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  1. I can't get used to liking "Some Thing You Never Get Used To"

    Here's one everyone can have fun with- even if the claws all come out full force.

    Ok, I KNOW this one has been discussed before, and before and before...but I guess I have some odd fixation on this song and am always egar to hear others' points of view on "Some Things You Never Get Used To." I remember buying the "Love Child" album and finally hearing the song I had read about as being a "chart stopper." I listened with a skeptical ear and darn it, I couldn't find anything really wrong with it. To me, it had a fantastic sort of hyperkinetic energy going on especially with those kick-ass drums. I thought Diana was really going at it vocally a bit stronger than I would have expected and there was a certain urgency in her performance.

    The only thing that I thought was a bit akward was the way the song sort of jumps into its brief instrumental bridge. Other than that, I thought maybe it could have used a bit more of the tambourine throughout for that classic Motown Sound, but I honestly liked it. I knew it wasn't a number 1 by any stretch, but I thought it would have at least gone top 10 and had a bit longer chart life.

    Over the years, I figured I'd get a different perspective on it, especially when recently I played it after going for maybe 5 years of not hearing it- but I still find myself only enjoying the song more.

    This is one thread where even if EVERYBODY here told me I was nuts and insane and had absolutely no taste, I would not take it personally! If all hell broke loose and this turned into one huge cat fight, I'd say go for it! This is just really one of those songs where even I can't quite make heads or tails about why I like it!

  2. #2
    I don't think you're nuts. I first heard this recording when I bought the ANTHOLOGY set in 1974. It immediately became a favorite of mine, as is most of Diana's work with Ashford and Simpson. To be honest, I don't usually analyze why I like a song. I just do. In this case, I like the melody and Diana's vocal performance is great.
    Last edited by reese; 04-14-2019 at 07:36 PM.

  3. #3
    I've always loved the song. I really like the instrumental break in the middle, especially in stereo, where the tambourine really shines out. It's one of the most refreshing instrumental breaks that I know. It kind of appears out of the blue and energetically throws the listener into "Lost in a crowd". Love it!

    I can understand why it didn't chart strongly, however. To my ears it's probably not simple enough or obvious enough in its melodic structure or arrangement to have strong pop appeal.

    Is the real problem that this was a strong album track from a singles act?

    Another favourite of mine in the same vein is "Can't Seem To Get You Out Of My Mind" by Four Tops. It's another Ashford and Simpson song from the same period and, again, it's possibly a bit too "interesting" and not obvious enough to be a smash hit. Hence it remained an album track and a UK B-side to "Do What You Gotta Do".

    The other side of the coin, however, is that both songs have survived decades of repeated listens without boring me. They're still favourites after half a century. I bet that Nick and Val didn't plan on that!

  4. #4
    I don't hate STYNGUT...but like The Composer I thought it was a poor single release choice. It does however (to me) sound like an LP opener. I like Forever Came Today a lot. I would like it more if the background vocals weren't so compressed.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    I don't hate STYNGUT...but like The Composer I thought it was a poor single release choice. It does however (to me) sound like an LP opener. I like Forever Came Today a lot. I would like it more if the background vocals weren't so compressed.
    STYNGUT was the opener for side 2 of British Motown Chartbusters Volume 2, which is how I first came to own it around 1970. So it was kind of an LP opener since sides 1 and 2 had a very distinct break between them back then. In the CD era it just became track 9.

    That album was bursting with UK non-hits, by the way, although many of them were huge in the USA.

    Around the time of its release, Motown suddenly went huge in the UK, partly due to new tracks and partly due to some well-chosen re-issues. Therefore Motown Chartbusters Volume 3 was full of UK smash hits and became THE album to own, whether you were into rock or soul. If you want a single album that's says "Classic Motown", it's that album for me.

  6. #6
    I think we had a different series of Chartbuster titled LPS issued here in the USA in the early 70's....they were a mix of some recent big hits (J5) and older tracks (DRATS, 4 Tops) if I remember correctly. I never got one...I did get that big, luscious 5 LP Blue Box Motown story set with the interviews preceding each track....that took a lot of pleading! (I was 11 at the time)

  7. Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I don't think you're nuts. I first heard this recording when I bought the ANTHOLOGY set in 1974. It immediately became a favorite of mine, as is most of Diana's work with Ashford and Simpson. To be honest, I don't usually analyze why I like a song. I just do. In this case, I like the melody and Diana's vocal performance is great.
    Thanks, reese! Generally, I'm not this overly analytical over a song I like, but this one, I've always had the gears forever turning in my mind, picking it apart. Probably because of what I read for years before actually hearing it. Then years later, when I did hear it, I thought, "What am I missing? This is a pretty darn good song."

  8. Quote Originally Posted by Sotosound View Post
    I've always loved the song. I really like the instrumental break in the middle, especially in stereo, where the tambourine really shines out. It's one of the most refreshing instrumental breaks that I know. It kind of appears out of the blue and energetically throws the listener into "Lost in a crowd". Love it!

    I can understand why it didn't chart strongly, however. To my ears it's probably not simple enough or obvious enough in its melodic structure or arrangement to have strong pop appeal.

    Is the real problem that this was a strong album track from a singles act?

    Another favourite of mine in the same vein is "Can't Seem To Get You Out Of My Mind" by Four Tops. It's another Ashford and Simpson song from the same period and, again, it's possibly a bit too "interesting" and not obvious enough to be a smash hit. Hence it remained an album track and a UK B-side to "Do What You Gotta Do".

    The other side of the coin, however, is that both songs have survived decades of repeated listens without boring me. They're still favourites after half a century. I bet that Nick and Val didn't plan on that!
    Amazing how things you think are personal quirks or opinions turn out being something not so particular to yourself. All that you wrote about this song are practically echoes of thoughts I had at some time or other. Over the years, I've decided that there are songs that really are great album tracks but may not necessarily be radio hits- and it just doesn't matter as long as you like what you hear.

    AND- "Can't Seem To Get You Out Of My Mind"...Wow! You've got my feelings pegged to a tee. This is indeed another song that I always had an odd relationship with. I like it, but almost from a distance. And now I know just what that's all about thanks to your words. It's not an obvious type of song, not one that would become an easy-to-digest radio hit. You definitely have to pay attention when you listen to it. There is so much going on vocally that I don't think the mix does it justice. As an experiment, I filtered the song through a compressor to bring those backing vocals out a bit more and WOW! It seems there are a few layers of vocal overdubbing that went on here. You really notice it at the end, going into the fade. I don't know if both the Tops and Andantes did two sets of vocals each or if it was just the Andantes being dubbed twice, but it's really a complex arrangement. I wish this one had been mixed like some of Motown's earlier albums from the '64-'65 period. You could practically hear a watch tick on some of those mixes.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    I don't hate STYNGUT...but like The Composer I thought it was a poor single release choice. It does however (to me) sound like an LP opener. I like Forever Came Today a lot. I would like it more if the background vocals weren't so compressed.
    Forever Came Today is another one of those tunes for me too. I really didn't like it AT ALL initially, then came to really love it, except for the backing vocals. The Andantes' sound here is what I call "Those OTHER Andantes." The sound isn't quite like what we grew to like on pre-'67 Motown songs. There is just an odd vocal blend going on here and very, VERY hard to decipher. We have a station here that plays the song sometimes and hearing it on radio, it really sounds amazing. I guess it was just too much of a bold step for the public's taste at the time.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    Amazing how things you think are personal quirks or opinions turn out being something not so particular to yourself. All that you wrote about this song are practically echoes of thoughts I had at some time or other. Over the years, I've decided that there are songs that really are great album tracks but may not necessarily be radio hits- and it just doesn't matter as long as you like what you hear.

    AND- "Can't Seem To Get You Out Of My Mind"...Wow! You've got my feelings pegged to a tee. This is indeed another song that I always had an odd relationship with. I like it, but almost from a distance. And now I know just what that's all about thanks to your words. It's not an obvious type of song, not one that would become an easy-to-digest radio hit. You definitely have to pay attention when you listen to it. There is so much going on vocally that I don't think the mix does it justice. As an experiment, I filtered the song through a compressor to bring those backing vocals out a bit more and WOW! It seems there are a few layers of vocal overdubbing that went on here. You really notice it at the end, going into the fade. I don't know if both the Tops and Andantes did two sets of vocals each or if it was just the Andantes being dubbed twice, but it's really a complex arrangement. I wish this one had been mixed like some of Motown's earlier albums from the '64-'65 period. You could practically hear a watch tick on some of those mixes.
    The 64-65 period was possibly when Motown still had a tube mixing desk. They went solid state some time in 1965 IIRC.

    My ears also tell me that something changed studio-wise around the time that STYNGUT and CSTGYOOMM were recorded.

    It it was around this time that Motown went over to stereo-only albums and, for some reason, the sound of that time was super-clean, and a world away from the glorious distortion of only a few months earlier.

    New studio equipment was possibly the underlying reason. If so, then your wish was impossible to grant, even back then.

    Had they gone 16-track? Perhaps Ralph or Soulster can comment on this angle?

    The clean recording angle was slightly redressed in the UK, however, when CSTGYOOMM was released as a B-side. The UK mastering engineer managed to bring the maracas right up in the mix during the intro such that they splattered right across the stereo picture even though the track was folded down to mono. Lovely noisy stuff!

  11. #11
    I probably heard the track when I bought "Diana Ross + The Supremes Greatest Hits Volume 2". I didn't know many of the tracks at all, but always liked 'Some things you never get used to' because it has an energy about it, and not polished as 'someday we'll be together'. Perhaps that's also why I like 'The happening' - which I do recall hearing on the radio as a child (I don't remember any other Supremes record on the radio prior to 1970/1, when 'Stoned love' was released).

    As mentioned by others, 'Forever came today' was included, which if I must choose just one track by The Supremes (with Diana) - it will have to be that one (I had never heard of the Andantes until I joined this forum, and always assumed that it was Mary and Cindy on backing vocals).

    The LP was one of my favourite of all time - and the cover was amazing. I think because of this LP, it triggered my thirst for all things Motown.

  12. #12
    I love "Some Things". Diana does a fantastic vocal and the band is killing it behind her. She does a great job of keeping up with that frantic beat. I wonder if one of the reasons the song wasn't in the act long is because it was hard to do live. In any case, as great of a song as I think it is, I just don't think it was hit single potential. Great album track, poor single.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by Sotosound View Post
    The ‘64-‘65 period was possibly when Motown still had a tube mixing desk. They went solid state some time in 1965 IIRC.

    My ears also tell me that something changed studio-wise around the time that STYNGUT and CSTGYOOMM were recorded.

    It it was around this time that Motown went over to stereo-only albums and, for some reason, the sound of that time was super-clean, and a world away from the glorious distortion of only a few months earlier.

    New studio equipment was possibly the underlying reason. If so, then your wish was impossible to grant, even back then.

    Had they gone 16-track? Perhaps Ralph or Soulster can comment on this angle?

    The clean recording angle was slightly redressed in the UK, however, when CSTGYOOMM was released as a B-side. The UK mastering engineer managed to bring the maracas right up in the mix during the intro such that they splattered right across the stereo picture even though the track was folded down to mono. Lovely noisy stuff!
    Love reading what you wrote. The technical end of The Motown Sound has always fascinated me and only recently have I learned how much of a difference a tube-mixing desk can make vs. solid state. When I wrote about being able to hear a "watch ticking" on those recordings from '64,'65, I had in mind Jimmy Ruffin's "As Long As There Is L-O-V-E Love". On the intro, I swear, if you listen closely, you can hear something ticking and it's either a metronome or Jimmy's watch!

    I do like that distortion on that material, but then again, I also like the sound Motown had from '66 and '67. "Some Things" though recorded in '68, really has a great, exciting and dynamic "crisp" sound. It's clean, but not so clean as to be antiseptic or generic.

    I'm going to have to find a UK mix of
    CSTGYOOMM. I would love to hear that mix.

  14. Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I love "Some Things". Diana does a fantastic vocal and the band is killing it behind her. She does a great job of keeping up with that frantic beat. I wonder if one of the reasons the song wasn't in the act long is because it was hard to do live. In any case, as great of a song as I think it is, I just don't think it was hit single potential. Great album track, poor single.
    Thanks, RanRan, Yes! The Funks really are killing it on this one! For whatever reason, I always think of the Indianapolis 500 whenever I play this one. It's just that quicksilver and races along incredibly fast. It's also a fairly difficult song to sing. The arrangement calls for the singer to really reach for some of those notes, and Diana nails it, and all in natural voice as opposed to having to go into falsetto.

  15. #15
    I believe the first time I heard this was on American Bandstand, and I was instantly captivated by the crisp Motown instrumental and Diana working hard on the lead vocal. Further analysis, IMO, revealed that, musically, the chord structure was a little ahead of its time. Valerie Simpson was known for her intricate chord changes and it is evident here. My favorite parts are the driving instrumental break and the “lost in a crowd” section which has gone to a completely different key. Great song and production.
    Last edited by jobucats; 04-17-2019 at 10:18 PM.

  16. #16
    I've always loved this song and wished there was a live version that existed of the song. I know a lot of people think it's too fast paced and frenetic but that's what I love about it. I love the lyrics. I love Diana's urgent vocal. I also love Ashford and Simpson's background vocals, they really sound reminiscent of Mary and Flo's backups and not too bland like the Andantes.

  17. #17
    great Ross vocal ,but not a single imo. but really good track. dont like the castanets or whatever they are. i think a different opening may have worked.

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