Sunday, February 06, 2011

A Match Made in Heaven

I'm always fascinated by how creative partnerships work. When I watched the BBC's history of Soul, Soul Deep, they had a fabulous recounting of how Hold On, I'm Coming by Sam & Dave was written by the folks at Stax, including Isaac Hayes. One person can spark off another, and then that's it - you have a ridiculously catchy and brilliant song.

This springs to mind because yesterday TOH and I discovered one of the greatest musical partnerships we - and you - had never heard of. Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong wrote some of the most famous, glorious and celebrated soul songs of all time. Their discography is, frankly, ridiculous. Why did they work together so so well? Who did what? Who knows, but I do know that somehow together they wrote the following:
  • Papa Was a Rollin' Stone
  • I Heard It Through the Grapevine
  • Car Wash (and also for Rose Royce he wrote Love Don't Live Here Anymore and Wishing on a Star)
  • War
  • Ain't Too Proud To Beg
  • He Was Really Sayin' Something
  • I Can't Get Next to You (which is currently my favourite song)
  • Too Busy Thinkin' About My Baby
Fricking genius.

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