B-side of Sleep (Little One)
(Written by Barney Ales, Irving Biegel and Brian Holland)
It says Herman Griffin on the label, but there are no vocals on this record, and I’ve never read Griffin described as a musician anywhere (on any instrument), so this is just an instrumental band track, mostly pounded, bluesy piano and stabbed, repetitive organ.
What it sounds like, actually, is a take on the first Funk Brothers instrumental single release back in the earliest days of Motown, the rollicking Snake Walk, credited to “The Swinging Tigers” – it shares an identical bass riff and tempo, and is very similar in a great number of other respects – although it’s not nearly as much fun as that record, of course. The drums are pale in comparison, there’s no coruscating sax, the bass is a joke.
And then there are the writing credits – the great Brian Holland, his magical touch and otherworldly chord changes nowhere to be seen on this record, joined by two of the key figures in Motown’s sales department. I don’t get it.
One to miss, unless you somehow forgot to buy The Complete Motown Singles: Volume 1 and so don’t have access to Snake Walk.
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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“Sleep (Little One)”