Vee-Jay's head a&r man Calvin Carter found the song while visiting New York City in search of material for his label's roster and he originally intended to cut "You're No Good" with Dee Clark but, he recalled: "when I went to rehearsal with the tune, it was so negative, I said, 'Hey, guys don't talk negative about girls, because girls are the record buyers. No, I better pass on that.' So I gave the song to Betty Everett." During the playback of Everett's track her label-mates the Dells "were sitting on the wooden platform where the string players would sit... just stomping their feet on this wooden platform to the beat of the song as it was playing back... I told the engineer 'Let's do it again, and let's mike those foot sounds, 'cause it really gave it a hell of a beat.' So we did that, and boom, a hit."
In the UK the Swinging Blue Jeans had the hit version of "You're No Good" reaching #3 in the summer of 1964. Sue Johnston, then PA to Peter Brown, was dating Swinging Blue Jeans drummer Norman Kuhlke and claims that she brought "You're No Good" to the attention of the Swinging Blue Jeans, whose version also charted in France at #26 and was successful enough regionally in the US to reach #97 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Genya Ravan has indicated she vainly attempted to interest the producer of her 1974 album Goldie Zelkovitz in the idea of a remake of "You're No Good". Maria Muldaur, discussing in a 1985 interview how she "didn't go out of [her] way to find followup hits" to her 1973-74 breakthrough "Midnight at the Oasis", cited "You're No Good" when explaining: "I've turned down songs that have gone on to be hits for other people because I thought the lyrics were negative or neurotic".
It was Muldaur's friend and professional associate Linda Ronstadt who would remake "You're No Good" for her double platinum career-defining Heart Like A Wheel album released in late 1974 by Capitol Records. Ronstadt had been featuring the song to close her live shows, her band member Kenny Edwards having suggested it to her. Ronstadt made a last-minute decision to record "You're No Good" for Heart Like a Wheel and, rather than using an arrangement similar to the Betty Everett original she and her bandmates decided to work out a new arrangement for her recording of the song. Ronstadt would recall: "Ed Black, who played six-string guitar and pedal steel, started to play a rhythm riff on his Les Paul. Kenny Edwards...the bass player...echoed the riff in octaves. Andrew Gold added a sparse drum track, giving me a basic track to sing over. We did a few takes, picked one we liked, and then Andrew, who always played guitars and keyboards went to work with [producer] Peter [Asher] and began to work up layers of guitar, piano and percussion tracks." Ronstadt recalls that during a playback after several hours of work Val Garay the engineer accidentally erased the backing track necessitating Asher and Gold's reconstructing of the track from scratch.
Capitol was unsure whether to release "You're No Good" or "When Will I Be Loved" as the lead single off Heart Like a Wheel, only deciding to release "You're No Good" a week after the album's release; the track ascended to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 dated February 15, 1975. ("When Will I Be Loved" would be issued as the follow-up single.) The success of "You're No Good" set a precedent for Ronstadt's single releases which over the next five years would virtually all be remakes of classic rock and roll songs. (The B-side of "You're No Good", "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You), was originally by Hank Williams, and was simultaneously a #2 C&W hit for Ronstadt.) "You're No Good" was also a hit for Linda Ronstadt in Australia (#15), the Netherlands (#17), and New Zealand (#24).