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Little Darling (I Need You) - Marvin Gaye

Uncle Stylus' number one fan today demanded more of the early Marvin Gaye classics that I said no-one knows about so here goes: while we're doing Holland-Dozier-Holland numbers, here's one of those excellent songs that Motown was knocking out one after another in the mid sixties.

In "Little Darling (I Need You)" Marvin bemoans the fact that he loves the girl more than she loves him; introduced by one of the greatest song openings of all time as Motown tambourinist (and all round extraordinary percussionist) Jack Ashford smacks out the rhythm for three and a half bars before Benny Benjamin enters like an exploding tossed hand grenade on drums, then:

"It's so hard loving you but I don't want to let you go..."

and he's willing to do whatever he has to do anything to see off the competition and come out as her number one, even

"....if it means giving up my life...."

The Funk Brothers, like Marvin himself, achieve the impossible by being tight and loose at the same time.

And there's some wonderfully twisted logic that could only come from a desperate lover:

"I know there's two or three in your life

you like as well as me

so if I have to be your number one fool

before you care, care about me

I'm willing to pay the price

be your number one fool, make that sacrifice"

The controlled passion with which he sings it leaves you in no doubt.

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