Monday, January 3, 2011

Boudleaux Bryant's Love Hurts - Who Hasn't Recorded It

For Christmas, I received two entirely different gifts, the first focusing on the Everly Brothers, the second on Keith Richards; yet separately they both led me down a twisting path to one of my favorite songs of all times: Love Hurts. The song was written and composed by famed songwriter Boudleaux Bryant, who along with his wife Felice, wrote approximately 1,500 songs which were ultimately recorded. Now that's a songwriting team.

The first gift was The Everly Brothers - All-Time Greatest Hits. While listening to the CD, I was reminded how much of the duo's success was a direct result of the Bryants; songs like Bye Bye Love, All I Have To Do Is Dream, Wake Up Little Susie, and Bird Dog. One of the Everly Brother's hit songs omitted from this compilation was the aforementioned Love Hurts. This omission encouraged me to dig deep into the archives and pull out The Osborne Brothers From Rocky Top to Muddy Bottom The Songs of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant. And yes, they penned Rocky Top. But this CD includes a very interesting version of Love Hurts sung at a much faster than the Everly Brothers' version.

The next night I started reading the second gift,  What Would Keith Richards Do?: Daily Affirmations from a Rock and Roll Survivor. Yea, I was hoping it was Life; but maybe next time. Several times this book mentioned Richard's relationship with Gram Parsons, and I faintly recalled speculation that Parsons is the real author of Wild Horses. I decided to conduct a youtube search to find any performances together but instead found more Love Hurts - first a duet between Richards and Norah Jones and second a duet between Parsons and Emmylou Harris

Truth be told, none of these artists were the original source when I first heard the song as a pre-teen. This version was the rock ballad performed by Nazareth, who's rendition may have been the most popular as it climbed to #8 on the Billboard Top 100. Now that's quite a versatile song: The Everly Brothers, Osborne Brothers, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Keith Richards, Norah Jones, Nazareth; as well as Roy Orbison, Jim Capaldi, Don McLean, Joan Jett, Cher, Paul Young, Pat Boone, Heart, Juice Newton, Sinéad O'Connor, Rod Stewart, Robin Gibb, and many more.

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