Monday, December 17, 2007
The Contours' Soulful Swan Song
The Contours - Your Love Grows More Precious Every Day
There is probably no spoken word intro in all of rock 'n' roll history that works as much magic as "You broke my heart 'cause I couldn't dance; you didn't even want me around. But now I'm back ... to let you know ... I can really shake 'em down." With those words the Contours set the pop and R&B charts ablaze with their Gordy single "Do You Love Me." Over the next few years, the group would cut lots of great material, most bearing a dance record or humorous slant, but the fact that the group also held its own as a soul vocal group was buried by the immense success of "Do You Love Me," which is still frequently heard on oldies radio (and immortalized in the Dirty Dancing soundtrack).
By 1967, the Contours were drifting about at Motown, and today's selection was the B-side of their final Gordy single. By this time, the group was recording straight-up soul stuff, but I suppose at a time when the Four Tops and the Temptations delivering serious goods for the company, there wasn't a whole lot of room for the group. It probably didn't help much that Dennis Edwards' lead on "Your Love Grows More Precious Every Day" has more than a touch of the Four Tops' Levi Stubbs sound to it. Speaking of Edwards, by the next year he would be taking David Ruffin's place in the Temptations, so perhaps the Contours' fate was sealed anyway!