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42  | Top 100
'I Can't Make You Love Me'
Bonnie Raitt
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If it hadn’t been for a knee injury that took Mike Reid out of America’s NFL Cincinnati Bengals hits like I Can’t Make You Love Me wouldn’t have seen the light of day. Reid had also played classical piano and took a music degree while pursuing college football. His
Bonnie Raitt
Song facts
Composer Reid/Shamblin
Genre Rock
Album Luck of the Draw
Released 1991
UK Chart Position 50
loss from football has been Nashville’s gain. I Can’t Make You Love Me came from his work with Allen Shamblin who racked up five country number ones in the 90s including the gold status “Don’t Laugh At Me”
Shamblin recalls that I Can’t Make You Love Me came from a newspaper article. He had read about a man who was in court for harassing his ex-girlfriend. Ruefully the man had told the court he had been trying to win her back but he said “you can’t make a woman love you”.

It was from this one line the song grew. Bonnie Raitt recorded it for ‘Luck of The Draw’ the 1991 follow up to ‘Nick of Time’, the Album that brought her international recognition. Talking about recording I Can’t Make You Love me she said it had moved her to tears “"I couldn't even get through that song. I kept crying at the line 'I'll close my eyes/So I don't see/The love you don't feel/ When you're holding me' - that's the saddest line I've ever heard.”


Bonnie Raitt
John Leckie
Bonnie Raitt talks about picking songwriters.



 

Other versions
Stone Roses
 This version appeared on 'Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael'.

Simple song and lyrics but it connects with the raw emotions of the end of a relationship.


Maggie Macdonald



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