B-side of He Lifted Me
(Written by Norvis Grant)
Pedestrian, upbeat gospel, done absolutely by the (Good) book. As with the considerably more absorbing A-side, He Lifted Me, lead singer Mae Gooch is once again the key to this record making any kind of impact at all. Here, on what turned out to be the Gospel Stars’ last Motown release for over two years, she again sings with such verve she sounds like she could strip the paint off the walls, but she takes a while to hit her stride, the much faster pace blunts her attack, and the effect is much less inspirational. Even if it wasn’t a complex or clever song, He Lifted Me was still interesting; this is just a plain vanilla gospel workout, it sounds like literally a hundred other plain vanilla gospel workouts, and – unforgivably for a religious tract – it’s boring.
Unfortunately, this disappointing B-side is the start of a rather ropey run of underwhelming releases; after a promising start, Motown seems to have spent the entire spring of 1961 in something of a rut, with no hits (of any kind) and no good records (never mind future classics). Buckle up, it gets a little bumpy for a while now.
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.
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|The Gospel Stars
“He Lifted Me”
“Poor Sam Jones”