Great Love Songs

Big Hit Love Song For Percy Sledge

‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ is a wonderful tune written by Lewis and Wright and at first recorded by the incredible Percy Sledge in the year 1966 in Alabama. The song hit number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also on the Rhythm & Blues singles charts. Bette Midler also recorded the song and had a phenomenal hit with her version. In 1991, recording artist Michael Bolton recorded the hit tune and his version peaked at Number One on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and Billboard Adult Singles.

Percy Sledge’s recording was released by Atlantic Records in 1966. It is one of only seven number 1 hits to feature on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 100. It was very successful also in the UK where is featured in the top 10 hits, number four when first released then on to number 2 in 1987. It was also used in a Levi’s Jeans commercial. Percy Sledge’s version of the song is listed at 53rd in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs ever.

The hit was at first recorded by Percy Sledge at Rick Hall’s studio at Muscle Shoals before being recorded again at the nearby by Norala Studios. The musicians on this recording included Marlin Greene on guitar; Spooner Oldham on the organ; Roger Hawkins, drums and Albert Lowe on the base. There was some disagreement around the horns being off key so they changed the horns around and got particular horn players to play on this version. But actually it is the original version that we know and love today.