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  1. #1

    The Four Tops STILL WATER: First 45 Ever With 2 Versions Of The Same Song?

    Intriguing release charting exactly 50 years ago in the fall of 1970:

    STILL WATER
    Side One (LOVE)
    Side Two (PEACE)

    Written by Smokey Robinson and Frank Wilson. Have either discussed this composition? I'm wondering if the two versions reflect two different concepts by each of its two authors? Or what is the recording and releasing of the two versions reflecting ?


    Side One:



    Side Two:




    How did this come about ? These two versions? (Why?)

    I find this part of The PEACE version:

    [VERSE 2]
    P is for privilege of loving and the privilege of being loved.
    E is for the ease it gives the soul and the mind.
    A is for the absence in your search to find yourself.
    C is the calm feeling if you like what you find
    E is everlasting. Let this love never cease.

    most moving.


    I'm curious as to why it wasn't chosen as the "A" side , or at the very minimum, why this 45 wasn't worked by Motown as a split hit with each side sharing air play?
    (Did DJs drop the ball on this one by ignoring the b side?)



    As for the original inquiry.... these two versions of a song on one 45 ....very unusual to say the least.....are there previous examples (beyond an instrumental version, or a live version)?? From Motown? From any label/ artist?

    Further more , why was it that the album's title SILL WATERS RUN DEEP does not match the single's title (or vise versa) :

    (Also as an aside,
    I hear Marvin Gaye's stylizing in his future songs, WHATS GOING ON etc in STILL WATER --- ... does anyone else ?)
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-15-2020 at 02:30 AM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Intriguing release charting exactly 50 years ago in the fall of 1970:

    STILL WATER
    Side One (LOVE)
    Side Two (PEACE)

    Written by Smokey Robinson and Frank Wilson. Have either discussed this composition? I'm wondering if the two versions reflect two different concepts by each of its two authors? Or what is the recording and releasing of the two versions reflecting ? Some of Norman Whitfield's propensity for exploring?


    Side One:



    Side Two:




    How did this come about ? These two versions? (Why?)

    I find this part of The PEACE version:

    [VERSE 2]
    P is for the privilege of loving
    And for the privilege of being loved
    E is for ease it gives, the soul, and the mind
    A is for the answers, you will search high
    C is the calm feelin' if you like
    E is ever lastin'


    most moving.


    I'm curious as to why it wasn't chosen as the "A" side , or at the very minimum, why this 45 wasn't worked by Motown as a split hit with each side sharing air play?
    (Did DJs drop the ball on this one by ignoring the b side?)



    As for the original inquiry.... these two versions of a song on one 45 ....very unusual to say the least.....are there previous examples (beyond an instrumental version, or a live version)?? From Motown? From any label/ artist?

    Further more , why was it that the album's title SILL WATERS RUN DEEP does not match the single's title (or vise versa) :

    (Also as an aside,
    I hear Marvin Gaye's stylizing in his future songs, WHATS GOING ON etc in STILL WATER --- ... does anyone else ?)
    The complete unedited version of the song is on the Fourever box set

    And here it is with lyrics included:


  3. #3
    If you read the write-up for the video I just posted, please take note of the last line.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    As for the original inquiry.... these two versions of a song on one 45 ....very unusual to say the least.....are there previous examples (beyond an instrumental version, or a live version)?? From Motown? From any label/ artist?
    A couple come to mind- In each case, part 2 is the a-side

    Four Tops:

    McArthur Park Part 2
    McArthur Park Part 1

    Jr. Walker & the All Stars:

    Hip City Part 2
    Hip City Part 1

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyluckyme View Post
    If you read the write-up for the video I just posted, please take note of the last line.
    hey , how about that !

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyluckyme View Post
    A couple come to mind- In each case, part 2 is the a-side

    Four Tops:

    McArthur Park Part 2
    McArthur Park Part 1

    Jr. Walker & the All Stars:

    Hip City Part 2
    Hip City Part 1
    Thank you for those Lucky! How bizarre , the Part II of MP being the A side !!

    Just start the record in the middle of the song !! Why not lol!

    (Was this the case with HIP CITY) (?)


    I should have excluded Part One/ Part Two 45s as well.


    I'm looking for any other examples like STILL WATER (LOVE) and STILL WATER (PEACE) which have two distinct treatments of the song .

    With that in mind Lucky , any releases in this vein come to mind ?

  7. #7
    1962 - LITTLE STEVIE WONDER : I Call it Pretty Music parts 1 and 2
    They are actually two very different versions of the same song.

    Also don’t forget Fingertips parts 1 and 2.

    But Snake Walk 1 & 2 by THE SWINGING TIGERS on Tamla in 1959 has got to be the first one.

  8. #8
    While I haven't read any comments from Frank Wilson or Smokey Robinson about the making of "Still Water (Love)"/"Still Water (Peace)", I'm going to take a guess and say that the song was similar to the "higher love" concept that Wilson developed for The Supremes at that time.

    I can't think of another song from that time with two different treatments like "Still Water" but I think of the single as an attempt to try something different at a time when Pop & Soul Music began to explore new territory.

    And as many others have cited, you can hear the influence that Still Waters Run Deep had on Marvin Gaye's classic What's Going On.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jbpintus View Post
    1962 - LITTLE STEVIE WONDER : I Call it Pretty Music parts 1 and 2
    They are actually two very different versions of the same song.

    Also don’t forget Fingertips parts 1 and 2.

    But Snake Walk 1 & 2 by THE SWINGING TIGERS on Tamla in 1959 has got to be the first one.
    Good point! I had forgotten about Little Stevie's first single, "I Call It Pretty Music" from 1962. Parts 1 & 2 were different treatments of the same song.

  10. #10
    Forgot about this one earlier; The Jackson 5's "I Am Love". This song from 1974's Dancing Machine (and an edited 2-part single) begins with a slow & meditative groove and brakes out into an up-tempo dance track about a third of the way into the tune. Also, "I Am Love" has a 'higher love' theme in it's lyrics that's similar to The Four Tops' "Still Water (Love/Peace)" & The Supremes' "Stoned Love".

  11. #11
    Papa Was A Rollin' Stone on 45 was split over the two sides.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by jbpintus View Post
    1962 - LITTLE STEVIE WONDER : I Call it Pretty Music parts 1 and 2
    They are actually two very different versions of the same song.

    Also don’t forget Fingertips parts 1 and 2.

    But Snake Walk 1 & 2 by THE SWINGING TIGERS on Tamla in 1959 has got to be the first one.
    Most interesting.

    Different intros and endings etc. and those dead air drop outs in the second one....



  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Good point! I had forgotten about Little Stevie's first single, "I Call It Pretty Music" from 1962. Parts 1 & 2 were different treatments of the same song.
    Good one! Quite a different approach. On initial listen, I have a hard time calling them the same song!


  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    As for the original inquiry.... these two versions of a song on one 45 ....very unusual to say the least.....are there previous examples (beyond an instrumental version, or a live version)?? From Motown? From any label/ artist?
    Valerie Simpson's Genius I & II were totally different arrangements of the same song combined on her second Tamla LP.

  15. #15
    Another example of a multi-part song that had different feels from each of the parts is Stevie Wonder's "Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)" from Music Of My Mind. The first half of the 8 minute song is breezy & mid-tempo with Stevie breaking off a relationship and the second half the song is a slow ballad with him mourning over his lost love. Only the first part of the song was released as a single a-side in Spring 1972 (so you had to go the LP to hear the full song).

  16. #16
    Marvin’s GOD IS LOVE is very different on the WGO album and the single. And the single only SAD TOMORROWS is actually FLYING HIGH IN THE FRIENDLY SKY.

    WHAT’S HAPPENING BROTHER is a revamped WHAT’S GOING ON. Ditto KEEP GETTIN IT ON with LET’S GET IT ON.

    What I mean is that from 1970 on, it was common practice to revamp a song while keeping the same social message. With STILL WATER the same title was kept and both versions ended as both sides of a single. But Marvin’s approach is the same. Let’s not forget Obie Benson from the Tops who is a common piece of those recordings.

    The earlier 60s versions of songs split on both sides of a 45 were done either to :
    - see what the public/the DJs would like best (LITTLE STEVIE WONDER “I CALL IT PRETTY MUSIC” comes to mind)
    - split a track too long to be put complete one one side of a single (mostly live tracks, a bit like it had been done with WHAT I’D SAY)

    The earlier 70s tracks that appeared on both sides were repeated to stress on the social messages the lyrics.

    From 1972 on it seems the longer tracks appeared as part 1 and part 2 on a sale single just to allow people to dance or groove more than within the 4+ minutes of one side of the single.
    Think about EDDIE KENDRICKS “Girl you need a change a change of mind” or J5s “I Am Love”

    From the late 70s on And throughout the 80s we got instrumental tracks as b sides so that everyone would be able to pretend to be Stevie or Marvin.

    The 90s was the era of remixes. Yech!

    So it’s interesting to note that when 2 versions of a as same song were on each side of a early 1970s single, the songs always has a social message.

    Things change mid-1972 after Marvin Gaye’s “You’re the Man” IS released. And before EDDIE KENDRICKS “Keep on Trucking” and “Can I” were.

    This is only some personal thoughts and you may disagree. But I see it that way anyway

  17. #17
    Good input/post jbpintus!!

    jbpintus:

    The earlier 70s tracks that appeared on both sides were repeated to stress on the social messages the lyrics.
    Interesting. What are examples of this ?


    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    While I haven't read any comments from Frank Wilson or Smokey Robinson about the making of "Still Water (Love)"/"Still Water (Peace)", I'm going to take a guess and say that the song was similar to the "higher love" concept that Wilson developed for The Supremes at that time.

    I can't think of another song from that time with two different treatments like "Still Water" but I think of the single as an attempt to try something different at a time when Pop & Soul Music began to explore new territory.
    Interesting.
    What is the "higher love " concept that Wilson developed for the Supremes?

    There seemed to be no hesitation at Motown to rework a song until they got it right, and by whatever act best delivered. What wasn't typical was to release various versions by the same artist , even when they existed. Are there any other examples of two versions of a song being placed on an album?

    To do so here , for me remains curious, especially to release them simultaneously on a single. If they felt both versions were equally worthy , how did it not become a split hit ? Seems like a very clever marketing opportunity to me.

    OK , now I see that Motown did not push the PEACE version.... they issued two promos for just the LOVE side , one regular and one on red vinyl, but not an alternate one for PEACE . In fact, the PEACE side is not on either of the promo 45s so there was no attempt by Motown to make this a two version hit. The radio stations weren't provided the option.
    It's all about the love ....
    Very very curious.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-16-2020 at 01:30 PM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    There seemed to be no hesitation at Motown to rework a song until they got it right, and by whatever act best delivered. What wasn't typical was to release various versions by the same artist , even when they existed. Are there any other examples of two versions of a song being placed on an album?
    Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded and released two versions of AIN'T NO SUN SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE. The first was released on the EVERYBODY NEEDS LOVE album in 1967. The second was released on the NITTY GRITTY album in 1969.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    There seemed to be no hesitation at Motown to rework a song until they got it right, and by whatever act best delivered. What wasn't typical was to release various versions by the same artist , even when they existed. Are there any other examples of two versions of a song being placed on an album?

    To do so here , for me remains curious, especially to release them simultaneously on a single. If they felt both versions were equally worthy , how did it not become a split hit ? Seems like a very clever marketing opportunity to me.
    Yes indeed; Motown Records would indeed do multiple versions of a song until they got it right. Even after the song had already been released. Examples: the 2 remakes of The Miracles' "Shop Around", the early Motown singles by The Satintones (and others) that were reissued with strings, the two versions of Mable John's "Who Wouldn't Love A Man Like That" (the original from 1960 and the remake three years later). Not to mention the others already mentioned on this thread.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    What is the "higher love " concept that Wilson developed for the Supremes?
    Good question! It's never been fully described but to me Wilson's "higher love" concept means songs that encourage the listener to funny develop a love of the self and a love for all of mankind. I see The Supremes' "Everybody's Got The Right To Love", "Stoned Love", The Four Tops' "Still Water (Love/Peace)" and even Marvin Gaye's "Wholly Holy" as examples of this.

    PS: Mary Wilson's book, Supreme Faith, mentions Frank Wilson's plan of developing this 'higher love' concept for The Supremes albums in the early '70s (without describing exactly what that was).

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Yes indeed; Motown Records would indeed do multiple versions of a song until they got it right. Even after the song had already been released. Examples: the 2 remakes of The Miracles' "Shop Around", the early Motown singles by The Satintones (and others) that were reissued with strings, the two versions of Mable John's "Who Wouldn't Love A Man Like That" (the original from 1960 and the remake three years later). Not to mention the others already mentioned on this thread.
    Fascinating ! Here's the original Detroit area only version:



    Remade national version:


  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Good question! It's never been fully described but to me Wilson's "higher love" concept means songs that encourage the listener to fully develop a love of the self and a love for all of mankind. I see The Supremes' "Everybody's Got The Right To Love", "Stoned Love", The Four Tops' "Still Water (Love/Peace)" and even Marvin Gaye's "Wholly Holy" as examples of this.

    PS: Mary Wilson's book, Supreme Faith, mentions Frank Wilson's plan of developing this 'higher love' concept for The Supremes albums in the early '70s (without describing exactly what that was).
    Ah , OK.

    STILL WATER (LOVE) is a very exploratory exercise in song writing and in structuring a single. It's more the absence of lyrics that expresses the stillness, the calmness. Levi doesn't sing until a full minute into the song and than its just to sing one (rather odd) verse. After a minute of his presence Levi bows out and the song (mostly) continues without him for another minute. Its a record centered around ambiance, a mood, a feeling. Quite creative and quite distinctive. A special piece in the Motown catalogue.





    Was it inspired by :

    Last edited by Boogiedown; 10-21-2020 at 12:37 AM.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Ah , OK.

    STILL WATER (LOVE) is a very exploratory exercise in song writing and in structuring a single. It's more the absence of lyrics that expresses the stillness, the calmness. Levi doesn't sing until a full minute into the song and than its just to sing one (rather odd) verse. After a minute of his presence Levi bows out and the song (mostly) continues without him for another minute. Its a record centered around ambiance, a mood, a feeling. Quite creative and quite distinctive. A special piece in the Motown catalogue.





    Was it inspired by :

    I say that The Four Tops' "Still Water (Love/Peace)" definitely influenced Aretha Franklin's classic remake of "Bridge Over Troubled Water". The Tops' record came out a few months before Aretha's and she even borrows the lyrics "Still Water Run Deep" in both the intro & outro of the song.

    PS: It would be Great if Motown/UMe did a Deluxe Edition of Still Waters Run Deep. We can use the backstory of the album (and any 'vault tracks' from the seesions from the LP).

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    I say that The Four Tops' "Still Water (Love/Peace)" definitely influenced Aretha Franklin's classic remake of "Bridge Over Troubled Water". The Tops' record came out a few months before Aretha's and she even borrows the lyrics "Still Water Run Deep" in both the intro & outro of the song.


    Many years later, in the early 2000s, Aretha would sing STILL WATER in concert as part of a Motown medley.

  25. #25
    I learn so much from you guys here!! Much appreciated.

    OK Levi was first and then right away Aretha has the lyrics incorporated into her BRIDGE OVER remake.

    Her being impressioned (word?) by it is apparent from her performing the song some forty years later . (Why otherwise would she ?? With so many other Motown , Four Tops hit songs more obvious to pick from.)

    At 3:30:



    I guess still waters do run deep!!

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    I learn so much from you guys here!! Much appreciated.

    OK Levi was first and then right away Aretha has the lyrics incorporated into her BRIDGE OVER remake.

    Her being impressioned (word?) by it is apparent from her performing the song some forty years later . (Why otherwise would she ?? With so many other Motown , Four Tops hit songs more obvious to pick from.)

    At 3:30:



    I guess still waters do run deep!!
    Yes, those "Still Waters" between Aretha Franklin & The Four Tops indeed run deep. On a related note, I remember seeing the clip of Aretha & The Tops performing "I Believe In You And Me" in concert on this site a few years ago. Levi Stubbs was onstage in a wheelchair with them but still sang some lines from the song.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    I learn so much from you guys here!! Much appreciated.
    You're Welcome! Forgot to mention; I learn a lot from the folks on this site too. Whether it's sharing information or our memories about the Motown & Soul era, Soulful Detroit Forum is the Best.

  28. #28
    Name:  av-5.jpg
Views: 103
Size:  21.1 KBWhat about The Voice Masters' "Needed", released on Anna Records in 1958? The "A" side just had the song title "Needed", printed on it. It is a mid-tempo song:
    Name:  "Needed" Faster side e.g. (For Dancers Only).jpg
Views: 103
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    While, the "B" side had a slow ballad version of "Needed" - the same song on it, with the designation "(For Lovers Only)" added to the song's printed title:
    Name:  "Needed(For LoversOnly)"-Voice Masters.jpg
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Size:  73.4 KB
    It is interesting that Motown also recorded both a slow and fast version of a song by the same artist at roughly the same time, before choosing which one of the two to release - several times before they actually released both versions on the same issued record (Four Tops' "Still Water(Peace)" and "Still Water(Love)").

  29. #29
    At the risk of repeating myself, it makes me think they felt that both versions of STILL WATERS were equally worthy , so I remain surprised they didn't market them equally. It would have been clever, probably would've taken it into the Top Ten.
    ______________

    Perfect example!! here are the two versions of NEEDED:


  30. #30
    Tata Vega's Come In Heaven, Earth Is Calling. And such an amazing song & performance.

  31. #31
    Name:  av-5.jpg
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    Linda Griner's "Envious" was also recorded in both slow ballad and faster mid-tempo speeds. Ballad:

    Mid-Tempo:

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