Billy Ocean is one of the most successful British R’n’B acts, with a decades long career.
This song is the one which enabled him to quit his job at the Ford factory, and focus on music.
It’s very much a pop song, with a bright and cheerful vibe offset by a slight tinge of regretfulness. The lyrics tell a story of unrequited love, spurned by some girl who gives her affection to myriad other guys…
The instrumental sounds more like a 60s track to me, with jingly drums, bouncy piano, sultry backing singers, lowkey brass and lush strings. The strings in particular are very tastefully done in the verses.
The song is damningly similar to “I Can’t Help Myself” by The Four Tops, released a year earlier, but in fairness that song lacks something in comparison to this.
“Love Really Hurts Without You” was released in 1976, and reached number 2 in the U.K. singles chart.