How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You

Album: How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You (1964)
Charted: 49 6
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  • The Motown songwriters Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland (Holland-Dozier-Holland) wrote this song. It was inspired by the trademark line of Jackie Gleason, "How sweet it is!" as it was said on The Jackie Gleason Show. Gleason was one of the biggest TV stars of the time.
  • Lamont Dozier said the lyric was "wishful thinking." He was "sitting at the piano, fantasizing about how good it would be if the woman I had eyes for was madly in love with me. But the truth is she never gave me a second look. So I created this fantasy world where I was the object of all her affections, a bit of fiction that eventually came true due to my persistence and showering her with affection."
  • This was the second of Gaye's 13 Top-10 hits. His first was 1963's "Pride and Joy," which peaked at #10.
  • The Holland-Dozier-Holland team often started songs as ballads, crafting a heartbreaking story and then setting it to upbeat music. This song took a different approach, which they sometimes used: letting the music dictate the song's direction. The result is one of their few hit songs that is utterly joyful in both music and lyrics.

    In a Songfacts interview with Lamont Dozier, he explained: "The drum feeling is the shuffle and it's a 12-bar shuffle blues, basically. But, finding the chords, I remember Harvey Fuqua of the Moonglows who had came to Motown, he mentioned that song. He said, 'Man, those chords that you played were really interesting because it's the blues but not your run-of-the-mill blues. The chords you have are very intricate.' I said, 'Well, I just play what I feel.'

    That's the way that particular song came out. Those chords gave me the feeling of that melody."
  • This became a #5 hit for James Taylor when he covered it in 1975. It was also recorded by Jr. Walker and the All-Stars, whose version hit #15 in the US in 1966.
  • Eddie Holland came up with the title and hook for this song. The rest of it took a while to put together, and by the time Gaye recorded it, he had to read from lyric sheets because he had not had time to memorize them.
  • Although it's not featured on the film's official soundtrack, "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" was performed by the school choir in the 1999 teen comedy, American Pie. The performance takes cues from James Taylor's 1975 cover, which featured his then-wife Carly Simon on backing vocals and earned him a #5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
  • In 2001, ESPN took some heat in the press when they used this song as background music in a Father's Day tribute featuring athletes and their fathers or kids. Gaye had been shot by his father in 1984.

Comments: 12

  • Greywolf379 from NcThis song brought back precious memories for me. I just heard it on Tiktok and remembered how in 1965 (I was six years) My grandaddy would play it on the console and dance with me. Also just learned the Title lyric was from Jackie Gleason' line "How Sweet it is" My Daddys favorite show we would watch together.
    So many memories from one great song and singer Marvin Gaye SIP
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 23rd 1964, Marvin Gaye performed "How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You" on the ABC-TV program 'Shindig!'...
    At the time the song was at #27 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and five weeks later on January 24th, 1965 it peaked at #6 {for 1 week}...
    It reached #3 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1962 and 2005 he had sixty-four records on the R&B Singles chart; thirty-nine made the Top 10 with thirteen* reaching #1...
    R.I.P. Jimmy O'Neil {Shindig's host; 1940 - 2013}...
    *He could have possibly had twenty #1 records when seven of his records peaked at #2 on the R&B Singles chart.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 24th, 1965, "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You" by Marvin Gaye peaked at #6 (for 1 week) and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #3 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    R.I.P. Mr. Gaye (1939 - 1984).
  • Mindy from Eugene, OrYou must hear Joan Osborne's version! It's so soulful and sexy! I much prefer it to James Taylor....
  • John from Nashville, TnMarvin Gaye raved about James Taylor's version of this song in an interview.
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, Mithis is an ok version.I like the James taylor version better.
  • Sara from Silver Spring, MdMichael McDonald, a long time admirer of Marvin Gaye, recorded this for his Motown album. He had
    sung another Marvin Gaye song with the Doobie Brothers called "Little Darlin'" I love you. No one sings Motown today like Mike McDonald!
  • Paul from Verona, NjThis could not have been the first of many top 10 songs for Gaye, as Pride and Joy hit #10 the year before.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScThe network didn't realize that Gay had been shot by his father in 1984? What planet were these people on? How could they not know that? It was a big deal when it happened right? I mean, he was just starting to make his come-back wasn't he? Anyway, this a great song, and I haven't heard Gay's version in a long time.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrI absolutely Love the version by James Taylor! James Taylor's voice is sooooo smooth. And his acoustic guitar is so relaxing! I love you Sweet Baby James! James Taylor! You're the kind of guy for me!
  • Rooney from Santa Barbara, I.v., Caand how sweet it is.. that one person has always helped me through it all, and she will never know how truly sweet it is to be loved by her..
    roy- you my girl and i love you more then youll ever know
  • Sara from Santa Barbara, Ca*This song means a lot more when the other person agrees and everything is on the same level. You can't go wrong with any version of it, cuz it is the truth. How sweet it is...*
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