B-side of You Deserve What You Got
B-side of Just Ain’t Enough Love
(Reissued as B-side of later single)
Soaring, super-slow doo-wop balladry graces the flip of Eddie Holland’s third Motown single, the second song featuring Eddie as a writer.
This isn’t quite all it’s cracked up to be; it’s very pretty but quite meandering, effectively consisting of three great bits linked with a lot of unmemorable fluff.
Firstly, there’s an excellent intro, starting with a cold open – Eddie belting out the words “La-ast night” acapella, stretched over six or seven syllables – and then some slow, subtle brushed drums, a great guitar part (plucking out a short, isolated riff in the style of the Miracles’ Marv Tarplin) and some swelling, inspirational strings. But it doesn’t go anywhere; having built itself up to a rather special place over the first four bars or so, the rest of the verses (and the chorus, come to that) don’t really do anything else, they just sound like filler. That pretty guitar figure is only used once per verse, the strings are content to just hold their pattern for a while, Eddie croons melismatically over the top to little effect; the overall impression turns from stirring and romantic to bland and bombastic, and quite quickly.
The second good bit comes at the end of each chorus, as the music builds to a mini-crescendo and then briefly stops altogether just in time for Eddie to deliver a hook line – “Like it happened last night” – which is the song’s only truly memorable feature.
The third and final good bit is a lush instrumental bridge at 2:06, where the strings and drums kick up and swirl the listener in a surprisingly beautiful melody; sadly, it’s not long enough, lasting just under ten seconds before the song settles back into its groove for the “big finish” (which is exactly the same as the rest of the record). There is an intriguing little string part buried under the fade at the very end, but it’s too quiet (and over too quickly) to latch on to.
There are lots of good ideas here, lots of little sketches and bits of songs that show the touch of Brian Holland in particular (more unusual, perfect chord changes, more unexpected harmonies between band and backing vocals), but they’re all thrown away too quickly in the service of a disappointingly forgettable song. Pretty, but entirely unsubstantial.
MOTOWN JUNKIES VERDICT
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“You Deserve What You Got”
“I’ll Try Something New”