Our Top 10 Righteous Brothers Songs list looks back at some of the most memorable pop songs ever released by two astonishing talents. There have been many great duos in popular music history, but The Righteous Brothers stand close to the top with their combined ability to have released a fabulous body of work driven by great songs and out of this world vocal performances. In 1962, singers Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield were performing in a group called The Paramours. The story told is that one night a group of marines were so blown away by the two singers they started screaming at the stage about how Righteous they sounded. The name would stick.
The Righteous Brothers released fourteen albums between their debut album in 1963 and their final record in 1975. Their peak years were 1965 and 1966. Our top 10 Righteous Brothers songs list looks to present some of their biggest hits.
# 10 – Little Latin Lupe Lu
We open up our Top 10 Righteous Brothers Songs list with the duo’s first big hit. The song “Little Latin Lupe Lu,” was released in 1962. The song was written by Bill Medley when he was nineteen years old. Medley wrote it about his girlfriend at the time named Lupe Laguna who liked to dance. The song eventually made it onto the Billboard Top 50 and helped launch the careers of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield who would become known as The Righteous Brothers.
Bill Medley’s “Little Latin Lupe Lu,” would become one of his most covered songs. In the tradition of 1950’s three-chord classics written by Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, “Little Latin Lupe Lu,” would be covered by artists from The Kingsmen to Mitch Ryder to Bruce Springsteen.
# 9 – Substitute
Continuing with our top 10 Righteous Brothers Songs list we jump from 1962 to 1975. The song “Substitute,” was released on the album The Sons of Mrs. Righteous. The song was written by Willie H. Wilson. The song failed to chart in the U.S. Nonetheless, it was a great underappreciated song by the Righteous Brothers that would eventually be turned into a big hit by the band Clout in 1978 when it hit number two in the UK.
# 8 – On This Side Of Goodbye
Listen to these guys sing. Hands down, the Righteous Brothers were one of the greatest singing duos of all time and this one defines one of their most spectacular moments. Although it’s a statement we will probably wish to make on every other song on this list. The Righteous Brothers Song “On This Side Of Goodbye,” was released in 1966. The song was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King.
# 7 – Just Once in My Life
Listening back to all these amazing songs, it’s just so stunning how incredible these vocal performances were. This spectacular performance was released in 1965. The song “Just Once in My Life,” was written by Gerry Goffin, Carole King, and Phil Spector. The song became a top 10 hit for The Righteous Brothers. It peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. The song was also covered by The Beach Boys ten years later in 1975.
# 6 – He
The Righteous Brothers’ recording of the song “He,” was released in 1966. It was released on the album Soul & Inspiration. The song served as the follow-up single to their number one record (You’re My) Soul and Inspiration.” The song also did well becoming a top 20 hit on the Billboard Top 100. The song “He,” was written by Jack Richards and Richard Mullan
# 5 – Ebb Tide
The legendary song “Ebb Tide,” was given the royal treatment by The Righteous Brothers in 1965. The song was written in 1953 by Robert Maxwell and Carl Sigman. It was originally recorded by Frank Chacksfield and his Orchestra. The song became one of the most covered songs of all time with definite versions done by Frank Sinatra, The Platters and of course The Righteous Brothers.
# 4 – Rock and Roll Heaven
The incredible song “Rock and Roll Heaven,” stands as sort of an outlier hit in the Righteous Brothers catalog. I would have never thought it was the Righteous Brothers because the feel of the song was so different from all their other recordings. Nonetheless, it was a big hit for the duo in 1974. It hit number three on the Billboard Hot 100 making it one of the biggest hits of their career. The song was originally recorded by the band Climax a year earlier in 1973 but failed to do well for Climax.
“Rock and Roll Heaven,” was a song written as a tribute to a group of rock stars who had passed away. The song was updated many times over the years to include more musicians who had passed on after the song had been released. Rockers mentioned in the song’s various versions included Jimi Hendrix, Jim Croce, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Bobby Darin, Keith Moon, Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Roy Orbison, Cass Elliot, Dennis Wilson, Ricky Nelson, Sam Cooke and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
# 3 – (You’re My) Soul and Inspiration
The next three songs on this Top 10 Righteous Brothers songs list could have been placed in any order. All three of these songs were huge smash hits for Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield. Words cannot describe just how beautiful these songs are. First up is the wonderful song “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration.” The song was released on the album Soul & Inspiration The song “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration,” was written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. It would become The Righteous Brothers’ second number one single of their career. It also stands as one of the greatest vocal performances of all time.
# 2 – Unchained Melody
Well everyone knows this one. It just might be the most recorded pop song of all time outside of Christmas songs and a few novelty pieces and jazz standards. Almost a thousand artists have released this song on vinyl or cd. And we are talking about major label artists. The Righteous Brothers song “Unchained Melody,” was a huge success when it was first recorded by The Righteous Brothers in 1965. The song was a Top 10 hit peaking at number four on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 1990, the song “Unchained Melody,” was given new life as its inclusion in the motion picture Ghost sent the song screaming back up the charts.
# 1 – You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
As we close out our top 10 Righteous Brothers songs list, we turn to their mighty number one hit entitled “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.'” In 1964, the Righteous Brothers song “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,'” hit number one in Canada, The United Kingdom and the United States. This incredible piece of music was written by Phil Spector, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil. It was a perfect storm of talent that was responsible for this classic song. The brilliant songwriting of Mann and Wells, Phil Spector’s defining wall of sound and genius production skills, and the astonishing vocal talents of the Righteous Brothers. It all resulted in the perfect pop song and one of the greatest records ever released.
Updated May 21, 2023
Top 10 Righteous Brothers Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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