According to Rolling Stone magazine's Top 500 Songs issue, Neville was working as a longshoreman when he recorded this plea for true love: "A lot of people come up to me and say, 'That song got me and my wife together, and others say, 'It broke me and my wife up."
The record was issued by Parlo Records, but the hit unfortunately coincided with the label's demise and as a result Neville was unfortunately unable to follow up the song's success. However, in 1989 he teamed up with Linda Ronstadt to record "Don't Know Much," which again peaked at #2 in the US. This gave Aaron Neville the record for the longest period between the first and second top 40 hits in the US.
This song became a civil-rights anthem, and was also very popular with American soldiers fighting overseas. Speaking with Mojo magazine February 2013 about the song, Neville recalled: "I remember guys (who'd served) in Vietnam telling' me that record was burnin' up over there. That time they called it a social song. But to me it was a love song, written for me by Lee and Diamond and George Davis. I recorded four songs and I had my eye on another song that I thought would be (a hit) but my brother Art said, 'No, that's the one.'"
This was the last hit song recorded at J&M Studios in New Orleans, which was by far the most productive studio in the city during the '50s and '60s. According to the book Temples of Sound: Inside the Great Recording Studios, the song led to the studio's downfall as its owner, Cosimo Matassa, went into debt so he could press more copies of the record to satisfy demand. The distributors were slow in paying their bills to J&M, which led to frozen credit lines and tax troubles. The studio shut down not long after, and the IRS sold off its assets in a 1969 auction.
This was used in these movies:
45 Years (2015)
Pirate Radio (2009)
A Bronx Tale (1993)
And also in these TV series:
The Heights ("Talk to an Angel" - 1992)
Beverly Hills, 90210 ("Beach Blanket Brandon" - 1991)
The Wonder Years ("Swingers" - 1988)
Miami Vice ("The Prodigal Son" - 1985)