The Four Tops – Something About You – TMG 542
The Four Tops were one of Holland-Dozier-Holland’s two favoured acts (the other being the Supremes). However, they didn’t give the Four Tops the best possible song or production for this single release. It’s a nice enough song, but like the Miracles release that I featured a couple of days ago, it’s a weak follow-up to a great record. In the Four Tops case this followed up It’s The Same Old Song.
Musically it’s OK and can generate dance floor action ,but it sounds so much like a “Friday afternoon” product – created when everybody involved just wanted to go home for the weekend. I have no idea when it was recorded, but where is the energy from the Four Tops of from the backing band?
Martha & The Vandellas – Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things) – TMG 530 B
Today’s stroll though the history of the UK Tamla Motown singles catalogue sees a rare excursion onto a B side.
As we will see as this series unfold, Martha Reeves had more than one great song hidden away on the flip side of what was often a successful single in its own right. I
n 1965, Martha and The Vandellas were very much an uptempo, feel-good part of the Motown roster, so this deep soul ballad on the B side of You’ve Been In Love Too Long, was an oddity. Even more oddly, it was picked up by radio stations across the USA and received enough airplay to make the Billboard chart in its own right (OK, only at number 70).
Martha Reeves herself is reported to have said that is one her own favourite Motown recording, so please don’t let anything put you off taking a listen to her great, soulful vocals on this track. Of course, it did nothing in the UK charts and this single is something of a rarity on UK Tamla Motown, although import copies (including promo copies like mine) on US Gordy are rather less scarce.
Martha & The Vandellas – Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things) US promo copy
The Supremes – Nothing But Heartaches – TMG 527
My project to remember and re-listen to every Tamla Motown single, reaches one of many high spots with this great Holland-Dozier Holland song from August 1965, although Motown boss, Berry Gordy was less than happy with its reception by the record-buying public of the USA . He went as far as to issue a memo that said:
We will release nothing less than Top Ten product on any artist; and because the Supremes’ world-wide acceptance is greater than the other artists, on them we will only release number-one records.
… and this was after this single “flopped” by peaking at number 11! But there is no trace of it ever having troubled the UK singles chart.
Perhaps it was Motown’s policy of creating follow-up singles that sounded a lot like the preceding hit. Certainly this track seems to have been a determined effort to break out of the cookie-cutter feel of “Stop In The Name of Love” and the other five consecutive number one singles. But in my book, neither its comparative lack of success nor its change in style does nothing to detract from its appeal.