|Released April 1972|
Label KoKo Records
|Writer(s) Homer Banks, Carl Hampton, Raymond Jackson|
"(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right" is a song written by Stax Records songwriters Homer Banks, Carl Hampton and Raymond Jackson and first released by Bobby "Blue" Bland. It has been performed by many singers, most notably by Luther Ingram, whose version topped the R&B chart for four weeks and rose to number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1972. Billboard ranked it as the No. 16 song for 1972.
In 1972/73, The Faces recorded the song as an outtake for Ooh La La, their final studio album. In 1974, Millie Jackson released her version of the song which received two Grammy Award nominations, and in 1978 Barbara Mandrell's version topped the U.S. country singles charts and reached number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rod Stewart re-recorded the song for Foot Loose & Fancy Free, his eighth album; released as a single it peaked at #23 in the UK singles chart in 1980.
The song is about an adulterous love affair, told from the point of view of either the mistress or the cheating spouse, depending on the gender of the performer. Regardless, both parties involved express their desire to maintain the affair, while at the same time acknowledging that the relationship is wrong according to conventional moral standards.
Millie Jackson, however, took a somewhat different approach. On both studio and live recordings, her version is typically divided into three parts: "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right," "The Rap," and "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right (Reprise)," which together have a running time of over 11 minutes. The first and third parts include the song more or less as originally written, while the second part was written by Jackson herself. Titled "The Rap," the middle segment is a monologue in which an unrepentant Jackson discusses her status as the "other woman" and why she loves it.
Although it was first recorded by The Emotions and Veda Brown, those recordings were never released. Other notable singers to cover it include Isaac Hayes, Millie Jackson, Rod Stewart, Percy Sledge, Bobby "Blue" Bland, David Ruffin, LeAnn Rimes Renée Geyer, Ramsey Lewis, reggae singer Alton Ellis, Tom Jones, Cassandra Wilson, Nathan Cavaleri and Rania Zeriri.