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You Keep Me Hangin' On - the Supremes

An example of the majesty of Motown. Just three years after "When the Lovelight Starts Shining through his Eyes", Holland-Dozier-Holland were churning out masterpiece after masterpiece with the Supremes and the Four Tops respectively. "You keep Me Hangin' On" is in the middle of the run, creativity and professionalism oozing from every note, with the Funk Brothers tight and beautifully balanced from first to last. Ross rants as much as she sings, her angst-riven vocal intensified by the remorseless morse-code style organ. This is a record that appeals to the masochistic side of the listener - I've always found it a slightly stressful experience just listening to it....

"...and there ain't nothing I can do about it...."

In 1966, for us precocious, British eleven-year-olds, the weekly music paper Melody Maker was our bible and featured journalist Chris Welch the fifth evangelist. Welch was the first person to give me a clue that journalism could be more than just a combination of knowledge, taste and opinion, but rather in itself a form of creative writing. His weekly singles review column was an unmissable event, whether you agreed with the opinions expressed or not. Many were hilarious and were chuckled over by my mates and me at the back of the classroom or in breaks. His review of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by the Supremes is etched word for word in my memory:

"Why don't you just tell him to "fuck off" then?"

It's a question that needed to be asked.

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