(Written by Billy Page)
(Released in the UK under license through EMI / Tamla Motown)
Unlike the Ron Miller-penned A-side The Bigger Your Heart Is (The Harder You’ll Fall), a record which only narrowly fails to attain the necessary escape velocity to become Not Actually That Bad, this B-side is instead very obviously from the same writer as 51-year-old Tony Martin’s horrifically gloopy début single Talkin’ To Your Picture and – especially – its all-or-nothing nightmare of a flip, Our Rhapsody.
Here, the intensity of Our Rhapsody has been thankfully dialled down a bit – but only from “astonishingly pompous” to “embarrassingly puffed-up”, which isn’t really all that much of an improvement. What we’re left with is another grotesquely swollen MOR ballad, continually reaching out to pluck heartstrings it hasn’t earned the right to approach, and fronted by a man ten years past his best and whose voice is so artificial it makes me instinctively cringe. It’s not a winner, let’s put it that way.
As with the A-side, though – and, if I’m being scrupulously fair, as with Our Rhapsody too – there’s actually a pretty little tune going on here, a tiny spring bubbling away somewhere deep in the caverns of self-satisfied glurge. Unlike Our Rhapsody, the overdone production isn’t quite all-consuming enough to squash it.
I’m left with the feeling that, were you able to somehow scrape Tony off of this, along with some of the Hollywood excesses of the LA orchestra, the end result might actually come out as quite a nice little song. Of course, we can’t, and it doesn’t, but the failure’s not as ignominious as it might have been.
MOTOWN JUNKIES VERDICT
(I’ve had MY say, now it’s your turn. Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment, or click the thumbs at the bottom there. Dissent is encouraged!)
You’re reading Motown Junkies, an attempt to review every Motown A- and B-side ever released. Click on the “previous” and “next” buttons below to go back and forth through the catalogue, or visit the Master Index for a full list of reviews so far.
(Or maybe you’re only interested in Tony Martin? Click for more.)
“The Bigger Your Heart Is (The Harder You’ll Fall)”
“I Don’t Know What To Do”