Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Marty, Ricky and Kim Wilde performed this song at the Action for AIDS concert at Wembley Stadium in London, April 1987. A video recording of this song was released on a video called ‘Stand by me’.

In 2007, Marty Wilde released a career-spanning compilation album to celebrate his 50 years in the music business. The cd, Born to Rock ‘n’ Roll, featured a new recording of Kim and himself singing ‘Sorry Seems to Be he Hardest Word’, which was released as a promotional CD-single only.

Kim about ‘Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word’

It was nice to be able to sing with [Marty] at last. I know if I’d done it earlier in my career I’d have been flogged mercilessly, even more so than I have been. I’m not saying I want to be taken seriously, I don’t want that at all, but I do love being in music and I’d like people to believe that. Whatever you lot think about me, I’m still around.


What have I got to do to make you love me
What have I got to do to make you care
What do I do when lightning strikes me
And I wake to find that you’re not there

What do I do to make you want me
What have I got to do to be heard
What do I say when it’s all over
And sorry seems to be the hardest word

It’s sad, so sad
It’s a sad, sad situation
And it’s getting more and more absurd
It’s sad, so sad
Why can’t we talk it over
Oh it seems to me
That sorry seems to be the hardest word

What do I do to make you love me
What have I got to do to be heard
What do I do when lightning strikes me
What have I got to do
What have I got to do
When sorry seems to be the hardest word

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word (Marty & Kim Wilde)

Release date: 5 March 2007 Track listing Formats CD-single format United Kingdom: Universal (no catalogue number)…


4 April 2007

Kim and Marty perform ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’ together in the studio. Later on in the programme, they are interviewed together on the occasion of the release of Marty’s ‘greatest hits’ album. They reflect on Marty’s 50 year career, but also talk about ‘Kids in America’, a big moment in Marty’s and Kim’s career.

BBC Breakfast

1 March 2007

Interview with Marty and Kim Wilde on the occasion of the release of a new compilation cd by Marty. The cd contains a duet of the two called ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’, and they are asked how the duet came about.

(A music video for ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’ is shown)

Have you ever sung together before?
Kim: We have on stage, haven’t we, a few times?
Marty: Once for an AIDS concert in the Eighties, and we sang that song. So we thought it would be a nice thing to do.

But never recorded together?
Kim & Marty: No.
Kim: And the strange thing of course is my dad’s fifty years in rock and roll, and of course I realised it’s my 25th year. Oh dear (laughs). So the timing is perfect. And then of course it’s Elton John’s 60th birthday soon, which is also a very nice thing.

And you said it’s the first time you’ve seen that?
Marty: I’ve not seen that before, no.

What did you think then?
Marty: Oh I don’t know. I just look at myself now and I think ‘ooh wow’. (Laughs)

So we’ve got that on the greatest hits album. What else is there? Surely some of the old favourites, the ones the fans will know and love.
Marty: Yeah, there are. There’s ‘Donna’ and ‘Teenager in love’ and ‘Bad boy’ and ‘Jezebel’ and all the usual ones, and also there’s another song on there, a recording with my other daughter, Roxanne, and obviously with Kim as well. So it’s quite a comprehensive. And the great thing about it was I was able to pick out those tracks over fifty years. So if it doesn’t sound good it would really reflect on me, so I was really pleased. I’m really pleased with the order, with the way it’s been done.

And why that song in particular?
Kim: Well, we did that song back in the middle of the Eighties when the first AIDS benefit concert was. And Elton John and George Michael and a lot of artists were there. And I wanted my dad to be there because I didn’t feel it was just a problem that young people needed to address and it was very much a young person’s pop concert. And I felt it was important to have someone, you know an elder statesman standing behind. And so that was great. And then of course we were big Elton John fans.

Can you just tell us a bit: what was it like growing up with Marty being such a superstar when you were a little kid. It could have gone two way: you could have turned completely against the music business but ultimately you became a star in your own right.
Kim: Well, you know, I was seduced by music from an early age, my dad had an amazing record collection. He is first and foremost a music man, and music was at the heart of our home. We were exposed to everything from Tchaikowsky to Elvis Presley and amazing things in between from a very young age. And I knew very early on that I wanted to be a popstar and this was my dream. When it happened I just couldn’t believe it.

Marty, having been in the business and knowing the business, all sides of it, what did you think when your young daughter said that she wanted to join?
Marty: I was a bit concerned because I thought I didn’t want her to have a really hard career. If you’re gonna have a career in this business… I don’t want her to come in and then go out… You know, I wanted her to have a career that could last, that could be sustainable. And thankfully it worked out that way. I think it’s sad when young girls come in the industry or a young fella, you know, and they don’t last. I’m in my fiftieth year and it’s been fantastic. And I would sooner have fifty years and a lot less than come in and have three years, earn astounding money and not really be wanted. So my daughter and I have been very fortunate.

And he kept an eye on you, didn’t he? You were actually managed by your dad, was your brother in the band as well?
Well yeah, Ricky and Marty wrote all my early hits, including Kids in America, View from a bridge and Cambodia and all those songs. So it was fantastic. While they were at home writing all these amazing songs for me, I was out promoting around the world.

Action for AIDS concert

1 April 1987
Super Channel (UK)

Kim and Marty sing ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’, accompanied by Ricky on piano. A short interview with Kim is edited in before the performance and near the end of it.