B-side of Everybody’s Talking About My Baby
Comfortably the worst of Debbie Dean’s six sides for Motown in the era, this uncomfortably awkward bit of would-be white radio bait (from the usually-dependable team of Bradford and Wylie), a naff lament in doo-wop tempo, is a real listen-once-and-forget job.
The concept seems to be that Debbie is in despair over the end of a relationship, but this is conveyed in two ways, neither of them a good idea. Firstly, we get her literally screaming the lyrics, in an almost-unlistenably piercing primal howl that’s meant to convey emotional anguish but goes much too far, to the point it stings your ears; for added measure, we then have her simply reading the lyrics out, spoken-word style, while pretending to cry. Yes, you read that right, pretending to cry, as in peppering her monotone reading with a series of incredibly fake hiccups, sobs and sniffles. Then, back to the anguished howling again.
It’s genuinely horrible, only slightly less horrific than listening to someone actually bawling their eyes out, FOR REAL, interspersed with some of the worst “acting” ever committed to vinyl.
Debbie Dean was never the most gifted singer in the world, but when she was asked to sing within her range – as on the lovely A New Girl, for instance – she had a beguiling and charming voice. This is barely-listenable garbage, a bad execution of a poorly thought-out idea which should never have been released.
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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“Everybody’s Talking About My Baby”
“I Out-Duked The Duke”