Jackie Wilson - The Greatest Hurt

Jackie Wilson

The Greatest Hurt

Brunswick Records

Release Date: March 2nd, 1962

Words by: Whaley Big Jesus
March 12th, 1962

Something tells me that REM drew heavily from this tune when penning and recording their 90′s hit, 'Everybody Hurts'. The circular piano intro, the solemn lyrics and the slow paced phrasing – Jackie Wilson would've had every right to sue Stipe and the boys had he been around in 1992.

However, he can take comfort from the grave in the knowledge that his song far eclipses 'Everybody Hurts' in every respect.

The subtle instrumentation leaves just enough room for Wilson's breathtaking vocal, through which he conveys a sense of genuine conviction. The subject matter is nothing new, but Wilson manages to stamp originality on the time-worn tale of a love lost through the emotive vocal delivery.

'The Greatest Hurt' builds patiently towards a crescendo in the final minute, and here we find Wilson at his best. He hits notes that seem beyond him, and he brings home the sentiment of the ballad in a way that Marvin Gaye would go on to emulate a few years down the track.

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