Jan Andersson about recently deceased Percy Sledge and his iconic version of When a Man Loves a Woman.
The man behind the world’s most iconic soullåt, When a Man Loves a Woman, died Tuesday. Percy Sledge was 73 years old and ever since the song was released in April 1966 claimed Sledge that he was about to write it (Calvin Lewis & amp; Andrew Wright, however, that song’s Official authors).
It can certainly sue Percy Sledge hummed the melody already when he as a young man picked cotton fields in Alabama – as he told me when he was ten years ago was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – or when he tore at the hospital where he worked before breakthrough . But it could also be because the melody is built around the same classic chord progression as Bach’s Air and Pachelbel’s beautiful Canon in D, and the people have hummat on for centuries.
It is true in all cases that Percy Sledge was the who first sang and played in When a Man Loves a Woman. And he sang it! Get soul singer is so intimately associated with one song that just Percy Sledge and When a Man Loves a Woman. For better or for worse.
As a soul singer Percy Sledge came namely that peaka already with their debut single, which of course must have been a yoke to drag on through the years. Although he recorded fine versions of a number of strong songs he never reached up to the same level again. Much depends on that other artists had already recorded or came to interpret the songs even better: Dark End of the Street (James Carr), Try a Little Tenderness and That’s how strong my love is (Otis Redding), Spooky (Dusty Springfield) You Send Me (Aretha Franklin).
But that said, there is no one who made When a Man Loves a Woman better than Percy Sledge! For me it was the song that opened up a whole world of soul music, and I have no problem with it was done by a well-known Levi Advertising (just like Muddy Waters old Mannish Boy not only caused people to put in their 501′s in the fridge, the got them also to discover the blues).
The last 30 years When a Man Loves a Woman heard in lots of great movies and certainly spun at most weddings, and interpreted by everyone from Michael Rickfors and Bette Midler Michael Bolton, which won a Grammy for his right hideous version.
A Grammy as Percy Sledge course would have been for almost 50 years ago.
Listen to Percy sledges ten best songs in Spotify-list to the right.