I've Been Loving You Too Long

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"I've Been Loving You Too Long"
Song by Otis Redding from the album Otis Blue
Released April 19, 1965
Format 7" single
Recorded Miami: 1965
Genre Soul
Length 2:49 (mono version, April 1965)
3:09 (stereo version, July 1965)
Label Volt/Atco
Writer Otis Redding
Jerry Butler
Producer Otis Redding
Jerry Butler
Otis Blue track listing
  1. "Ole Man Trouble"
  2. "Respect"
  3. "A Change Is Gonna Come"
  4. "Down in the Valley"
  5. "I've Been Loving You Too Long"
  6. "Shake"
  7. "My Girl"
  8. "Wonderful World"
  9. "Rock Me Baby"
  10. "Satisfaction"
  11. "You Don't Miss Your Water"

"I've Been Loving You Too Long" (sometimes issued as "I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)") is a song written by Otis Redding and Jerry Butler. It was the A-side of a 1965 hit single by Redding and was subsequently included on his third album, Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul. Redding had been appearing in the U.S. Billboard pop and R&B charts as early as 1962, but this was his first big hit, reaching number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was his first to reach the Top 5 on the Billboard R&B chart, peaking at number 2. The B-side of the single, "Just One More Day," was also a minor hit, reaching number 15 on the R&B chart and number 85 on the pop chart. The song is ranked number 110 on the Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

Two recorded studio versions[edit]

Like several other songs by Redding, "I've Been Loving You Too Long" was recorded twice, in two different sessions, with a variation of some 20 seconds in duration:

  1. Mid-April 1965, 2:49, mono version, probably with Isaac Hayes on keyboards and piano, the most usual version, which means the written time on the record is almost always incorrect[citation needed]
  2. Early July 1965, 3:09–3:14, stereo version, with Booker T. Jones on keyboards and piano, available in the triple-album box set The Story of Otis Redding and among the three studio versions included in the double-album collector's edition 2008 Rhino reissue of Otis Blue

Cover versions[edit]

The first cover of the song was a recording by the Rolling Stones in 1965, shortly after Redding's original version became a hit. It was included on the Stones' first live album, Got Live If You Want It!, although the track was a studio recording that had been overdubbed with audience noises. Redding's profile among white audiences—especially in Europe—was considerably advanced by the exposure given to one of his compositions by the Stones. Returning the compliment, Redding covered the Rolling Stones song "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Blue-eyed soul vocalist Chris Farlowe featured a cover version on The Art of Chris Farlowe, his second album for Immediate Records, in 1966. Farlowe's cover was a radical departure from the both the original recording and the earlier Rolling Stones version, notably featuring an elaborate string accompaniment (arranged and conducted by Arthur Greenslade) in the place of conventional band instruments and a substantially reduced vocal part.

Percy Sledge performed the song on his 1967 album The Percy Sledge Way.

Jerry Butler performed the song on his 1968 album The Soul Goes On.

The most widely known cover version of the song was by Ike & Tina Turner in 1968. It was the lead track from their 1968 Blue Thumb album, Outta Season. The Turners can be seen performing the song at Madison Square Garden in the concert film of the Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter. The Turners' version differs from the original greatly. During the live concert, and briefly on the audio, the Turners insert a provocative, seductive conclusion of the song. This is the call-and-response section done by the duo:

Ike: You can make me do anything you want me to do…
Tina: You can make me do anything you want me to do.
Ike: And I'll say…
Tina: And I'll… I'll even say anything you want me to say.
Ike: Buy you…
Tina: I'll buy you anything you want me to buy you.
Ike: If ya…
Tina: If you just stay and make..and make love to me…

After this dialogue, Tina Turner is handling the microphone in a raunchy way. Ike is making suggestive, pornographic slurping noises while playing the guitar. The song ends with Tina having a simulated "orgasm", while yelling, "Come on baby, sock it, sock it, sock it to me baby—Oh oh ohhhh baby!". Their version peaked at number 23 on the R&B charts and number 68 on the Pop.

Another cover of the song (in 1969) was Barbara Mandrell's debut single.

Aretha Franklin recorded a cover for her album Young, Gifted and Black (1972).

Sonny James, country music legend, recorded it in 1976 on his album When Something Is Wrong With My Baby.

Loleatta Holloway recorded a cover version of the song on her 1980 album Love Sensation.

Jay Graydon recorded a guitar-instrumental cover for a compilation album, Guitar Workshop—Tribute to Otis Redding (1988).

Etta James covered it on her 1997 album, Love's Been Rough on Me. She also covered the B-side of the original Redding single, "Just One More Day", in her "Otis Redding Medley" on the album Live From San Francisco (1994).

Australian solo artist Johnny Diesel covered the song on his 1992 album The Lobbyist. It was issued as a single in the same year and became a Diesel favourite, also appearing on his compilation album, Rewind—The Best Of.

The song was also covered by the British band, Tindersticks, and appeared on their album Donkeys 92-97.

The track also appeared as part of a medley, with "Drown in My Own Tears" and "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby", on Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen album.

The Philosopher Kings used it as part of a medley, which also included "At Last" and "Let's Get It On" plus their own original song "Hurts to Love You", to close their live show, recorded for their 1999 album One Night Stand.

In 1997, E.G. Kight recorded her version of the track on the album Come into the Blues.[1]

In 2007, Guy Sebastian travelled to Memphis, Tennessee, to record this song for his tribute soul classics album, The Memphis Album. "I've Been Loving You Too Long" is a stand-out track and was recorded to analogue tape live on the studio floor at Ardent Studios with many of the original Stax music band members, including Steve Cropper, Donald Duck Dunn, Lester Snell, Steve Potts (most of Booker T. & the M.G.'s, though without Booker T himself) backing the vocals of Sebastian.

Seal recorded the song for his 2008 album Soul and his 2009 album, Soul Live.

The White Stripes recorded a version of the song for which the B-side of the 7" single release Signed D.C., available exclusively through the Third Man Records Vault.[2]

See also[edit]


  • Otis Redding – vocals
  • Booker T. Jones – keyboards, piano
  • Isaac Hayes – keyboards, piano
  • Steve Cropper – guitar
  • Donald Dunn – bass
  • Al Jackson Jr. – drums
  • Wayne Jackson – trumpet
  • Gene Miller – trumpet
  • Andrew Love – tenor saxophone
  • Floyd Newman – baritone saxophone


External links[edit]