The original incarnation of this song was on the 1969 Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell LP “Easy” on Motown’s Tamla label. Terrell had been ill, suffering from complications caused by a brain tumor, since the fall of 1967. As a result, according to Gaye as told to David Ritz, and published in the book “Divided Soul: the Life of Marvin Gaye”, most of the female vocals on this album were performed by Valerie Simpson, who served as co-songwriter and co-producer for the LP with her boyfriend and future husband Nickolas Ashford. And yet Valerie Simpson is quoted in Ludie Montgomery’s Tammi biography, “My Sister Tommie”, as not having subbed Terrell for vocals. Well, who ever sang it is really not that important – it is a great song that needs to be heard.
The “Easy” LP only charted #184 pop and never even made it to the R&B Charts so please listen and enjoy this rare gem of a song here and now. The entire album, along with every recording of Marvin & Tammi together, can be found now in stores on the wonderful 2-CD set Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell:The Complete Duets, released in 2001.
The Temptations covered “Love Woke Me Up This Morning”, along with some other songs, on the album “All Directions” that was released in Summer 1972. This album charted #2 US Pop and #1 R&B on the strength of the Grammy Award winning “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” (which incidentally was also a cover version of an Undisputed Truth song). This was the Tempts second LP released after the departure of my beloved Eddie Kendrick, therefore his replacement, the very young Damon Harris took the high tenor lead on this song. Now don’t get me wrong, I was prepared to not like anything the Tempts did after Eddie left. But My Dad had purchased this album and played it over and over and over again, so therefore it grew on me too.
LWMUTM ended up being one of my favorites — but I always felt it would have been a better song if Eddie had sung it. To me Damon sounded like a very young imitation of Eddie — there was no “warmth” to his voice. It just sounded to me as if he was trying to hard. But anyway that’s just my opinion. I repeat, its a great song so enjoy it. Which version of LWMUTM do you prefer? I’d be interested in your opinion.
Thanks for reading, listening and voting.
Note 1: Source of LP stats include Wiki pages “Easy” and “All Directions”
Note 2: This post went missing the end of March. I was able to restore it when I found it in the Technorati Cache today (4/17/08). If there were any comments they were not located for restoration. Also I no longer have the link for the survey/vote that was in the original post. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Note 3. Yahoo! The poll has been resurrected. Please vote for your favorite. I really want to know what you all think about these two versions of this classic Ashford & Simpson love ballad.
Filed under:Love Woke Me Up This Morning,Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell,Motown Covers Motown,Motown/Gordy,Motown/Tamla,Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson,R&B/Duets,R&B/Motown,Seventies,Sixties,The Temptations