Love Hurts

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"Love Hurts"
Song by The Everly Brothers from the album A Date with The Everly Brothers
RecordedJuly 1960
LabelWarner Bros.
WriterBoudleaux Bryant
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This article is about the song written by B. & F. Bryant. For other uses, see Love Hurts (disambiguation).
"Love Hurts"
Song by The Everly Brothers from the album A Date with The Everly Brothers
RecordedJuly 1960
LabelWarner Bros.
WriterBoudleaux Bryant

"Love Hurts" is a song, written and composed by Boudleaux Bryant. First recorded by The Everly Brothers in July 1960, the song is also well known from a 1975 international hit version by the hard rock band Nazareth and in the UK by a top 5 hit in 1975 by Jim Capaldi.

The song was introduced in December 1960 as an album track on A Date with The Everly Brothers, but was never released as a single (A-side or B-side) by the Everlys. The first hit version of the song was by Roy Orbison, who earned Australian radio play, hitting the Top Five of that country's singles charts in 1961. A recording by Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons was included on Parsons' posthumously released Grievous Angel album. After Parsons' 1973 death, Harris made the song a staple of her repertoire, and has included it in her concert set lists from the 1970s to the present. Harris has since re-recorded the song twice.

The most successful recording of the song was by hard rock band Nazareth, who took the song to the U.S. Top 10 in 1975 and hit number one in Norway and the Netherlands. In the UK the most successful version of the song was by former Traffic member Jim Capaldi, who took it to number four in the charts in November 1975 during an 11-week run. The song was also covered by Cher in 1975 for her album Stars. Cher re-recorded the song in 1991 for her album of the same name. Rod Stewart recorded the song in 2006 for his album Still the Same... Great Rock Classics of Our Time which was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Roy Orbison version[edit]

Roy Orbison covered "Love Hurts" in 1961 and issued it as the B-side to "Running Scared". While "Running Scared" was an international hit, the B-side only picked up significant airplay in Australia. Consequently, chart figures for Australia show "Running Scared"/"Love Hurts" as a double A-Side, both sides peaking at No. 5. This makes Orbison's recording of "Love Hurts" the first version to be a hit.

Chart (1961)Peak

Jim Capaldi version[edit]

"Love Hurts"
Single by Jim Capaldi
from the album Short Cut Draw Blood
B-side"Sugar Honey"
Writer(s)Boudleaux Bryant
Producer(s)Steve Smith[disambiguation needed]
Jim Capaldi singles chronology
"It's All Up to You"
"Love Hurts"
"Goodbye Love"

Jim Capaldi reached number 4 in the UK charts with his interpretation of "Love Hurts" in November 1975, which was to prove his highest charting UK single.[1] Described by Rolling Stone as having "a sense of pain very different from Roy Orbison's original,"[2] the single also charted in the US,[3] Germany,[4] and Sweden.[5]

Chart (1975)Peak

Nazareth version[edit]

"Love Hurts"
Single by Nazareth
from the album Hair of the Dog
B-side"Hair of the Dog" (U.S., Canada)
"Down" (Europe)
Released1974 (Europe); 1975 (U.S.)
GenreHard rock
Length3:03 (U.S.)
3:53 (Europe)
A&M (U.S.)
Vertigo (Europe)
Writer(s)Boudleaux Bryant
Producer(s)Manny Charlton
Nazareth singles chronology
"This Flight Tonight"
"Love Hurts"
"Shanghai'd in Shanghai"

Performed as a rock ballad, the Nazareth version was the most popular version of the song and the only rendition of "Love Hurts" to become a hit single in the United States, reaching No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1976. Billboard ranked it as the No. 23 song for 1976.[6] As part of the "Hot Tracks (EP)" it also reached No. 15 in the UK in 1977.[7] Nazareth's version was an international hit, peaking at No. 1 in Canada, South Africa and Norway, and remains the best-known recording of the song. The Nazareth single was so successful in Norway that it charted for 61 weeks on the Norwegian charts (VG-lista Top 10), including 14 weeks at No. 1, making it the top single of all time in that country.[8]

A later recording by Nazareth, featuring the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, peaked at No. 89 in Germany.

The lyrics of the song remained unchanged on all versions up until Nazareth's 1975 recording, where the original line "love is like a stove/it burns you when it's hot" was changed to "love is like a flame/it burns you when it's hot". The Nazareth track has been featured in the movies Dazed and Confused, Detroit Rock City, Together, Click, and Halloween among others. It was edited for use in a late-'90s Gatorade TV commercial. Other companies to have used the song in advertising include Southwest Airlines, Molson, Nissan (for the Altima), Zurich (worldwide 'True Love' advertising), and Toyota in Australia.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Triumph version[edit]

"Love Hurts"
Single by Triumph
from the album Livin' for the Weekend: The Anthology
Writer(s)Boudleaux Bryant
Producer(s)Emmett, Levine, Moore
Triumph singles chronology
"Child of the City"
"Love Hurts"

In 1991, Triumph created and covered their interpretation of "Love Hurts", but the track never surfaced until the release of Livin' for the Weekend: The Anthology in 2005, with a subsequent video single.[11]

Cher version[edit]

"Love Hurts"
Single by Cher
from the album Love Hurts
B-side"One Small Step"
GenrePop rock
Writer(s)Boudleaux Bryant
Producer(s)Richie Zito
Cher singles chronology
"Save Up All Your Tears"
"Love Hurts"
"Could've Been You"
Audio sample
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Cher also recorded the song in 1975 but did not have a hit with it at the time. She recorded a second version in 1991, which became a minor hit in the UK and a substantial hit in Norway, where the Nazareth version had enjoyed its greatest chart success a decade and a half earlier.

Chart (1991)Peak
Norwegian Singles Chart2
Polish Singles Chart21
UK Singles Chart[12]43

Live performances[edit]

Cher performed the song on the following concert tours:

List of covers[edit]

ArtistRelease dateAlbumNotes
Roy OrbisonMarch 1961Crying (May 1962)B-side of "Running Scared"
Phi-Mu Washboard Band1962...Just Because (1962)This version is slightly abridged.
Mark WynterAugust 1964A-side of the single Pye 7N 15686
The Liverbirds1965Star-Club Show 4Recorded for their debut album.
The Who1965-1967, 1989Played occasionally in the band's early days and during the early part of their 1989 reunion tour.
Jimmy Webb1972Letters
Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris1974Parsons album Grievous AngelA live version by the duo, recorded in 1973 shortly before Parsons' death, was released in 1983 and received a Grammy Award nomination. Another live version and an alternate take recorded in 1973 were released in 2006 on The Complete Reprise Sessions.
Nazareth1975Hair of the DogPerformed as a rock ballad. This rendition reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1976. As part of the "Hot Tracks (EP)" it also reached No. 15 in the UK in 1977.[7]
Cher1975StarsProduced by Jimmy Webb
Jim CapaldiOctober 1975Short Cut Draw BloodReached number four in the UK chart[7] and charted worldwide.
Grupo Yndio1976Herida de AmorA cover done by a Mexican group
Jennifer Warnes1977"Debut Album "Jennifer Warnes"
Journey1978Unaired episode of the King Biscuit Flower Hour radio show featuring also Annie Sampson & Jo Baker of Stoneground.
Don McLean1981Believers
Elaine Paige1985Love Hurts
Nicolette Larson1988Shadows of Love
Joan Jett1990The Hit ListJoan's version charted number 100 on Ukraine charts.
Bad Romance1991Code Of Honor
Cher1991Love HurtsAlso released as a single in Europe.
Veronique, a Yugoslav rock band1991The song became a big radio hit in Yugoslavia.
Kim Carnes1992Soundtrack for Private Lessons II
Paul Young1993Best Ballads
Guided by Voices frontman Robert Pollard with Kim Deal of Pixies1994Soundtrack for Love and a .45
Heart1995The Road HomeLive concert
Corey Hart1996Corey Hart
Pat Boone1997In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice GuyCovers album.
Emmylou Harris1998SpyboyA live album
Stina Nordenstam1998People Are Strange33 second version
Little Milton and Lucinda Williams1999Welcome to Little Milton
Juice Newton1999American Girl
Deacon Blue1999Walking Back Home
Smokie2000UncoveredSmokie-style harmonically vocalized soft rock ballad
Sally Jones2001Love Hurtsbluegrass
That '70s Show cast2002That '70s Musical, an episode of That '70s Show
Sinéad O'Connor2003She Who DwellsIrish singer
Robin Gibb2003MagnetA modern R & B version which closes this solo album
J.C. Lodge2004Reggae Country 2A reggae version of this classic
Keith Richards and Norah Jones2005Return to Sin CityDVD tribute concert for Gram Parsons.
Éric Goulet under the name "Monsieur Mono"2005Pleurer la mer morteFrench version
Triumph2005Livin' for the Weekend: AnthologyTriumph covered this back in 1991 however, the track has only recently surfaced on Livin' for the Weekend: Anthology
Darren Smith Band2005Keep the Spirit Alive
Bonnie Bramlett2006Roots, Blues, and Jazz
Rod Stewart2006Still the Same... Great Rock Classics of our Time
Paul Noonan from Bell X1 and Lisa Hannigan
L.I.N.E.2008Dutch band L.I.N.E. covered this song in 2008. It is in 6/8 time, which is quite different from all other known covers.
Jason Donovan2008"Let It Be Me"
Leo Sayer2008"Singles As & Bs"
Jenny Lewis2009Live on radio program World Café
Nan Vernon2009Halloween 2 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Jim Guthrie2010Now, More Than Ever (Extended Edition)
Doug Howell2010Jimmy & Me - Song Descriptions from a MasterAlbum featuring Jimmy Webb originals (and this song, inspired by Jimmy's recorded version, 1972)
Carrie Rodriguez2010We Still Love Our CountryCarrie Rodriguez and Ben Kyle album
Jann Arden2011Uncover Me 2
Preceded by
"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" by Neil Sedaka
Canadian RPM number one single (Nazareth version)
February 28, 1976
Succeeded by
"Squeeze Box" by The Who
Preceded by
"Willempie" by André van Duin
Dutch Top 40 number one single (Nazareth version)
February 21 - March 20, 1976
Succeeded by
"The Alternative Way" by Anita Mayer


  1. ^ Jim Capaldi in the UK charts, The Official Charts. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  2. ^ Marsh, Dave (11 March 1976). Album review at the Wayback Machine (archived April 30, 2009), Rolling Stone.
  3. ^ Jim Capaldi in the Billboard charts, Allmusic. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  4. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Jim Capaldi / Single". Music Line (in German). Germany: Media Control Charts. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Love Hurts" in the Swedish charts, Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  6. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1976
  7. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 388. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  8. ^ a b "BEST OF ALL TIME - SINGLES". VG-lista. Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Love Hurts". Music Canada. 
  10. ^ "American single certifications – Love Hurts". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  11. ^ "Love Hurts" Single on YouTube.
  12. ^ UK Singles Chart [1] . Retrieved October 31, 2010.

External links[edit]