In the original 1976 version of the film Sparkle, the song is performed by "Sister & the Sisters", with Lonette McKee on lead vocal, and Irene Cara and Dwan Smith on backing vocals.
The version of "Something He Can Feel" present on the film's soundtrack album replaces the vocal tracks with those of Aretha Franklin and the Kitty Haywood Singers, with the instrumental tracks remaining the same. Sparkle revolves around the lives of the members of Sister & the Sisters, a 1960s Motown-esque girl group, and "Something He Can Feel" is present in the film as part of their repertoire. Franklin's recording of the song was issued as the first single from the album, and became a number-one hit on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart, peaking at number twenty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Aretha's only pop Top 40 hit during the second half of the 1970s.
Sparkle would be remade in 2012, as would "Something He Can Feel", this time performed by Carmen Ejogo on lead vocal with Jordin Sparks and Tika Sumpter on backing vocals. In an allusion to Aretha Franklin's version of the song and soundtrack, Sister & Her Sisters perform "Something He Can Feel" as part of a live TV performance headlined by Franklin.
Fifteen years after Sparkle was released, R&B group En Vogue recorded a cover version of "Something He Can Feel" (issued as "Giving Him Something He Can Feel"), produced by Thomas McElroy & Denzil Foster. The En Vogue cover, released as the second single from the group's second album, Funky Divas, was also a successful hit, with lead vocals by Dawn Robinson. It peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100, and became the fifth En Vogue single in two years to peak at number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. This song is led entirely by Dawn Robinson.