When a Man Loves a Woman (Percy Sledge)

28 JUNE 1966

The classic soul song ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ by Percy Sledge was at its peak UK chart position of #4. Another big hit for Atlantic Records, it reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts and continues to get a lot of airplay to this day. The song was also recorded in 1966 by both Esther Williams and the Spencer Davis Group.

This song reached #2 in the UK in 1987 when it was re-released after featuring in a jeans commercial. It is also listed at #53 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

If you think the horns on this sound slightly out of tune, that's because they are. After Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records had signed a distribution deal for the song, he requested that it be re-recorded because the horns were out of tune. So they went back to the studio with new players and redid the horns, but then the tapes got mixed up and Atlantic unknowingly put out the original version anyway.

B-side: 'Love Me Like You Mean It'
Released: March 1966
Recorded: 17 February 1966, Norala Studios, Sheffield, Alabama
Highest chart position: #2 (UK), #1 (US)
Length: 2:51
Label: Atlantic
Writers: Calvin Lewis, Andrew Wright
Producers: Marlin Greene, Quin Ivy