You Don't Have to Say You Love Me.
“You Don't Have to Say You Love Me” (originally a 1965 Italian song, '“Io che non vivo (senza te)”, by Pino Donaggio and Vito Pallavicini) is a 1966 hit recorded by English singer Dusty Springfield that proved to be her most successful single, reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart and number four on the Billboard Hot 100. The song subsequently charted in the UK via remakes by Elvis Presley (No. 9/1971), Guys 'n' Dolls (No. 5/1976) and Denise Welch (No. 23/1995). Presley's version, released in 1970, also reached No. 11 in the United States. “You Don't Have to Say You Love Me” was also a Top Ten hit in Ireland for Red Hurley (No. 5/1978), in Italy for Wall Street Crash (No. 6/1983), and - as “En koskaan” - in Finland for Kristina Hautala (No. 6/1966). Original Italian version.
“Io che non vivo (senza te)” (“I, who can't live (without you)”) was introduced at the 15th edition of the Sanremo Festival by Pino Donaggio — who had co-written the song with Vito Pallavicini — and his team partner Jody Miller. The song reached the final at Sanremo and, as recorded by Donaggio, reached No. 1 in Italy in March 1965. “Io che non vivo (senza te)” was prominently featured on the soundtrack of the Luchino Visconti film Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa (aka Sandra), starring Claudia Cardinale, which was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival that September.
Dusty Springfield version.
Dusty Springfield, who participated at the 1965 Sanremo Festival, was in the audience when Donaggio and Miller performed “Io che non vivo (senza te)” and, although she did not know the meaning of the lyrics, the song moved Springfield to tears. She obtained an acetate recording of Donaggio's song, but allowed a year to go by before actively pursuing the idea of recording an English version.
On 9 March 1966, Springfield had an instrumental track of Donaggio's composition recorded at Philips Studio Marble Arch. The session personnel included guitarist Big Jim Sullivan and drummer Bobby Graham. Springfield still lacked an English lyric to record, but Springfield's friend Vicki Wickham, the producer of Ready Steady Go!, wrote the required English lyric with her own friend Simon Napier-Bell, manager of the Yardbirds. Neither Wickham nor Napier-Bell had any discernible experience as songwriters. According to Napier-Bell, he and Wickham were dining out when she mentioned to him that Springfield hoped to get an English lyric for Donaggio's song, and the two light-heartedly took up the challenge of writing the lyric themselves: “We went back to [Wickham]'s flat and started working on it. We wanted to go to a trendy disco so we had about an hour to write it. We wrote the chorus and then we wrote the verse in a taxi to wherever we were going.”
Neither Wickham or Napier-Bell understood the original Italian lyrics. According to Wickham they attempted to write their own lyric for an anti-love song to be called “I Don't Love You”, but when that original idea proved unproductive, it was initially adjusted to “You Don't Love Me”, then to “You Don't Have to Love Me”, and finalised as “You Don't Have to Say You Love Me”, to fit the song's melody. Napier-Bell later gave the same title to his first book, an autobiographical account of the British music scene of the 1960s.
Springfield recorded her vocal the next day. Unhappy with the acoustics in the recording booth she eventually moved into a stairwell to record. She was only satisfied with her vocal after she had recorded 47 takes.
Released on 25 March 1966 in the UK, the single release of Springfield's recording became a huge hit and remains one of the songs most identified with her. When she died from breast cancer in March 1999, the song was featured on Now 42 as a tribute.
The song hit No.1 in the UK and No.4 in the US. It proved so popular in the US that Springfield's 1965 album Ev'rything's Coming Up Dusty was released there with a slightly different track listing, and titled after the hit single (the B side of the US single, “Little by Little” was issued in the UK as a separate A side and reached No.17 there). In 2004, the song made the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time at No.491.
Elvis Presley version.
“You Don't Have to Say You Love Me” was recorded by Elvis Presley for his 1970 album release That's the Way It Is, from which it was issued as the second single 6 October 1970. The track had been recorded in the evening of 6 June 1970 in Studio B of RCA Studios (Nashville), being the third of seven songs recorded that night. The session producer, Felton Jarvis, felt that the second take was good enough to serve as the master track but Presley insisted on a third and final take. Reaching #11 on the Hot 100 in Billboard magazine, “You Don't Have to Say You Love Me” afforded Presley a #1 hit on the Billboard Easy Listening chart, also reaching #56 on the Billboard C&W chart. It became a gold record. A hit for Presley in both Australia (#7) and Canada (#6), “You Don't Have to Say You Love Me” was twice a hit for Presley in the British Isles, with its original release reaching #9 in the UK and #17 in Ireland, in which territories the track's 2007 re-release charted with respective peaks of #16 and #29.