Friday, March 7, 2008

Mary Wells - You Beat Me To The Punch 7"

I'm far from well read on Motown. In fact I'm not even well listened on Motown. I know a lot of the hits. I know the sound and I know I like the whole thing that old Barry Gordy created. So when I see a record on Motown, if it is in any kind of listenable condition I'll probably buy it because I figure it will most likely be good. Of course when you see a record like this that is part of the "Motown Yesteryear Series" you know the songs are only going to be hits. So such is the case here.

Before writing this I really didn't know much about Mary wells so I did some reading up. Mary was one of the early breakthrough artists for Motown. She has a string of hits leading up to these two 1962 singles. These two songs were released back to back and were her first songs to reach #1 on the R&B charts.

This was just the beginning for her. In 1964 she scored her biggest hit with "My Guy" which won her in invitation to tour with The Beatles in the UK. Shortly after that she left Motown and recorded "Love Songs To The Beatles". That sounds like it could be a great record. I'm going to keep my eyes open for that one.

Mary continued to record and perform through the 70's and 80's. She died in 1992 at the young age of 49 from cancer.

For more details on her life and career check out the wikipedia entry from which I gleaned these highlights. If you're not interested in any more in depth reading then jump right down to the songs. They are quintessential smooth Motown R&B/Soul songs.

"You Beat Me To The Punch" was written by Smokey Robinson. You could probably tell that just by listening to it. I can hear Smokey kicking out these lyrics just as easily as hearing Mary Wells.

"Two Lovers" is an interesting song also by Smokey. The song opens up with the risqué possibility that Mary's unabashedly messing around with two men. She says, "I've got two lovers and I'm not ashamed". But as it turns out the two lovers are really the same guy. The two lovers are the two sides of her man. One side or lover is "sweet and kind" while the other side or lover treats her bad and makes her sad. So in the end the song is an interesting if not traditional look at love and relationships. Again the song is so smooth and relaxing the message might just wash over you. It did to me at least. So give it a listen and see what you think.


01 You Beat Me To The Punch.mp3
02 Two Lovers.mp3

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