Gordy RecordsGordy G 7005 (B), June 1962

B-side of Do You Love Me

(Written by Berry Gordy and Rebecca Nichols)

BritainOriole CBA 1763 (B), September 1962

B-side of Do You Love Me

(Released in the UK under license through Oriole Records)

A later pressing of the single.  Scan kindly provided by Gordon Frewin.  All label scans come from visitor contributions - if you'd like to send me a scan I don't have, please e-mail it to me at fosse8@gmail.com!The Contours’ biggest hit, the rollicking Do You Love Me, by far their best-known song, is actually a little unrepresentative of both the group and the developing Motown Sound; the underside of the record gives a better picture of where the Contours were really “at” in the summer of 1962.

A slight, shambolic R&B workout, clocking in at a little over two minutes, this is musically reminiscent of Lamont Dozier’s 1960 solo single Popeye The Sailor Man (in terms of tune, at any rate), but it’s over before it’s had a chance to really dig its hooks in, and it’s a bit of a mess. If anything, it shows how far out of step the Contours really were with the rest of Motown’s output of the time.

Billy Gordon does a good job with his vocal, channeling his engagingly rough performance from the Contours’ début single Whole Lotta Woman (he even incorporates a snatch of that song during the fade at the end of this one), and the record features a few neat touches – most notably an intriguing Beach Boys backing harmony break that crops up twice in the song – but it proceeds to go absolutely nowhere.

The British release.  Scan kindly provided by '144man'.The backing vocals are undisciplined and rowdy, the intro (yet another apparent take-off of the Marcels’ scat opening to their doo-wop cover of Blue Moon) sits poorly with the rest of the song; the whole thing just feels rushed and unfinished.

Not awful, by any means, but the image of the Contours conjured for new listeners by Do You Love Me is slightly dispelled here; carefree, acrobatic rockers they may have been, but without the sheen of musical competence and joyous exuberance found on the A-side, they’d somehow have seemed a bit more ordinary after listening to this.



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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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The Contours
“Do You Love Me”
Hattie Littles
“Back In My Arms”