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He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss) by The Crystals

Album: He's a RebelReleased: 1962
  • Carole King and Gerry Goffin wrote this song. They were inspired to write it after their babysitter Little Eva told them about her relationship with an abusive boyfriend who beat her almost on a regular basis. When they asked her why she tolerated the abuse, she answered that it symbolized how much he loved her.
  • The subject matter of the song made it a commercial failure. It was disliked by the public, and radio stations denied the song airplay. The Crystals hated the song as well. Why Phil Spector convinced them to record it and then tried to release it as a single remains a mystery today.

    La La Brooks of The Crystals recalled to Mojo magazine in a 2011 interview: "It is an overlooked song and misinterpreted. That was weird for us. We were thrown aback by the song. I'm a teenager at the time. Barbara (Alston, fellow Crystal) was a little uneasy doing it. And I was trying to figure out the song and why Phil would record something like this. Barbara was so turned off because she was singing the lyrics and can't feel anything. So in the studio Phil was telling her, 'Don't be so relaxed on it.'"
  • Barbara Alston sang lead on this one. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for all above
  • Alright, fun anecdote time. Bear in mind the title to this song while you peruse this story as told in chapter 6 of Rich Podolsky's book Don Kirshner: The Man with the Golden Ear, concerning the early romantic and professional relationship of songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin:

    Atlantic producer Jerry Wexler recalls that Carole's father was not just unhappy with his prospective son-in-law, but downright vengeful. He went so far as to sabotage his daughter's early career, sending out letters to song publishers warning them not to produce the work of King and Goffin. Goffin recalls, "Her father accused me of trying to use her."

    Things got so heated between the two men that, Goffin recalls, "I wound up getting in a fight with him and punched him in the mouth at his home in Rosewood [Queens]. He ran upstairs, then came down and shook my hand and said, 'If you're man enough to fight for my daughter, you're OK!'" The two men then made up, and the union of Carole king and Gerry Goffin had her father's blessings at last.

    Now, could this experience have cast a shadow onto the reasoning that went into the subject of this song?
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Comments: 6

Little Eva was actually Carole King and Gerry Goffin's babysitter!Molly - Chicago, Il
I know that it was Little Eva who inspired the song, Gerry wrote the lyrics and Carole did the music. That was one song that Tina Turner didn't cover because Ike was all over her like Sarge on Beetle Bailey & sometimes Tina got the same treatment that Beetle got from Sarge. I know that song was banned & I heard it on an oldies show and didn't know it existed. One verison of the song was called "She Spanked Me" & it felt like a kiss where a kid got spanked by his mother for playing hookey from school. That is a classic song & dealt with battered women. I'm surprised That Rush Limbaugh hasn't used it for his updates on various subjects.
Marcus Brainard
Marcus - Columbus, Oh
Spiritualize has a song called "She Kissed Me (It Felt Like A Hit)"Jessie Ann - Purchase, Ny
This song was also covered by the MotelsBilly - Albany, Ga
The Snopes urban legends site has an article about another daft Spector/Crystals recording called "The Screw" which wasn't even releaseable. Spector had had a falling-out with the co-owner of his record label, Lester Sill, and aftwrward went to great lengths to make Sill's life miserable, including recording "The Screw". (Sill eventually took the hint and sold his stake in the label.) The article mentions "He Hit Me" in passing, but does not suggest that it had anything to do with the Spector-Sill feud. Still, one can't help but wonder...Joshua - Twin Cities, Mn
Courtney Love's band Hole covered this song.Nick - Arlington Heights, Il
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