Wednesday, October 12, 2005

will you love me tomorrow?

An abject lesson in "owning" a song...

Everyone knows The Shirelles' version of this Goffin-King classic - the jaunty rhumba-esque rhythm, the close harmonies, and the rush of the orchestra into the final "So tell me know and I won't ask again...". Classic Girl Group pop with a classic girl group lyric: "did I go too far on that date and is he going to call again?"

No man could perform that... right?

William Bell - Will You Love Me Tomorrow

William Bell had a number of hits (including "You Don't Miss Your Water", and "Private Number" with Judy Clay) but was always going to be in Otis Redding's shadow - he even recorded "A Tribute To A King" after Otis died.

He pulls out a few of Otis' trademarks here (just short of a "got-ta got-ta" in a few places) but makes the song his own, his high and fragile reading giving it a real edge. The man sounds desperately in love and the accompaniament on this, like on so many Stax cuts from the time, is an amazing example of "less is more".

If you're in the right mood (as I was when I dug this one out for the first time in ages the other night), it can take your breath away.

Talk about flights of fancy - maybe the girl William is with in the song really wanted to be with Otis!

William Bell page on Stax website
Stax website
Buy Stax O' Soul

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