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If This World Were Mine...

Bob & Gene

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Fifteen-year-old Bobby Nunn and sixteen-year-old Eugene Coplin recorded in the studio Nunn’s father ran out of the basement of their Buffalo home. Though the underage duo managed to release a few highly-coveted singles between 1967 and 1971, their album If This World Were Mine went unreleased for thirty years before being uncovered. Finally given issue by New York funk-revival label Daptone, Bob & Gene’s lone full-length stands as both a gorgeous collection of sweet homemade balladry, and an emblem for the thousands of small-town soul musicians whose musical voices are forever lost to time. Though it borrows liberally from Motown and Philly influences, If This World Were Mine has a personality all its own thanks to the rough-hewn playing and the wide-eyed sincerity of its two teenaged guides. In “Gotta Find A Way,” “I Can Be Cool,” and “You Don’t Need Me” one can relive the tender bruises of an adolescent’s lovelorn heart, and the feelings only get stronger when Bob & Gene slow the music to a crawl. “You Gave Me Love” is the highlight, a crystalline duet in which the purring organ moves at the pace of a passing cloud.

Customer Reviews

masterpiece of sweet soul ballads

From an NPR article: Though the entire album is a masterpiece of sweet soul ballads and the occasional up-tempo R&B cooker, the standout remains the sole single that actually made it into the world: Bob & Gene's first song, "You Gave Me Love," from 1967. The teens' fragile voices and the recording's lo-fi acoustics suggest what a young Delfonics or Smokey Robinson & The Miracles demo might have sounded like. In fact, the song's arrangement of bears some similarity to The Miracles' "Ooh Baby Baby," even though Bob & Gene lacks the polish of Robinson's smooth vocals. Yet this is precisely what makes the song so endearing: It sounds exactly like what it is: a track cut by a pair of talented-but-amateur teenage singers lucky enough to have access to a family studio and label. "You Gave Me Love" is hardly a novelty song, though; Bob & Gene's youthful harmonies blend together beautifully, and the song drifts dreamily on a bed of piano, organ and bass. "You Gave Me Love" conveys all the innocence and yearning of a high-school love letter, and whatever it lacks in gloss, it makes up for in heart. For Nunn and Coplin, it must have been crushing to see most of their songs go unheard for so many years. But thankfully, theirs was a dream of sweet soulfulness, delayed but not denied.

insanely good.

i heard it on being played on the system at a random recordstore i was checking out and immediately fell in love with the sound. this stuff will melt your heart for real. buy this record right away.

Great Music

Well, I know this is great music, My mom would play soul music when I grew up and this fits right up there with the greats. Gene and I are meeting this week thanks to my little daughter, who says he is doing wonderful work at her school. Pancake house for us. All should support and buy this record!

Joe
Buffalo NY

If This World Were Mine..., Bob & Gene
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Customer Ratings