First recorded by Little Anthony & the Imperials (US #10/R&B #5 1964).
Other hit versions by The Letterman (US #12/MOR #2/CAN #14 1969), Philly Devotions (Dance #10 1976), Linda Ronstadt (US #8/MOR #25/CAN #27 1980).
Also recorded by Willie Bobo (1965), El Chicano (1970), Bobby Hart, co-writer (1979).
From the wiki: “‘Hurt So Bad’ was written especially for Little Anthony & the Imperials by Teddy Randazzo, Bobby Weinstein, and Bobby Hart. It was the follow-up to the hit single ‘Goin’ Out of My Head’ and, like that single, became a Billboard Top-10 hit as well as a Top Five R&B hit.
“After writing ‘Come A Little Bit Closer’ with Tommy Boyce for Jay & the Americans, Bobby Hart signed with DCP Records and sang background when Randazzo performed in Las Vegas. When label head Don Costa asked for another hit for Little Anthony, Hart, Randazzo and Weinstein went to a conference room between sets and came up with “Hurt So Bad,” a song about a man who feels intense pain when he sees his former love.
“Hart went on to reach tremendous songwriting heights with Tommy Boyce, coming up with many hit songs for The Monkees. But, Hart considers ‘Hurt So Bad’ his crowning achievement as a songwriter, although he knows that he’ll always be remembered for his Monkees’ hits (‘Last Train to Clarksville’, ‘(I’m Not Your) Stepping’ Stone‘).
“Covers included a Latin-flavored 1965 instrumental version by Willie Bobo (‘Evil Ways‘,’No One to Depend On‘), released on Spanish Grease. The Lettermen scored a Top-20 hit in 1969 with their cover. El Chicano released a cover of ‘Hurt So Bad’ on their 1970 debut album, Viva Tirado. The group Philly Devotions charted Top-10 on the US Dance/Disco chart in 1976. Co-writer Bobby Hart (‘Come a Little Bit Closer’, ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone‘) covered of his own song in 1979 for The First Bobby Hart Solo Album.
“Linda Ronstadt covered ‘Hurt So Bad’ for her Platinum-certified album, Mad Love, in 1980. Produced by Peter Asher on Asylum Records, it was released as the disc’s second single. Linda’s version of the song featured a scorching guitar solo by Danny Kortchmar, and it remains the most successful version ever recorded of the song – peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1980.”
Willie Bobo, “Hurt So Bad” (1965):
The Lettermen, “Hurt So Bad” (1969):
El Chicano, “Hurt So Bad” (1970):
Philly Devotions, “Hurt So Bad” (1976):
Bobby Hart (co-writer), “Hurt So Bad” (1979):
Linda Ronstadt, “Hurt So Bad” (1980):