Just Once In My Life

Album: Just Once In My Life (1965)
Charted: 9
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • With Phil Spector producing, The Righteous Brothers had a huge hit with "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," which went to #1 in February 1965. That song Spector wrote with Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who were married. For the next single, Spector enlisted another husband-and-wife songwriting duo: Gerry Goffin and Carole King. They had been working with Spector for years, starting with a 1961 track for Gene Pitney called "Every Breath I Take." The trio came up with "Just Once In My Life," and Spector gave it his grand "wall of sound" production. It didn't do nearly as well as "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," but the song was still a substantial hit.
  • The song is about a guy who will do anything to get the girl, but his case is flimsy and a little desperate: He's never gotten what he wants in life, so he's going to go all-out for her. What girl can't resist a guy with low ambition ("I don't forsee a rags to riches story for me") who will cling like Saran Wrap ("I couldn't face the day if you weren't here by my side")?
  • Around this time, Goffin and King also wrote the Righteous Brothers song "Hung On You" (#47, 1965) and the Ronettes' "Is This What I Get For Loving You" (#75, 1965) with Spector. According to King, Spector would insist on songwriting credit even though he had little to do with writing the songs, but there was an upside. "Working with Phil Spector made us write the best we possibly could," she said in The Definitive Carole King Story. "He loved writing with you, he'd get his name on the recording. He deserved it, he made good suggestions, but it should have been just as the producer. That should have been enough."
  • The Beach Boys recorded this song for their 1976 covers album 15 Big Ones. Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys was a huge fan of Phil Spector's work.
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Joan ArmatradingSongwriter Interviews

The revered singer-songwriter talks inspiration and explains why she put a mahout in "Drop the Pilot."

Best Band LogosSong Writing

Queen, Phish and The Stones are among our picks for the best band logos. Here are their histories and a design analysis from an expert.

Second Wind SongsSong Writing

Some songs get a second life when they find a new audience through a movie, commercial, TV show, or even the Internet.

Bass Player Scott EdwardsSong Writing

Scott was Stevie Wonder's bass player before becoming a top session player. Hits he played on include "I Will Survive," "Being With You" and "Sara Smile."

Songs Discussed in MoviesSong Writing

Bridesmaids, Reservoir Dogs, Willy Wonka - just a few of the flicks where characters discuss specific songs, sometimes as a prelude to murder.

The Real Nick DrakeSong Writing

The head of Drake's estate shares his insights on the late folk singer's life and music.