About The Song

“Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)” is a song recorded by Gladys Knight & the Pips. Released on December 26, 1972 on Motown’s Soul Records imprint as S 35098, it became one of their biggest hit singles to date, and was also the last single the group released prior to them leaving Motown for Buddah Records in February 1973.
Following the completion of the recording, Motown issued it for promotional use in December 1972, not too long afterwards. After negotiations with Motown broke down, the group was allowed to leave the label in January 1973; shortly thereafter, the group signed a contract with Buddah Records the following month in February 1973. By that point, the song was already climbing the charts on both the pop and R&B charts, on its way to give the group their biggest hit since “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” roughly six years before. Motown issued the group’s final contractual album, Neither One of Us, that March.

On March 17, 1973, the song reached number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart, staying there for four consecutive weeks. Due to the song’s strong crossover appeal, it eventually peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, with Vicki Lawrence’s “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” blocking it from number one. However, it went number one on the U.S. Record World and Cashbox charts. It also crossed over to the adult contemporary chart, peaking at number 15. Worldwide, it was also successful, peaking at number 9 in France, number 11 in Canada and number 31 in the UK.

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