In 1962, sung by girl group The Crystals, the song “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)” was met with much derision for obtaining a veil of sensitizing domestic abuse. Written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, and produced by Phil Spector, the lyrics are from the perspective of the delusional victim that sees her partner’s violent behavior as love because he cared so much he essentially lost self-control. An incredibly uncomfortable song to listen to, on a Valentine’s Day airing of MTV Unplugged in 1995, Hole performed a cover of the song, and their version is a cult favorite in the Hole vault of music.
While influential in its morose production that only highlighted the subject matter, it remains one of the most controversial songs of all time, while being a classic of the 1960s and girl group tunes. It was inspired by one of The Crystals’ members, Little Eva, that at the time was experiencing regular abuse from her boyfriend at the time.
Watch Hole perform the track below: