How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)
|"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)"|
|Single by Marvin Gaye|
|from the album How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You|
|Released||November 4, 1964|
|Recorded||July 24, 1964|
|Studio||Hitsville U.S.A. (Studio A)|
|Marvin Gaye singles chronology|
"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" is a song recorded by American soul singer Marvin Gaye from his fifth studio album, How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You (1965). It was written in 1964 by the Motown songwriting team of Holland–Dozier–Holland, and produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier. The song title was inspired by one of the actor and comedian Jackie Gleason's signature phrases, "How Sweet It Is!"
Marvin Gaye version
Produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier, the song was released as a single in September 1964. It peaked at number six on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in January 1965 and at number three on US Billboard's R&B Singles chart. Up to that point, it was Gaye's most successful single with record sales exceeding 900,000 copies. The song's personnel includes Marvin Gaye on lead vocals; The Andantes on background vocals; and The Funk Brothers on various instruments, including piano and percussion. Gaye also released a German-language version of the song entitled "Wie Schön Das Ist".
AllMusic critic Jason Ankeny described the song as a "radiant pop confection," noting that it was unusual for Gaye in being a "straightforward love song" that doesn't reflect Gaye's usual demons. Ankeny commented on the soulfulness of the song, and particularly noted the piano riff.
Gaye's recording has subsequently been released on many greatest hits albums.
James Taylor version
|"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)"|
|Single by James Taylor|
|from the album Gorilla|
|Producer(s)||Russ Titelman, Lenny Waronker|
|James Taylor singles chronology|
James Taylor released his version of "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)" as the lead single from his album Gorilla (1975). Taylor's 1975 single has been the most successful remake of the song to date, hitting number one on the Easy Listening chart and number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. In addition to James Taylor on lead vocals and guitar, other personnel include his then-wife Carly Simon on harmony vocals, David Sanborn on saxophone, Clarence McDonald on piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano and possibly ARP String Ensemble, Lee Sklar on bass guitar and both Jim Keltner and Russ Kunkel on drums with Kunkel doubling on tambourine. Author Ian Halperin believes that the song was included on Gorilla as a tribute to Simon, who was then his wife. It was produced by Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman. After his success with "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)," Taylor continued to record R&B hits applying his soft rock approach.
Rolling Stone critic Bud Scoppa described Taylor's version as "a relaxed rendition" and considered it to be Taylor's way of acknowledging Gaye as a source of inspiration for Taylor's romantic point of view at the time. Music critic Robert Christgau regarded Taylor's version as a "desecration of Marvin Gaye." Taylor biographer Timothy White described it as "music for the park on Sunday."
Taylor's version has been released on many live and compilation albums. These include the compilation albums Greatest Hits (1976), Classic Songs (1990), The Best of James Taylor (2003) and The Essential James Taylor (2013). Live versions have been included on Live and Live at the Beacon Theater.
- James Taylor - vocals, electric guitar
- Danny Kortchmar - electric rhythm guitar
- Jim Keltner - drums
- Russ Kunkel - drums, tambourine, tom-tom drum
- Clarence McDonald - piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano
- David Sanborn - saxophone
- Carly Simon - vocals
- Lee Sklar - bass guitar
In 1966, Junior Walker & the All Stars released the song as a single, which reached number 3 on the R&B Singles chart and No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. According to Jason Ankeny of AllMusic, this version makes up in grit what it lacks in Gaye's grace, increasing the "celebratory" feel of the song. Ankeny described the version as "a rollicking floor-shaker fueled by his smoldering saxophone." The drums are played by James Graves (1941-1967).
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