Bobby “Blue” Bland – Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City

When I listened to this for the first time, my first thought was… Damn this is good! When I read music books about artists…one artist will talk about another and they will talk about another. It’s like a river with all the twists and turns and you never know who you will hear about next.

If you listen to this song grab some headphones and listen to his wonderfully smooth-rough voice. Also, keep an ear out for the fuzz guitar doing runs in the background. When you hear someone like Gregg Allman say that Bobby “Blue” Bland is one of his singing idols…you know something great is there waiting to be heard. This I have heard before and was impressed even without Mr. Allman’s recommendation.

“Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” was written by Michael Price and Dan Walsh, a pair of journeymen songwriters who wrote different kinds of music like The Grass Roots’ 1970 hit “Temptation Eyes.”

Bobby was the first to record this song and it was released on his 1974 album Dreamer. The song peaked at #9 in the R&B Charts and #91 in the Billboard 100.

Bland began his career in Memphis, Tennessee, with bluesman B.B. King and ballad singer Johnny Ace (all three were part of a loose aggregation of musicians known as the Beale Streeters). He had some hits in the 50s and early 60s but had some financial troubles in 1968 and had to break up his band.

His record company was then sold to ABC Dunhill and he started up his career again and continued to chart til the 1980s. Of all bands…Whitesnake covered this song in 1978 and it charted in the UK in 1980.

Boz Scaggs: “I made a point of getting to know him over the years, not that I knew him well. But he came down to the studio when we were making the Memphis record a couple of times. He sat in the control room and listened to the playback of some of the songs, and he was treating me very fatherly, where he’d say ‘Here’s where you’re going to go here,’ and he was singing to me as the track was playing back. Then we got a chance to talk.

“It was like a lot of that part of his life, his music, was intact, and he was very vivid about that, vivid in talking about his early influences, it was all there. He was obviously frail, and it was hard for him to get around, but when he settled down, he loved talking about his life and his craft.”

Gregg Allman: “We were doing “Turn On Your Love Light,” because we had heard Bobby “Blue” Bland do it, and, man, you talk about an original talent—there will be, and can be, only one Bobby “Blue” Bland.”

Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City

Ain’t no love in the heart of the city
Ain’t no love in the heart of town
Ain’t no love, and it’s sure ’nuff a pity
Ain’t no love, ’cause you ain’t around

When you were mine
Oh, I was feeling so good
‘Cause your love lit up this old neighborhood
And now that you’re gone
You know the sun don’t shine
From the city hall to the county line
That’s why I said

Ain’t no love in the heart of the city
Ain’t no love in the heart of town
Ain’t no love, and it sure is a pity
Ain’t no love, ’cause you ain’t around

Every place that I go
Oh, it seems so strange
Without you there
Things have changed
The night time calls
There’s a blanket of gloom
Another teardrop falls
In my lonely room

I said ain’t no love
In the heart of the city
Ain’t no love in the heart of town
Ain’t no love, ain’t any pity
Ain’t no love ’cause you ain’t around

And now that you’re gone
Oh, the sun don’t shine
From the city hall to the county line, I said

Ain’t no love in the heart of the city
Ain’t no love in the heart of town
Ain’t no love, it sure is a pity
Ain’t no love ’cause you ain’t around
‘Cause you ain’t around

Ain’t no love in the heart of the city
Ain’t no love in this great big old town
Ain’t no love, and ain’t it a pity
Ain’t no love ’cause you ain’t around

Ain’t no love in the heart of the city
Ain’t no love in the heart of this town

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

9 thoughts on “Bobby “Blue” Bland – Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City”

  1. An artist whose name I know but wouldn’t know the music of. This one’s good – maybe a wee bit too repetitive or long for me , but overall quite good – and he’s got a good voice. If Allman and Scaggs were fans, that’s got to tell you something, they know good! Jim’s right, I could see about a 30-45 second clip of this being used for a police type show theme. Interesting video of it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. He was more successful in the R&B charts… songs like Turn On Your Love Light. He had a long career.

      Like

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