“I Forgot To Be Your Lover” Performed by William Bell (1968)

August 12, 2010

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#10 R&B, #45 Pop, #31 UK

Composed by singer songwriter William Bell and musician Booker T. Jones, this classic soul ballad had been covered and sampled over and over again by artists from many different genres: reggae, pop, hip hop and back to soul.  But of course the original is the best IMHO. And here it is for those of you who only know one of those many covers and not the classic original.

Jamaican singer George Faith remade the song in 1977 as “To Be a Lover (Have Some Mercy)”.

Here is a remake into a U.S. Top 10 pop hit by Billy Idol in 1986 as “To Be a Lover.”

The song is sampled by Ludacris on his song “Growing Pains” from “Word of Mouf” in 2001.

Last, but not least, Jaheim sings “Put That Woman First” from 2002′s “Still Ghetto” and brought the song back fill circle to it’s soulful roots.

I would love to hear what you think of all of the covers in relation to original.

Were you familiar with the original? Had you heard any or all of these hit covers?

“I Forgot To Be Your Lover”  has also been covered by other artists, including but not limited to, Chuck Strong, The Mad Lads, Tommy Tate and Robert Tillman. Do you know  any of those covers?

Please drop a comment to share your thoughts.

Musically Yours,

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Filed under:I Forgot To Be Your Lover,Magnificent Male Vocalists,R&B/Soul,Sixties,Stax of Soul,Stax/Volt,William Bell,William Bell & Booker T. Jones

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SupaStarry August 12, 2010 at 4:10 pm

The first version i heard was by Jahiem (my mom LOVES him and lol) and i loved it! then someone posted the original version and i was like…perfect. i just listened to the cover by George Faith and its cute and laid back. i tried to listen to the cover by Bill Idol (sorry i just couldnt lol). i think Jahiem’s cover was the best and really lived up to the original.

and wow, i havent heard Growing Pains in a long time because i didnt notice the sample lol.


2 SonDan August 14, 2010 at 6:14 pm

I love Jaheim’s version and he probably made the writer proud. In fact I think his enhancements made it a bit better.
I don’t listen to much hip-hop so I have never even heard Luda’s song containing the sample until I began researching for this post!


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