Good fun while it’s playing, completely forgettable once it’s done; it bears absolutely no relation to the future of the Elgins, not to mention the rest of the Motown catalogue at the time, but it’s nice enough. (5)
The song itself hasn’t got worse, it’s still superb, and this is still a fine record. But yet again, I’m left wondering what I might have made of a Motown recording if I’d heard this version first, because as things stand, as lovely as Marvin sounds here, I’d go for the Marvelettes’ version every single time. (7)
I can’t escape the feeling that the vocal and the track still don’t properly agree with each other, even here at the second time of asking. Still pretty, though. (6)
Artless and joyless, this is one of the weakest records the Marvelettes ever released, especially on a 45, and the song should never have left the drawing board. (2)
A really good little record, small in scale but beautifully formed. (7)
Still not a great song by any means, but this is just about the best version of it that exists, and that counts for something. (6)
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)
Remarkable, and wholly excellent. (9)
Weird (which I wholeheartedly approve of), but also faintly rubbish (which I don’t). (4)
An enjoyable record, hardly a classic single but a vast improvement on what had come before. It was still very early days for both writers and singer, and there was much better to come from both, but this was at least a step in the right direction. (6)
A nice set-filler, a pretty bit of enjoyable “middle of Side Two” album padding, but it’s not catchy or instant enough to cut it as a hit record in its own right. (6)
This is easily as good a record as the A-side. (6)
A totally average-sounding early-Sixties girl group record with poorly-conceived, unsympathetic lyrics. Compared to the A-side, this can’t help but be a major disappointment. (5)
The best record the Marvelettes ever made; magnificent, and beautiful, and forever. (10)
Basically a reworking of Jamie, twice as fast and much more likeable, with 50% more Jackie Wilson. (7)
It’s not terrible or anything; it’s just not up to the standards set either by Mary, by the A-side, or by the Holland-Dozier-Gorman trio themselves, and has to go down as a bit of a disappointment. From small acorns, and all that. (5)
This is one of the best records the Marvelettes ever made, and it simply couldn’t have been left hidden away on the album. (9)
Just about the loudest and angriest record Motown had released in its first four years of existence. It’s certainly not blues, but it’s no pop record either; it’s almost defiantly uncommercial. (5)
One to miss, unless you somehow forgot to buy The Complete Motown Singles: Volume 1 and so don’t have access to Snake Walk. (2)
You can almost feel the frustration of its creators, being so close to greatness and yet so far away. All in good time, Eddie Holland, all in good time. (4)
A dated, thin doo-wop dancer, another failed Motown attempt to re-do the Marcels’ Blue Moon and about half as charming.
It’s not awful, but it’s highly nondescript. Helpfully, though, this record marks a sort of staging post for the Marvelettes: the end of a digressionary, dead-end period. 3
If the stellar, never-to-be-recaptured magic of their début single had been something of a quirk, a statistical oddity if not an outright fluke, then in many ways the Marvelettes’ story really begins right here. (6)
This isn’t quite all it’s cracked up to be; it’s very pretty but quite meandering, effectively consisting of three great bits linked with a lot of unmemorable fluff. (4)
Probably the best of Eddie’s three Motown singles to date, and the writing credit means it’s a Historically Significant record to boot; it shows plenty of promise and development, and it’s a good little record, but there was still significantly better to come from Edward Holland Jr. as both a singer and as a writer. (6)
Still, best not concentrate on what this record isn’t, and just enjoy it for what it is. And what it is, really, is a lot of fun. It’s just not quite “there” in terms of everything clicking into place. (6)
A disappointing waste of both a good song and a good vocalist, paired together wholly inappropriately and satisfying no-one. (3)
No, on the whole, it’s good. It is. It’s just not pants-wettingly good, and so it suffers by comparison to the original, which I love. Which is more my problem than the Marvelettes’, I know, but there we are. (6)
Ultimately, it’s not terrible, but the Marvelettes had come down from a whole different level to get here.
The stupidly annoying bits mean this can’t really be considered as being on a par with Xmas Twist, but the band performance is nearly enough to outweigh them. (3)
Despite initial appearances to the contrary, there’s not much to report going on here song-wise.
Motown’s first white vocal group; on this evidence, they were also pretty ordinary singers compared to some of their Motown labelmates, even if they were above average by the not-terribly-high standards of white Sixties doo-wop groups.
A clear statement of intent, both from the singer – who had slogged through two years of flops at United Artists without ever hinting he had this sort of performance in him – and from the writers, each of whom was making a real name for themselves. Quite superb. (8)
An interesting exercise and no more; inconsequential to the point of pointlessness. [...click title to read more]
A disappointingly straightforward rocker with little to commend it; opening with an unexpected guitar solo, it quickly settles into a shuffling R&B/blues-influenced groove and then fails to go anywhere at all. [...click title to read more]
Not a patch on the A-side, and Wanda’s incredibly high pitched falsetto vocals are actually painful to listen to in places.
This is just about as good as any pop record that had ever been made up to that point, and while it would still be years before Motown approached anywhere near this level of quality on every release, it’s still an essential inclusion in any Motown best-of shortlist. In a word: marvellous. (10)
It’s an indicator of where the HDH stable would eventually ply its trade: knocking out a straight pop song with a strong hook and effortless charm, but twisted ever so slightly so that the tune grabs the ear and forms the beginning of an involuntary smile.
Immensely likeable, genuinely beautiful, and above all pants-wettingly good. Even if it sounds nothing like the Supremes everyone knows, it’s as good a début single as anyone, anywhere, has ever recorded. (10)