Peter & Gordon

A World Without Love

Song Review by

"A World Without Love," by far Peter & Gordon's biggest hit, was the first British Invasion single to top the charts other than releases by the Beatles in 1964. The secret to its success was no big mystery, even at the time, for "A World Without Love" was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the same songwriting team responsible for all the early Beatles classics. Actually, the song was written by McCartney (Lennon and McCartney sometimes worked entirely separately even in the early Beatles days), making its way to Peter & Gordon as Peter Asher was the brother of McCartney's girlfriend of the time, Jane Asher. (The Beatles never did record "A World Without Love.") Lucky Beatles connections aside, the record was a big hit primarily because it was a very good song. It was perhaps a little sappier than what the Beatles wanted to sing on their own records, but it boasted another great haunting Paul McCartney melody and fine Everly Brothers-meet-British Invasion harmonies by Peter Asher and Gordon Waller. There were also some fine responsive folky guitar licks inserted throughout the track and a combo organ-guitar solo where most British Invasion acts would have stuck with just a guitar. Like many a Beatles song, the cheerier verses gave way to somewhat moodier, more morose bridges before skillfully steering right back to the main melody of the song at the exact point it returned to the verse. And, like many an early Beatles song, the despondency of the lyrics was almost belied by the immediately memorable melody and happy character of the vocals. At the very end of the song, for the last repetitions of the title, an additional pleasing chord is tagged on that doesn't appear elsewhere, another characteristically ingenious Lennon-McCartney device. Almost folk-rockish in its tone and arrangement, "A World Without Love" was later scorned by John Lennon for its opening line about asking to be locked away in particular. But there's no doubt that it's a quality, memorable early British Invasion classic, probably the best Lennon-McCartney song never recorded by the Beatles.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1964 EMI-Capitol Special Markets 2:38
Peter and Gordon 1964 2:41
Greatest Hits [CEMA Special Markets] 1966 EMI-Capitol Special Markets / CEMA Special Markets 2:40
The Best of Peter & Gordon [Capitol] 1968 Capitol
Classic Rock: 1964 A Go Go 1987
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:42
The British Invasion: History of British Rock, Vol. 1 1988
Various Artists
Rhino
British Invasion: The History of British Rock 1988
Various Artists
Rhino
The Best of Peter & Gordon [Rhino] 1991 Rhino 2:42
AM Gold: 1964 1991
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:41
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Rhino
All Time Greatest Hits of Peter & Gordon 1992 Cema
The Best of British Rock [EMI-Capitol Special Markets] 1992
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets
British Sixties 1993
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels
Classic Rock: 1964 1993
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:42
British Rock [Original Sound] 1995
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:39
EP Collection 1995 See For Miles Records 2:41
Billboard Top Pop Hits: 1964 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 2:42
Original Hits 1995 Disky 2:39
1964: 20 Original Chart Hits 1997
Various Artists
A Time To Remember 2:46
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
The Ultimate Jukebox Hits of the '60s, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets / CEMA Special Markets 2:41
A World Without Love/I Don't Want to See You Again 1998 Collectables 2:41
The Best Sixties Album in the World...Ever! [1998] 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:38
Greatest Hits of the 60s, Vol. 1 [Platinum Disc #1] 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:40
Rock -N- Roll's Greatest Hits of All Time Early 60s, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:38
Rock -N- Roll's Greatest Hits of All Time, Vol. 7 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:38
The 60's, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:40
40 Hits: 1960-1964 1999
Various Artists
Millennium Hits (Netherlands) 2:40
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Disky
Number One Hits: 1960-1964 2000
Various Artists
GNP / Crescendo 2:41
Spirit of the 60's: Folk Rock, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:40
No Image 2000
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 2:40
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Disky 2:40
American Bandstand 2001
Various Artists
Band Stand 2:40
One Hit Wonders: Hard Two Get Hits [Box Set] 2001
Various Artists
One Hit 2:40
No Image 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Complete Collection 2001
Various Artists
Disky 2:40
A Year in Your Life: 1964, Vol. 2 2001
Various Artists
Definitive 2:41
American Bandstand: CD 2 2001
Various Artists
Disky 2:40
No Image 2001
Various Artists
CSC / EMI / Capitol 2:40
The Ultimate Peter & Gordon 2001 Collectors' Choice Music 2:39
Ultimate Collection 2002 EMI Music Distribution 2:41
Jukebox Hits of the '60s [Collectalbes] 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 2:41
40 Years of Jukebox Hits: The 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 2:41
Casey Kasem Presents: America's Top Ten - The 60's Folk Years 2002
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 2:41
Up the Junction: 60 Original 1960's British Classics 2002
Various Artists
Disky 2:41
No Image 2002
Various Artists
Realm Records 2:40
Up the Junction [CD1] 2002
Various Artists
Disky 2:41
Ultimate British Invasion Collection 2003
Various Artists
Magada International / WEA International 2:39
Greatest Hits [Collectables] 2003 Collectables 2:40
The Definitive Collection: Knights in Rusty Armour 2003 Collectables 2:41
The British Are Coming 2003
Various Artists
Sanctuary 0:00
British Are Coming, Vol. 3 2003
Various Artists
Sanctuary 2:40
Rock On 1964 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:41
British Invasion: 1963-1967 2004
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:40
British Invasion: The Essential Album 2004
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 2:39
The Best of Peter & Gordon [EMI] [2004] 2004 EMI Music Distribution / EMI 2:40
Everyone's a Winner: 60 Original No. 1's 2004
Various Artists
Empire Triples 2:41
Great Men of Rock and Roll 2004
Various Artists
Collectables 2:40
Everyone's A Winner: 20 Original No. 1's [CD1] 2004
Various Artists
Disky 2:41
Great Men of Rock & Roll: The 60s 2005
Various Artists
Collectables 2:40
The Best of British Rock [Fuel 2000] 2005
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 2:39
Original 60's Number 1's Album 2006
Various Artists
EMI 2:40
Greatest Hits of the 60's 2006
Various Artists
Disky 2:40
Gold: British Invasion 2006
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:40
101 60's Hits [EMI] 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:39
Where Were You: 1964 2007
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 2:40
Top of the Pops 1964 2007
Various Artists
EMI 2:40
This Is 1964 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 2:40
Legendary Decades 2008
Various Artists
Disky 2:40
Good Vibrations [EMI] 2011
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:39
100 Hits: Classic 60s 2011
Various Artists
100 Hits / EMI 2:40
Massive Hits! Sixties 2011
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Gold 2:40
'60s Music Revolution 2012
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:40
Peter & Gordon/In Touch With/Hurtin N Lovin 2012 Beat Goes On 2:41
Romancing the '60s [Time] 2013
Various Artists
StarVista / Time / Life Music 2:41
No Image
Various Artists
EMI 2:40
Classic '60s Pop
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 2:08
No Image
Various Artists
EMI 2:40
No Image
Various Artists
Sire 2:37
Lost and Found: 1962-1969
Various Artists
EMI
Massive Hits!: Number 1s
Various Artists
EMI 2:40
No Image
Various Artists
EMI 2:40
Romancing the '60s: This Magic Moment
Various Artists
StarVista 2:41
Sounds of the Sixties: Number Ones
Various Artists
EMI Gold / EMI Music Distribution 2:41
Tio I Topp 1963-64, Vol. 2
Various Artists
EMI