Your love is fading, I can feel your love fading
Girl, it’s fading away from me
Cause your touch, your touch has grown cold
As if someone else controls your very soul
I’ve fooled myself long as I can
Can feel the presence of another man
As I wrote in my series on Motown, the Temptations, along with the Supremes were one of the leading bands of that scene back in the ’60s. By the time they released their fifth album, 1967’s The Temptations With a Lot ‘o Soul, they’d already released 20 singles, eight of which had reached the Top Ten in the US R&B charts.
The band’s lineup consisted of the “classic 5” – David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Otis Williams. The song was written not by the team of Holland-Dozier-Holland but by their guitarist Cornelius Grant, songwriter/producer Norman Whitfield and Eddie Holland, Jr. (Amazingly given the music industry’s penchant for chewing people up and spitting them out, Eddie and his fellow songwriters – Lamont Dozier and brother Brian Holland – are still around as of this writing.)
Per the wiki Pop Culture Fandom: This song was another step away from the group’s softer records recorded with Smokey Robinson as producer, “I’m Losing You” features a much more dramatic arrangement than most contemporary Motown songs: a rock-styled guitar riff, sharp horn blasts, and the Temptations’ doo-wop vocals, which paint the backdrop for one of David Ruffin‘s* trademark raspy lead vocals.
Released in November 1966, the song was their ninth Billboard R&B #1 hit:
As anybody who has ever read about Rod Stewart knows, he is not only a blues fan but arguably an even bigger fan of American soul and R&B. An avowed disciple of Sam Cooke, of David Ruffin he once told Rolling Stone that his voice “jumped out of the speakers and ravished my soul. His voice was so powerful – like a foghorn on the Queen Mary,”
So it’s not entirely a surprise that he covered “Losing You” for his 1971 breakthrough solo album Every Picture Tells a Story. While “Mandolin Wind,” and “Maggie May” are both also on this album, for me the best things about this album are the title song and Rod’s rocked-up version of the Tempts’ tune.
Along with Rod the Mod, personnel on this tune is essentially the Faces – the indispensable Ronnie Wood on guitar, Ronnie Lane on bass guitar and backing vocals, Ian McLagan on piano and Kenney Jones on drums.
Love the humming that comes along in this tune partway through. And for me, the highlight of this tune is Kenney’s balls-out drum solo that comes along about 2/3 of the way. Jones, of course, was The Who’s first choice as replacement (as if that’s even possible) for Keith Moon on his death in 1978,
“Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.”
The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been one of my favorite blues bands since roughly the dawn of time. It is the Texas-based band that Jimmie Vaughan sprung from and whose live show I chronicled on these pages a couple of years ago.
The only person who has been with the band since Year One (1974) is vocalist/harmonica player, the truly fabulous Kim Wilson. (A great showman as well – see ’em live.) The most recent album of theirs I’m aware of is the less bluesy/more soulful 2016 opus Strong Like That. Blues Blast magazine informs that, “although credited to the T’Birds this is essentially a Kim Wilson solo album.
Blues Blast continues: “Nothing says soul louder than The Temptations and Kim’s slowed down version of “(I Know) I’m Losing You” works really well with Roosevelt Collier’s slippery lap-steel and Kim’s harp playing round the core tune with Wes Watkins’ interesting drum work driving things along in a subtly funky way.”
To say the least. If this isn’t the funkiest fucking thing you’ve heard in a while, man I don’t know what will get you. Wait till that horn blows.
There’s some other good shit on that album too. Check it out.
*Ruffin was later fired by the band for his cocaine problems and showing up late for gigs. He had some really good solo stuff if you get a chance to listen.
Bonus: If you don’t know South Florida’s Roosevelt Collier, you should. Check out some of his live set at Ronnie Scott’s in London: