Friday, September 26, 2008

Lost Soul: Herman Griffin & the Boys In The Band

Are You For Me Or Against Me is one of the great overlooked singles of Detroit’s golden age of soul. The pounding beat is there, as are the surging strings, the clamorous party vibes and a General Johnson-style rhotic burst ("brrrrr!"!), all escalated by Griffin’s dizzying tenor. The only thing that’s absent is the respect this record should have got
during the near-40 years since its release.

Griffin’s short recording career at Motown didn’t showcase his dynamic talents to their best advantage; his post-Motown efforts were artistically a much greater success. Unbelievably, this song has never been reissued.

Are You For Me Or Against Me was co-written by Richard “Popcorn” Wylie, whose death on September 9 garnered far less attention than his Motown contemporary Norman Whitfield’s passing nine days later, perhaps because Wylie’s greatest contributions to Detroit’s amazing soul legacy came after his brief tenure at Motown in the early 60s and are therefore relatively unheralded outside of the Northern fraternity.

1 comment:

Team ISY said...

Team ISY's Scottish secretary very much loves the guitar sound on this record! Cheers for sharing!

P.S. Recognise the White Sisters single pictured here?