Nazareth – “Love Hurts” – The 45 Single

“Love Hurts” is a classic song by the band Nazareth. But did you know it is actually a cover? Nope, me neither. It is the most famous version of the song and the first time it was ever a hit single in the US. The song was actually written by Boudleaux Bryant and recorded by the Everly Brothers back in 1960. However it didn’t reach the charts and wasn’t a hit until Nazareth covered it in 1975 and included on their album ‘Hair of the Dog’. It reached #8 in the US and went Gold. Not too shabby.

The song is about a man who discovers that young love is so hot, but it burns out just as hot and fast. When the flame goes out it burns, it hurts and is painful. He is telling those that are so in love and all they are doing is talking about it that in the end love fades and you will get burned. It is a really sad song when you think about it. They kept pretty true to the original song only changing the one line “love is like a stove/it burns you when it’s hot” and changing it to be “love is like a flame/it burns you when it’s hot”. I have to admit, flame is way better than stove.

The song is performed as a power ballad with a slow tempo and musically has a solemn tone to it to match the lyrical content. Singer, Dan McCafferty, sings with such heart, emotion and sadness. That gritty high pitch bites at you and makes your heart ache. It is quite lovely. Nazareth took this song and made it their own and whenever any one mentions this song, this is the one I think about first.

The B-Side is the title track to the album ‘Hair of the Dog’. Yes!!! This song kicks some major ass so it is great to have two of their most famous songs on one single. The song is about a woman who manipulates men to do whatever she wants them to do. She controls them, well, that is until she meets the man singing the song who tells her, you can’t control because now your messing with a “Son of a Bitch” which the song is commonly referred. Dan does the talk box effect on the song and Manny Charlton on guitar laying down some nasty riffs. Of course the song has cowbells thanks to drummer Darrell Sweet because this the 70’s and you can never have too much cowbell. Pete Agnew is the unsung hero laying down a cool groove and rhythm on bass. It is a true classic, “classic rock” song. Love it.

And that is all. Now you are probably wondering why I didn’t do an Original vs. Cover post, well short answer is because I have the actual 45 Single and I thought of doing this post first and then learned it was a cover. I can always come back later and do that post down the road. Thanks for hanging out and I hope you all have a great day!!

29 thoughts on “Nazareth – “Love Hurts” – The 45 Single

  1. Hair of the Dog is a great tune. Correction… proper great tune! The version of Love Hurts isn’t bad, but as Aphoristical says, Gram and Emmylou singing this is as perfect as it gets.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I do like the Everly Brothers version a lot…but I do like Nazareth’s version of it because it’s where I heard it first. Aphoristical mentioned Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris…I have to admit I like that one also… it’s just a great song.

    Liked by 1 person

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