Songs I Turned Up: Could It Be I’m Falling In Love, The Spinners

Posted on June 22, 2011 by

Songs I Turned Up!

Artist: The Spinners
Album Title: The Spinners
Song: Could It Be I’m Falling In Love
Label: Atlantic SD 7256
Released: 1973

Fame and success don’t always go hand in hand, as is the case of the Spinners. With a recording career started in Detroit in 1961, the Spinners released 17 singles throughout the remainder of the decade, with only two of them cracking the Billboard Top 100. Not even 1962’s “I’ve Got Your Water Boiling, Baby (I’m Gonna Cook Your Goose)” could bring them fame.

Their seven-year tenure at Motown could be viewed as a success, finally breaking the top twenty with Stevie Wonder’s “It’s A Shame” in 1970. But other than 1965’s “I’ll Always Love You,” (reaching #35) the Spinners gained more notoriety as the Temptations’ chauffeurs. Motown recognized their talent but they could not find the right formula for the Spinners at Hitsville, U.S.A.

Some say it was Aretha Franklin that suggested the Spinners not renew their contract and move onto Atlantic Records. Maybe it was her pull that got them the contract. Nonetheless, the Detroit-bred group soon became a model for Philly Soul, as Atlantic teamed them with producer-arranger, Thom Bell.

Their first single at Atlantic came in 1972, “How Could I Let You Get Away” b/w “I’ll Be Around.” Yes, “I’ll Be Around” was the b-side. If it wasn’t for some astute DJ across the nation, success may have eluded the Spinners once again. Those two tracks ended up on their self-titled debut album for Atlantic Records, along with a three other top 40 singles and a swinging remake of Wilson Pickett’s “Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You.”

Thom Bell found the right formula, keeping a little of the Detroit grit in the guitars of Norman Harris & Bobby Eli. The Don Renaldo strings add pop sensibilities to the tracks and the addition of the background voices of Linda Bell, Barbara Ingram, Carla Benson & Yvette Benton, make it even sweeter.

The emergences of Phillipe “Soul” Wynne, sharing lead vocal duties with tenor Bobby Smith was the final ingredient in the recipe of fame and success. Listen to “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love,” with Thom Bells’s keys underpinned by Larry Washington’s congas, the strings, the girls and finally, Wynne ad-libbing over the coda. The Spinners had arrived!

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