Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me” wins Grammys for Song and Record of the Year

Updated 11/26/2018.

image from rollingstone.com

Stay with Me

Sam Smith

Writer(s): Sam Smith/ James Napier/ William Phillips/ Tom Petty/ Jeff Lynne (see lyrics here)


Released: 4/14/2014


First Charted: 4/19/2014


Peak: 2 US, 15 AC, 16 AA, 10a RB, 11 UK, 17 CN, 5 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales *: 8.0 US, 1.67 UK, 11.76 world (includes US + UK)


Radio Airplay *: --


Video Airplay *: 904.00


Streaming *: 850.00


* in millions

Review:

Sam Smith poured his heart and soul into this gospel-inspired, blue-eyed-soul ballad begging a one-night stand not to leave. He told 4Music that he wanted to write “an anthem for the lonely.” SF He told Tanya Rad on On Air with Ryan Seacrest that he is “willing to show that emotional side…I don’t have…bravado to put in front…I’m just showing my raw self.” SF Nouse’s Isabell Pearson called it a “euphoric, slow building love-song” WK while Digital Spy’s Amy Davidson called the song an “emotional crescendo.” WK

Smith told NME the song only took 30 to 40 minutes to write. SF James Napier and William Phillips were co-writers on the song, but after it became a hit, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne were given royalty credit as well because the song’s similarity to the melody of Tom Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down.” An amicable agreement was reached with no threat of a lawsuit. Petty said, “All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen.” SF

The song topped the charts in the UK, Canada, and New Zealand and went top ten in more than a dozen countries, including a #2 peak in the U.S. WK It was also listed in the top ten of year-end charts in Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. WK USA Today named it the song of the year SF and it took home Grammys for Record and Song of the Year.

The buzz around Sam Smith had become so big on the heels of “Stay with Me” that he landed a gig performing on Saturday Night Live right before the song was officially released. SF He had, however, already been featured on Disclosure’s #11 UK hit “Latch” in 2012 and Naughty Boy’s #1 UK hit “La La La” in 2013. Two singles from his debut album, In the Lonely Hour, had already charted in the UK as well – “Lay Me Down” at #46 and “Money on My Mind” at #1.


Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.

Awards:


Friday, February 6, 2015

The Righteous Brothers hit #1 with “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” 50 years ago today (2/6/1965)

First posted 7/13/2014; updated 4/8/2020.

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, -- streaming

Awards:

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 Main 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, BR1 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. BR1 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:

  • The Righteous Brothers’ DMDB Encyclopedia entry
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). New York, NY: Billboard Books.
  • 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 RollingStone.com (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.