the crystals – he hit me (and it felt like a kiss)

One of the most overtly disturbing of Phil Spector’s “wall of sound” productions, released in 1962 on Philles Records.

Dave Thompson writes of the single on AllMusic:

“He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)” was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, after their live-in babysitter Eva Boyd (19-year-old singer Little Eva) returned from a weekend away with her boyfriend, covered in bruises. The boyfriend seemed to have spent the entire weekend hitting the girl but, when questioned about it, the girl didn’t bat an eyelid. He hit her because he loved her. And, in the song, because she deserved it.

It was a brutal song, as any attempt to justify such violence must be, and Spector’s arrangement only amplified its savagery, framing Barbara Alston’s lone vocal amid a sea of caustic strings and funereal drums, while the backing vocals almost trilled their own belief that the boy had done nothing wrong. In more ironic hands (and a more understanding age), “He Hit Me” might have passed at least as satire. But Spector showed no sign of appreciating that, nor did he feel any need to.

the-crystals-he-hit-me-and-it-felt-like-a-kiss-philles-collectables

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