Friday, February 15, 2013

Holland-Dozier-Holland: This Old Heart of Mine

Our Friday edition of the Second Week Special featuring Holland-Dozier-Holland ‘s compositions is one that H-D-H had written with another Motown songwriter, Sylvia Moy. While Moy is not credited on the original 1966 version of “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)” by The Isley Brothers on Tamla, she is listed as a co-writer on Tammi Terrell’s cover on the Motown label.

Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier produced both recordings; however, the nearly three year lapse from The Isley’s original until Tammi Terrell’s single of the same song shows the different direction that the team and Motown in general were moving. I still prefer The Isley’s Brother’s version as it has the classic Motown sound – a trait that it is often criticized as because it sounds too similar to other H-D-H releases.

Ronald Isley took the lead on this and is backed up by his brothers O’Kelly and Rudolph in addition to Motown’s female session singers, The Andantes. Like the previous records we’ve featured, The Funk Brothers provided the instrumentation.

In the tradition of Holland and Dozier using tuned percussion on their recordings, this song has a xylophone. It almost sounds like a glockenspiel as it is in the higher register; however, if you listen closely, you can hear the woody sound of a xylophone and not the bell sound of a glockenspiel. The song peaked at #6 on the R&B chart and at #12 on the Hot 100. 

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