Soul music lost a legend on Tuesday, April 14. Percy Sledge (1941 – 2015), best known for his beloved #1 hit single “When A Man Loves A Woman” died of cancer at the age of 73. Though Sledge had other hits (“Warm And Tender Love,” “It Tears Me Up,” and “Out Of Left Field” among them), none would ever outshine “When A Man Loves A Woman.” In memory of an icon gone on, here are my three favorite Percy Sledge songs.
1) “When A Man Loves A Woman”
This is a no brainer. Sorry to be predictable, but there are few who won’t cite “When A Man Loves A Woman” as Sledge’s best. For many, it will be the sole Percy Sledge record they are familiar with.
2) “It Tears Me Up”
Underrated, “It Tears Me Up” was a Top 20 single on the Billboard Hot 100 back in the day. Still, hard to be #1, right? Regardless, “It Tears Me Up” can best be described as extremely passionate – you can hear Sledge’s raw emotion and energy over exceptional, soulful production.
3) “The Dark End Of The Street”
Perhaps there is a reason why “The Dark End Of The Street” is a less heralded Percy Sledge song. One would be that it was originally recorded by another soul singer, James Carr (1942 – 2001) and is considered to be his “ace in the hole.” Indeed, Carr’s version is the torchbearer, but Sledge’s own take is no slouch and definitely another slice of soul history back in the 60s.