B-side of I’ve Been Cheated
(Written by Gary Montgomery, Jack Dalton and Roy Roberts)
Ooh, that title is asking for trouble, isn’t it? A bland, whitebread “soul” group who’ve already made two boring interruptions to the narrative of the Motown story, calling a song Something’s Bothering You… I find it so hard to resist open goals like that.
But actually, this one turns out to be okay. The final appearance of the Dalton Boys here on Motown Junkies is an intriguing midtempo thing, driven along by drums and tambourine. The strummed intro gives way to a melody which reveals it to be an instrumental – a welcome development, because the other two Dalton Boys tracks we’ve heard have been interesting, vital band tracks ruined by weak singing and ropey harmonies and go-nowhere melodies. This, though, is something that seems to play to the Boys’ musical strengths: it’s slight, small-scale, a rather pretty little tune that pleasantly breezes past and doesn’t outstay its welcome.
The first two Dalton Boys songs we’ve seen, the A-side I’ve Been Cheated and the cancelled B-side Take My Hand, were both heavily in thrall to the British Invasion, the Boys trying in vain to catch up with what European guitar groups were doing three years before. This has a similar flavour, but it takes its cues from an even earlier time, looking to the Shadows rather than the Beatles, and while the nagging feeling persists that this is still a band track that needs someone to write a good song over the top of it rather than something that can really stand up as an instrumental in its own right, the melody is undeniably pretty, even whistleable.
There’d be no more Motown appearances for the Dalton Boys, who went on to more critical success on the West Coast, first writing for the Turtles and then forming the rock group Colours (and also playing backup for Eric Clapton, according to the liner notes to The Complete Motown Singles: Volume 5). Their Motown stint has long been forgotten, and even the most dedicated fan would be hard pushed to call that an injustice, but this is a nice way to sign off; it doesn’t pull up any trees, it never takes off in the way it seems to vaguely promise, but it’s sweet and catchy and wholly listenable, and that’s okay by me.
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.
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|The Dalton Boys
“Take My Hand”
|R. Dean Taylor
“Let’s Go Somewhere”
|Motown Junkies presents the finest Motown cuts, big hits and hard to find classics.
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