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Right On the Tip of My Tongue

Brenda and The Tabulations

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Album Review

Unfortunately original release information is not given with this package. But it can safely be deduced that this includes most or all of the tracks from their eponymous 1970 Top & Bottom LP, as well as some non-LP singles ("Right on the Tip of My Tongue" and "A Part of You") and one previously unreleased track, "Sha Na Na — He Loves Me." Basically, then, it's a survey of their 1969-1971 Top & Bottom output, entirely produced by Van McCoy. The Brenda & the Tabulations/Van McCoy collaboration marked a real high-water mark in Philly soul that deserves wider historical recognition. Certainly there was little, if any, soul produced in the city outside the Gamble-Huff and Thom Bell empires that was of such a high standard. Philly sweet soul was rarely more melodic than this, probably due in large measure to McCoy's songwriting and arrangements, which went heavy on the graceful strings and flutes. Brenda Payton and her group do a lot on their part, though, putting across the songs without overdoing it. A half-dozen R&B hits are here: the title track (also a pretty big pop hit), "The Touch of You," "And My Heart Sang (Tra La La)," "A Part of You," the one stab at social consciousness ("A Child No One Wanted"), and a remake of "Don't Make Me Over." There's not much filler — an unusual condition for soul-pop artists of the time — although the one unissued tune, "Sha Na Na — He Loves Me," is a giggly throwaway.

Biography

Formed: 1966 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Among the better Philadelphia soul groups of the '60s and '70s, Brenda & the Tabulations made some fine heartache ballads, particularly "Dry Your Eyes" and "Right on the Tip of My Tongue." The original lineup was lead singer Brenda Payton, Jerry Jones, Eddie Jackson, and Maurice Coates. Bernard Murphy joined in 1969. They became a trio in 1970, featuring Payton, Pat Mercer, and Deborah Martin. "Dry Your Eyes" was their biggest hit, reaching number eight on the R&B chart and number 20 pop...
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Right On the Tip of My Tongue, Brenda and The Tabulations
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