♫ Don’t Know Much ♫ (Redux)

I have had this bloomin’ song stuck in my head for two whole days now, so you guys know what that means, right?  Yes, it means I simply must share it before it drives me nuts.  Mind you, I love this song … but anything that inhabits your sleeping as well as waking moments really needs to be shared.  I last played this in September 2018, so it’s time to feature it again.


The husband-and-wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote this with Tom Snow, who is known for his work on music for movies such as Footloose.  The song first appeared on Mann’s self-titled album in 1980. Bill Medley recorded it in 1981, and Bette Midler released a version called “All I Need To Know” in 1983. But the version that stands above the crowd is this one, a duet with Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville.

Ronstadt and Neville met at the 1984 World’s Fair when both were performing there and realized their mutual admiration. When they decided to work together, they picked this song, which was brought to their attention by producer Steve Tyrell.  This won a Grammy for Best Vocal Performance by a Pop Group or Duo. Ronstadt and Neville would team up for another Grammy-winning song, “All My Life,” which earned the same prize in 1990.

Neville and Ronstadt portray in the song’s music video a couple still in love in their middle age. Neville told Mojo magazine February 2013 that despite the rumors, he and Ronstadt were no more than friends. He said: “The guy who directed called us in a room and said, ‘Look – if y’all ain’t gonna make this thing believable, there ain’t no sense in doin’ it.’ Linda’s a pretty woman – it wasn’t hard to portray that. But they had all kinda stupid rumors out. None of ’em were true ‘cos we’re friends. We respected each other. But I look at the video and it looks kinda suspect (laughs).”

Don’t Know Much
Linda Ronstadt, Aaron Neville

Look at this face I know the years are showing
Look at this life I still don’t know where it’s going

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

Look at these eyes they never seen what matters
Look at these dreams so beaten and so battered

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

So many questions still left unanswered
So much I’ve never broken through
And when I feel you near me, sometimes I see so clearly
That only truth I’ll never know is me and you

Look at this man so blessed with inspiration
Look at this soul still searching for salvation

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all I need to know

I don’t know much but I know I love you
That may be all there is to know

Songwriters: Tom Snow / Cynthia Weil / Barry Mann
Don’t Know Much lyrics © Karen Schauben Publishing Administration

♫ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ ♫

According to BMI music publishing, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ was played on U.S. radio and television more times than any other song in the 20th century. It got over 8 million plays from the time it was released in 1964 until 2000. (This figure includes all versions, not only the Righteous Brothers)

The husband-and-wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote this song at the request of Phil Spector, who was looking for a hit for an act he had just signed to his Philles label: The Righteous Brothers.

Inspired by Baby I Need Your Loving by The Four Tops, Mann & Weil came up with this song about a desperate attempt to rekindle a lost love.  The title You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ was just a placeholder until they could think of something better, but Spector thought it was great so they went with it. With most of the song written, Mann and Weil completed the song at Spector’s house, where Phil worked with them to compose the famous bridge (“Baaaby… I need your love…”).

The song was the first Righteous Brothers release on Philles, and it shot to #1, giving both the duo and the songwriting team of Mann & Weil their first #1 hit. It was Spector’s third #1 as a producer: he had previously hit the top spot with To Know Him Is To Love Him by The Teddy Bears and He’s A Rebel by The Crystals.

Phil Spector was determined to make this his finest production to date, and wanted it to be better than anything released by current top producers like Berry Gordy, George Martin, Andrew Loog Oldham and Brian Wilson. He chose the Righteous Brothers for their tremendous vocal talents, and enlisted his old Jazz guitar idol Barney Kessel to play on the song. Other musicians to play on the track included Los Angeles session pros Carol Kaye (acoustic guitar), Earl Palmer (drums) and Ray Pohlman (bass).  Cher, who did a lot of work with Spector early in her career, can also be heard on background vocals near the end of the song.

Phil Spector put a tremendous amount of effort (and about $35,000) into this production, but the final product was so unusual that he began to wonder if he had a hit. Seeking a second, third and fourth opinion, he played the song for the following people:

1) The song’s co-writer Barry Mann, who was convinced the song was recorded at the wrong speed. Spector called his engineer Larry Levine to confirm that it was supposed to sound that way.

2) His publisher Don Kirshner, who Spector respected for his musical opinion. Kirshner thought it was great, but suggested changing the title to “Bring Back That Lovin’ Feelin’.”

3) The popular New York disc jockey Murray the K.  Spector confided in Murray that the song was almost four minutes long (despite the label saying it was 3:05), and wanted to make sure he would play it. Murray thought the song was fantastic, but suggested moving the bass line in the middle to the beginning.

Spector heard all three opinions as criticism, and got very nervous. “The co-writer, the co-publisher and the number-one disc jockey in America all killed me,” Spector said in a 2003 interview with Telegraph Magazine. “I didn’t sleep for a week when that record came out. I was so sick, I got a spastic colon; I had an ulcer.”

When the song’s writers Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil sang this for the Righteous Brothers, low-voiced Bill Medley loved it, but Bobby Hatfield was puzzled, as the duo typically shared lead vocals and he was relegated to a minor part in this song. Hatfield asked, “What do I do while he’s singing the entire first verse?” Phil Spector replied, “You can go directly to the bank.”

According to Spector, The Righteous Brothers didn’t even want to record the song, as they fancied themselves more in the realm of rock and doo-wop.

Some of the artists who covered this include Elvis, Dionne Warwick, Hall and Oates, and Neil Diamond, among others. Warwick’s version hit #16 in 1969, Hall and Oates’ hot streak began when their remake hit #12 in 1980.

The song hit #1 in the U.S., Canada, and the UK.

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
The Righteous Brothers

You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips
And there’s no tenderness like before in your fingertips
You’re trying hard not to show it
But baby, baby I know it

You lost that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
You lost that lovin’ feelin’
Now it’s gone, gone, gone, whoa-oh

Now there’s no welcome look in your eyes when I reach for you
And now you’re starting to criticize little things I do
It makes me just feel like crying
‘Cause baby, something beautiful’s dyin’

You lost that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
You lost that lovin’ feelin’
Now it’s gone, gone, gone, whoa-oh

Baby, baby, I’d get down on my knees for you
If you would only love me like you used to do, yeah
We had a love, a love, a love you don’t find everyday
So don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t let it slip away

Baby, baby, baby, baby
I beg you please, please, please, please
I need your love, need your love
I need your love, I need your love
So bring it on back, so bring it on back
Bring it on back, bring it on back

Bring back that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
Bring back that lovin’ feelin’
‘Cause it’s gone, gone, gone
And I can’t go on, whoa-oh

Bring back that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
Bring back that lovin’ feelin’
‘Cause it’s gone, gone, gone

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Phil Spector / Barry Mann / Cynthia Weil
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Sometimes When We Touch ♫

I was rather surprised to find I hadn’t played this one here yet.  I’ve always liked this song … guess I was just saving it for tonight, eh?

Sometimes When We Touch, released in 1977, was written by Dan Hill (lyrics) and Barry Mann (music).  It hit #1 in Canada, #3 in the U.S., and #13 in the UK.  According to Hill …

“I grew up in a really suburban area, the model suburb of which all suburbs were based in Canada. And it was a beautiful place to grow up in terms of there were so many talented kids that I learned from, music, writing, books. But it was also very, very conservative. By that I mean I had no experience at all with girls.

So suddenly I was like 18, 19, living on my own. And I was running into a whole different kind of girl that I didn’t even know existed. I didn’t know females could think the way some of these girls were thinking, and I’m talking the early ’70s. And at the time the world was changing. Fear of Flying had just come out by the writer Erica Jong, you know, the great writer Germaine Greer had read written ‘The Female Eunuch.’ And women were kind of wearing their sexuality almost on their chest, as though it was a political statement, as though they were saying, This is my body and I can do what I want with it. They were almost like embracing the ‘slut’ word, in terms of turning it into a term of empowerment.

I didn’t really understand that at the time. All I knew was there was this woman that I was falling desperately in love with, and I just thought everybody was naturally monogamous. My parents have always stayed together. Well, this woman didn’t want anything to do with monogamy. She wanted to get close to me, so to speak, but she wanted to be close with a lot of other guys at the same time, and I found this to be terribly distressful. She also liked to tell me about how all the other guys were so much more rich than I was, older, more established, she was going out with athletes, Argonauts (players from the Toronto football team), famous photographers. So I felt very inadequate.

And I thought the only thing that I could do to make her take me seriously as more than just her occasional fling was to write a song that would absolutely galvanize her. I knew that all these guys might have more money, might be older, maybe more sophisticated. But they sure as hell couldn’t write songs and sing like I could.

So I set out to write the most powerful song ever written that was just going to absolutely flatten her, so that she would reconsider me, so that she would take me as her only lover. I was very proud of that song. I thought that I had really, really broken into new territory. I’ll always remember, I was working for the civil service for $1.89 an hour. I was so proud of that lyric. And I taped it right over where I sorted all the mail. So I saw it on the wall, just looked at that lyric, because I was so proud of it. And then, of course, I got a little too proud of it and a little too cocky, went home from work, phoned up my erstwhile girlfriend, and played her the song, ‘Sometimes When We Touch’ in its earlier incarnation, expecting her to swoon. Well, there was this sort of martyr silence on the other end of the phone after she had heard that song, and a long, drawn out sigh. And she said, ‘Did anyone ever tell you for a 19 year old you’re way too goddamn intense. I’m leaving town with a CFL football player, he just got cut. We’re moving to North Carolina.’ Bam, she was gone.

That was the first of many unintended consequences of ‘Sometimes When We Touch.’ You think you’re going to do one thing with a song, it does something else. You know, I was a very intense guy. ‘Sometimes When We Touch’ was a very intense song.”

In 1985, Sometimes When We Touch was notably covered by American country music artists Mark Gray and Tammy Wynette. The tune was recorded as a duet between the artists and originally released as a single the same year.

Sometimes When We Touch
Dan Hill

You ask me if I love you
And I choke on my reply
I’d rather hurt you honestly
Than mislead you with a lie

For who am I to judge you
In what you say or do
I’m only just beginning
To see the real you

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty’s too much
And I have to close my eyes
And hide
I want to hold you till I die
Till we both break down and cry
I want to hold you till the fear in me subsides

Romance’s an honest strategy
Leaves me grappling with my pride
But through the years of maturity
Some tenderness survives
I’m just another writer
Still trapped within my truth
A hesitant prize-fighter
Still trapped within my youth

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty’s too much
And I have to close my eyes
And hide
I want to hold you till I die
Till we both break down and cry
I want to hold you till the fear in me subsides

At times I’d like to break you
And drive you to your knees
At times I’d like to break through
And hold you endlessly
At times I understand you
And I know how hard you try
I’ve watched while love commands you
And I’ve watched love pass you by
At times I think we’re drifters
Still searching for a friend
A brother or a sister
But then the passion flares again…

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty’s too much
And I have to close my eyes
And hide
I want to hold you till I die
Till we both break down and cry
I want to hold you till the fear in me subsides

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Barry Mann / Daniel Grafton Hill
Sometimes When We Touch lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Ole Media Management Lp

♫ We Gotta Get Out Of This Place ♫

A few days ago, our friend rawgod mentioned that he was in the mood for some of the Animals earlier music, and I kept getting sidetracked, so I hadn’t as yet played one for him.  Of course, the first to come to mind was their iconic House of the Rising Sun, but I had already played that one.  Then I thought of Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, which perfectly suits rawgod, but alas, I had already played that one, too!  Both are worthy of a redux, but I wanted to do something new, so my next favourite is this one, We Gotta Get Outta This Place.

This was written by the husband and wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.  Mann and Weil wrote and recorded the song as a demo, with Mann singing and playing piano. It was intended for The Righteous Brothers, for whom they had written the number one hit You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ but then Mann gained a recording contract for himself, and his label Red Bird Records wanted him to release it instead. Meanwhile, record executive Allen Klein had heard it and gave the demo to Mickie Most, the Animals’ producer. Most already had a call out to Brill Building songwriters for material for the group’s next recording session and the Animals recorded it before Mann could.

The arrangement featured a distinctive bass lead by group member Chas Chandler. This was the first single not to be recorded by the original line-up, following as it did the departure of keyboard player Alan Price and his replacement by Dave Rowberry. It featured one of singer Eric Burdon’s typically raw, fierce vocals. Rolling Stone described the overall effect as a “harsh white-blues treatment from The Animals. As Burdon put it, ‘Whatever suited our attitude, we just bent to our own shape.'”

The song reached #2 on the UK pop singles chart on August 14, 1965 (held out of the top slot by the Beatles’ Help!). The following month, it reached #13 on the U.S. pop singles chart, its highest placement there. In Canada, the song also reached #2, on September 20, 1965.

At the time, the song was understandably very popular with United States Armed Forces members stationed in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

We Gotta Get out of This Place
The Animals

In this dirty old part of the city
Where the sun refused to shine
People tell me there ain’t no use in tryin’

Now my girl you’re so young and pretty
And one thing I know is true
You’ll be dead before your time is due, I know

Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin’
Watched his hair been turnin’ grey
He’s been workin’ and slavin’ his life away
Oh yes I know it

(Yeah!) He’s been workin’ so hard
(Yeah!) I’ve been workin’ too, baby
(Yeah!) Every night and day
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)

We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
’cause girl, there’s a better life for me and you

Now my girl you’re so young and pretty
And one thing I know is true, yeah
You’ll be dead before your time is due, I know it

Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin’
Watched his hair been turnin’ grey, yeah
He’s been workin’ and slavin’ his life away
I know he’s been workin’ so hard

(Yeah!) I’ve been workin’ too, baby
(Yeah!) Every day baby
(Yeah!) Whoa!
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)

We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Girl, there’s a better life for me and you
Somewhere baby, somehow I know it

We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Girl, there’s a better life for me and you
Believe me baby
I know it baby
You know it too

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Barry Mann / Cynthia Weil
We Gotta Get out of This Place lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

♫ Just Once ♫

I have found very little background trivia about this song, and tonight that’s fine with me, for I am exhausted and ready to head up the 15 stairs to bed!  However, I will tell you that I simply love Quincy Jones and this song is in my top ten faves.

I do, however, have an interesting bit of trivia about Quincy Jones … he attended his own memorial service!  In 1974 Jones had a pair of brain aneurysms, and the prognosis was pretty grim. Since it looked like he might not have much time left, his family and friends started planning a memorial service. Although Jones was in poor health, he talked his neurologist into letting him attend the service, which was held at the Shrine in Los Angeles. The doctor was worried that Jones’ health would suffer if he got too worked up during the service, so he sat next to Jones throughout the ceremony. Jones later told Newsweek that staying calm “was hard to do with Richard Pryor, Marvin Gaye, Sarah Vaughn and Sidney Poitier singing your praises.”

Just Once is a 1981 single released from Quincy Jones’ album The Dude on A&M Records. The song features James Ingram on vocals, and reached number 17 on the Billboard chart in the summer of 1981.  If the song charted anywhere else, I find no evidence of it, but … I like it, so bear with me on this one, okay?

Just Once
Quincy Jones/James Ingram

I did my best
But I guess, my best wasn’t good enough
‘Cause, here we are back where we were before
Seems nothin’ ever changes
We’re back to bein’ strangers
Wonderin’ if, we ought to stay
Or head on, out the door

Just Once…
Can we figure out, what we keep, doin’ wrong
Why, we never last for very long
What are we doin’ wrong?
Just once…
Can we find a way, to finally make it right
To make the magic last, for more than just one night
If we, could just get to it
I know we could, break through it

Hmm-hmm…
(…)

I gave my all
But I think my all, may have been too much
‘Cause, Lord knows we’re not getting anywhere
Seems, we’re always blowin’
Whatever, we’ve got goin’
And it seems at times, with all we’ve got
We haven’t, got a prayer

Just once…
Can we figure out, what we keep doin’ wrong
Why the good times, never last for long
Where are we goin’ wrong

Just once…
Can’t we find a way, to finally make it right
To make the magic last, for more than just one night
I know, we could break through it
If we could just, get to it

Just once…
I want to understand
Why, it always comes back …to goodbye
Why… can’t we get ourselves in hand
And admit to one another
We’re no good, without each other
Take the best, to make it better
Find a way, to stay together

Just once…
Can we find a way, to finally make it right
(Whoa!)
Make the magic last, for more than just one night
I know we could, break through it
If we could just, get to it
Just Once…

…Whoa-ohh
We can get through it…
Just …Once

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Barry Mann / Cynthia Weill
Just Once lyrics © Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp., Miss Holly Music, Sony Atv Songs Llc, Mann And Weil Songs Inc

♫ Somewhere Out There ♫

The first time I heard this song was when I saw An American Tail … probably some years after its 1986 release.  It’s a cute film and I fell in love with the song.  The only other song I can remember right offhand from that film is There Are No Cats In America, the title of which, of course, is a blatant lie!

The song was written by James Horner, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and produced by Peter Asher and Steve Tyrell.  It is sung by James Ingram and Linda Ronstadt.  The story goes that Stephen Spielberg, who produced An American Tail, invited songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil to collaborate with James Horner on four songs for its soundtrack, to be completed in a four-week timeframe. The composers “felt no pressure to come up with a radio-friendly hit” and were surprised when Spielberg felt the song had Top 40 hit potential and recruited world-renowned recording artists, Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram, to record a pop version of it for the film’s closing credits.

At the 30th Grammy Awards, the song won two awards, one for Song of the Year and the other for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television. It also garnered Ronstadt and Ingram a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Somewhere Out There
James Ingram, Linda Ronstadt

Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight
Someone’s thinking of me and loving me tonight
Somewhere out there someone’s saying a prayer
That we’ll find one another in that dream somewhere out there

And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishin’ on the same bright star
And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky

Somewhere out there, if love can see us through
Then we’ll be together somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true

And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishin’ on the same bright star
And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky

Somewhere out there, if love can see us through
Then we’ll be together somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true

Songwriters: James Horner / Cynthia Weil / Barry Mann
Somewhere Out There lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Never Gonna Let You Go ♫

One thing about doing these mostly-daily music posts is it has challenged me to dig back through my memory banks to recall artists and songs that I once liked but hadn’t thought about in years, sometimes decades.  One such artist is Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes.

Released in 1983, Never Gonna Let You Go is sung by Joe Pizzulo and Leeza Miller.  That’s Sergio on the keyboard.  Songwriters Cynthia Weil (lyrics) and Barry Mann (music) composed the song and originally submitted it to Earth, Wind and Fire, but they ultimately decided not to record it.

Mendes was preparing a new album for an April 1983 release and said …

“All the other songs on the album were up and festive. I needed a ballad on the album, just to change the pace a bit.”

And so this song became the title song for his album.  Mendes is probably best known for his 1968 The Look of Love.

Never Gonna Let You Go
Sérgio Mendes

I was as wrong as I could be
To let you get away from me
I’ll regret that move for as long as I’m livin’
But now that I’ve come to see the light
All I wanna do is make things right
So just say the word and tell me that I’m forgiven

You and me, we’re gonna be better than we were before
Loved you then but now I intend
To open up and love you even more
This time, you can be sure

I’m never gonna let you go
I’m gonna hold you in my arms forever
Gonna try and make up for all the times
I hurt you so
Gonna hold your body close to mine
From this day on, we’re gonna be together
Oh, I swear this time
I’m never gonna let you go

Lookin’ back now, it seems so clear
I had it all when you were here
Oh, you gave it all
And I took it for granted

But if there’s some feeling left in you
Some flicker of love that still shines through
Let’s talk it out
Let’s talk about second chances

Wait and see, it’s gonna be sweeter than it was before
I gave some then but now I intend
To dedicate myself to giving more
This time you can be sure

I’m never gonna let you go
I’m gonna hold you in my arms forever
Gonna try and make up for all the times
I hurt you so

Gonna hold your body close to mine
From this day on, we’re gonna be together
Oh, I swear this time
I’m never gonna let you go

Oh, so if you’ll just say
You want me too

I’m never gonna let you go
I’m gonna hold you in my arms forever
Gonna try and make up for all the times
I hurt you so

Gonna hold your body close to mine
From this day on, we’re gonna be together
Oh, I swear this time
I’m never gonna let you go
Never gonna let you go
Hold you in my arms forever
Gonna try and make up for all the times
I hurt you so
Hold your body close to mine
Oh, we’re gonna be together
Oh, I swear this time
I’m never gonna let you go

Songwriters: WEIL CYNTHIA / MANN BARRY
Never Gonna Let You Go lyrics © Sony/ATV Songs LLC, Mann And Weil Songs Inc, SONY/ATV SONGS LLC OBO MANN AND WEIL SONGS INC