1001 Songs Challenge,  1960s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #160: You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling (1964)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…


The Righteous Brothers – You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling (1964)

Back to the US today and the 1960s is really taking off now both in terms of quality and my familiarity with the songs and artists on this magical 1001 Songs list. My Top 10 is just going to get harder from this point on. Today our special guests are The Righteous Brothers – Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield (not really brothers then but righteous all the same) – who were a unique duo in that they had voices that were poles apart but together combined to create some truly stunning music. It’s no surprise with the song selected from their catalogue. Unchained Melody may yet make an appearance but today we get to enjoy You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling which was written by Phil Spector, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. 

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling is a heartbreaking song in which The Righteous Brothers take on the role of a narrator who is in a relationship with a someone but things are not going well. The tell-tale signs of a relationship on the brink of collapse are there for all to see. The narrator tells us that the affection between them is gone, they are critical of the slightest thing he does and though it’s hard for him to admit, he knows they are in trouble. The narrator doesn’t want the relationship to end though. They are desperate and plead with their lover for it not to end. They want to recapture those warm and tender moments they once shared, to go back to the “lovin’ feeling” of the title. What becomes of their pleas we never know but I suspect this relationship will sadly not survive. 

Among the most played songs on US radio in history, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling has lost none of its power. Medley’s deep and sombre vocals that take us through the verses contrast perfectly with Hatfield’s much higher toned voice. Medley does the bulk of the work here but Hatfield’s backing is crucial to the song’s magic and it wouldn’t be the same without him. It’s a song I have known for many years, as will many fans of music. More than fifty years later it remains a poignant but beautiful masterpiece with stunning vocals and evocative lyrics that have surely captured the feelings of the many millions who have been through such a painful experience.


Favourite songs so far:

Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode (1958)

Ritchie Valens – La Bamba (1958)

Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues (1958)

The Everly Brothers – All I Have to Do Is Dream (1958)

Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien (1960)

Ben E. King – Stand By Me (1961)

Roy Orbison – In Dreams (1963)

Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (1964)

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come (1964)

The Righteous Brothers – You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling (1964)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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