“How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” (1964 – 1966)

The original Motown single release of Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is” was in September 1964. The song, composed by Motown’s own Edward Holland, Jr., Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland, went to #6 on the Pop Singles chart in January 1965, and #3 on Billboard’s Soul Singles chart. It was also released on the Marvin Gaye album of the same name.
According to WIKI this was Gaye’s most successful single to that point in his career with record sales well over 900,000 copies

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Jr. Walker & The Allstars – How Sweet It (Is To Be Loved By You) (1966)

I loved this version when it came out. I recall playing the 45rpm over and over again. The song also appeared on the “Road Runner” LP pictured above.

According to WIKIWalker was born, Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr, in Blytheville, Arkansas and grew up in South Bend, Indiana. His unmistakable saxophone style was the anchor for the band’s rambunctious sound. The other members of the group were drummer James Graves, guitarist Willie Woods, and keyboardist Vic Thomas.

The group was spotted by Johnny Bristol. He recommended them to Harvey Fuqua, in 1961, who had his own recording labels. When Fuqua’s labels were taken over by Berry Gordy, Jr. Walker & The All Stars became members of the Motown Records family, recording for Motown’s Soul imprint.

This wonderful version of HSIITBLBY charted #18 US Pop, #3 US R&B and #22 UK . I think it is my favorite of them all. And I must add here, that this another great group, that Motown failed to promote as much as they could have.

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The Isley Brothers – How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) (1966)

While at Motown. the under-promoted and under-utilized Isley Brothers, recorded many cover tunes on the Tamla label. Their version of HSIITBLBY was recorded July 27-28, 1966, but not released until 1998’s “Motown sings Motown Treasures Vol#1”. I sure would like to know what else is in the proverbial “Motown Vault” that still hasn’t seen the light of day! Wouldn’t you?

There is one final Motown cover of this song by The Elgins (October 1966) from thier “Darlin’ Baby  lp on Motown/VIPS 400. I will update this post when I get hold of the digital version of the song anda follow-up with a poll per usual.

Until then, this ends this Month’s “Motown Cover Motown” Theme. When I first started at the beginning of January, I was worried that I would not come up with enough to make posts for the entire month. Instead I have aquired a long list of Motown Covers that will be the basis for at least two more month’s worth of posts in the future.

I  have come up with a new theme for the month of February so check back soon and keep on listening and loving the music.

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Update 07/09/09

The Elgins version of “HSIITBLBY” is now available for your listening pleasure along with a poll to vote on your favorite version of  four as promised. Just click here.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. actually you rank it already as you arranged them in your blog marvin gayes version of HSITBLBY is lively the plain background on the video really makes me to focus more on his voice

    but the Jr.walker &all stars version is much having a livelier intro than marvin do you think it too?)

    and my most favorite is the last the isley brother has a great music it is the loveliest to all the three for me

  2. Hi BlueD –

    Just to clarify, the order that I have listed the songs in is always CHRONOLOGICAL and in no way is indicative of any ranking or favoritism. Marvin Gaye’s version was the first released so it was listed first – that’s all.

    Yes, I do like the very dancable Jr. Walker version. I remember I liked it the instant it was released back in the day 😉

    Make sure you click the link to vote for your faves Bluedreamer.

  3. […] 10. “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” – Composed by Motown’s stellar songwriting team of Holland/Dozier/Holland this is one of Marvin Gaye’s early breakout hits. Here is a vintage TV performance of him doing his original version followed by an audio clip of Taylor’s cover. You may also read more about the song on my companion blog here. […]


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