“Love Hurts” is a track written and composed by the American songwriter Boudleaux Bryant, who was a very prolific and successful songwriter for various other artists throughout the 1950s and beyond. Love Hurts was very first recorded by the Everly brothers in July 1960, and also was spanned by many, numerous artists before it truly obtained international fame when Nazareth – a rock tape hailing indigenous Dunfermline, Scotland – tape-recorded their version of it in 1974.

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The Everly brothers may have been the first to sheathe it, but as they never ever released the song as a single, it to be Roy Orbison who an initial had a hit v it once he take it it to the optimal 5 the the Australian charts in 1961. A record of the tune by Emmylou Harris and also Gram Parsons is additionally notable, no the the very least in gift the version that motivated Nazareth to execute theirs.


Post-Nazareth covers encompass Jennifer Warnes, Jim Capaldi, Cher, Joan Jett, pole Stewart and also many others.

The Nazareth version is without question the most renowned version of the song. The team had 3 UK access time under your belts when they released Love Hurts late in 1974.

Surprisingly, that tanked, however in April 1975 it came to be a fight in south Africa, prompting their label, A&M, to relax it in America. It take it a while, yet radio train station in Texas began playing the song, and also others around the nation gradually followed suit.

It got to its height position of #8 on the Billboard hot 100 in April 1976, making Nazareth’s rendition of the tune the very first and just US hit single of this song.

The monitor was mostly a vast hit in many other markets as well, generally hitting the height ten (or close come it). The made it all the way to #1 in Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, south Africa, and Norway.


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The Norwegian success was an especially spectacular, as it charted for 61 weeks on the official chart, including 14 weeks in ~ #1. What provides that specifically impressive is the the singles graph only had ten slots during those year – in various other words, it was constantly in the optimal 10 for every one of those 61 weeks! when a list of the most successful singles of all time in Norway to be compiled in 2014, it wasn’t a huge surprise to view that song coming out on top. We definitely could have done so much worse – #2 to be Donkeyboy!

The single even make it complete circle earlier to the UK, ultimately making the graph in 1977 whereby it peaked in ~ #77. This may have actually been reduced than elsewhere, but for an old track the had already been released together a solitary there three years prior, the is probably still above expectations.

Knowing how well Love Hurts did, that is probably surprising to discover that it was never ever meant to go out as a single. It to be not also meant to be an album track. The tune was attempted throughout a session whereby they taped b-sides for the coming singles from their new album. Without the pressure of needing come come up with a struggle or solid album track, unusual things can occur – perhaps also covers that old country-folk tracks?

In one interview withclassicbands.com, bassist Pete Aginew reveals that the tape had constantly intended to record the track: “We all loved the song. We regularly covered songs that we liked that we supplied to hear to ~ above tape. Every now and then, we’d just go ago and shot to perform something with among these things. If girlfriend could readjust it and make that yours, we’d do it in the studio and see if we might do something about it. As soon as we go Love Hurts, I think there were 42 different versions tape-recorded of it. The one we supplied to hear to to be Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, turn off the “Grievous Angel” <1974> album. We offered to have that in our van and also we love the song. <…> We taped “Love Hurts” as a b-side and also that’s how we witnessed it. That course, once I hear the now, it’s most likely one the the ideal rock ballads of all time and also definitely the vocal is in the top three.”

The method to make the monitor their own was to remove it from its country roots and also perform it together a slow-burning strength ballad. Also, instead of the more wistful vocals uncovered of many versions up till then, Nazareth’s variation would have actually a much an ext emotional vocal delivery, masterfully delivered by command vocalist Dan McCafferty.

More than any type of other variation of the song, you truly believe that this singer is hurting. In really fact, he can have been, albeit physically fairly than emotionally. If girlfriend take note of the key of the song, the is set much higher than McCafferty’s common range. That really had actually to stress, overload to with the highest possible notes.

Pete Aginew: ”There’s a story behind that. Dan and I went to this wedding. Us were recording down in England and we came up to Scotland to a wedding the a friend of ours. Us left the drummer and the etc player in the studio. They made decision they would begin the backing monitor of Love Hurts.”

“When us came under the following day, they had recorded the in exactly the same key as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. Of course they sung the in a really low octave – far too low. Dan had actually no an option but to take it up an octave, and that’s how it became sung in that high key. If we had been in the studio once they did that, it more than likely would never have been a hit since we would have never have actually done the in the key!”

The text of the song remained unchanged on all versions up till Nazareth’s recording, where the initial line “love is choose a stove/it burns you once it’s hot” was adjusted to “love is like a flame/it burns you once it’s hot.” maybe the stove was understood too domestic and also old-fashioned for young teenage heartbreaks of 1975.

I’m young, i know, however even soI understand a thing or twoI learned from youI yes, really learned a lot, yes, really learned a lotLove is favor a flameIt burns you when it’s hotLove hurts…… ooh, ooh love hurts

The track may have been intended as a single B-side, however when lock heard how powerful it was, it finished up as an A-side. That’s just how it was released in all regions – as a standalone, lead solitary track.

When the solitary took turn off in America, the record company saw the track together a chance to provide the plan Hair the the Dog album a boost and opted to incorporate it in place of Guilty (a Randy Newman track). The just studio album that features Nazareth’s variation of Love Hurts is the united state edition the Hair of the Dog. In that regard, it should be noted that the album version runs 3:52, through a etc solo by Manny Charlton that is not contained on the 3:03 single.

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The 3:52 album version of Love Hurts.

Aginew remembers the moment they gift the brand-new batch of songs to their American label: “When we lugged the album end to Jerry Moss at A&M records, he stated ‘I’d favor to take it Guilty off the album and also put Love Hurts on.’ give thanks to God for Jerry Moss! the was the one that damaged it in America because that us. Albums choose Razamanaz, Loud and also Proud and Rampant ultimately became huge after Hair the the Dog got huge in America, when people went ago to look at at this albums. That’s once it taken place for us in the States.”

Sadly, Nazareth would certainly not go on to enjoy further singles success in America. Holiday got to #87 in 1980, and also Love leads To Madness saw #105 in 1982. Nobody of their other songs charted there, but thanks come “that” tune they had actually at least uncovered an audience and did decent company with your albums and tours.

Even though the tape didn’t compose Love Hurts themselves, yes sir no doubt it has opened many doors because that them and also made them with many an ext people 보다 they otherwise would. It proceeds to be play on radio, and also is generally used ~ above TV shows and also in movies. Guitarist Manny Charlton has no regrets around doing it, yet adds: “Do i wish I had written it? Every friggin’ day! (laughs) gain the girl and also the boys will follow! especially if the lead track on the album is a kid of a Bitch… oops, I median Hair that the Dog!”