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Gordy RecordsGordy G 7006 (B), July 1962

B-side of I Found Myself A Brand New Baby

(Written by Mike Valvano and Clarence Paul)

BritainOriole CBA 1775 (B), October 1962

B-side of I Found Myself A Brand New Baby

(Released in the UK under license through Oriole Records)


Label scan kindly provided by Lars “LG” Nilsson - www.seabear.se.  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 B-side of prolific Motown writer and all-round studio hand Mike Valvano’s one and only Motown single presents quite a contrast to the A-side, I Found Myself A Brand New Baby.

Where that song was a light, uptempo bit of R&B-inflected white pop-rock, a precursor to the British Invasion of the mid-Sixties, this B-side (recorded during the same session) is much more firmly rooted in the doo-wop tradition. A 6/8 ballad dominated by some plinking tack piano and echoey guitars, It’s Too Bad is otherwise little more than a showcase for Valvano to show off his vocal skills.

He does alright, going for a few swooping high notes with gusto (especially good when he ramps up for the big finish at 2:24), but he also misses the mark a few times throughout the song (most noticeably the high notes straight after the aforementioned good bit, at 2:32); all in all, as a lead, it’s nothing to write home about.

The British release.  Scan kindly provided by '144man'.As far as I can tell, there don’t seem to be any backing vocals on the record at all, which is a shame because this would probably have worked quite nicely as a group harmony number circa 1959. Instead, it becomes a flat and dated solo number. A pity.

There’s an interesting use of repeated minor chords in the middle eight which creates a riveting, haunting effect on first listen, but otherwise there’s really not much else here to hold the attention.

Mike would go on to write and produce dozens of songs for Motown, but after this one stiffed, there would be no more records released under his own name.

VERDICT

* * * * * * * * * *
3 / 10

(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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Mike & The Modifiers
“I Found Myself A Brand New Baby”
Henry Lumpkin
“Mo Jo Hanna”