B-side of Whose Heart (Are You Gonna Break Now)
(Written by Don McKenzie and Billy Pittman)
The A-side of Don McKenzie’s one and only Motown release, the weedy would-be dancer Whose Heart (Are You Gonna Break Now), had seemed out of step with the rest of the company’s output by the end of 1961 – but this sappy waste of vinyl takes matters to a whole new level altogether.
McKenzie himself co-wrote this meaningless pap, but it’s baffling as to why anyone would want to claim credit for it. A gentle waltz apparently written solely for the type of dances chaperoned (or even participated in) by older white ladies – if I make direct reference to the “Motherboy” dance in Arrested Development and say this record would fit perfectly, you might get the idea. Musically reminiscent of How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? and (especially) It’s Raining, It’s Pouring, and about as daring as both, this is inoffensively bland almost to the point of non-existence.
The Supremes again provide backup, and very well – but they’re uncredited on the record, and it can’t have helped their careers along. The only benefit to their participation must have been to steel their resolve after two flop singles (and with plenty more to come): make a success of yourselves, girls, or you’ll be singing backup on this sort of whiter-than-white dreck for the rest of your lives.
McKenzie adds insult to injury with a vocal performance that ranges from the weedily competent to the unintentionally amusing, his piping tenor slipping into a nasal drawl at the most inopportune moments. He does at least provide his own punchline: “Don’t call me, I’ll call you”, as Berry Gordy might have said when McKenzie asked him about the chances of a follow-up single.
Quite astonishingly wet, to the point I’m scared to play it again in case it drips on the turntable.
MOTOWN JUNKIES VERDICT
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“Whose Heart (Are You Gonna Break Now)”
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