Song of the Day #5,212: ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ – Percy Sledge

I’ll go out on a limb and say that, for every one of the nine singles to reach #1 by two different artists, the original is superior. Would anybody really pick Club Nouveau over Bill Withers, or Kim Wilde over The Supremes? Bananarama’s pop sheen over the 60s rock of The Shocking Blue?

Perhaps nowhere is the gap between versions more clear than in today’s example, ‘When a Man Loves a Woman.’ Percy Sledge had a #1 hit with his soulful performance in 1966, and 25 years later Michael Bolton registered one of only two #1 hits in his career with his 1991 recording.

Both the musical backdrop and the impassioned vocals of the original make it a recording that should have been left alone. Bolton has a fine voice, but to my ear he delivers nothing but a sleek and passionless imitation.

His version has its fans, though, based on the sales and the effusive comments on its YouTube video.

When a man loves a woman
Can’t keep his mind on nothin’ else
He’d change the world for the good thing he’s found
If she is bad, he can’t see it
She can do no wrong
Turn his back on his best friend if he put her down

When a man loves a woman
He’ll spend his very last dime
Tryin’ to hold on to what he needs
He’d give up all his comforts
And sleep out in the rain
If she said that’s the way
It ought to be

Well, this man loves you, woman
I gave you everything I had
Tryin’ to hold on to your heartless love
Baby, please don’t treat me bad

When a man loves a woman
Down deep in his soul
She can bring him such misery
If she is playin’ him for a fool
He’s the last one to know
Lovin’ eyes can never see

When a man loves a woman
He can do her no wrong
He can never want
Some other girl

Yes when a man loves a woman
I know exactly how he feels
Cause baby, baby, you’re my world

When a man loves a woman…

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,212: ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ – Percy Sledge

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I’m out on that limb with ya, especially with today’s song.

  2. Peg says:

    👍 me too

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.