The Righteous Brothers

The soul group The Righteous Brothers is my favorite group/duo from the 1960s. Dubbed “blue-eyed soul”, their music touched millions and still does to this day. Known for their passionate soul music featuring fantastic harmonizing between Bobby Hatfield (blond hair) who was a countertenor and Bill Medley (dark hair) who is a bass/baritone. Sadly, Bobby died from heart failure brought on by cocaine on November 5, 2003 (aged 63). Bill got another partner after Bobby’s death and continues to perform to this day.

I’ll be sharing 2 songs. One featuring Bobby as solo singer, and another featuring both Bill and Bobby.

First Song

The first song we’re going to listen to is Unchained Melody. This is probably the most famous (modern age) love song ever sung! It has been recorded over 600 times by dozens of artists in many different languages. It shows that music can transcend cultural barriers. Bobby sings tenor here and reaches into the countertenor register on some notes. He has a beautiful clear and pure tone with minimal vibrato. I don’t know if Bobby has perfect pitch, but based on his performance in this live broadcast I think he does have it. For a vocal analysis of this performance please see British guitarist Fil’s video here. Fil has another video which gives an even more technical analysis looking at the pitch, vibrato, which notes Bobby is hitting and more. See here for that video.

This live version is from October 25, 1965, when Bill and Bobby were on “The Andy Williams Show.” Bobby was 25 years old at the time.

Please enjoy his phenomenal performance. He sings with so much soul. Pay attention to his amazing runs and trills. And be sure to watch to the end to hear Bobby’s spectacular falsetto!

Lyrics

Oh, my love
My darling
I’ve hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time

And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?

I need your love
I need your love
God speed your love to me

Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea
To the open arms of the sea
Yes, lonely rivers sigh, “Wait for me, wait for me
I’ll be coming home, wait for me”

Oh, my love
My darling
I’ve hungered, hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time

And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?

I need your love
I, I need your love
God speed your love to me

Second Song

The next song we’re going to listen to is You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’. This is from an unknown TV program broadcast live in 1965. Although Bobby and Bill sing in completely different registers they posses the vocal skill and control which allows them to harmonize so well! They each sing their solo parts in this song amazingly and the build up to the spectacular ending is something you won’t want to miss. Their passion and soul come through in spades!

Lyrics

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, (baby)
But baby, baby I know it

You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’
Now it’s gone…gone…gone…woah

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

You lost that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’
Now it’s gone…gone…gone…woah

Baby baby, I 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 of you please…please
I need your love (I need your love)
I need your love (I need your love)
Well, bring it on back (So bring it on back)
Bring it on back (so 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, woah

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: