VIP RecordsUNRELEASED: scheduled for
VIP 25020 (B), June 1965

B-side of Why Break My Heart (Just To Run Around)

(Written by Clarence Paul, Morris (Luvel) Broadnax and Dorsey Burnette)

No stock or promo copies of this single are known to exist, so, instead, here's a picture of the man himself.As with Danny Day’s one and only Motown 45 a couple of days ago, here – for Dorsey Burnette’s proposed Motown swansong – we see a fine song being ruined on the A-side, while on the flip things are played rather safer, resulting in something that’s technically more competent – but undeniably less exciting.

Which is a roundabout way of saying this is tidier, tighter than the topside, the mesmerising-but-badly-flawed Why Break My Heart (Just To Run Around), but it lacks… well, excitement, not to mention the spark of greatness. So, we spend three minutes coasting in relative comfort; Dorsey gets to do his best MOR pseudo-country croon, co-writer Clarence Paul turns in a virtual musical rewrite of his long-forgotten pre-fame Supremes non-hit My Heart Can’t Take It No More, the other co-writer Morris (Luvel) Broadnax brings a flavour of his own previous efforts writing syrupy pseudo-standards for Marvin Gaye, the Motown LA operation drenches the whole thing in a Hollywood string arrangement which swells and swoons all over the record. All very well as far as it goes – but it’s never thrilling.

This is slightly stagey, slightly gloopy MOR fare, pumped up with impressive bombast both by those Movietone strings and by Dorsey himself, lending his Southern-textured baritone to what becomes a credible vocal performance. Together with the soft choir of female backing singers and the waterfalls of tinkling piano, it all adds up to a rather pretty exercise.

But it’s all a bit, well, dull. I’ve listened to it several times in a row, even found myself whistling along with the chorus, and I still couldn’t tell you what the lyrics are, never mind what they’re meant to be about. (They’re only words, I suppose. Badoom-tish.)

Undeniably well-made as a genre piece, and it holds its own well enough against some of Motown’s other MOR-style crooner cuts from more established names; but it’s not to my taste, and as we won’t be hearing from Dorsey again here on Motown Junkies until we get to 1975, it’s a bit of a strange note upon which to be parting.



(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.

(Or maybe you’re only interested in Dorsey Burnette? Click for more.)

Dorsey Burnette
“Why Break My Heart (Just To Run Around)”
Marvin Gaye
“Pretty Little Baby”


Like the blog? Listen to our radio show!

Motown Junkies presents the finest Motown cuts, big hits and hard to find classics.
Listen to all past episodes here.