Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)

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"Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)"
Single by Bee Gees
from the album Main Course
B-side "Country Lanes"
Released January 1976[1][2]
Format 7"
Recorded 30 January, 17, 19 February 1975 in Criteria Studios
Genre R&B, soul, soft rock
Length 4:02
Label RSO
Songwriter(s) Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Producer(s) Arif Mardin
Bee Gees singles chronology
"Nights on Broadway"
"Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)"
"You Should Be Dancing"

"Nights on Broadway"
"Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)"
"You Should Be Dancing"

"Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)" is a song written and performed by the Bee Gees for their Main Course album in 1975.[3] It was the third single release from the album, peaking at number 12 on the United States Billboard Hot 100 chart[4] and number two in Canada. According to Maurice Gibb, producer Quincy Jones called "Fanny" one of his favorite R&B songs of all time.[5]

Inspiration and recording[edit]

It was written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb. In a 2001 Billboard magazine interview with the Bee Gees, Barry claimed that:

"We had a housecleaner named Fanny when we stayed at 461 Ocean Blvd. [in North Miami Beach] during the making of Main Course. We were sitting in the lounge at Criteria [Studios] writing the song with the lyric idea, 'Be tender with my love'. Maurice turned round and saw Fanny and said, 'Wouldn't it be a better song if it was a woman's name in there, and you're asking her to be tender?".[5]

Recording for "Fanny" took place on 30 January, the same day as "Jive Talkin'", "Songbird", and "All This Making Love". Additional recording took place in February when Barry Gibb began to use his falsetto as a lead vocal in addition to Robin using his falsetto as well sharing the lead on "Fanny" and on backing vocals. The result of this song repeats on the idea of contrasting slower section of "Nights on Broadway".[6] The complexity of falsetto and natural harmonies would become a Bee Gees trademark culminating with 1979's Spirits Having Flown. The key of this song in the end, was from keyboardist Blue Weaver. Weaver was influenced by Hall & Oates' 1973 LP Abandoned Luncheonette as he later admits, "The key change in 'Fanny (Be Tender)' was a complete rip-off from Abandoned Luncheonette from 'She's Gone' [also produced by Mardin], I only had it on tape, and I didn't know that Arif produced it".[7]

Critical reception[edit]

The group did not perform "Fanny" live because of the layers of harmonies used to create the studio recording. A promotional film was made for distribution, the place was in the same as "Jive Talkin'".

In an interview for Billboard magazine on 14 November 2001, Maurice Gibb claims: "We all love that one, but it's just a bitch to sing".[8] Bruce Eder of Allmusic describes "Fanny" along with "Baby As You Turn Away" had the same sense and exquisitely sung of romantic drama as "Lonely Days" and "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart".[9]

Chart performance[edit]


  1. ^ David N. Meyer. The Bee Gees: The Biography. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Brennan, Joseph. "Gibb Songs: 1976". Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Bruce Eder. "Main Course - Bee Gees | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  4. ^ Bruce Eder (2003-01-21). "Bee Gees | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-07. 
  5. ^ a b "Billboard: The Bee Gees 35 Years of Music". Billboard. March 24, 2001. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Brennan, Joseph. "Gibb Songs: 1975". Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  7. ^ Brennan, Joseph. The Bee Gees - Tales of the Brothers Gibb. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "Billboard: Artists & Music". Billboard: 14. November 14, 2001. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Main Course - Bee Gees". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (doc). Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  11. ^ "Bee Gees - Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)". Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Bee Gees - Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)". Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "Bee Gees - Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)". Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  15. ^ R. Serge Denisoff, William D. Romanowski. Risky Business: Rock in Film. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  16. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 26. 
  17. ^ "Cashbox Top 100". Cashbox Archives. March 6, 1976. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  18. ^ a b "Songs Written by the Gibb Family on the International Charts - Part 2" (PDF). Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  19. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 13, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 Charts". Billboard. December 25, 1976. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  21. ^ "Cashbox Top 100". Cashbox Archives. April 17, 1976. Retrieved 6 February 2015.