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  1. #1

    Gladys Knight & The Pips "It Should Have Been Me"

    My memory may be playing tricks but I think that when I had a UK issue (TMG660) of Gladys Knight & The Pips "It Should Have Been Me" it didn't have the string flourish near the beginning. This would equate to the 2:50 version.

    However the green label promo has the time at 2:59 which equates to the version with the string flourish - this also seems to be the version on the US single - the one on TCMS.

    I much prefer the cleaner version without the strings there. Does anyone have the UK issue and can confirm either way? Unlikely I know but could the demo single be the longer version and the standard issue the shorter one?

    The version without the flourish....

  2. #2
    and the one with...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    3,475
    Great song. Never heard this one before but I like both.

  4. #4
    Alternate versions aside, I can only speak for the original American releases. The mono 45 version had strings; the stereo LP version deleted them which, back in the day, drove me crazy. Needless to say, I prefer the string-laden 45 mono version.
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 11-08-2018 at 02:36 AM.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Alternate versions aside, I can only speak for the original American releases. The mono 45 version had strings; the stereo LP version deleted them which, back in the day, drove me crazy. Needless to say, I prefer the string-laden 45 mono version.
    Definitely, when I bought the stereo album, "Feeling Bluesy" and heard this without the strings, it sorta ruined it for me. I like that sort of Countrypolitan-"Ode To Billie Jo" sound the strings added. Also, the "clean" mix doesn't have the ballsy, dramatic piano flourishes at the end. I thought that was an excellent touch because you don't really hear the piano pounding away like that until the end. It sort of matched the mood of Gladys's performance: she was trying really hard to keep her cool, but the more the song went on, the more hell bent her anger became. That piano matched her fury. Thankfully, on the Anthology LP, there is a stereo mix that does include the strings and pounding piano ending.

  6. #6
    Presumably the mono version of 'Feelin' Bluesy' album had the strings?

    I prefer the 'with strings' version, for setting the mood.

    Anyone else here, when listening to the stereo string version, always find themselves waiting for that duplicated "you", at the beginning of the line "you made a promise, that we'd never part..." - ?

  7. #7
    Can't believe I didn't notice the difference between the two versions I had!!

    I have a stereo version with strings (the one WaitingWatching mentions) so that's definitely the one I'm keeping.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by westgrandboulevard View Post

    Anyone else here, when listening to the stereo string version, always find themselves waiting for that duplicated "you", at the beginning of the line "you made a promise, that we'd never part..." - ?
    I do listen for that although I can never remember which version it happens on.

  9. #9
    Definitely prefer the strings version.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by westgrandboulevard View Post
    Anyone else here, when listening to the stereo string version, always find themselves waiting for that duplicated "you", at the beginning of the line "you made a promise, that we'd never part..." - ?
    Yes, I do that too!

  11. #11
    Mystery singer,

    your memory isn't playing tricks on you. The UK single was basically the same as the LP version and had no strings. I remember buying an import single on Soul because of this.

  12. #12
    I had always loved this song done by Gladys Knight and the Pips. It is not an easy song to sing,but they did a great job with it as usual.

  13. #13
    If I recall correctly, it was the Pips US version of the 'Greatest Hits' L.P that had the stereo mix with strings.

    I have it on this CD which was part of the mid 1990s Motown Master series of compilations : -

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anthology-B.../dp/B000001A8E

    Cheers

    Paul
    Last edited by bradburger; 11-09-2018 at 07:45 PM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    Mystery singer,

    your memory isn't playing tricks on you. The UK single was basically the same as the LP version and had no strings. I remember buying an import single on Soul because of this.
    Thanks for the confirmation - good to know. As that was the first version I ever heard (long before I heard Kim's version even) - that's my favourite. That makes me the opposite of most folks on this forum but I found the string version to be weird and i still do.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    Thanks for the confirmation - good to know. As that was the first version I ever heard (long before I heard Kim's version even) - that's my favourite. That makes me the opposite of most folks on this forum but I found the string version to be weird and i still do.
    I'd heard the string version (probably on pirate-ship or AFN) first, so when I heard the UK release I thought there was something missing.

  16. Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    Thanks for the confirmation - good to know. As that was the first version I ever heard (long before I heard Kim's version even) - that's my favourite. That makes me the opposite of most folks on this forum but I found the string version to be weird and i still do.
    Reading how you find the string version of "It Should Have Been Me" to be weird reminds me of a Monkees song, "Valleri." Everyone heard it on the show and it was so popular, if I remember right, a local DJ took the audio straight from the show and played it on his radio show. For whatever reason, it was never given an official release until a year later but only after being re-recorded. Someone thought it lacked something so they tacked on a horn arrangement.

    Well, everyone was used to the first recording without the horns, so now I think a lot of us, to this day, think the version with the horns sounds just plain weird. I guess often it just boils down to whatever version you hear first is the one your ears is used to.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    Reading how you find the string version of "It Should Have Been Me" to be weird reminds me of a Monkees song, "Valleri." Everyone heard it on the show and it was so popular, if I remember right, a local DJ took the audio straight from the show and played it on his radio show. For whatever reason, it was never given an official release until a year later but only after being re-recorded. Someone thought it lacked something so they tacked on a horn arrangement.

    Well, everyone was used to the first recording without the horns, so now I think a lot of us, to this day, think the version with the horns sounds just plain weird. I guess often it just boils down to whatever version you hear first is the one your ears is used to.
    I remember that song. It was one of their best.

  18. #18
    The strings bring it all together for me.

    This song also should've been a bigger hit for them. Motown was going through something of a downward slide with the top groups save for the Temptations (and of course Stevie & Marvin). They could've easily promoted this song more than they did and it would've been a top ten POP hit for them.

  19. Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I remember that song. It was one of their best.
    I agree. Funny that nobody saw the potential of it being a hit at the time it was recorded.

  20. #20
    On the topic of songs recorded 'with strings' or 'without'...

    I love 'Here I Am Again' from the 'If I Were Your Woman' album...and on the other hand, the fuller arrangement, with strings, on 'All I Need Is Time' album, which is just sublime IMO....

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