as "We Lost the Road", "When Do I", "If I Were the Sky", "Bring Out the Thoughts in Me" and "Ellan Vannin". The instrumental track is: Barry Gibb (guitar), Maurice Gibb (guitar, pianobass guitar), possibly Alan Kendall (guitar), and Geoff Bridgeford (drums), with strings and woodwinds arranged and conducted by Bill Shepherd.[1]

Reception[edit]Edit

Although failing to chart on the UK Singles Chart, the song became the Bee Gees' first US number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and also reached number four on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. In Spain, this single was released under the title "Cómo Puedes Arreglar Un Corazón Destrozada".[2]

The song was performed for the first time in 1971. That performance is notable for drummer Geoff Bridgford's first appearance with the band.[3] The song was performed as part of a medley in The Midnight Special in 1975. They performed the song in Japan on the Japanese TV special Love Sounds as well as the Mr. Natural tour in 1974. A live version recorded live in 17–18 Nov 1989 at the National Tennis CentreMelbourne, Australia was used for the benefit albumNobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal. In 1997-1999, it was performed on the One Night Only tour as part of a medley though, the song was performed completely. The song was last performed by the Bee Gees with Maurice Gibb in 2001. The song is also in the American Hustle movie and on the movie soundtrack.

Personnel[edit]Edit

Chart performance[edit]Edit

Charts (1971) Peak

position

U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
Canadian RPM Singles Chart 1
Chile Singles Chart 2
Australia ARIA Singles Chart 3
New Zealand RIANZ Charts 6
South Africa Singles Chart 7
Netherlands Dutch Top 40 Charts 16
Belgium Singles Chart 18
Italian FIMI Singles Chart 24

Cover versions[edit]Edit

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