Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” is an R&B hit love ballad of the ’60s that has lost none of its soulful power with the passing decades. Redding’s success with the single was second only to that of his ever-popular classic “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.”
~Joslyn Lane (allmusic.com)
I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” became Redding’s first Top 40 single, in June 1965. And when Redding performed a scorching drawn-out version at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 — in front of the audience he called “the love crowd” — the single made the transition from hit to legend.
I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (Monterey ’67):
|Released||April 19, 1965|
|Length||2:49 (mono version, April 1965)
3:09 (stereo version, July 1965)
“I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (sometimes issued as “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)”) is a song written by Otis Redding and Jerry Butler. It appeared as the A-side of a 1965 hit single by Otis Redding – and subsequently appeared on his thirdalbum, Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul. Although Redding had been appearing in the U.S. Billboard Pop and R&B charts as early as 1962, this was his first big hit, reaching #21 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was his first Top 5 Billboard R&B chart, peaking at #2. The B-side of the single “Just One More Day,” was also a minor hit, reaching #15 on the R&B and #85 on the Pop chart. The song is ranked #110 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) by Otis Redding
I’ve been loving you too long to stop now
There were time and you want to be free
My love is growing stronger, as you become a habit to me
Oh I’ve been loving you a little too long
I dont wanna stop now, oh
With you my life,
Has been so wonderful
I can’t stop now
There were times and your love is growing cold
My love is growing stronger as our affair [affair] grows old
I’ve been loving you a little too long, long,
I don’t want to stop now
oh, oh, oh
I’ve been loving you a little bit too long
I don’t wanna stop now
No, no, no
Don’t make me stop now
I’m down on my knees Please, don’t make me stop now
I love you, I love you,
I love you with all of my heart
And I can’t stop now
Don’t make me stop now
Please, please don’t make me stop now
Good god almighty I love you
I love you, I love you, I love you
I love you, I love you
I love you in so many different ways…
I love you in so many different ways….
Live 1967 – London:
Notable cover versions:
- The first cover of the song was a recording by The Rolling Stones in 1965 — shortly after Redding’s original version became a hit.
- The most widely known cover version of the song was by Ike & Tina Turner in 1968. It was the lead track from their 1968 Blue Thumb album entitled Outta Season.
Live at Altamont Festival 1969:
- Aretha Franklin recorded a cover for her album Young, Gifted and Black (1972).