The Glass House – 1972 – Thanks I Needed That

The sublime second album from The Glass House, even rarer than the group’s first, and an overlooked gem in the Holland-Dozier-Holland treasure box of the early 70s!

There’s a sweetness here that you don’t always find on other H-D-H projects – a touch of harmony soul that really makes the album come off with a great deal of charm, even though there’s plenty of Invictus Records force in the grooves – that great post-Motown sound that the label pioneered as the second generation of Detroit soul. Arrangements are by McKinley Jackson and HB Barnum and the album’s filled with great titles like “Horse & Rider“, “House Is Not A Home“, “VIP“, “Thanks I Needed That“.

A1 V.I.P. 3:55
A2 A House Is Not A Home 3:17
A3 I Don’t See Me In Your Eyes Anymore 3:44
A4 Horse And Rider 5:11
A5 The Man I’ll Never Have 3:08
B1 Thanks I Needed That 2:45
B2 Giving Up The Ring 2:39
B3 Don’t Let It Rain On Me 3:28
B4 Stealing Moments From Another Woman’s Life 2:35
B5 Let It Flow 2:57
B6 Don’t Go Looking For Something (You Don’t Want To See) 3:33

One of Holland-Dozier-Holland’s cut and paste groups whose members’ scattered in separate directions (as did Chairmen of the Boardthe Honey Cone, The 8th Day, and 100 Proof) when the recording sessions and salaries stopped. Sherrie Payne, Pearl Jones, Tyrone Hunter, and Larry Mitchell didn’t woodshed together in hallways or under streetlights; no bond existed among them prior to the Glass House project, and a major age discrepancy existed between Hunter and the other members. Hungter sang in the Romeos with Lamont Dozier and the Voice Masters, he also chipped out solo records on Anna and Chess Records.

Payne, Jones, Hunter, and Mitchell impressed Holland-Dozier-Holland individually and were placed in Glass House, a group who dressed in futuristic uniforms rather than conventional attire. The intent was to eventually break Payne and Hunter as solo acts.

Crumbs off the Title” (September 1969), an Edith Wayne/Ronald Dunbar tune led by Sherrie Payne (Freda Payne’s sister), was Invictus Records’ first release by anybody; it went to number seven R&B and number 59 pop. Laura Lee redid it on Hot Wax Records, and Dusty Springfield updated it on her See All Her Faces LP. Invictus took its time issuing the second Glass House single; the astrological-themed “I Can’t Be You, You Can’t Be Me” came out June 1970, with Payne leading again. It rode the R&B chart but avoided the pop 40 and doesn’t appear on either of their two albums. “Stealing Moments From Another Woman’s Life” (November 1970), led by Pearl Jones, became their second most popular recording.

Having three straight R&B chart records has some significance, but provided little solace for Glass House, who missed out on “Want Ads,” a gold record for the Honey Cone. Glass House recorded the song, with Payne on lead, before Honey Cone, and those who know say the versions are twins — every female Eddie Holland produced phrased like him anyway; Glass House threw a tirade when it sold a million.

Touch Me Jesus” (May 1971) an Angelo Bond/Lamont Dozier/Brian Holland tune bombed; the gap between it and their last recording (seven months) didn’t help. Invictus issued “Look What We’ve Done to Love“, a beautiful Ty Hunter-led ballad that shoulda, coulda, that didn’t explode as expected. Holland-Dozier-Holland’s “Playing Games” (January 1972) did absolutely nothing. Inside the Glass House dropped without fanfare late in 1971, without a picture of the group on either cover. They never hit like the Honey Cone, Freda Payne, 100 Proof, Eighth Day, Flaming Ember, Chairmen of the Board, or Laura Lee — artists under the same creative umbrella — and their foundation started crumbling. “Giving Up the Ring” (March 1972) kept the wrecking ball swinging. “VIP” (April 1972) — previously a Honey Cone B-side — was Sherrie Payne’s solo; its flip, “It Ain’t the World It’s the People Living in It“, was plucked from Glass House’s debut album. Ty Hunter’s solo “I Don’t See Me in Your Eyes Anymore” (1972) was a new take on a Brotherly Love B-side, and the quivering falsetto’s rendition of Eddie Holman’s “Hey There Lonely Girl” provided a solid B-side.

Thanks I Needed That” from the LP of the same name closed the book on Glass House. Eric Dunham was a member, but it’s unclear whether he was an original replaced by Mitchell or if he joined later. Holland-Dozier-Holland switched Invictus’ distribution from Capitol to CBS Records in 1973, but the fact didn’t elate Glass House as they got pink slips and quietly disbanded. Sherrie Payne became a Supreme and now sings with the Former Ladies of the Supremes with Freddie Poole and Sundray Tucker, aka Cindy Scott; Ty Hunter joined the Originals replacing CP Spencer; Jones, Mitchell, and Dunham vanished from sight.

Don’t Miss their 1971 debut “Inside The Glass House” in our back pages here