A jaunty, relatively restrained R&B pop number that reminds me of a couple of other records without ever managing to be as good as any of them. 3
I guess it’s just one of those songs that works better as communal property, as a vehicle for a live jam or for singalong high-jinks, than something you’d choose to listen to over and over again. 3
A disappointing waste of both a good song and a good vocalist, paired together wholly inappropriately and satisfying no-one. (3)
A bluesy, slinky R&B number, much in the vein of the stuff later cut by Shorty Long for the Soul Records subsidiary. (6)
A thin, charmless Everly Brothers pastiche, this throwaway B-side from 1959 by “Ron & Bill” wasn’t up to much even on original release, and so quite why it was dusted off and dragged out for another go-round two years later is really anybody’s guess.
Another unashamed soundalike which flouts its “inspiration” and barely bothers to cover its tracks; the victim this time is the Coasters’ wacky Yakety Yak, a hit from almost three years previously. It’s not great.
Neither this song nor the A-side went on to do anything at all in the charts, but Lumpkin was so clearly One To Watch that like other excellent male vocalists who started their Motown careers with early-Sixties commercial flops – a club which would also include Marvin Gaye and Jimmy Ruffin – he didn’t find himself summarily dropped, instead being given further chances and going on to record two more singles with Motown. None of them, though, are quite this good. (8)
You could easily picture this having made the pop Top 30 in 1961; instead, sadly, it sank without trace, and its performer joined the ever-growing ranks of Motown chart flop acts. Lumpkin, at least, would be given a further chance to prove himself. (7)