Little Anthony & the Imperials

Hurt So Bad

Composed by Bobby Hart / Teddy Randazzo / Bob Weinstein / Bobby Wilding

Song Review by

Little Anthony & the Imperials enjoyed a surprising career resurgence in 1964 after four years of struggling by hooking up with DCP Records and turning to the dramatic lovelorn ballads of Terry Randazzo and Bobby Weinstein: "I'm on the Outside (Looking In)" and "Goin' out of My Head." For their next single, Randazzo separated from Weinstein, but brought in two more Bobbys: Bobby Hart, who wasn't yet working exclusively with Tommy Boyce, and Bobby Wilding. They came up with another opportunity for Little Anthony to express romantic torment, "Hurt So Bad." The narrator encounters a recently departed lover and tells her how much it hurts to be without her. He notes that he's heard she's in love with somebody else, but says it will "hurt so bad" if she leaves him. (Since she seems to have left him already, this doesn't quite make sense, but his irrationality only serves to reinforce the power of his emotions.) He pleads with her to stay and says he'll do anything if she will. The song's message was emphasized by the arrangement, which had light, rhythmic verses and thundering drums and backup vocals in counterpoint to lead into the choruses. It was another heartbreaking winner for the team of songwriters and performers, and it peaked in the Top Ten following its January 1965 release. In subsequent years, if it did not achieve the exalted status of its predecessor, "Goin' out of My Head," as a standard, it did become a perennial, hitting the singles charts three more times in the next 15 years. The Lettermen, who had previously covered "Goin' out of My Head," revived it in 1969 for a Top 20 hit; Jackie DeShannon combined it in a medley with "You Keep Me Hangin' On" that reached the charts in 1976; and Linda Ronstadt took it back into the Top Ten in 1980.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Best of Little Anthony & the Imperials [Rhino] 1989 Rhino 2:15
Slow Jams: The '60s, Vol. 2 1993
Various Artists
The Right Stuff 2:15
Hits from 1965 [Hollywood] 1994
Various Artists
The R&B Box: 30 Years of Rhythm & Blues 1994
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Bros.
Greatest Hits [EMI-Capitol Special Markets] 1995 EMI-Capitol Special Markets / CEMA Special Markets 2:19
Happy Days: 100 Rock 'N' Roll Hits 1995
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:19
Eighteen Soulful Ballads 1996
Various Artists
Rhino / Essex 2:16
The Best of Little Anthony & the Imperials [EMI] 1996 EMI Legends of Rock 'N' Roll Series / Capitol 2:15
Happy Days 1960's 1997
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:21
100 Jukebox Hits: 50's & 60's 1998
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:20
I'm on the Outside (Looking In)/Goin' Out of My Head 1999 Collectables 2:19
The Very Best of Little Anthony & the Imperials 2000 Collectables 2:19
Teenagers in Love [Golden Stars] 2001
Various Artists
Golden Stars 2:16
Soul Spectacular! The Greatest Soul Hits of All Time 2002
Various Artists
Rhino 2:19
Greatest Hits [Collectables] 2003 Collectables 2:19