♫ It’s The Same Old Song ♫

This is the song I was planning to play last night, until Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight wouldn’t leave me alone.  This song had an interesting inception.  Like so many of the Motown songs, it was written and produced by the team of Holland–Dozier–Holland.  The song was reportedly created—from initial concept to commercial release—in just 24 hours!

The story goes, according to SongFacts …

The Four Tops were signed to Columbia Records in 1960, releasing just one single – “Ain’t That Love” (written by their lead singer, Levi Stubbs) – before moving on to Riverside Records and eventually joining Motown in 1963. As “I Can’t Help Myself” was coming off the charts, word got out that Columbia was going to re-release “Ain’t That Love” to capitalize on the group’s sudden success. Motown head Berry Gordy made a big push to thwart this, and put the rush on a new song. Fortunately, Holland-Dozier-Holland were very good at reworking their hits – they did it the previous year when they followed up their Martha & The Vandellas smash “Heat Wave” with the copycat “Quicksand.” The Four Tops were also up for the task, as they were one of the most seasoned Motown acts.

HDH quickly wrote the song, and on Thursday, July 8, it was furiously recorded and pressed. It was delivered to radio stations the next day, and by that Monday, it was in stores.

Columbia did issue “Ain’t That Love,” but it stalled at #93 on the Hot 100.

It’s the Same Old Song
Four Tops

You’re sweet as a honey bee
But like a honey bee stings
You’ve gone and left my heart in pain
All you left is our favorite song
The one we danced to all night long
It used to bring sweet memories
Of a tender love that used to be

Now it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
I, oh I

Sentimental fool, am I
To hear a old love song and wanna cry
‘Cause the melody keeps haunting me
Reminding me how in love we used to be
Keep hearing the part that used to touch my heart
Saying together forever, breaking up never

It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
But it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone

Precious memories keep a lingering on
Every time I hear our favorite song
Now you’re gone, left this emptiness
I only reminisce the happiness we spent
We used to dance to the music
Make romance through the music

Now it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
I, oh I

It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song

Songwriters: Edward Jr. Holland / Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland
It’s the Same Old Song lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Baby I Need Your Loving ♫

The Motown songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote this. After seeing The Four Tops perform at a club in Detroit, Brian Holland invited them to the Motown studios, where they spent the rest of the night recording the song.

The song, released in 1964, was the first of many Motown hits for the group, and the beginning of a fruitful collaboration with the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team.  According to Lamont Dozier …

“We’ve all been together virtually since I was a kid in Detroit and we always had no problem working together. We used to just lock ourselves in the studios with some barbecue ribs and Cold Duck and come up with an album in a couple of days. I would say that they were probably the easiest guys to work with, always professional and polished.”

The Four Tops had been around for 11 years before they broke through with this song. It was their first single for Motown Records, which signed the group in 1963 after they had been touring and recording on smaller labels for a decade. The investment paid off for Motown, and The Four Tops became one of the most successful and enduring acts on the label.

Johnny Rivers recorded the song in 1967, and his version soared to #3 on the charts.  But I still like the Four Tops version the best … perhaps just because I’m addicted to the “Motown Sound”.

Baby I Need Your Loving
Four Tops

Baby, I need your lovin’
Baby, I need your lovin’
Although you’re never near
Your voice I often hear
Another day, ‘nother night
I long to hold you tight
‘Cause I’m so lonely

Baby, I need your lovin’
Got to have all your lovin’
Baby I need your lovin’
Got to have all you lovin’

Some say it’s a sign of weakness
For a man to beg
Then weak I’d rather be
If it means having you to keep
‘Cause lately I’ve been losing sleep

Baby, I need your lovin’
Got to have all your lovin’
Baby I need your lovin’
Got to have all you lovin’

Lonely nights echo your name
Oh, sometimes I wonder
Will I ever be the same?
Oh yeah! When you see me smiling
You know things have gotten worse
Any smile you might see has all been rehearsed
Darling, I can’t go on without you
This emptiness won’t let me live without you
This loneliness inside, darling
Makes me feel half alive

Baby, I need your lovin’
Got to have all your lovin’
Baby I need your lovin’
Got to have all you lovin’
Baby, I need your lovin’
Got to have all your lovin’
Baby I need your lovin’
Got to have all you lovin’
Baby, I need your lovin’
Got to have all your lovin’
Baby I need your lovin’
Got to have all you lovin’

Songwriters: Brian Holland / Edward Holland / Edward Jr. Holland / Lamont Dozier / Lamont Herbert Dozier
Baby I Need Your Loving lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Bernadette ♫

Tonight it’s back to that unbeatable Motown sound and The Four Tops.  Bernadette is another written by the team of Holland–Dozier–Holland.  Was there really a girl named Bernadette, you ask?  Yes, in fact three of them, I am told.

According to Lamont Dozier …

“There were three Bernadettes, and they were all different girls. We sorta kept that to ourselves that we all had our own Bernadette. We always said, we’d never bring a girlfriend’s name into the songs. We had this hidden thing when the name came up, so we didn’t say anything. So at least two of us were thinking about the Bernadettes we knew.”

In Dozier’s case, “Bernadette” was inspired by his unrequited love for a girl when he was 12; a “beautiful Italian girl with eyes for somebody else.”

And now I bring you … Bernadette

Bernadette
Four Tops

Bernadette, people are searchin’ for the kind of love that we possess
Some go on searchin’ their whole life through
And never find the love I’ve found in you
And when I speak of you I see envy in other men’s eyes
And I’m well aware of what’s on their minds
They pretend to be my friend

When all the time they long to persuade you from my side
They’d give the world and all they own for just one moment we have known

Bernadette, they want you because of the pride that gives
But Bernadette, I want you because I need you to live
But while I live only to hold you some other men
They long to control you
But how can they control you Bernadette
When they can not control themselves, Bernadette
From wanting you, needing you
But darling, you belong to me

I’ll tell the world you belong to me
I’ll tell the world, you’re the soul of me
I’ll tell the world you’re a part of me

In your arms I find the kind of peace of mind the world is searching for
But you, you give me the joy this heart of mine has always been longing for
In you I have what other men long for
All men need someone to worship and adore
That’s why I treasure you and place you high above
For the only joy in life is to be loved
So whatever you do
Bernadette, keep on loving me, Bernadette, keep on needing me Bernadette

You’re the soul of me
On that dream, you’re a ? to me
And Bernadette, you mean more to me
Than a woman was ever meant to be

Songwriters: Edward Jr. Holland / Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland
Bernadette lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC