The title implies that this should just be a limp continuation of the lifeless rock ‘n’ roll of the A-side Part 1, but it’s actually a completely different record, and much the stronger side of the two.
Indeed, it has almost nothing to do with the A-side at all; it has almost no lyrics (just the title, repeated a couple of times by Stevie in the lowest register his pre-teen voice could manage), a different tune, it actually makes it sound like Stevie really did have a legitimate connection with the blues… much, much better.
This is a slow, lazy back-alley blues jam, mostly instrumental, the best part of three minutes of Stevie apparently having a great time and laying an exceptional mouth-organ part on his presumably startled audience. Were you cooing over me on Part 1?, he seems to ask; …y’all thought I was just too cute? Coo over this, I dare you.
I wish Stevie (or the song’s co-writer Berry Gordy, who produced this, unlike the Clarence Paul-produced A-side) hadn’t felt the need to make Stevie sing on this at all, a decision that was presumably made in an attempt to maintain a connection with the A-side; his vocal is again the weakest thing on display (though at least he actually sounds like he means it this time), and apart from stopping him playing his mouth-organ while he’s singing, it only serves to remind the audience that this is a record made by an eleven year old boy. Wholly unnecessarily – I don’t care if someone’s 12 or 72, if they can play the harmonica like this, let them play it all day long.
This record bombed, but the B-side is much, much more promising than the A-side, and even though Stevie would have to suffer through three years of subpar material and patronising marketing, at least there was something there of substance to build on.
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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|Little Stevie Wonder
“I Call It Pretty Music But The Old People Call It The Blues (Part 1)”
“Sleep (Little One)”