Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's Been A Long Long Time . . . Since We Had A Slow Jam

I picked this one up on a whim with a whole bunch of other LPs and 45s a few weeks back. In fact, I think it came from the same vendor that sold me the Gary Bartz LP . . . I wasn't sure what to make of it, but the price was right so I gave it a chance. But there's something peculiar about this 45. What appears to be the A-Side is "I Understand My Man" written by Holland-Dozier-Holland and produced by Holland-Dozier and dates from 1966. Today's featured song is on the B-side but its date is from 1961! I think what this refers to is the publishing date of the song in its original version done by Harvey Fuqua and the Five Quails. But I'm guessing that this track was also recorded in 1966 for their lone album "Darling Baby". Enjoy!

The Elgins - It's Been A Long Long Time
Lead Vocals [Lead] - Saundra
Producer - Harvey Fuqua, Johnny Bristol
Written By - Harvey Fuqua/The Five Quails

Also another great oldie, but goodie over on Soul Spectrum Videos culled from a recent purchase, Marvin Gaye - Live in Montreaux 1980.


crispi said...

According to the discography in "The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 7" the track has been recorded in early 1967, while "I Understand My Man" is indeed from 1966. The single was released on June 8, 1967.
As a matter of fact, "It's Been a Long Time" is the A-side.

Cheers. Crispi.

crispi said...

Here's the complete text from the booklet:

Following 2 Top 10 R&B hits produced by H-D-H, the Elgins were matched with Fuqua and Bristol. Fuqua originally recorded the track as "Been a Long Time" with the Five Quails on his Harvey label in 1962. Why a dated-sounding doo-wop number was thought suitable for the Elgins is hard to say at this distance, although the record did manage to creep into the charts. It was the group's last 45 for Motown. They recorded a few more tracks during the next year, but at some point Saundra left the group and the music business to concentrate on raising a family.
Yet the Elgins' story was not over. In 1971 the U.K. Tamla-Motown label reissued "Heaven Must Have Sent You" and it shot to No. 3 on the national pop chart. Motown called on the group to re-form, and since Saundra was unavailable, they recruited Yvonne Allen, formerly with the Donays, whose "Devil in His Heart" had ahd the distinction of being covered by the Beatles. Robert Fleming was also unavailable. Norman McClain, who, appropriately enough, had been a member of the Downbeats, the original group that had evolved into the Elgins, replaced him. The new Elgins succesfully toured Britain, and even had a follow-up hit with a reissue of "Put Yourself in My Place."
H-D-H got onto the flip with "I Understand My Man," an older recording from the Elgins' only album, Darling Baby. Saundra's warm voice matches the sentiment, and it's open to question whether this ballad would have made the better A-side.