ARTIST: Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
TITLE: Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Originally titled I Miss You)
YEAR RELEASED: 1972
CHART ACTION: #53, #4 R&B
SINGLES: I Miss You (#58 US, #7 US R&B), If You Don’t Know Me By Now (#3 US, #1 US R&B, #9 UK), Yesterday I Had the Blues (#63 US, #12 US R&B)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not unless you have it.
LINEUP: Harold Melvin, Teddy Pendergrass, Bernard Wilson, Lawrence Brown, Lloyd Parks plus the Gamble & Huff Philly Crew
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Slow soul burners featuring a pleading soloist over great group vocals.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Sure, it’s formulaic. Lay down group vocal choruses, chants and responses, and have the soloist beg and plea over the top of it.
Well, if Teddy Pendergrass is your begger and pleaer, and Gamble & Huff is doing the production and arrangements (along with Norman Harris and Thom Bell), you have a pretty darn good formula.
There are seven cuts on this one – three well over seven minutes long. That’s OK, Teddy’s really getting into it – he gets wound up and takes the rest of the group with him. Then there’s the hit everyone knows. Any cover version of it just pales in comparison to this one. Damn.
There’s some filler here but that shouldn’t detract you. Damn, Pendergrass can plea.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: This wasn’t even supposed to be a Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes session. The Dells were scheduled for this work – but something happened.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: One bonus cut, a live version of THE song. It’s also damn good.
GRADE: A-: If you’re ever in trouble with the lady, play this…