The Meaning Behind “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” by Andy Gibb and Why the Album It’s on Wasn’t Released for Almost a Year

Andy Gibb’s recording career was all-too brief, but still enormously successful. How many other new artists knock out three No. 1 songs in a row at the beginning of their career like he was able to do? The first of those chart-toppers, “I Just Want to Be Your Everything,” announced another superstar Gibb brother to the world upon its release in 1977.

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What was the song about? How did the debut album which included the song come to life? And what was brother Barry’s contribution to the song? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about “I Just Want to Be Your Everything.”

It Runs in the Family

Andy Gibb was born more than 11 years after his older brother Barry and more than nine after the twins Maurice and Robin. As such, he was still just a boy while his brothers formed the Bee Gees and became superstars. Andy expressed an early interest in music as well, and soon set about forging his own career, with his brothers giving advice and guidance.

After a few false starts, Andy recorded his debut album in October 1976 in Miami. While many people write his early success off to the involvement of his brothers, it should be noted that Andy wrote the vast majority of that record, entitled Flowing Rivers. Barry did take part in the writing of two big hits, however: “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” and “(Love Is) Thicker than Water.”

Flowing Rivers was held from release for about a year after its completion. The idea behind the delay was so that there wouldn’t be competition with Bee Gees records. When it did arrive in September 1977, the timing couldn’t have been better, as the Saturday Night Fever phenomenon meant there was a huge demand for all things Gibb.

“Everything” in a Hurry

As mentioned, Andy Gibb did most of the writing for the debut album. But a session writing with Barry in Bermuda came in very handy in creating two silky-smooth, radio-friendly singles. “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” was meant to be a co-write. But, as Andy explained in an interview that accompanied the box set Tales from the Brothers Gibb, his older brother was just too quick on the draw:

“Me and Barry locked ourselves in a bedroom and Barry just started writing. When Barry writes, it is very hard to collaborate with him, because he is so quick. And before I knew it he was starting to do the chorus of [‘I Just Want to Be Your Everything’], and I thought, ‘Wow what a hook!’ He’s an expert at his craft. Within about 20 minutes, he’d written a No. 1 record; and then we went right into another one, [‘(Love Is) Thicker than Water.’]

While making the album, Andy came across none other than the Eagles, who were in the midst of putting the finishing touches on Hotel California at the same recording studio. That’s how Eagles’ guitarist Joe Walsh ended up providing a few subtle but soulful licks on the finished version of “I Just Want to Be Your Everything.”

What is “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” About?

“I Just Want to Be Your Everything” features Andy Gibb vocals that bear more than a passing resemblance to brother Barry, especially when he soars into his falsetto. But there’s also a unique, relaxed vibe he projects that serves this song well. It lends couplets like If you give a little more than you’re asking for / Your love will turn the key a kind of tossed-off wisdom.

The song features a narrator who’s feeling lonely without his love, reaching out to her to try and convince her to let him completely into her heart. He suggests they’ve had a protracted building-up period: You and me been finding each other for so long. But his is a deep devotion, something that he hopes will be reciprocated: Open up the heaven of your heart and let me be / The things you are to me / And not some puppet on a string.

I’ll do anything / To be your everything, Andy Gibb sings to close out his plea. It’s a nifty bit of wordplay by brother Barry, sold to the hilt by that velvety voice. “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” started off Andy Gibb’s career with a bullet, and, before long, he was indeed everything to his legions of adoring fans.

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