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|Single by The Young Rascals|
|from the album The Young Rascals|
|Released||February 21, 1966|
|Recorded||February 1, 1966|
|Genre||Rhythm and blues
|Producer(s)||The Rascals with Arif Mardin, Tom Dowd|
|The Young Rascals singles chronology|
The song was first recorded in early 1965 by Canton, Ohio, R&B singer Limmie Snell under the name "Lemme B. Good". About a month later the song was redone—with considerably rewritten lyrics—by R&B/novelty artists The Olympics, but this version was only moderately successful at best, reaching number 81 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.
The Young Rascals' version
The tale is told that Rascal Felix Cavaliere heard it on a New York City radio station and the group added it to their concert repertoire. Co-producer Tom Dowd captured this live feel on the recording, even though the group did not think the performance held together well.
Being a mixture of garage rock and white soul, the Rascals' "Good Lovin'" jumped out of radios with a "one - two - three" count-in, high-energy instrumentation, and insistent call-and-response vocals from Cavaliere and the band:
- I was feelin' ... so-oo bad,
- I asked my family doctor just what I had.
- I said, "Doctor, [Doc-turrr ...]
- "Mister M.D., [Doc-turrr ...]
- "Now can you tell me,
- What's ailin' me??" [Doc-turrr ...]
These were followed by an organ break from Cavaliere, and a full stop false ending that was suddenly popular at the time (cf. "Rain" and "Monday, Monday") — all in two and a half minutes. "Good Lovin'" rose to the top of the Billboard Pop Singles chart in the spring of 1966 and represented The Young Rascals' first real hit. It was also the first of three #1 hits for the group.
"Good Lovin'" is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, and was ranked number 325 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. Writer Dave Marsh placed it at number 108 in his 1989 book The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made, saying it is "the greatest example ever of a remake surpassing the quality of an original without changing a thing about the arrangement," and that "'Good Lovin' all by itself is enough to dispel the idiotic notion that rock and roll is nothing more than white boys stealing from blacks."
The song has since been performed and recorded by a number of artists, including Tommy James and the Shondells (1966), Herbie Mann (1966), The Kingsmen (1966), and Bobby McFerrin (several versions). "Good Lovin'" was the title song of a 2008 album by Australian singer David Campbell. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band used it, with a prolonged instrumental introduction, as a 'signs collection song' during their 2009 Working On A Dream Tour, and was so featured on the London Calling: Live in Hyde Park concert DVD.
The most-known later version was by the Grateful Dead, who made it a workhorse of their concert rotation, appearing almost every year from 1969 on. It was sung in their early years during the 1960s by Ron "Pigpen" McKernan and later by Bob Weir. The Weir rendition was recorded for the group's 1978 Shakedown Street album and came in for a good amount of criticism: Rolling Stone said it "feature[d] aimless ensemble work and vocals that Bob Weir should never have attempted."
There is also a salsa music version recorded in 1986 by "Miguel Oscar y La Fantasía".
Film and television appearances
The Rascals' "Good Lovin'" was used in the film The Big Chill. The false ending was used for dramatic effect, in which the character Chloe says about the character who committed suicide, while the song is playing in the background, "Alex and I made love the night before he died, it was fantastic." Everyone in the car with her is surprised by the comment, which ends at the exact moment of the pause in the song.
And it was used, in the 1990 film Joe Versus the Volcano, just as Joe hooks a huge shark.
It was also featured in the 1986 third season "Atomic Shakespeare"/Taming of the Shrew episode of Moonlighting, with Bruce Willis singing the Cavaliere vocal, as well as the 1987 first season Wiseguy episode "No One Gets Out of Here Alive".
The song was also used as the theme for the 1989 television series, Doctor Doctor.
Also, the song plays during a mind-movie flashback (titled “Viet Cong Lookout”) of an experience at a bar during the Vietnam War that the character Johnny Marinville (Tom Skerritt) has in Stephen King’s film Desperation.
This song was featured in the film More American Graffiti.
"(You're My) Soul and Inspiration" by The Righteous Brothers
|Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
April 30, 1966
"Monday, Monday" by The Mamas & the Papas