Featured in this blog are my top five friendship songs of all time. Songs that define camaraderie and strengthens the bond between friends.
5. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler (1989)
This song had a rather humble beginning. It was written by Larry Henley and Jeff Silbar and was first recorded in 1982. Lou Rawls brought it into the pop singles chart at #65 in 1983. Country singer Gary Morris took it into the country top 10 the same year. However, it was Bette Midler's performance of the song as a eulogy for a friend in the movie Beaches that made the song an unforgettable classic. "Wind Beneath My Wings" won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
4. That's What Friends Are For - Dionne Warwick & Friends (1986)
This classic affirmation of the support friendship provides was first recorded by Rod Stewart for the soundtrack to the movie Night Shift in 1982. The song was written by legends Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager. Dionne Warwick entered the studio with Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder to record the song as a benefit for the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and pop music history was made. The single spent 4 weeks at #1 and earned 2 Grammy Awards.
3. I'll Be There For You - The Rembrandts (1995)
Best known as the theme song for the TV series Friends, "I'll Be There for You" was written specifically for the show by Michael Skloff and Allee Willis. There were no plans initially to release the song as a single, but demand from fans eventually forced the Rembrandts to record a full-length version and the song, in a commercial version, reached the pop top 20. In a similar vein to the show, "I'll Be There for You" celebrates the humor in friendship.
2. Lean On Me - Bill Withers (1972)
Soul legend Bill Withers introduced this song in the early 1970's It went straight to #1 on the pop chart and became a contemporary pop standard. Club Nouveau took it back to #1 in 1987 with a more upbeat version. The US TV hit show Glee has their own version of the song.
1. You've Got A Friend - James Taylor (1971)
This song was written by Carole King and included on her landmark album Tapestry released in 1971. The definitive version was recorded by King's friend James Taylor and his recording of "You've Got a Friend" hit #1 in 1971. It is Taylor's only #1 pop single.
"You've Got a Friend" has been recorded many times since by artists ranging from Barbra Streisand to Yemeni singer Ofra Haza. Few other songs come close to this song's simple poignance of friends helping and supporting each other.