The song was originally titled ‘Herb’s Tune’. It was written for Herb Alpert, trumpeter and co-head of Harrison’s record label A&M Records.
‘Learning How To Love You’ was for Herb Alpert. He was in the studio in Los Angeles doing a new album and asked me if I’d write him a song. He looks good, and although he doesn’t often sing his voice is very nice. For my money, the best thing that he ever did was the Burt Bacharach song ‘This Guy’s In Love’, so I thought I’d try and write a vocal, something with that sort of mood, but I ended up recording it myself.
I Me Mine
Harrison’s future wife Olivia Arias wrote down the lyrics for ‘Learning How To Love You, which were reproduced in the 2002 edition of I Me Mine.
I see my handwriting on the airmail envelope of ‘Learning How To Love You’. I wrote the first line of lyrics down for him as he was working out the melody. Then he took the pen from my hand and wrote words that would later guide hm back to the thoughts he wanted to express.
I Me Mine, 2002 edition
It was moderately successful, reaching number 25 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and 28 on the Cash Box chart, yet failed to chart in the UK.
‘Learning How To Love You’ was also the b-side of the ‘Crackerbox Palace’ single, released in the US on 24 January 1977. The single peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100, and 17 on the Cash Box Top 100.
When it was made available as a digital download on the iTunes Store in October 2007, Thirty Three & ⅓ had an exclusive extra bonus track, ‘Learning How To Love You (Early Mix)’.