TamlaTamla T 54029 (B), July 1960

B-side of Yes, No, Maybe So

(Written by Anna Gordy Gaye and Brian Holland)

Label scan kindly provided by Lars “LG” Nilsson - www.seabear.se.  All label scans come from visitor contributions - if you'd like to send me a scan I don't have, please e-mail it to me at fosse8@gmail.com!This spendidly ungrammatical B-side marks the first Motown songwriting credits for both Brian Holland (later one-third of the company’s greatest songwriting team) and Anna Gordy (sister of Berry Gordy, namesake of the Anna Records label –

– the label owned by big sister Gwen Gordy Fuqua, which was initially a bigger, better-distributed operation than Motown, and which picked up this single for national distribution, as it had done for Barrett Strong’s big breakthrough Money (That’s What I Want)

– and who later married Marvin Gaye).

Anyway. Unlike the A-side, this one actually sounds like a proper follow-up to Money; it sounds as though it was actually done by the same guy, at any rate. Which isn’t to say that it’s a simple retread of Money, not by any means; just that it has the same gritty texture and mean, sexy approach as its hit predecessor.

The Anna Records version.  Scan kindly provided by Gordon Frewin, reproduced by arrangement.It’s actually a strong song which might (just might) have made a respectable showing as a single in its own right (perhaps providing Barrett Strong with that elusive second charting single, something he’d ultimately never go on to achieve in his whole recording career) rather than being tucked away on the flip side of a flop as turned out to be the case.

Rolling along at a midtempo lick underpinned by a strong, hefty Funk Brothers backing track, complete with an understated but immediately gripping organ riff, it’s two and a half minutes of enjoyable groove, only let down slightly by the plinky piano and twanging guitar interlude at 1:48, which sounds like it came from another record altogether and threatens to derail the steady, rollicking beat before Strong and the band take over again.

I actually rather like Yes, No, Maybe So, but this was the better of the two sides and should probably have been picked as the single.



(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.

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Barrett Strong
“Yes, No, Maybe So”
Popcorn & The Mohawks
“Custer’s Last Man”


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