Earworm of the Week #1 – Motown Supergroups and “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”

In my last post I mentioned that I now had 83 ideas backing up in my list of “posts pending” and needed some help in making inroads. C from Sun-Dried Sparrows stepped up to the plate and randomly picked no. 63. That turned out to be an idea added only last week (as this list is in spreadsheet form and is sorted by category then alphabetically). It was also potentially going to kick start a new series called Earworm of the Week.

earworm

We all know what an earworm is – That catchy piece of music that continually repeats in your head long after you’ve heard it, and apparently a calque (a word or phrase borrowed from another language via a literal word-for-word translation) from the German Ohrwurm. Two weeks ago my Earworm of the Week was Tony Christie’s Avenues and Alleyways, but the moment passed for me to write about it, despite having done the research (the theme tune to the TV show The Protectors I discovered). This last week, the earworm was I’m Gonna Make You Love Me by Diana Ross & The Supremes and The Temptations.

Not sure if this part of the song is the “hook”, if fact I’m pretty sure it’s not, but the line that keeps going round and round in my head is this one:

“I’m gonna try every trick in the book”

Having studied such things as part of my course this last year, poets and lyric writers make great use of the sound patterning of words, and both trick and book end with the hard letter k, which means that line exhibits the sound pattern called consonance. Perhaps that’s why it has really taken hold this last week. Whatever, lets have a listen to the whole song, a wonderful example of what can happen when two of Motown’s top groups get together for a recording. The song was incidentally written not by Holland-Dozier-Holland in this case, but by that wonderful team Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff who went on to form Philadelphia International Records as a rival to Berry Gordy’s Motown.

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me by Diana Ross & The Supremes and The Temptations:

The song peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 in the United States and at No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart in January 1969. Putting those two groups together was a masterstroke, but long delayed, as they had known each other since their Detroit school days. The Supremes were originally called the The Primettes, the sister group to a singing group known as The Primes formed by Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks who would go on to become The Temptations. As a Motown supergroup however, the name is a tad cumbersome what with the word “and” featuring twice. At least one is an ampersand, but still, a bit of a mouthful.

gamble-and-huff
Gamble and Huff

From experience, earworms don’t usually last longer than a week, which is fortunate as although this is a fairly pleasurable one, they can be really annoying. Around the time of the Eurovision Song Contest it’s important to avoid catching the 1981 winner Making Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz on the radio, as once it’s in there, impossible to budge.

So, “What’s It All About?” – My long list of ideas is going to take a fair while to eat into, as it keeps being added to at a faster rate than I can keep up. I think I can knock two ideas off the list now though, as poor old Tony Christie doesn’t look as if he’s going to be written about now, although a shame, as I had no idea he’d had such a long and interesting career, continually reinventing himself. I had also assumed when I was young that he was American, as he always seemed to sing about places in the US such as Amarillo. Not so, he was a product of the Working Men’s Clubs of the North of England and lived most of his life in Sheffield.

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Tony Christie – Still going strong

Thanks C for the prompt. Happy to oblige if anyone else wants to throw me a few numbers between 1 and 81? You can take the number cruncher out of the workplace, but you can’t take the number crunching out of the girl!

Until next time….

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me Lyrics
(Song by Kenny Gamble/Leon Huff/Jerry Ross)

I’m gonna do all the things for you, a girl wants a man to do.
Oh, baby (Oh, baby)
I’ll sacrifice for you, I’ll even do wrong for you.
Oh, baby (Oh, baby)

Every minute, every hour.
I’m gonna shower you with love and affection.
Look out it’s coming in your direction.
And I’m… I’m gonna make you love me.
Oh, yes I will.
Yes I will.
I’m gonna make you love me.
Oh, yes I will.
Yes I will.

Look it here.
My love is strong, you see.
I know you’ll never get tired of me.
Oh, baby (She’ won’t) (Oh baby)
And I’m gonna use every trick in the book.
I’ll try my best to get you hooked.
Hey, baby (Take me I’m yours) (Hey, baby)

And every night, every day.
I’m gonna say.
I’m gonna get you, I’m gonna get you.
Look out boy, ’cause I’m gonna get you.

I’m gonna make you love me.
Ooo, yes I will.
Yes I will.
And I’m gonna make you love me.
Ooo, yes I will
You know I will.

Every breathe I take.
And each and every step I make.
Brings me closer, baby.
Closer to you.

And with each beat of my heart.
For every day we are apart.
I’ll hunger for every wasted hour.

And every night and every day.
I’m gonna get you, I’m gonna get you.
Look out ’cause I’m gonna get you.

And I’m gonna make…
I’m gonna make you love me.
Oh, oh. (Yes I will)
I’m gonna make you love me.
Ooo, yes I will. Yes I will.
I’m gonna make you love me.
Yes I will. (Yes I will)
Ooo, I’m gonna make you love me.
Yes I will.
Yes I will.

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

14 thoughts on “Earworm of the Week #1 – Motown Supergroups and “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me””

  1. Great idea for a series…I’m guessing the other 82 ideas are just as good…and excellent choice to start things off. I agree that the artist name here is way too cumbersome. I often switch between “and” and “&” which works in a sentence, but not on a record. Perhaps they should have called themselves Supremely Tempting Featuring Diana Ross (since there’s no way Ms. Ross would allow her name to be omitted).

    Should I be picking a number for you to choose for an upcoming series idea? If so, I’ll go with 66 since that’s my birth year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – Some ideas are better than others and not sure if you will be a fan of the songs that are attached to no. 66 but it will be interesting to find out.

      Yes, if it had simply been The Supremes and The Temptations that wouldn’t have been so bad but with the “Diana Ross &” part it all starts to sound a bit silly. Turns out Berry Gordy and Co. started separating out the lead singer to get two fees from the upmarket supper clubs like the Copacabana – They got one for the singer and one for the backing group, thus Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. We all think Diana Ross was a bit of a diva but I think she was thrust into the spotlight just because her particular pop style singing voice suited the cross-over audiences they were trying to appeal to.

      Thanks for dropping by. I will visit your place later.

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    1. I’m pretty sure you or someone else mentioned this one for my Moon Series but not listened to it before. Think I see why you find it catchy. Like I said above it’s all to do with the sound patterning and the heavy repetition of the line “The moon, the moon, the moon…”, makes it so. With the two songs I suggested, “Avenues and Alleyways” and “Making Your Mind Up”, it’s more to do with alliteration I think, letter A in the former and letter M in the latter. What makes them catchy and how they then sometimes form an earworm (or Ohrwurm)!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s been a wee while since I’ve had an ear worm.
    They are always welcomed particularly when I’m stuck for something to post!
    Number 26 please

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gosh I thought everyone got them all the time. I’ve had the song featured above swirling round my head for over a week now and yet another reason I struggle to get to sleep.

      As for no. 26 I think you might like it – Hope so anyway. Watch this space!

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  3. Thanks so much for taking me up on my number ’63’! (I think this could catch on, it’s like a lucky dip. Or a Chinese takeaway menu?) And it’s a great song so I’m chuffed. Most of the time I find that earworms are the very songs I really don’t want to have going round my head (I am desperately trying to avoid getting Making Your Mind Up in it now…) but every so often it’s a good one, like this. Interesting how sometimes it can then morph into something else, have you everhad that happen? Just when there’s a similar chord sequence or chorus and suddenly you’re singing a different song completely. Or Mr SDS will be singing or whistling something just briefly and I’ll inadvertently take it on without even realising it.
    I would love you to still write about Avenues and Alleyways and especially The Protectors, regardless of whether it’s your current earworm or not….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course I could be making it all up, but I do really have a spreadsheet and I will stick faithfully to the ideas if people fire a number at me. Ever since taking up blogging I have been plagued by earworms as whichever song I’m writing about sticks in my head long after I’ve finished the post. As for Avenues and Alleyways it’s a jaunty wee number and over the course of a week I had lodged it in Mr WIAA’s head too. Yes, shame to have done the research and not written about it now – Might have to return to it when I get the time.

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  4. Maybe for once i will refrain from listening to your shared tunes for fear of them becoming stuck in my head for the next week! 🙂 Straight Up by Paula Abdul was recently lodged in my brain and difficult to get rid of again. Interesting to read there’s a science to creating earwarms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Think you’d be safe listening to Diana Ross & Co but whatever you do don’t click on the link to Making Your Mind Up! It’ll be lodged in there for days.

      Not sure if my sound patterning theory is correct but there will no doubt have been a study made at some point to work out the key elements needed to create a “catchy”, thus big selling, tune.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. 1. “(as this list is in spreadsheet form and is sorted by category then alphabetically)” Respect for that.)

    2. A quick glance at my own blog shows 354 “draft” posts. No spreadsheet, I’m afraid.

    3. I have my own story to tell one day about this song, which is a stone cold classic. Suffice it to say it was very big in my teenage years. (Actually, that makes the story sound more interesting than it really is.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In reply:
      1. Oh yes, the categories are things like Holiday Songs, RIP, Memories, Capitol Concerts, Dancing Songs, Magazines… – All very organised as I’m sure you would expect but the list getting longer all the time.
      2. but not as long as your list by the sound of it – Is that number for real or am I being stupid again. Important to jot them down though and get them started as inevitably they get forgotten about otherwise and your fellow bloggers/visitors might miss out on the joy of a really original Top Ten.
      3. Hope that story is one of the draft ideas, and not a song released during your teenage years, so guessing it cropped up in another guise. Was it part of the whole I wish, wish, wish…. universe I wonder?

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      1. By story, I meant more anecdote than fiction. Perhaps not the most interesting one though.

        345 is a true number, not one made up for a joke, although I suspect some of them are “dead” drafts of posts I’ve already published and some will be posts that I decided against publishing because I thought they probably wouldn’t be very interesting. (Like that ever stopped me!) I really should go through and take inventory / have a clearout!

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        1. Crikey – that’s a massive amount of drafts – think you need a clear out. I end up with about 10 drafts on my blog but start to get overwhelmed, so transfer the ideas to the now infamous spreadsheet.
          As for the anecdote, you really need to share it now – I will be looking out for it.

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