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The Righteous Brothers

They weren't brothers, but Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield (both born in 1940) were most definitely righteous, defining (and perhaps even inspiring) the term "blue-eyed soul" in the mid-'60s. The white Southern California duo were an established journeyman doo wop/R&B act 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, and while the singers had some other excellent hit singles in a similar style, 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.

Even on the Moonglow recordings, Bill Medley acted as producer and principal songwriter, but the duo wouldn't break out nationally until they put themselves at the services of Phil Spector. Spector gave the Wall of Sound treatment to "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," a grandiose ballad penned by himself, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil. At nearly four minutes, the song was pushing the limits of what could be played on radio in the mid-'60s, and some listeners thought they were hearing a 45 single played at 33 rpm due to Medley's low, blurry lead vocal. No matter; the song had a power that couldn't be denied, and went all the way to number one.

The Righteous Brothers had three more big hits in 1965 on Spector's Philles label ("Just Once in My Life," "Unchained Melody," and "Ebb Tide"), all employing similar dense orchestral arrangements and swelling vocal crescendos. Yet the Righteous Brothers-Spector partnership wasn't a smooth one, and by 1966 the duo had left Philles for a lucrative deal with Verve. Medley, already an experienced hand in the producer's booth, reclaimed the producer's chair, and the Righteous Brothers had another number one hit with their first Verve outing, "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration." Its success must have been a particularly bitter blow for Spector, given that Medley successfully emulated the Wall of Sound orchestral ambience of the Righteous Brothers' Philles singles down to the smallest detail, even employing the same Mann-Weil writing team that had contributed to "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." It's a bit of a mystery as to why the Righteous Brothers never came close to duplicating that success during the rest of their tenure at Verve. But they would only have a couple of other Top 40 hits in the 1960s ("He" and "Go Ahead and Cry," both in 1966), even with the aid of occasional compositions by the formidable Goffin-King team. In 1968 Medley left for a solo career; Hatfield, the less talented of the pair (at least from a songwriting and production standpoint), kept the Righteous Brothers going with Jimmy Walker (who had been in the Knickerbockers).

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. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: 20th Century Masters: The Best Of The Righteous Brothers

1. Little Latin Lupe Lu

2. Koko Joe

3. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

4. Just Once In My Life

5. See That Girl

6. Unchained Melody

7. Hung On You

8. Ebb Tide

9. White Cliffs Of Dover

10. (You're My) Soul And Inspiration

11. He

12. Go Ahead And Cry

13. On This Side Of Goodbye

14. Rock & Roll Heaven

x

Track List: Gold

Disc 1

1. Little Latin Lupe Lu

4. My Babe

5. Ko Ko Joe

6. Let The Good Times Roll

7. Try To Find Another Man

8. I Just Wanna Make Love To You

9. Something's Got A Hold On Me

10. This Little Girl Of Mine

11. Bring Your Love To Me

12. Fannie Mae

13. You Can Have Her

14. Justine

15. Georgia On My Mind

16. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

18. Just Once In My Life

19. See That Girl

20. Unchained Melody

21. Hung On You

22. Ebb Tide

24. The White Cliffs Of Dover

Disc 2

1. (You're My) Soul And Inspiration

3. He

4. Go Ahead And Cry

6. On This Side Of Goodbye

8. Melancholy Music Man

9. Stranded In The Middle Of No Place

14. Brown Eyed Woman

18. My Prayer

22. Rock And Roll Heaven

x

Track List: Retrospective 1963-1974

1. Unchained Melody

2. My Babe

3. Justine

4. See That Girl

5. Just Once In My Life

6. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

7. Hung On You

8. On This Side Of Goodbye

9. Little Latin Lupe Lu

10. Georgia On My Mind

11. He

12. The White Cliffs Of Dover

13. Ebb Tide

15. Go Ahead And Cry

16. (You're My) Soul And Inspiration

18. Brown Eyed Woman

19. Melancholy Music Man

20. Rock And Roll Heaven

x

Track List: Soul And Inspiration

1. Soul And Inspiration

2. He Will Break Your Heart

3. Justine

4. Bring Your Love To Me

5. Little Latin Lupe Lu

6. Go Ahead And Cry

7. My Babe

8. Stranded In The Middle Of Noplace

9. He

10. Melancholy Music Man

11. On This Side Of Goodbye

x

Track List: Reunion

1. Unchained Melody (1991 Version)

2. Just Once In My Life (1991 Version)

3. Rock & Roll Heaven (1991 Version)

4. (You're My) Soul And Inspiration (1991 Version)

5. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' (1991 Version)

6. Hung On You (1991 Version)

7. Try To Find Another Woman (1991 Version)

8. Little Latin Lupe Lu' (1991 Version)

9. Ebbtide (1991 Version)

10. My Babe (1991 Version)

11. Unchained Melody (Timeless Love Extended Version)

x

Track List: (Unchained Melody) Best Of Righteous Brothers

1. Unchained Melody

2. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

3. Soul And Inspiration

4. Ebbtide

5. Just Once In My Life

6. Little Latin Lupe Lu

7. My Babe

8. Try To Find Another Woman

9. American Rock And Roll

10. Georgia On My Mind

Comments

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Great tribute song!!!
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God speed your love yes please
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Blue eye soul
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This is Al Greens Station

Why no al Green
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Last song my mother heard before her death. Special song to my family. We love and miss her. Wish she was here to hear all the greatest music.
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I let her go she was everything now nothing
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The Righteous Bros 1991 version of Unchained Melody is superb .
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Only You ...dance with me love
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you are still mine my love Mike forever my love mimi
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Oh my love how I need your love
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I need your love omy
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I LOVE these guys!!
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elliecupcake 2 0 1 5
Sooooo soooo slowly tell yes of course spirits give me choice it's not me!!! Or you !!! Tell
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Yes
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Bill had good voice too.
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jg-number1
LOVE this song!! :-) Perfection. :-)
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johnlemay48
Ghost!!!
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Amazing!! I want it to be my wedding song!!!!
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Great song. Just finished reading Bill Medley's autobiograph y , The Time of My Life. It's a good read, if you're a fan.
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If this song does not give you goosebumps, please check your pulse!!! Great song, even greater memories!!!
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I love unchained melody too
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Unchained melody is my husbands and I favorite song when we were dating and I still love it!
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There's nothing wrong with this group or their music....Esp e c i a l l y "unchained melody "!!!!
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Please remove this horrible sounding song and replace it with the younger version. It is painful to listen to this after hearing how good the original one was! What was PANDORA thinking?
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gijn
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Sacriledge.. . b u t I always liked Soul and Inspiration better than YLTLF. Does that make me a bad person?
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Q

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sheffield57
Slower than a turtle tonite. Frustrating will say nite I❤️u
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elliecupcake 2 0 1 5
I am waiting ,, don't want to any more do you��������
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I like all the music from Gary Puckett there is not one song I didn't like
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one of the great song ever.
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I love to dance to this music w who i love he knows who he is
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Excellent tune but NOBODY Can melt my heart like, The King of course Elvis Presley!!!
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My station is for '80s and '90s dance music. But occasionally Pandora presents 60s music. There was great music back then, but it doesn't fit my station!
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I love this song is beautiful
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boy I have hard time getting back to station but found the error local commo ploblems
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Love them. Didn't rem. When I was young. But now its great. Wish I could see him. Wishing him the best and many more days of singing.
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have this single on my ipod. I once had the greatest hits Cd too.
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Always will be a Timeless song!! A song that will forever be on many's list of favorites !!! :-) ✨✨✨✨
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Such an incredible song
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ruthieballar d
Classic!
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Great music but the voice can no longer handle the high notes and it is very noticeable.
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Good slow dancing music!!!
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herb hasan they expressed the love you had for your love one in the words you wish you could say
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tears me up :-)
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This has Always been A Beautiful, touching song! I just LOVE-IT!!!��
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one of the best songs ever
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This Is my grandparents weting song
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ALWAYS, one of my most favorite songs!!!! Really so emotionally moving!!!! ❤️✨✨❤️
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Makes me cry, but I love it. My first husband and I use to dance to it, he passed away in 1989
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