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"Hurt So Bad" is a classic 1965 ballad originally recorded by Little Anthony & The Imperials and re-recorded by numerous artists including Linda Ronstadt and The Lettermen.

The Imperials' original version[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Little Anthony & The Imperials' original version was taken from their album, Goin' out of My Head. It was the follow-up to that album's smash-hit title song, and like that song, also became a Billboard Top 10 hit as well as a Top Five R&B hit.[1] It was also performed by the group on their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. It was written especially for The Imperials by Teddy Randazzo, a long-time friend of the group, along with Bobby Weinstein and Bobby Hart(Harshman), and was produced by Don Costa for his DCP record label, later absorbed by United Artists Records and re-released on its Veep Records subsidiary. A powerful, dramatic ballad recording, it has become one of The Imperials' best-known songs, and has inspired numerous cover versions by other artists, including hit versions by Linda RonstadtThe Lettermen, and Jackie DeShannon,[2] along with versions by Alicia KeysRamsey LewisThe DelfonicsDavid CassidyRichard "Groove" HolmesGrant GreenWillie BoboEl Chicano and others. Philly Devotions hit #10 in 1976 on Billboard's Disco chart. (Joel Whitburn's Hot Dance/Disco Charts 1974-2003)

El Chicano version[edit source | editbeta]Edit

El Chicano released a cover of "Hurt So Bad" on their 1970 debut album Viva Tirado. It was one of 9 songs on the album, including their first hit single "Viva Tirado".

Linda Ronstadt version[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Linda Ronstadt recorded a cover for her Platinum-certified album Mad Love, and released the song as a single, with a scorching guitar solo by Danny Kortchmar. It stands as the most successful version ever recorded of the song, which peaked at #8 on the Hot 100 in 1980.[3]

Little Anthony and the other Imperials, Sammy Strain, Ernest Wright and Clarence Collins, reunited in 1992 after a 17 year hiatus, and performed the song as part of a "greatest hits" medley on Dick Clark's American Bandstand 40th Anniversary Special and also on two PBS specials: Rock, Rhythm and Doo-Wop, and Soul Spectacular: 40 Years of R&B, in 2002 and 2003, respectively.

The Imperials[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • "Little Anthony" Gourdine - lead vocals
  • Clarence "Wah-Hoo" Collins - baritone/bass
  • Ernest Wright - second tenor
  • Sammy Strain - first tenor
  • Producer: Don Costa
  • Backed by The 101 Strings Orchestra

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