Song of the Day: The Everly Brothers, “Love Hurts” (1960)

“Love Hurts” was written by the husband-and-wife songwriting team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. It was one of the many great songs they wrote for The Everly Brothers, though it is only credited to Boudleaux. Despite this being one of their finest songs, it wasn’t originally released as a single and was initially left buried in the tracklist of the famed duo’s 1960 LP, A Date with the Everly Brothers.

It is possible that the dark, sexy tones of the song discouraged producers from releasing it as a single. “Love Hurts,” in fact, is considered by many, to this day, as the ultimate anti-love. Exploring a more psychologically, painful side of love through the protagonist’s refusal of love’s common definition as a blissful state-of-being, it different from previous Everly Brothers hits – both the sweeter depiction of love offered in “All I Have To Do Is Dream” (1958) and the altogether more upbeat “Wake Up, Little Susie” (1957)

“Love Hurts” did get some minor recognition a year after its 1960 debut as the B-side to Roy Orbison’s single “Running Scared.” However, by many accounts, it was the Scottish band Nazareth’s interpretation of the song as a rock ballad 14 years later that turned it into a hit. Because it was widely unknown by then, Bob Leszczak writes that for most people, it “was a brand new song, and with this unique interpretation it truly was.”

“Some fools think of happiness, blissfulness, togetherness / Some fools fool themselves, I guess but they’re not foolin’ me / I know it isn’t true, I know it isn’t true / Love is just a lie made to make you blue. Love hurts.”

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