You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

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"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
Single by The Righteous Brothers
from the album You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
B-side "There's a Woman"
Released December 1964
Recorded August–November 1964 at Gold Star Studios Hollywood
Genre Pop, R&B, blue-eyed soul
Length 3:45
Label Philles
Writer(s) Phil Spector, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil
Producer(s) Phil Spector[1]
The Righteous Brothers singles chronology
"My Babe"
(1963)
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin '​"
(1964)
"Bring Your Love to Me"
(1965)

"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" is a 1964 song by The Righteous Brothers that became a number-one hit single in the United States and the United Kingdom the following year.

In 1999, the performing-rights organization Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) ranked the song as having had more radio and television play in the United States than any other song during the 20th century.[2] Additionally, the song was chosen as one of the Songs of the Century by RIAA and ranked #34 on the list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone.

Composition and recording[edit]

Written by Barry Mann, Phil Spector and Cynthia Weil, the song is one of the foremost examples of producer Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" technique. Recorded in Studio A of the famed Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, it features 'The Wrecking Crew' instrumentally and lead vocals by Bill Medley. Bobby Hatfield reportedly expressed his annoyance to Spector upon learning that he would have to wait until the chorus before joining Medley’s vocals. When Hatfield asked Spector just what he was supposed to do during Medley’s solo, Spector replied: “You can go straight to the fucking bank.”[3] The strings were arranged by legendary arranger Gene Page. Among the background singers in the song's crescendo is a young Cher. The form of the song is the tried and true pop song form of verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus or ABABCB form.[4]

Cynthia Weil recalled that, "After Phil, Barry and I finished [writing it], we took it over to the Righteous Brothers. Bill Medley, who has the low voice, seemed to like the song."[5] Even with his interest in the song, however, Medley had his doubts. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, he recalled, "We had no idea if it would be a hit. It was too slow, too long, and right in the middle of The Beatles and the British Invasion." Indeed, the song ran for nearly four minutes when released. This was much too long by contemporary AM standards, but Spector refused to cut it shorter. On the label where the time is indicated, he had "3:05" printed, instead of the track's actual running time of 3:45. He also added a false ending which made the recording more dramatic, and would also trick radio deejays into thinking it was a shorter song. Upon being played the finished record over the phone, co-writer Barry Mann reacted to Medley’s deep baritone by telling Spector, “Phil, you have it on the wrong speed!”[5]

Commercial performance[edit]

To Spector's surprise,[1] "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" topped the Billboard Hot 100 on February 6, 1965 and remained at #1 for the week of February 13. In addition the song crossed over to the R&B charts peaking at number two.[6] Billboard ranked the record as the number 5 song of 1965.[7]

On the UK Top 40 chart, it debuted at #35 on January 16, 1965:[citation needed] On February 20, it was placed at at #1 and would remain there until February 27.[citation needed] It would be the only single to ever enter the UK Top 10 three times, having successful re-releases in 1969 (#10) and 1990 (#3), the last release being to follow-up the re-release of "Unchained Melody", which had hit #1 due to being featured in the film Ghost. "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" also reached #42 after a 1977 re-release and in 1988 reached #87.[citation needed]

In Ireland, it charted twice, first in February 1965, when it peaked at #2, and second in December 1990, following its reissue, when it peaked at #2 again.[citation needed]

In the Netherlands "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" reached #8 in March 1965 with three versions ranked in tandem: the versions by the Righteous Brothers and Cilla Black plus a local cover by Trea Dobbs (NL).

In popular culture[edit]

Nottingham Forest FC fans frequently sing this to taunt away fans after Nottingham Forest score.[citation needed] The song has become very popular amongst Irish people.[citation needed]

The song was featured in the movie Top Gun, sung by Maverick (played by Tom Cruise) to Charlie (portrayed by Kelly McGillis) in a bar.[citation needed]

In Cheers, the character Rebecca's Achilles heel was the song "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers[citation needed]

Cilla Black version[edit]

"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
Single by Cilla Black
B-side "Is It Love"
Genre Pop, R&B, blue-eyed soul
Length 3:09
Label Parlophone
Writer(s) Phil Spector, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil
Producer(s) George Martin
Cilla Black singles chronology
"It's for You"
(1964)
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
(1965)
"I've Been Wrong Before"
(1965)

Cilla Black had become a recording star by covering Dionne Warwick's newly released American hit "Anyone Who Had a Heart" for the UK market with a resultant #1 in February 1964; Black's producer George Martin had repeated the strategy that had given Black her first #1 hit by having the songstress cover the Righteous Brothers new American release "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling". (Black's version had an abbreviated bridge which she explained saying: "I don't want people to get bored";[8] the abridgment also removed the necessity of Black's attempting to match the Righteous Brothers' climactic vocal trade-off.)

Black would later remake "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" for her 1985 Surprisingly Cilla album.

Weekly charts

On the same week in January as the Righteous Brothers' version, Black rivaled it with a debut at #28 in the UK. The 24 January chart saw Black remain in ascendancy at #12 while the Righteous Brothers at #20 but while the 6 February chart saw Black jump to #2 the Righteous Brothers made a larger jump to #3 powered by a full-page ad Andrew Oldham had run in Melody Maker:

"This advert is not for commercial gain, it is taken as something that must be said about the great new PHIL SPECTOR Record, THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS singing "YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVIN' FEELING". Already in the American Top Ten, this is Spector's greatest production, the last word in Tomorrow's sound Today, exposing the overall mediocrity of the Music Industry.

Signed,
Andrew Oldham"[9]

Black's version began its descent dropping to #5 on February 20. Although Black's version of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" would prove to be her highest charting UK single apart from her two #1's: "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "You're My World", and also reached #2 in Australia - where the Righteous Brothers' version was also a hit at #5 - the eclipse of Black's version by the original did usher in a downtime in Black's recording career: after the followup "I've Been Wrong Before" fell short of the Top Ten at #17 in the spring of 1965 Black spent the remainder of the year concentrating on performing and resumed recording only at the start of 1966 when "Love's Just a Broken Heart" (#5) began the most successful year of her recording career.[citation needed]

Dionne Warwick version[edit]

"You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling"
Single by Dionne Warwick
from the album Soulful
B-side "Window Wishing"
Genre Pop, R&B
Length 3:02
Label Scepter Records
Writer(s) Phil Spector, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil
Producer(s) Chips Moman, Dionne Warwick
Dionne Warwick singles chronology
"Odds and Ends"
(1969)
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling'"
(1969)
"I'll Never Fall in Love Again"
(1970)

"You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" was the only single released off Soulful, a 1969 release aimed to showcase Dionne Warwick as more of an R&B singer than was evidenced by her work with Burt Bacharach. Co-produced by Warwick and Chips Moman and recorded at American Sound Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, Soulful was one of Warwick's most successful albums with a #11 peak and the single "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. In Australia the Go-Set Top 40 chart ranked Warwick's version of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" with a #34 peak in January 1970.[1] (Warwick's version spells the last word of the title out fully as "feeling" rather than the usual "feelin'".)

Hall & Oates version[edit]

"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
Single by Hall & Oates
from the album Voices
B-side "Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear The Voices)"
Released September 27, 1980
Format 7"
Recorded 1979
Genre Blue-eyed soul, soft rock
Length 4:10
Label RCA
Producer(s) Daryl Hall & John Oates
Hall & Oates singles chronology
"How Does It Feel to Be Back"
(1980)
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
(1980)
"Kiss on My List"
(1981)

The 1980 Hall & Oates Voices album featured a remake of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" with a spare arrangement contrasting with the lavish Righteous Brothers version; the second non-original song Hall & Oates had ever recorded, the track was issued as the album's second single after the original "How Does It Feel to Be Back" peaked at a disappointing #30. The November peak of #12 made "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" the first Hall & Oates single to ascend higher than #20 since the #1 hit "Rich Girl" in the spring of 1977. The Hall & Oates comeback which began with "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" was strengthened by the follow-up single "Kiss on My List" which inaugurated the duo's 80s superstardom attaining a #1 chart position and refocusing attention on Hall & Oates' original material.

Miscellaneous versions[edit]

Charting versions[edit]

Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway's self-titled 1972 album featured a version of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" which was released as the second single after the Top 30 version of "You've Got a Friend". The Flack/Hathaway take on "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" reached #30 R&B with a Billboard Hot 100 peak of #71 (Cash Box Top 100 Singles peak was #57;Record World 100 Pop Chart rank peak was #53). [2][3][dead link]

In 1979 Long John Baldry remade the song as "You've Lost That Loving Feeling'" on Baldry's Out, the Jimmy Horowitz-produced disc which was Baldry's first recording in his newly adopted homeland of Canada. This version is performed as a duet with Kathi McDonald, who in singing the latter half of the first and second verse inverts the usual order. Released as a single, the mild Canadian chart success (#45) of Baldry's "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" spilled over into the US charts at #89. However the track did reach #2 in Australia in 1980 and Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers has called the Baldry/McDonald version the best remake of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'". Baldry had first recorded the song - as "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" - for his 1966 album Looking at Long John. The Baldry/McDonald duet version of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" also reached #37 in New Zealand.

In 1986 a remake of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" by Grant & Forsyth (formerly of Guys 'n' Dolls) reached #48 in the Netherlands, where the song was a #57 chart item in 2002 for André Hazes & Johnny Logan.

Günther Neefs reached #31 on the Belgian charts (Flemish region) with his 1996 recording "You've Lost That Loving Feeling".

"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" charted C&W at #41 for Barbara Fairchild in 1975 while in 1988 Carroll Baker took the song to #8 on the C&W chart in Canada.

Notable versions[edit]

Barry Mann has twice recorded his composition "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", the first time on his 1971 album Lay It All Out and on Soul and Inspiration a 2000 Atlantic release comprising Mann's own renditions of his classic songs.

In 1969, Bill Medley produced a version of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" for the Blossoms who'd provided background vocals on the Righteous Brothers' hit: the Blossoms' track was released as single Bell 780. Medley himself remade "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" for his 1971 A Song For You album.

Glen Campbell who was the rhythm guitarist along with 'The Wrecking Crew' members, on the Righteous Brothers' version of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" cut his own version of the song; it first appeared on the 1999 album My Hits and Love Songs.

The concert movie The Big T.N.T. Show filmed at the Moulin Rouge in Los Angeles 29 November 1965 features Joan Baez singing "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" to the piano accompaniment of Phil Spector.

Table[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 21 - Forty Miles of Bad Road: Some of the best from rock 'n' roll's dark ages. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu. 
  2. ^ "News | BMI Announces Top 100 Songs of the Century". BMI.com. 1999-12-13. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  3. ^ Hinckley, David (1991). Notes from Phil Spector: Back to Mono (1958-1969) boxed-set booklet. see Recording Details
  4. ^ Friedman, Sidney (2007). "In the Middle of the Music" lecture notes, though the song is its own reference for the form. Listen and it's readily apparent.
  5. ^ a b Hinckley, David (1991). Notes from Phil Spector: Back to Mono (1958-1969) boxed-set booklet.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 492. 
  7. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1965
  8. ^ Williams, Richard (2003). Phil Spector: out of his head. London: Omnibus Press. p. 90. ISBN 0-7119-9864-7. 
  9. ^ Ribowsky, Mark (2000). He's A Rebel: Phil Spector, Rock and Roll's Legendary Producer, pg. 186-187.
Preceded by
"Downtown" by Petula Clark
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (The Righteous Brothers version)
February 6, 1965 (two Weeks)
Succeeded by
"This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys
Preceded by
"Go Now" by The Moody Blues
UK number-one single (The Righteous Brothers version)
February 4, 1965 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Tired of Waiting for You" by The Kinks