B-side of Have I The Right
Not to be confused with the Miracles’ spiffing Mighty Good Lovin’, this is a generic, uptempo R&B rocker that again sounds as though it was written with the radio in mind, and which also sounds at least five years out of date.
Popcorn himself had failed to shine on the A-side Have I The Right, delivering a somewhat uninspired lead vocal; he’s on better form here, but still nothing to write home about compared to some of Motown’s better male vocalists of the era. The song features some shrill female backing vocals who provide some of its best moments, dovetailing neatly with the bursts of sax that pervade the verses; there’s also a good rock ‘n’ roll guitar solo starting at 1:40, an ingredient that had been used on a few of Motown’s singles in October 1961. Otherwise, this is almost completely forgettable both as a song and a record.
This single failed to chart, and with no more solo releases on the horizon, Popcorn soon left Motown (for almost ten years) following its release; no real loss as a solo performer, since Wylie the singer had racked up three flop singles in a row, but a more critical loss as a musician, since Wylie the keys man was a beloved ingredient of the early Funk Brothers mix. (His absence was covered by group leader Joe Hunter, while his “place” was eventually taken – insofar as such things can be tracked with a group as fluid as the Funk Brothers – by Johnny Griffith).
Perhaps surprisingly, Popcorn wound up landing a solo deal with Epic Records, cutting four singles for the label; his debut was Come To Me, not a cover of the Marv Johnson song which had been Motown’s very first release in 1959, as the liner notes to The Complete Motown Singles: Volume 1 state, but rather a totally different song (as can be heard from that clip). None of his singles was a hit, and he bounced around various labels in the Sixties as a session man, finding time to found the Pameline label and record a number of splendid late-Sixties singles for Karen and Carla, most notably the instrumentals Move Over Babe (Here Comes Henry) and the fully rocking Rosemary, What Happened?. He’d finally return to Motown ten years and several musical lifetimes later, with the offbeat Funky Rubber Band in 1971.
MOTOWN JUNKIES VERDICT
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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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|Popcorn & The Mohawks
“Have I The Right”
“Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart”