California born, Brenda Holloway, is another of the long list of great singer/songwriters who’s talents were sorely under-utilized during her stay at Motown. Brenda had recorded this song, written by musician/songwriter/record producer Ed Cobb, before she signed with Motown. Motown reluctantly persuaded her that they should release it and it turned out to be a big hit peaking at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the song that is most identified with Miss Holloway today!
Gladys Knight and The Pips must have covered every song on the Jobete and Stone Agate Publishing roster. In one of the many Motown books I recall reading Miss Knight saying that she and the Pips really got tired of recording the “Temptations’ leftovers”. In fact GK&TP’s version of “Every Little Bit Hurts”, produced by Norman Whitfield, comes from an entire album of cover tunes entitled “Silk N’ Soul”, that Motown threw together and rushed out to capitalize on the fame that GK&TP were having in 1968. But you can’t keep a good group down: this album charted #136 on the Billboard Pop Album chart, even though it did not have a hit single on it — it was just good music!
Which version do you prefer? You can vote here.
Incidentally there is another Motown artist that recorded “Every Little Bit Hurts”, but it was never released. Teena Marie! Hopefully it will find its way out of the Motown Vaults someday.
A great song is covered by many, and this song is no different — but I wish that Alicia Keys would quit screeching her way through these classic soul ballads. Just my two cents.
- Every Little Bit Hurts (ladygarfunkel.wordpress.com)