Love Hurts is the twentieth studio album by American singer-actress Cher, released on June 11, 1991 by Geffen Records. The RIAA certified it Gold on August 27, 1991. It is the final studio album with the record label Geffen. The lead single from the album was, "Love and Understanding" and the follow-up singles were "Save Up All Your Tears", "Love Hurts", "Could've Been You" and "When Lovers Become Strangers". It debuted at #48 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart with the sales of 19,000. Billboard stated in November 2011 that Love Hurts has sold 600,000 copies in the US.
Love Hurts was released in 1991 and was the third and final studio album released by Cher for Geffen Records. The record featured production by Bob Rock and saw her continue to collaborate with John Kalodner, Diane Warren and Desmond Child. The album was recorded in late 1990/early 1991, during the first year of Cher's relationship to Bon Jovi's guitarist Richie Sambora. She dedicated the album to him and "every man that ever made me shed a tear".
The album contained four covers: "Save Up All Your Tears" recorded in the late 1980s by Bonnie Tyler and Robin Beck, the Kiss song "A World Without Heroes" recorded in 1980, "Fires Of Eden" recorded by Judy Collins in 1990, and "Love Hurts" a remake of the 1975 version which Cher had previously recorded for her album Stars. This time the song was more pop/rock rather than a ballad. The originally version was released by Everly Brothers in 1960. The European version also contains the worldwide hit "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)" originally recorded by Betty Everett in 1963.
Early releases of the album in the UK had the same cover as the American release, but later European releases had a different cover, showing Cher laying on a white background wearing a red wig. The European release also included the worldwide hit, "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)" which reached #1 in over 10 countries. In the United States, "The Shoop Shoop Song" was available only through the original soundtrack, Mermaids for the film of the same name.
While the album did extremely well in the UK, its singles were only minor hits. "Love and Understanding" was the only big hit in the charts, but the album also produced many fans favorites including "Could've Been You" and big Cher favorites, "Save Up All Your Tears", "Love Hurts", and "Fires of Eden". Also "Love Hurts and "Could've Been You" was released only in Europe, while "When Lovers Become Strangers" was released only in North America.
The David Cassidy co-written song, "I'll Never Stop Loving You", was released a year later on Cassidy's album, Didn't You Used to be?. One year before, it was already recorded by Heart and released on a Japanese special edition bonus CD for their album Brigade.
To promote the album, Cher did several performances worldwide. In North America she promoted the album on Late Night with David Letterman. She also made a special appearance on the ABC program In Concert on June 21, 1991 where she performed "Love Hurts", "Love and Understanding", "Save Up All Your Tears" and "A World Without Heroes". This particular performance was highly criticized because Cher lip-synced all songs from the album, veering from the ABC show's premise to showcase "honest" live rock. Later, during an interview, Cher defended her lip-syncing and In Concert offered her a chance to reappear (with her band plugged in and playing) later in 1991, but the performance never happened.
Cher also promoted the album in some European countries. In the UK she performed "Love and Understanding", "Save Up All Your Tears" and "Could've Been You" on Top of The Pops, on Wogan performed "Love and Understanding" and "Save Up All Your Tears", and on Aspel and Company performed "Could've Been You". Cher also performed "Save Up All Your Tears" in Australia during the Dame Edna Show and with Dame Edna performed "I Got You Babe".
The album received further promotion from her third headlining Love Hurts Tour, which started on April 15, 1992 in Berlin, Germany. The tour was set to start on March 21, 1992 in Copenhagen, but due to illness the European concerts were rescheduled, except for the UK dates. Later dates on the North American leg of the tour were also rescheduled twice. Cher performed "Love and Understanding", "Save Up All Your Tears", "Love Hurts" and "Fires Of Eden" on her tour.
"Love and Understanding" was released as the album's lead single on May 21, 1991. The song received mixed reviews. One critic said that the song, together with others two are tame and over-careful, while another said that "Love and Understanding" is a strong track. The song has reached the top 10 in countries such as the Austria, Canada, UK and the top 20 in United States and Germany.
"Save Up All Your Tears" was released as the second single from the album and has reached top 40 on various charts worldwide, including the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Reviews of the record were mixed. On one hand, some critics proclaimed that "Love Hurts" was the most mature material Cher had tackled in years. Also, critics said "Love Hurts" was a step up from Heart Of Stone, and Cher.
Billboard for example, said that "With a few exceptions, overall musical direction is more straight-forward rock'n'roll this time, which is the perfect environment for her unique vocal style." allmusic also said that "The result, however, is particularly formulaic, with Cher's vocals sounding largely uninspired and the production and backing musicians content to be obvious.".
But on another hand some critics slammed the album. One critic went as far as to claim that "The only song worth listening to is A World Without Heroes, on a otherwise uninspired album".
Unlike Heart of Stone and Cher, Love Hurts received less attention in North America yet it was still certificated Gold in the U.S. and Platinum in Canada, for reaching the sales of 500,000 and 100,000 copies in those territories, respectively. In European and Oceanian countries, as well as in Australia and New Zealand, the album was very successful, and peak at number one in four countries: Austria, Ireland, Norway and the United Kingdom. In the UK the album debuted at number one and remained there for six consecutive weeks. After ending its reign at the top, the album remained in the top three for five more weeks becoming the best selling female album of the year. It was also certified multi-platinum and eventually selling 3 million copies.US Vinyl — containing the 11-track album.
European Vinyl — containing the 12-track album.
US Limited Collectors Box Edition Set — promotional edition hinged wooden box casing with a flip-up cover. The package contains the album in a CD cardboard slip and thirteen "tarot cards" with album designs or Cher photos on one side, and lyrics/credits on the other.
European Cassette — unofficial released by Glob Records, with alternate track list.
Notes"Love Hurts" was previously recorded for Cher's twelfth studio album Stars in 1975, and performed live in her 1989 Heart of Stone Tour.
"The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)" is from the Mermaids Original Motion Picture Soundtrack released in 1990.