B-side of (You’re My) Dream Come True
It occurs to me that I probably didn’t stress, during the last review, just how much I love (You’re My) Dream Come True. Which may seem strange considering I opened it by saying “Oh, man, I *love* this record”, and ended it by saying it was “possibly the best song Berry Gordy ever wrote”, but it’s been playing on my mind these last couple of long, Motown Junkies-less days. So, let’s set the record straight: I think it’s a Temptations masterpiece, quite frankly (certainly better than the actual Temptations song of that name eleven years later); the bit where Eddie sings “For every hand, there’s a glove / For every – for EVERY heart / There should be love” just gets me every single time.
There, that’s better.
Now, the B-side. This B-side, recorded several months before the A-side (though at the rate both Motown and the Temptations were developing in 1961/2, it might as well have been three years) is an odd throwback to an earlier time, a simplistic, jaunty, uptempo R&B/doo-wop dancefloor shuffle that sounds maybe 10bpm faster than these young singers’ comfortable speeds. Oddly, it’s not only dated by the Temptations’ standards – and it was dated, they’d already covered this territory on their enjoyable début single Oh Mother Of Mine (and covered it better, too) before moving on with giant, seven-league boot strides for the follow-ups, the multi-part epic Check Yourself and the gorgeous A-side here – but it’s also dated in that it seems to have been a conscious attempt to “go retro” even when it was brand new. It would have fit perfectly on the radio in 1955; the slightly flat minor-key vocal/bass/drums break at 1:54-2:07 might have got on the radio in 1945, to be honest.
It’s still a Temptations record, of course, and no Tempts single of the era was a completely straight-down-the-line affair; there’s still far too much invention going on here for most groups, complex blending of harmonies, Melvin Franklin’s rolling railroad bass vocal (BOM bom BOM bom BOM bom BOM bom, steady as clockwork throughout, before a stunning solo at 1:17), judicious use of co-writer Eddie Kendricks’ skyscraping falsetto calling to mind the better work of Del Shannon… it’s plenty of fun.
It can sometimes be hard to shake the nagging feeling that this should really have been the Satintones singing here (they’d left the company by the time it was recorded), and that they missed out on an opportunity. Mostly, though, it’s just a fun, frothy, meaningless doo-wop ditty, which coming from a group like the Temptations is both highly enjoyable and maddeningly limited.
Sadly, the Temptations’ experimental, “prehistoric” phase was already drawing to a close; they’d shortly be sucked into a dry spell that saw almost two years’ worth of charmless, boring doo-wop stomps released as singles, singles that got nowhere near the charts; only their local popularity on the Michigan live circuit (where people both remembered the Primes and the Distants, and appreciated the group’s stellar showmanship) stopping Motown from dropping them altogether.
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!)
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“(You’re My) Dream Come True”
“You Deserve What You Got”