"I'll Be There for You", performed by The Rembrandts is the theme song to the hit American sitcom Friends, which premiered in 1994. Although The Rembrandts write most of their own songs, this one was written specifically for the show by Michael Skloff and Allee Willis and was initially offered to They Might Be Giants and R.E.M.
After a Tennessee disc jockey looped the original short version into a full-length track and played it on the air, it became so popular that they had to record it. "Our record label said we had to finish the song and record it. There was no way to get out of it," lead singer Phil Sōlem said.
The song made it onto L.P., the album The Rembrandts released in 1995, at the last moment. The song was not released as a single at first, a then common practice by record companies who feared it would cannibalize album sales.
The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart for eight weeks. When the single was finally released, it reached number three in the UK and reached number seventeen on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 as the flipside to "This House is not a Home". It also reached #1 on the U.S. Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart.
Rarely heard on UK radio after its early popularity, the song was frequently played on UK pop radio in 2004 around the time of the series finale.
The song was also ranked at #15 on Blender magazine's list of the "50 Worst Songs Ever".
"I'll Be There for You" has been included on the following albums:
The music video of this song was also popular worldwide, featuring all the six main stars of the show where they gradually take the singing and dancing roles of the band. The video was included as a bonus feature on several of the show's Complete Season DVD Boxsets.