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Tamla RecordsTamla T 54075 (B), December 1962

B-side of Hitch Hike

(Written by Anna Gordy Gaye and Mickey Stevenson)


All label scans come from visitor contributions - if you'd like to send me a scan I don't have, or an improvement on what's already up here, please e-mail it to me at fosse8@gmail.com!Co-written by the soon-to-be Mrs Marvin Gaye, and Marvin’s producer William “Mickey” Stevenson, at first blush this B-side seems to be a step backwards. Marvin had just spent 1962 reluctantly embracing R&B stardom and turning his back on his dream of becoming a supper-club MOR crooner, the new Nat King Cole. Now, with one chart hit under his belt in Stubborn Kind Of Fellow and another one surely on the way in the A-side, Hitch Hike, Motown had suddenly seen fit to issue a shelved 1961 recording very much in Marvin’s old MOR bag, a schmaltzy piece of doo-wop tinged jazz-lite, on the flip. Confusing.

This just about gets away with it for two reasons. Firstly, Marvin is actually on very good form here, turning in a fine lead vocal that puts most of the MOR dreck on his début solo LP, The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye to shame. Secondly, as pseudo-standards go, this one really isn’t too bad at all; it has a pretty tune and it’s a nice showcase for Marvin’s voice, the resulting mix strongly reminiscent of an earlier B-side, Taking My Time. It’s delicate and charming, whilst at the same time being sappy and unspectacular; it does at least sound like Marvin Gaye, the Marvin Gaye we know and love, and that’s worth something.

MOTOWN JUNKIES VERDICT

5/10

(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!)


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Marvin Gaye
“Hitch Hike”
Little Stevie Wonder
“Contract On Love”