Written by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb in 1977, “If I Can’t Have You” was actually sung by Yvonne Elliman, and subsequently went to number one today in 1978.
The Bee Gee’s version was recorded as the B-side for “Stayin’ Alive”.
Elliman was not initially a disco artist, she was a pop ballad singer, but when presented with the Barry Gibb composition, she became known for her disco stylings. She was initally supposed to sing ‘How Deep Is Your Love” – can you imagine that? The Bee Gees’ manager Robert Stigwood insisted the band record “How Deep Is Your Love” and switching Elliman to “If I Can’t Have You”.
Thankfully, it worked out for everyone and “How Deep Is Your Love” shot to number one, as did Saturday Night Fever’s soundtrack’s second and third singles, “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever”.
“If I Can’t Have You” became the fourth number 1 hit from the film, ending an eight-week reign by “Night Fever”.
Yvonne Elliman wasn’t overjoyed by her sudden success and decided to turn to rock, ending her 15 minutes of fame until she came back with another disco hit in 1979 – “Love Pains”.
Have a listen to the hit song below and tell us, what are your memories of this tune?