(Written by Charles Leverett)
The first and only single by Charles “Chico” Leverett, a vocalist and songwriter “better known” (in the sense of “not at all known, unless you are a Motown nerd like me”) as one of the Satintones, the male vocal group by now signed to Motown but yet to release a record.
Although, really, that’s just a technicality, because the backing vocals on this record by the Rayber Voices mean that Solid Sender actually features three of the four Satintones anyway – Robert Bateman, Sonny Sanders and Leverett himself – as well as Brian Holland and Raynoma Liles Gordy, “Miss Ray”, on harmonies.
Anyway. It’s not great, this; easily the weakest of the seven sides featured so far, it’s utterly forgettable mid-tempo R&B with doo-wop bass harmonies that quickly grate, and the tune sounds totally unsuited to Leverett’s gentle, musical baritone, which just ends up sounding thin and weedy against such robust backing. It’s entirely generic and wholly inoffensive, and apparently intentionally so – the liner notes to The Complete Motown Singles: Volume 1 quote Leverett as saying he wrote the song at the specific request of a religious relative who challenged him to write a secular song he would allow to be played in his house. (Which is just… Come on. An R&B record written specifically not to offend religious relatives? Nothing can go wrong with that idea!) The record does feature another fine Beans Bowles sax solo (see Barrett Strong’s Let’s Rock), but there’s really not a great deal else to recommend it.
Footnote: This was the first Motown single to be released without a songwriting credit for Berry Gordy. The liner notes note that Gordy “led the session” at the recording, but decline to name a producer.
Footnote 2: This is one of the singles for which the original master tapes were unavailable when compiling The Complete Motown Singles: Volume 1, and which consequently had to be dubbed from a 45rpm single. It sounds fine, if a little lacking in clarity, which is much more than can be said for the recording of the B-side I’ll Never Love Again, which sounds dismal.
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.
“Do The Very Best You Can”
“I’ll Never Love Again”
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