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Thread: Penny Pincher

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    Penny Pincher

    Been wanting to talk this one for awhile now. What are your thoughts on "Penny Pincher"? I think with a little more work, it should've been the follow up to "Lovelight" instead of "Run, Run, Run". We know how Motown loved it's soundalike follow ups. I doubt "Penny" would've matched or surpassed "Lovelight"'s success, but I think it would've done better than "Run".

    It was an instant fav from the 25th Anniversary set for me. I love Diana's lead and Flo and Mary's backing, mostly. The "I don't care..." always sounds so clumsy to me. There's just something not right about it. But the rest of the chorus and backing, Flo and Mary kill it.

    With a time machine, it would be interesting to find out how well the song would've done in comparison to "Run". Anyone else a fan of this one?


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    Bump, in case ya missed this one. I really would love to know what you all think about this song.

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    I absolutely adore "Penny Pincher" and have since 25th Anniversary. It absolutely would've done better than "Run, Run, Run" because that song [while I DO enjoy it and sing along every time] just didn't sound like a hit--and somehow sounded dated for early 1963/64 to me. Maybe it was the "chattery" piano motif? When they sang it both at the 20 Grand Battle of the Stars and on the TAMI show, the arrangements were slightly better than the record release! Imagine that?

    Anyway, PP... I loved how it was so Flo- [especially] and Mary-forward. It just felt like a logical follow-up to "Lovelight" especially with the "growling guys" [was it HDH or the Tops or a combo of both again?]. Even if it didn't hit #1 [and I'll admit, it probably wouldn't have--the HDH/Sups combo hadn't yet completely jelled] I think it could have gone Top 20. ABSOLUTELY Top 40, IMO. Instead, they went with RRR and it stalled at #93 Pop. Eeeesh. How it made #22 R&B, I'm not entirely sure!

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    I always liked it, although it did sound like a carbon copy of "Lovelight". I could have seen it on the WDOLG album but I don't think it would have done well as a single. I think HDH were trying to go for the Spector Wall of Sound with "Lovelight" and "Run". "Penny Pincher" had a lighter sound. I love how Flo is tearing it up in the back though much like how she did on "Lovelight".

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    IMO HDH was going for a combo of MATV with Heatwave and the Phil Spector stuff. Lovelight could have worked for Martha. it's definitely not a Heatwave or even Quicksand. but it's right there with that similar sound. So i've always found Lovelight to be a fluke for the Sups. a one-off recording that's hot and did rather well. but it was never a "sound" for them. not that they couldn't do this style justice. i'm basing this more on 1) the other similar songs HDH wrote for them just weren't as strong 2) Martha was more of a belter than Diana. just had a different style

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    Quote Originally Posted by danman869 View Post
    I absolutely adore "Penny Pincher" and have since 25th Anniversary. It absolutely would've done better than "Run, Run, Run" because that song [while I DO enjoy it and sing along every time] just didn't sound like a hit--and somehow sounded dated for early 1963/64 to me. Maybe it was the "chattery" piano motif? When they sang it both at the 20 Grand Battle of the Stars and on the TAMI show, the arrangements were slightly better than the record release! Imagine that?

    Anyway, PP... I loved how it was so Flo- [especially] and Mary-forward. It just felt like a logical follow-up to "Lovelight" especially with the "growling guys" [was it HDH or the Tops or a combo of both again?]. Even if it didn't hit #1 [and I'll admit, it probably wouldn't have--the HDH/Sups combo hadn't yet completely jelled] I think it could have gone Top 20. ABSOLUTELY Top 40, IMO. Instead, they went with RRR and it stalled at #93 Pop. Eeeesh. How it made #22 R&B, I'm not entirely sure!
    The hypothesis is that HDH were attempting to recreate the Wall Of Sound, which was big at the time "Run" was recorded in May, I think, 1963. But by the time "Run" was actually released, that sound was becoming dated. And not only that but the Motown Sound was pretty much perching itself atop the sounds of music totem pole. Why regress after the success of "Lovelight"? Makes no sense. I do like "Run, Run, Run" but this wasn't the time to turn back, they needed to look forward.

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    "Penny Pincher" sounds as if it was written to be the follow up to "Lovelight", so it might have attractef more plays from the DJs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    "Penny Pincher" sounds as if it was written to be the follow up to "Lovelight", so it might have attractef more plays from the DJs.
    Agreed. They should've worked on it a bit more and then released it as the follow up. The other cut from this period that I think would've made a better single than "Run" was "Don't Take It Away".

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Agreed. They should've worked on it a bit more and then released it as the follow up. The other cut from this period that I think would've made a better single than "Run" was "Don't Take It Away".
    If you're 11 years old and hearing "Lovelight" and "Run" and scratching your head at why a very old-sounding record came after "Lovelight", maybe that says something. Even more so because I heard these around 1976 on the blue Greatest Hits set before I really knew much about Motown's timeline and my thought was "Lovelight" sounded fun and exciting. While I liked "Run", I though it was something from way, way back before [[in my 11 year- old opinion) Motown got really good. I didn't hear "Lovelight" as an "old" song. It sounded as good as the stuff on 1976 radio. In contrast, "Run" sounded very old and of another time. Then when I heard "Penny Pincher" I thought why the hell didn't they go with that instead of "Run?" Yeah, the lyrics were kinda ridiculous [[how can the words "penny pincher" conjure up anything but a comedic punchline?) but it swung better than "Run."

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    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    If you're 11 years old and hearing "Lovelight" and "Run" and scratching your head at why a very old-sounding record came after "Lovelight", maybe that says something. Even more so because I heard these around 1976 on the blue Greatest Hits set before I really knew much about Motown's timeline and my thought was "Lovelight" sounded fun and exciting. While I liked "Run", I though it was something from way, way back before [[in my 11 year- old opinion) Motown got really good. I didn't hear "Lovelight" as an "old" song. It sounded as good as the stuff on 1976 radio. In contrast, "Run" sounded very old and of another time. Then when I heard "Penny Pincher" I thought why the hell didn't they go with that instead of "Run?" Yeah, the lyrics were kinda ridiculous [[how can the words "penny pincher" conjure up anything but a comedic punchline?) but it swung better than "Run."
    At one time "Run" was a favorite of mine. Over the years it didn't "age" as well as I would hope. But I was always puzzled as to why "Run" did so poorly. It wasn't until this forum when members pointed out just how dated the song sounded in comparison to everything else coming out of Motown at the time. I think "Run" could have hit had it been released right after it was recorded. But by the time it was actually released, the novelty of a Specter soundalike had probably worn off, and worst, the Motown Sound had evolved considerably. It was the same issue "A Breath Taking Guy" had. As great a record as it was, by the time it was released, music had changed, especially Motown music. Why it wasn't released in place of "My Heart Can't Take It No More" I'll never understand. Had it come out that winter of 63 I think "Breathtaking" would've done better.

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