The history of the cult rock hit "Love Hurts"

By the time Nazareth made this ballad a hit, the Everly Brothers had already broken up three years earlier. Later they would reunite and start performing the composition, as if addressing the sad lyric to each other on stage - alas, their relationship had significantly deteriorated over the years...

"Love Hurts": where the most famous rock song grows from

Today, the song is one of the oldest, but still hotly beloved rock hits - in 2020 «Love Hurts» celebrated her 60th anniversary! The heartfelt love ballad has been widely praised as performed by the Scots Nazareth. However... their version is really just a cover, albeit a very successful one. Some listeners may find this hard to believe, considering how popular and beautiful this rewrite is... But it really is. The stunning love tune was written by Budlo Bryantand was originally supposed to be the band's single The Everly Brothers. But, alas, this did not happen. At the beginning of the distant 60s This composition went unnoticed at all, and it was only thanks to To Roy Orbison listeners and other artists learned about it, and then presented their own interpretations... Quite a complicated story, don't you think? Let's get to the bottom of it together!

History of creation

The Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers

Since its debut «Love Hurts» passed in a whole 60 years. However - the song is incredibly popular even today: you can often hear it in movies and on the radio, which reinforces its status as a "timeless" hit. The story of this beautiful love lyric begins in July 1960: that's when the inspiration came to the American author Bryant's Budlo. - man who, in his dazzling career, has written a host of hits, from Buddy Holly and Bob Dylan. To The Beach Boys и... The Everly Brothers.

The composition was recorded by the latter for their fourth studio album "A Date with the Everly Brothers: She proudly opened the "B" side, but went unnoticed. Maybe it lacked something, or maybe it was because the track was not released as a separate single. Subsequently Don Everly told me that the group wanted to publish «Love Hurts» a full-fledged single, but "industry politics" got in the way. At the time, the band was led by Wesley RoseThe two men eventually had a rift and a lawsuit, and Rose had another client, the Acuff-Rose Company. Eventually there was a rift and a lawsuit between them... Rose had another client. Roy Orbison.

Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison

And it was he who happened to record "Love Hurts," which finally received public acclaim.

"Wesley gave our song to Roy, and that was awfully selfish of him ... The arrangement was ours, and it was written for us," Don Everly said in his interview.

Well, the situation was very unpleasant indeed, but it was due to that very set of events. «Love Hurts» gained popularity. Orbison's version The song reached number five in Australia, and soon became a hit. Today, however, the song is familiar to most listeners thanks to the band Nazareth. We propose to find out why...

Nazareth's version that became a worldwide hit


At the end of 1974, at the «Love Hurts» The most unexpected and at the same time fantastic cover by heavy metal monsters Nazareth! More daring, bolder, more confident - the track not only decorated their sixth album «Hair of the Dog»But it became a hit! Not immediately, of course: first in South Africa, then in the USA, and then all over the world... The version of "Nazareth" became the most popular that America had ever heard. The track even went gold in this country.

What is most surprising in this whole story is that originally Nazareth weren't going to include «Love Hurts» The band just liked the song, and during one of the sessions the musicians decided to experiment with it. In his interview, the bassist Pete Agnew said:

"We all loved that song. We listened to it a lot, and before we finally recorded 'Love Hurts' we had over forty versions of it! When I hear it now, I think it's one of the best rock ballads of all time... Definitely so.

Группа Nazareth: Pete Agnew, Darrell Sweet, Dan McCafferty, Manny Charlton
Группа Nazareth: Pete Agnew, Darrell Sweet, Dan McCafferty, Manny Charlton

The band managed not just to record a fantastic cover, but to make the song their own: from an unobtrusive country tune «Love Hurts» turned into a powerful rock ballad with heartbreaking vocals Dana McCafferty... The text has also changed in places.

Lyrical Meaning

As it is easy to guess from the name, the «Love Hurts» sings about love. But, alas, not in a positive and colorful way...

"Love is like fire,
Burning you if you're too hot.
Love is pain, love is pain..."

It is as if the protagonist of the song makes a revelation of sorts: all those who sing of love are naive fools who will soon be burned, for love is simply a lie...


Everly Brothers
Everly Brothers

By the time Nazareth made this ballad a hit, Everly Brothers have been broken up for three years now. Later they would reunite and start performing the composition, as if addressing the sad lyric to each other on stage - alas, their relationship had significantly deteriorated over the years. As for "Nazareth", even despite the fact that the song was not theirs, the rock idols from Scotland managed to make it their own and make it famous all over the world...

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