I’ve just heard this song for the first time – only half a century after it first came out. And… wow. It’s a spellbinding, heartbreaking account of a loveless marriage and the effect it’s had on the life of their unwanted child.
You’ve got to feel sorry for Fred Neil. The obscure Canadian folkie recorded definitive versions of three great songs that went on to become standards – and all three were made famous in better versions by three other artists.
If you were a black kid growing up in postwar Detroit, there’s a good chance you would sing in the school choir and the church, and end up in a doo wop group before graduating to RnB and soul.
Soul singers don’t come much better than Marvin Gaye and this deep cut comes from a session in 1967 – the year he brought us his best known tune, I Heard It Through The Grapevine.
Is it heresy to suggest that this is not only one of the best Velvets covers but arguably a better version than the original? Especially when you learn that it was recorded in a tent. By a bunch of GIs. In the middle of the jungle in Vietnam.
How great is this soul ballad?! That organ! Those vocals! You can just picture a disco at the end of the night in the late Sixties with young men awkwardly trying to smooch embarrassed girls on the dance floor as the DJ drops this tune.