Mel-o-dy RecordsMel-o-dy M-104 (B), September 1962

B-side of Trouble Lover

(Written by Ray Reynolds and Ron Moore)

Much like the A-side, the flip of the Charters’ one and only Motown single is another half-decent song undone by poor performances.

This uptempo number is Fifties R&B-rock all the way, with a healthy dollop of doo-wop stirred in for good measure. The main hook here is quite reminiscent of the main section of the Temptations’ infinitely more complicated Check Yourself a year previously, and the tune is a good one.

The problem, once again, is the performances and the production. The throaty, big-voiced lead vocalist is again on a different level to his bandmates, but this time he sounds like he’s on a different record, scarcely bothering to stay in key with the backing. The other vocals are flat and their staccato interjections of the title bear poor comparison both to the aforementioned Temptations record and to their own A-side, both of which did the same trick considerably better.

The band are again on bad form – a lengthy guitar solo at 1:32 never quite gets going, the guitarist seemingly having trouble getting his fingers out of each other’s way, while the drums are again basic and amateurish, dropping noticeably out of time at least twice and totally muffing a fill at the very end – and there’s a really, really horribly jarring bit at 1:52, when the guitar solo ends, and the backing vocals and lead vocal both come back in completely out of tune with each other. Meanwhile, as with the A-side, the production frequently blends the various elements together in a nasty, fuzzy mess that’s just not enjoyable.

Just as with the A-side, it’s a pity, because there’s again the germ of a decent song buried in here – assuming the writing credits for Ray Reynolds and Ron Moore (who also produced both sides of this single) are for members of the band, then it’s a safe bet to say that the Charters were better songwriters than performers.



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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 Charters
“Trouble Lover”
Martha & The Vandellas
“I’ll Have To Let Him Go”