Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Holland-Dozier-Holland: Heaven Must Have Sent You

While Bonnie Pointer had a hit with her 1979 remake of “Heaven Must of Sent You,” I prefer the original that was released on one of Motown’s subsidiary V.I.P by The Elgins in 1966. “Heaven Must Have Sent You” was The Elgins' only hit, but it failed to chart very high on the Hot 100 by only peaking halfway at #50. It was, however, a Top 10 R&B hit charting at #9. When the record was finally released in the UK in 1971, it charted at #3.

Saundra Edwards is the lead vocalist on this track. The production is tastefully down with very simple vibraphone accompaniment that joins the rhythm section, which is presumably by the infamous Funk Brothers house band. There is also a very nice string arrangement that fills out the track. While The Elgins recorded several singles and one album, they never had the success of other Motown acts and would fold in 1967.

Bonnie Pointer’s 1979 Version

Bonnie Pointer’s version was also released by Motown, and while her version also was a Holland-Dozier-Holland composition, it lacked their production expertise. Pointer’s version was produced by Berry Gordy and an H-D-H understudy, Jeffrey Bowen – so there is a little bit of continuity with Holland-Dozier-Holland even though they had no hand in this particular recording.

Motown issued several versions of the song, a standard LP mix, the single edit, a single disco mix, and a 12-inch disco mix that is laden with strings and tubular bells.

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