Thursday, May 31, 2012

His and hers and his: Don't Let Your Love Fade Away

I first heard Gene Williams's sublime "Don't Let Your Love Fade Away" years ago via Chicago collector/DJ/writer Dante Carfagna (who, incidentally, just compiled a great set of drum machine soul songs for Chocolate Industries).

After I flipped for it, I remember Dante telling me something along the lines of "yeah, that version's cool, but there's another version by Lee Harris that's even better." Of course, I had to track that down, too.

Lee Harris: "Don't Let Your Love Fade Away" (Forte, 197?)

Gene Williams: "Don't Let Your Love Fade Away" (Forte, 197?)

I love the rawness of the looser and slightly more lo-fi Lee Harris version-- especially the part with crude multi-tracking on his vocal-- but prefer Gene Williams's take, hands-down. It's just more emotional somehow and it's easily one of my favorite soul songs ever.

Bonus: Some time later, Forte label-owner and (depending on which set of credits you believe) the author or co-author of "Don't Let Our Love Fade Away" got his then-wife to record a version of the song which he leased to Excello.

Marva Whitney: "Don't Let Our Love Fade Away" (Excello, 1972)

In her hands the song is slightly retitled and radically rearranged. I'd probably like it a lot if I didn't know either of the other versions.

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Blogger Holly said...

The Gene Williams version is superb. Thank you!

May 31, 2012 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger O.W. said...

The images are flipped but assuming that the Gene Williams version is correctly labeled, I'd have to agree - I like it better; Williams just puts more soul into it.

And agreed on the Whitney - by itself, I'd think it was pretty cool. I like the background singers. But it's not f---ing with GW.

Great post!

May 31, 2012 at 6:09 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...


Oof, thanks for catching that! The images should be in the right place now.


May 31, 2012 at 6:18 PM  

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