Friday, February 6, 2015

50 years ago: The Righteous Brothers hit #1 with “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’”

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’

The Righteous Brothers

Writer(s): Phil Spector/Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil (see lyrics here)

First Charted: December 12, 1964

Peak: 12 US, 13 CB, 13 HR, 3 RB, 12 UK, 11 CN (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 10.0 radio, 27.86 video, 72.07 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

From the first notes of “Lovin’ Feelin’,” it is clear something powerful is affot. The song builds to an explosion between the interplay of Bill Medley baritone and Bobby Hatfield’s tenor, both seemingly wrenching the word “baby” straight from their souls. This is the kind of pop song that makes others wonder why they even try. Radio listeners support that sentiment – performing rights organization BMI says this is the all-time most-played song on the radio with more than 10 million airplays. SHOF

Legendary producer Phil Spector signed the duo after seeing them on the bill of a Ronettes show. RS500 He asked the songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil SHOF to develop a ballad that fit his signature Wall of Sound. KL Using the Four Tops’ “Baby I Need Your Lovin’” as inspiration, BR the husband and wife team found themselves forging the new genre of blue-eyed soul, which bridged “the gap between white and black musical styles.” TB

The words “You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’” were initially dummy lyrics. BR Weil recalls telling Spector that they would get something better, to which Phil responded, “No, that’s the title.” KL

Phil also threw them off with Medley’s impossibly deep intro. Mann remembers Phil playing it for him over the phone. Mann told him, “Phil, you have it on the wrong speed!” RS500 Hatfield was at a loss, but his concern regarded what he should do while Medley sang the entire first verse. Spector told him, “You can go directly to the bank.’” RS500

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for The Righteous Brothers
  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Barry Mann
  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Phil Spector
  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Cynthia Weil
  • BR Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY.
  • KL Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh (2005). 1000 UK Number One Hits: The Stories Behind Every Number One Single Since 1952. London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press. Page 106.
  • RS500 (2011). “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • SHOF Songwriters Hall of Fame
  • TB Thunder Bay Press. (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA. Page 71.

First posted 7/13/2014; last updated 7/18/2021.

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