This song was written by Rudy Clark and Arthur Resnick. It was originally recorded in 1965 by The Olympics, a novelty/doo-wop group who had hits with "Peanut Butter," "Western Movies" and "Hully Gully." Their version peaked at #81 in May 1965. Felix Cavaliere of The Young Rascals was listening to a New York soul station when he heard The Olympics' version. The Rascals liked it and played a sped-up version at their live performances with Cavaliere on lead vocals. They recorded the song for Atlantic Records, and although the group did not like the outcome, famed producer Tom Dowd loved the rawness of it and that version was released, becoming a huge hit. It went to #1 in April 1966.
In this song, the singer isn't feeling right, so he goes to the doctor to find out what's wrong. Turns out, all he needs is some good lovin', or a Bon Jovi would say, some bad medicine
The Young Rascals added the famous "One! Two! Three!" count-in, with a different member saying each number. Felix Cavaliere told Songfacts that the order was: Eddie Brigati, Gene Cornish, then Felix.
According to Rolling Stone magazine, The Young Rascals were surprised by the success of this track. Felix Cavaliere admitted, "We weren't too pleased with our performance. It was a shock to us when it went to the top of the charts."
This was The Young Rascals first hit. They went on to achieve seven US Top 30 hits before becoming The Rascals in 1968. They disbanded in 1972 after recording five more American Top 30 songs.
There was lots of "good lovin'" going on around this time. In 1959, Connie Francis charted with "Plenty Good Lovin'"; Chubby Checker had a minor hit with "Good, Good Lovin'" in 1961. Motown was also in on it, with The Miracles' "Mighty Good Lovin'," also in 1961. When the Young Rascals hit with their "Good Lovin'," it really opened the floodgates:
1966: "(When She Needs Good Lovin') She Comes To Me" - The Chicago Loop
1966: "Good, Good Lovin'" - The Blossoms
1966: "Too Much Good Lovin' (No Good For Me)" - Brook Benton
1969: "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'" - Crazy Elephant
1969: "Good Lovin' Ain't Easy To Come By" - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
1970: "I'm Just A Prisoner (Of Your Good Lovin')" - Candi Staton
1971: "Good Lovin' (Makes It Right)" - Tammy Wynette
1975: "Good Lovin' Gone Bad" - Bad Company