Not bad or offensive, it’s just sort of there. A fun but forgettable bit of filler. (4)
Unexpectedly, it turns out Smokey, and Motown, needed the Contours to exist: not as a link to the past, but as an outlet for silly ideas, as an expression of physical energy, as a pressure valve. And this, daft as it is, is just buckets of fun. (7)
Completely out of character for the group – if you were asked to identify these guys on sound alone, “the Contours” would be the absolute last answer you’d give – but no worse for it. Nice surprises are the best kind of surprises, after all. (7)
I’ve given it many, many listens and I still don’t know what to make of it, or where it fits into the Contours’ story. Your mileage may vary. Mine certainly does. (5)
Really rather pretty, and absolutely fine as far as it goes, even if it only goes halfway to where it really needs to get to. (6)
Never a masterpiece, but a corking dance rocker, very rough around the edges but definitely alive; a hint of a Contours we never really got to see, the Contours their live shows always presented to wowed audiences.
This isn’t just awful on its own terms, as I’d previously believed to be the case, but it turns out it’s also a craven attempt to sponge off another record’s success, the sort of thing I thought Motown had rather grown out of by this point in history. I never learn.
I’d be a massive hypocrite if, having berated the Contours for doing the same thing over and over again, I didn’t at least give them credit for trying something new. I just wish it had turned out a bit… better, that’s all. (5)
Completely out of nowhere, this has to be considered one of the best records the early Contours ever made, and it should have become a significant hit single in its own right. (8)
It’s not a terrible record – it shares a lot of the rhythm and danceability of Do You Love Me – but it is mean-spirited, cynical and completely pointless. (2)
Thin, weak, bored-sounding “dance music” that – fatally – doesn’t ever make you want to get up and dance, this is both an artistic misfire and a commercial misjudgment. (3)
The song isn’t good, the performances aren’t good, and whatever had been magical about Do You Love Me, it’s missing here; this is just a stupid dance record, and not even a fun one at that. 3
Not awful, by any means, but the image of the Contours conjured for new listeners by Do You Love Me is slightly dispelled here. (4)
A good example of an inspired match between performer and material; the Contours’ performance makes a thin song into a super record, while Berry Gordy’s song briefly makes a bunch of tone-deaf dancers into a star recording group. (8)
Quite possibly the worst Motown record of all time. A bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad record. [...click title to read more]
While it’s not quite as striking as their début, The Stretch is another opportunity to enjoy the young Contours having a great time to a stomping beat, which is always a good combination. (6)
Driven along by a steady, rollicking drumbeat and some great understated sax work, this is an accomplished and assured early number which strangely feels much shorter than its actual length of more than two and a half minutes. (6)
A riveting, pounding number, featuring gutsy sax, barrelling piano and a tambourine being smashed to within an inch of its life, while (especially on the original version) Billy Gordon’s superb, screamed lead vocal could strip paint from the walls.