“Love Hurts” is a track written and also composed by the American songwriter Boudleaux Bryant, who was a very prolific and also successful songwriter for other artists transparent the 1950s and also beyond. Love Hurts was first recorded by the Everly brother in July 1960, and also was extended by many, numerous artists prior to it truly gained international fame once Nazareth – a rock tape hailing from Dunfermline, Scotland – recorded their version of that in 1974.

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The Everly brother may have actually been the first to sheathe it, but as they never released the song as a single, it to be Roy Orbison who first had a hit with it as soon as he took it come the peak 5 of the Australian charts in 1961. A recording of the song by Emmylou Harris and also Gram Parsons is additionally notable, no the the very least in being the version that influenced Nazareth to perform theirs.

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

The Nazareth version is without question the most renowned version of the song. The group had 3 UK hits under your belts once they released Love Hurts so late in 1974.

Surprisingly, it tanked, however in April 1975 it became a fight in southern Africa, prompting your label, A&M, to release it in America. It take it a while, yet radio stations in Texas started playing the song, and also others roughly the nation gradually complied with suit.

It reached its peak position of #8 ~ above the Billboard warm 100 in April 1976, make Nazareth’s rendition that the tune the an initial and only US hit single of this song.

The track was largely a substantial hit in most other industries as well, frequently hitting the optimal ten (or close to it). That made it every the way to #1 in Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, southern Africa, and also Norway.


The Norwegian success was particularly spectacular, as it charted because that 61 mainly on the official chart, including 14 weeks in ~ #1. What makes that specifically impressive is the the singles graph only had actually ten slots during those years – in various other words, it was constantly in the height 10 for every one of those 61 weeks! when a list of the most successful singles of every time in Norway was compiled in 2014, it wasn’t a huge surprise to watch that song coming out on top. We certainly could have actually done so lot worse – #2 to be Donkeyboy!

The solitary even do it full circle earlier to the UK, ultimately making the chart in 1977 where it peaked in ~ #77. This may have been lower than elsewhere, but for an old track the had already been released as a single there 3 years prior, the is most likely still above expectations.

Knowing just how well Love Hurts did, it is perhaps surprising to learn that the was never meant to go out together a single. It was not also meant to it is in an album track. The song was attempted during a session where they videotaped b-sides for the comes singles native their brand-new album. There is no the pressure of needing come come up with a struggle or hard album track, unusual things can happen – perhaps also covers of old country-folk tracks?

In an interview withclassicbands.com, bassist Pete Aginew reveals the the tape had always intended to record the track: “We every loved the song. We often covered songs the we chosen that we provided to hear to ~ above tape. Every now and also then, we’d just go earlier and try to perform something with among these things. If friend could readjust it and also make it yours, we’d perform it in the studio and see if we could do something around it. Once we walk Love Hurts, I think there to be 42 different versions videotaped of it. The one we provided to listen to to be Gram Parsons and also Emmylou Harris, off the “Grievous Angel” <1974> album. We provided to have actually that in our van and we love the song. <…> We recorded “Love Hurts” as a b-side and that’s how we saw it. The course, as soon as I hear it now, it’s most likely one of the best rock ballads of every time and also definitely the vocal is in the optimal three.”

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

More than any type of other version of the song, girlfriend truly believe that this singer is hurting. In yes, really fact, he might have been, albeit physically fairly than emotionally. If you take keep in mind of the key of the song, it is collection much greater than McCafferty’s typical range. He really had actually to strain to with the greatest notes.

Pete Aginew: ”There’s a story behind that. Dan and I saw this wedding. We were recording under in England and we came approximately Scotland come a wedding that a girlfriend of ours. Us left the drummer and also the guitar player in the studio. They made decision they would start the backing monitor of Love Hurts.”

“When we came under the following day, they had actually recorded it in precisely the same key as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. Of food they sung it in a really low octave – much too low. Dan had no choice but to take it increase an octave, and that’s just how it became sung in that high key. If we had remained in the studio when they go that, it probably would never have actually been a hit due to the fact that we would have actually never have actually done that in that key!”

The text of the song continued to be unchanged on every versions up until Nazareth’s recording, where the initial line “love is prefer a stove/it burns you once it’s hot” was changed to “love is choose a flame/it burns you when it’s hot.” perhaps the range was deemed too domestic and also old-fashioned for young teenage heartbreaks that 1975.

I’m young, i know, yet even soI understand a point or twoI learned native youI really learned a lot, really learned a lotLove is like a flameIt burns you when it’s hotLove hurts…… ooh, ooh love hurts

The track may have been intended as a solitary B-side, but when they heard how an effective it was, it ended up as an A-side. That’s just how it was released in all areas – as a standalone, lead solitary track.

When the solitary took off in America, the record firm saw the track as a opportunity to give the planned Hair that the Dog album a an increase and opted to encompass it in ar of Guilty (a Randy Newman track). The just studio album that attributes Nazareth’s version of Love Hurts is the united state edition that Hair the the Dog. In that regard, it should be listed that the album version runs 3:52, with a guitar solo through Manny Charlton the is not had on the 3:03 single.

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Aginew remembers the minute they gift the new batch of songs to their American label: “When we brought the album over to Jerry Moss in ~ A&M records, he said ‘I’d favor to take it Guilty off that album and put Love Hurts on.’ give thanks to God for Jerry Moss! that was the one that broke it in America because that us. Albums choose Razamanaz, Loud and also Proud and also Rampant ultimately became big after Hair of the Dog got huge in America, when people went earlier to look at at these albums. That’s when it happened for us in the States.”

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

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