B-side of My Girl Has Gone
B-side of My Girl Has Gone
(Released in the UK under license through EMI/Tamla Motown)
There’s no hiding the vintage of Since You Won My Heart, recorded in late 1963 and promptly archived for future rediscovery; even leaving aside the unusual writing credit (Smokey teaming up with A&R boss Mickey Stevenson), it’s unmistakably very much in the mould of the early-Sixties Miracles’ great doo-wop tinged ballads, the high piano, 6/8 tempo and doo-wop changes calling to mind the likes of You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me and A Love She Can Count On.
That’s not a bad thing, of course – those are both magnificent records – but inviting such a direct comparison is a risky move, and the result isn’t flattering to Since You Won My Heart, which simply isn’t in the same league either as a song or a recording.
So, you can see why this was left on the shelf. But it’s not a bad record, not at all, and there’s lots to enjoy taken on its own merits. In fact, listening to this now, it’s easy to pick out the threads which Smokey seems to have repurposed in Would I Love You; presumably he wrote that song thinking the public would never get to hear Since You Won My Heart, and that it was a shame to let good ideas go to waste.
He was right, too, and there are plenty of good ideas here – the middle eight (You know the right things to say…) is a lovely little treat, Smokey’s lead vocal is looser and throatier than we’ve become accustomed to, but it helps sell the song, especially when he drops in a reference to his sweetheart as your mother’s only daughter (another idea he’d recycle further down the line!).
Plus, it’s really good to hear Claudette’s lovely vocal prominent in the mix, as she had been on the A-side (and perhaps that’s the reason this was dusted off at all?), making something of a mockery of the Going To A Go-Go album cover, pictured above left; the Miracles’ sleeve art by now only featured the male members of the group.
It’s hard to see this as anything other than filler, both on the album and on this single – once again, I doubt many fans have this at the top of their lists of Miracles favourites – but at least it’s very pretty filler.
MOTOWN JUNKIES VERDICT
(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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“My Girl Has Gone”
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