"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" is a song written by Phil Spector, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil. It was first recorded by the Righteous Brothers in 1964, produced by Phil Spector. Their recording is considered by some music critics to be the ultimate expression and illustration of Spector's "Wall of Sound" recording technique. It has also been described by various music writers as "one of the best records ever made" and "the ultimate pop record".
The original Righteous Brothers version was a critical and commercial success on its release, becoming a number-one hit single in both the United States and the United Kingdom in February 1965. It was the fifth best selling song of 1965 in the US. It also entered the Top 10 in the UK chart on an unprecedented three separate occasions.
The Righteous Brothers
They weren't brothers. But Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield (both born in 1940) were most definitely righteous, defining the term "blue-eyed soul" in the mid-'60s. The white Southern California duo was an established journeyman duo wop/R&B act. That was before an association with Phil Spector produced one of the most memorable hits of the 1960s, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'."
The collaboration soon fell apart, though. The singers had some other excellent hit singles in a similar style. Also, they proved unable to sustain their momentum after just a year or two at the top.
When Medley and Hatfield combined forces in 1962, they emerged from regional groups the Paramours and the Variations; in fact, they kept the Paramours billing for their first single. By 1963, they were calling themselves the Righteous Brothers. Medley taking the low parts with his smoky baritone, Hatfield taking the higher tenor and falsetto lines. For the next couple of years they did quite a few energetic R&B tunes on the Moonglow label that bore similarity to the gospel/soul/rock style of Ray Charles, copping their greatest success with "Little Latin Lupe Lu," which became a garage-band favorite covered by Mitch Ryder, the Kingsmen, and others.
One is not good enough without the other
Medley had a couple of small hits in the late '60s as a solo act, but unsurprisingly neither "brother" was worth half as much on their own as they were together. In 1974 they reunited and had a number three hit with "Rock and Roll Heaven," a tribute to dead rock stars that some found tacky. A couple of smaller hits followed before Medley retired from performing for five years in 1976. The Righteous Brothers continued to tour the oldies circuit off and on in the 1980s and 1990s. It was while on one of these tours that Bobby Hatfield died suddenly on November 5, 2003.