76. THE CONTOURS: First I Look At The Purse/ Searching For A Girl (1965)
"Why waste time looking at the waistline?," asks this song, when the most vital statistics are in a woman's bank statement. Penned by Smokey Robinson (with Bobby Rogers), this was a rare slice of cynicism from the man who turned lyrical paradox into a form of lovemaking. Over a riff that crossed Ain't That Peculiar with Going To A Go-Go, one of Motown's earthiest groups gave voice to sentiments that would have sounded heretical in Smokey's sweet falsetto. Really, a wry commentary on the ethos of Motown founder Berry Gordy.
Availability: Essential Collection Spectrum CD
75. AARON NEVILLE: Tell It Like It Is/ Wry Worry (1966)
This deep soul ballad features the brawniest of the Neville Brothers crooning in the most delicate voice imaginable. Aaron lays it on the line, demanding a decision from his lover. The third-born in New Orleans' most musical family, Aaron cut US label Par-Lo's biggest single ( penned by Little Richard bandleader Lee Diamond in 15 minutes) in late '65. It sank Par-Lo months later, when it climbed to number 2 on the US charts and the label disintegrated amidst royalty disputes. Aaron, however, persevered, touring on the strength of this hit for another decade.
Availability: Tell It Like It Is Neon CD


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