Soul RecordsSoul S 35018 (B), November 1965

B-side of The Flick (Part 2)

(Written by James Jamerson, Earl Van Dyke and Robert White)

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!Yep, that’s right, Part 1 is the B-side. For the third time in Motown history, following the little-heard likes of the Swinging Tigers’ Snake Walk and the Twistin’ Kings’ Congo, a lengthy house band instrumental spans both sides of a Motown single. Once more (just as with Congo) the cutting-in-half is imposed for reasons of technical limitations rather than artistic sensibility, the running time of a 7″ 45rpm record not yet allowing for full reproduction of the musicians’ lengthy R&B-jazz jams.

Most of the history, the stuff I wanted to say about the context and background and reason for this record, we’ve already discussed when talking about The Flick (Part 2), and so this write-up will end up being pretty brief by comparison. Still, I don’t just want to talk about Part 1 here, but also about parts 3 and 4.

The recently-released Earl Van Dyke retrospective 'The Motown Sound', highly recommended for the live LP on disc 2 and the bundle of unheard extras, including solo work from James Jamerson.A couple of years ago, Motown issued an Earl Van Dyke retrospective, That Motown Sound (pictured left), comprising both of the Motown studio albums released under Earl’s name, plus a crateload of bonus tracks, including a bunch of semi-improvised jams that give further insight into the Funk Brothers’ “true” sound. One of those jams, it would appear, is a full-length run through what became the 7″ edits of The Flick, including the transition between Part 2 (as already heard on the A-side here) and the introductory segment, here released as “Part 1”, not to mention a lengthy extra six-minute coda labelled “Parts 3 and 4”.

(The borders between the different parts aren’t marked, but if you’re curious, the tune gets more laid back after “Part 2” finishes, a piano takes over the lead for a while (Part 3?) – there’s still a hint of organ here and there, so presumably this isn’t Earl Van Dyke himself, unless overdubs were involved; the feeling is more smooth jazz, more relaxed, until finally we’re roused again for the coda (Part 4?), another blaring organ-led section similar to Part 2).

As already mentioned, the two cuts chosen for single release were definitely altered before reaching this 45 (with bar-room crowd noise added to a live-in-the-studio recording). Furthermore, while it was cut on the same day, the full-length “Parts 1-4” version also seems to be a different take from the same session, which would mean at least one of them was a pre-rehearsed joint, which in turn kind of belies the “off the cuff” freewheeling jam spirit the released single version tries to cultivate.

I’m mentioning all of this because Part 1 is a strange beast – much like the first half of another Motown single peremptorily hacked into two pieces, Stevie Wonder’s Fingertips (Part 1), there’s a feeling of warming up here, an introduction to something better (and, like Fingertips on its reissue, we’ve already heard what that “something better” is on the A-side). Part 1 sets itself up even more than Part 2 as a live improvisation, and so the knowledge that it’s not live and possibly not an improvisation makes it hard to hear it the same way again.

It’s also a less good tune than the second part; the killer bass groove that won my heart on Part 2 doesn’t really come to prominence until we’re well underway, and most of Part 1 is taken up with a jauntier, less experimental organ-led pop piece, and that bassline is subdued in favour of a different time signature that changes the emphasis of the whole track. (The transition from Part 1 to Part 2 is missing from the 45, which is why it was such a buzz to hear it on the That Motown Sound compilation; the effortless way Van Dyke, Benjamin, Jamerson and co. segue between what are really two rather different tunes is extremely impressive and would have been a real boon to have here.)

Don’t get me wrong, Part 1 is still funky enough, but it feels less daring, and consequently I found it less thrilling; like a step back towards the likes of Soul Stomp. And what it really says to me, in truth, is that – as brilliant and talented as these guys obviously were, and this record’s more evidence of it – the Funk Brothers simply weren’t built to create hit records on their own after all.



(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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Earl Van Dyke & the Soul Brothers
“The Flick (Part 2)”
The Supremes
“Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine”


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