Great group they might be, but the Miracles had rotten luck with record releases at the start of their Motown career. Less than a month after the abortive release of the splendid Bad Girl, which had just a few copies pressed up before being transferred to Chess for national distribution, Berry Gordy co-wrote and produced this engaging bit of midtempo R&B fluff and released it on Tamla before apparently changing his mind and withdrawing the single.
Hardly a patch on their previous single, The Feeling Is So Fine nonetheless has a few points of interest to recommend it; Smokey’s delivery, no long notes and all near the top of his high range, contrasts perfectly with the Miracles’ dependable harmonies, and there’s a reprise of Beans Bowles’ rumbling sax solo from I Love Your Baby at 1:34, which is much less intrusive here than on that song mainly thanks to a short burst of electric organ which comes in after a couple of seconds and all but covers it up (the liner notes for The Complete Motown Singles: Volume 1 suggest this might be Raynoma Liles Gordy, “Miss Ray” herself, on organ duties).
Still, the song doesn’t really go anywhere, there are no real surprises, and although it’s not without its charm, as a single it’s not on the same level as Bad Girl.
MOTOWN JUNKIES VERDICT
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“I Love Your Baby”
“(You Can) Depend On Me” (first version)