When you think of soulful ballads, the first name that comes to mind is usually Percy Sledge. With his powerful voice and emotive lyrics, Sledge has become one of the most iconic singers in history. His songs have been covered by countless artists and continue to be popular decades after they were first released. In this article, we will take a look at 10 of the best Percy Sledge songs of all time.
10. Big Blue Diamonds
This song is a beautiful ballad about lost love. Sledge’s voice is full of emotion as he sings about the pain of losing someone you once loved. He is able to bring the listener to the mood of the song with his powerful vocal performance. This song also has an intriguing beat that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. For that reason, it has been featured in many movies and television shows over the years. For example, it was used as a soundtrack in the season finale of Mad Men.
09. Just Out of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms)
“Just Out of Reach” is a song co-written and originally performed by American country music artist Percy Sledge. The song was released in September 1967 as the first single from the album The Percy Sledge Way. It peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top ten on the Adult Contemporary chart. He delivers a perfect performance for this song’s video which makes it one of the best Percy Sledge songs of all time. According to Classic Rock History, the song tells the story of a man who is trying to win back the love of his life. The song has been used in television shows and movies such as The Sopranos, The Office, and American Beauty.
08. My Special Prayer
“My Special Prayer” is a song written by Percy Sledge and Calvin Lewis. It was first recorded by Percy Sledge in 1967 and released as a single in 1968 on Atlantic Records. The song was a hit in the United States, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number two on the Cash Box chart. The song reached number 4 on the singles chart in the United Kingdom. It is a song about a man’s prayer for his love to find happiness.
07. True Love Travels on a Gravel Road
True Love Travels on a Gravel Road was released in 1968 and was written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman. The song is about lost love and how it can be found again. The song peaked at #53 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This song has been covered by many artists including George Jones, Willie Nelson, and Emmylou Harris. It has also been featured in movies such as True Romance and The Big Lebowski as a soundtrack.
06. It Tears Me Up
“It Tears Me Up” is a song written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman, produced by Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd, and recorded first by Percy Sledge in 1966. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts and has become a classic of the soul genre. According to Rolling Stone, the song is told from the perspective of a man who is trying to move on from a failed relationship but finds it difficult because he still loves the woman he’s leaving. It is a great song that has been featured in movies and television shows like The Big Chill and The Sopranos. It has also been covered by many artists including Otis Redding, Al Green, and Micheal Bolton.
05. Warm and Tender Love
This song is about the power and the passion of love. It is a slow, sensual ballad that Percy sings with all the emotion he can muster. The way he delivers the lines, “Warm and tender love, I need you so” is enough to send shivers down your spine. The song hit the top ten on the R&B charts and was nominated for a Grammy. This song is featured as a soundtrack in the film “The Big Chill”.
04. I’ll Be Your Everything
This song is a beautiful ballad about a man who is madly in love with a woman and is willing to do anything for her. Percy Sledge delivers the lyrics with such passion and emotion that it is impossible not to be moved by this song. It reached number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1966 and is considered one of Percy Sledge’s signature songs.
“Sunshine” is a 1967 song written by Marlin Greene and recorded by Percy Sledge. It was produced by Quin Ivy and released on Atlantic Records. The song peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number four on the R&B chart. “Sunshine” was Percy Sledge’s third song to be released as a single, following “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “Warm and Tender Love”. It has been described as a “plea for racial harmony”.
02. Take Time To Know Her
This song is a perfect example of Percy Sledge’s ability to convey emotion through his music. The lyrics are simple, but the way he delivers them is what makes this song so special. According to Pulchra, the song is about a man who is urging his lover to take their time and get to know each other better before they get too serious. The song reached number one on the R&B charts and number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
01. When a Man Loves a Woman
“When a Man Loves a Woman” was recorded by Sledge in the year 1966 having worked together with Andrew Wright and Calvin Lewis when composing it. The song reached the top ten on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts. The song has been covered by many artists including Michael Bolton, Jimmy Buffett, Aaron Neville, and Amy Winehouse. It has also been featured as a soundtrack in a movie known as The Simpsons and Scrubs.
There is no denying that Percy Sledge is a legend in the music industry. His ability to convey emotion through his songs is truly remarkable. The ten songs listed above are just a small sampling of his incredible catalog. If you have never listened to Percy Sledge, I urge you to do so. You will not be disappointed.