The Intruders – 1970 – When We Get Married
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If you see a copy of this album, swoop it up because one day it’ll be a collector item.
The lead singer for the Intruders on this is not Sam “Little Sonny” Brown, but Bobby Starr, an unheralded Philadelphia lounge singer. This is the only Intruders recording that didn’t feature Little Sonny’s rough, dragging, seemingly flat, yet charming tenor. Starr mimics Brown to perfection; his voice is much smoother, but the tone and phrasings are identical. Titled after the Intruders’ remake of the Dreamlovers’ “When We Get Married,” this is a commendable 11-song set with Vince Montana on vibes, Norman Harris and Bobby Eli on guitar, Leon Huff on piano and Lenny Pakula on organ.
As one of the first groups to have hit songs under the direction of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, they had a major influence on the development of Philadelphia soul.
A1 When We Get Married 3:21
A2 Best Days Of My Life 2:49
A3 One In A Million 2:13
A4 Hocus Pocus 2:09
A5 Guess Who Loves You 2:37
A6 Wonder What Kind Of Bag She’s In 2:36
B1 This Is My Love Song 3:46
B2 Let Me In Your Mind 2:11
B3 Tender (Was The Love We Knew) 2:52
B4 I Didn’t Know 2:47
B5 Brand New Me 2:33
By Soul Groove
The 1970 When We Get Married album is the Intruders at top form. Little Sonny Brown, the lead singer from 1960 until 1970, and the cool rapsy voice behind songs like 1967’s “Together” and 1968’s “Cowboys to Girls” has briefly departed for family reasons, necessitating a lead singer to fill the huge void. A lounge singer Bobby Starr takes over for this album and a few subsequent non album singles in the early 70’s. He more than takes over vocal leads, for he fits in very well with the Intruders style of doo-wopping and harmony, and even though his voice is somewhat similar, it is less raspy. He brings as much magic to the table on this album as Sonny did beforehand, and would do again from 1973 and later. My favorite song on here is “One In A Million“. It is a bluesy mid-tempo number with lyrics of heartbreak about a guy who loses a lover whom he thought to be the one, and hasn’t been able to love other women afterwards in the same manner. “Hocus Pocus” is a funkier number that deals with using magic to seduce a woman, a funny upbeat groove and song. “Wonder What Kind Of Bag She’s In” reminds me in musical style of the Delfonic’s 1970 classic (Didn’t I) Blow Your Mind This Time, at least in terms of the hook.
The title song is a remake of a 1961 doo-wop classic by the Dreamlovers, a fellow Philly group who formed aroung the same time of the Intruders in the very early 60’s. This cover shows the top notch doo-wop harmony the Intruders have had since 1960 and would for a long time thereafter. “Best Days Of My Love” is another mid-tempo song about reminiscing on a wonderful relationship that has ended. I love the doo-wop harmonizing again on “Guess Who Loves You” with a slower tempo, perfect for the blue light dance. “Brand New Me” is a slow jam with a positive message about the good effects of a relationship on a guy. The other songs not mentioned here all contribute to an overall wonderful album. I highly recommend it, and if you have a turntable, acquiring the record without an accompanying MP3 file loaded cd, might work for you, although the album itself is of moderate difficulty to find, but not difficult. Albums like this are why I love the early Philly soul sound so much.
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