The Originals – 1969 – Baby I’m For Real (aka Green Grow The Lilacs)

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A classic set by The Originals one of Motown’s best second-generation soul groups, with a sound that rivalled the best of the indie sweet soul groups of the late 60s and early 70s! The album’s a delight throughout with a crackling, honest approach to group soul that was a refreshing change from some of Motown’s too-tight, more famous groups of the 60s. This set was probably the group’s biggest album, and it includes the hit slowjam title cut “Baby I’m For Real“, plus “Green Grow the Lilacs“, “Moment Of Truth“, “One Life We Live“, and “Love Is A Wonder“. For some reason this album was also called “Green Grow The Lilacs” in other pressings!

A1   We’ve Got A Way Out Of Love 3.03
A2   Green Grow The Lilacs 2.45
A3   Baby I’m For Real 3.21
A4   I’ve Never Begged Before 2.43
A5   Red Sails In The Sunset 2.28
A6   One Life We Live 3.13
B1   Moment Of Truth 3.15
B2   Why When Love Is Gone 2.47
B3   When Will We Learn 2.31
B4   You’re The One 3.15
B5   Love Is A Wonder 2.50
B6   You, Mysterious You 3.09

A Detroit soul vocal group led by Freddie Gorman, the Originals took the RB world by storm in 1969, although they had worked at Motown for years as invaluable background vocalists. Gorman recorded as a solo for Berry Gordy in 1961 and co-wrote “Please Mr. Postman” for the Marvelettes, and the Originals cut a version of Leadbelly’s “Goodnight Irene” for Gordy’s Soul subsidiary in 1966 with ex-Falcon Joe Stubbs as lead. But Stubbs had split to form 100 Proof (Aged in Soul) by the time the quartet waxed the beautiful doo wop throwback “Baby I’m for Real,” an RB chart-topper in 1969 that was co-written and lushly produced by Marvin Gaye. The same combination also produced “The Bells,” another major hit in 1970. Former solo act Ty Hunter joined the group in 1971, and the Originals continued to chart into the next decade.


The group found modest success in the latter half of the 60s, often working as backup singers for recordings by artists such as Jimmy Ruffin (“What Becomes of the Brokenhearted”, 1966), Stevie Wonder‘s “For Once In My Life” in 1968 and David Ruffin (“My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)”, 1969). The Originals found their biggest success under the guidance of Motown legend Marvin Gaye, who co-wrote and produced two of the group’s biggest singles, “Baby I’m For Real”, and “The Bells”. This latter disc sold over one million copies, and received a gold disc awarded by the R.I.A.A.[1] Both songs became seminal soul music recordings, and both songs have since been covered: 1990s R&B group After 7 re-recorded “Baby I’m For Real” and made it a hit again in 1992, while another 1990s R&B group Color Me Badd re-recorded “The Bells” for one of their albums. While the group went on to have more modest success in both the soul and disco fields near the end of the decade, including “Down To Love Town,” a #1 dance chart hit, the songs they made with Marvin Gaye are their most memorable and notable.

I guess you all know Mr.Moo and his great What Da Funk private blog. This is another great contribution of his.

Buy the AlbumThe Originals – 1969 – Baby I’m For Real (aka Green Grow The Lilacs)

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Conversation for album: The Originals – 1969 – Baby I’m For Real (aka Green Grow The Lilacs)

  • jean paris
    Posted at 18:41h, 10 February 2009 Reply

    dude…this is a killer blog..only good soul doubt im a big fan…thanks for all those beautiful posts..and thanks 4 ur work…mille fois merci.;jean paris

  • Doctor Okeh
    Posted at 20:24h, 10 February 2009 Reply

    dizzzam!!!, Nikos , I havent checked in ina minute , you have been busy dropin some gemz, many many thx in advance for this bubz!!!!!

  • manny
    Posted at 21:22h, 10 February 2009 Reply

    thanks for posting

  • bowlisha1
    Posted at 21:51h, 10 February 2009 Reply

    Thank you Mr.Moo. As I always tell him he’s the host with the most! Thanks to you Nikos for posting this up here. Of course we’ve all heard Baby I’m For Real and love it but I must say I don’t remember ever having a listen to this album. So, this is a sure treat. Can’t wait.
    Thanks again guys!

  • rich
    Posted at 22:07h, 10 February 2009 Reply

    Mr. Moo thank u for this album mine is scratched badly

  • phatrapper
    Posted at 22:08h, 10 February 2009 Reply

    Thanks Mr. Moo for posting this great album.

  • SouL
    Posted at 23:15h, 10 February 2009 Reply

    great great post, mucho appreciated

  • Ben
    Posted at 00:27h, 11 February 2009 Reply

    Fantastic, thank you very much for this album!

  • invisiblenigma
    Posted at 03:06h, 11 February 2009 Reply

    Much Thanks Nikos and Mr. Moo!! Great Stuff here!!

  • jeferson
    Posted at 03:22h, 11 February 2009 Reply


  • Lauran
    Posted at 10:30h, 11 February 2009 Reply

    Marvin Gaye delivered the right sound and lyrics for this group. Great share.

  • Astral Pro
    Posted at 11:20h, 11 February 2009 Reply

    Thanks as always Nikos!

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 12:06h, 11 February 2009 Reply

    Thanks for an excellent and timeless post. The Originals are among the elite of soul music and every release deserves to be shared, loved and appreciated as the treasures they are.

  • Outerpsych
    Posted at 14:49h, 11 February 2009 Reply

    Hi there, thanx a lot for this one, very good…
    Shame on me, I don’t know Mr.Moo’s What da funk blog… How is it possible to join it ?


  • Lucas
    Posted at 15:59h, 11 February 2009 Reply

    Thanks niko & Mr.Moo. A great find!

  • dcat, in the cornpatch
    Posted at 23:23h, 11 February 2009 Reply

    As always, many thanks for your wonderful efforts and the joy you share with others!

  • Kirk
    Posted at 01:12h, 12 February 2009 Reply

    Good look on this one!! You da Man!

  • Jay
    Posted at 11:12h, 12 February 2009 Reply

    Another wonderful post, thanks!

  • Frederic
    Posted at 14:55h, 12 February 2009 Reply

    Great taste, great blog once once again. I’m so grateful….

  • Mr. Moo
    Posted at 14:59h, 12 February 2009 Reply

    What’s your e-mail Outerpsych?

  • Chris-T
    Posted at 17:59h, 12 February 2009 Reply

    Much thanks!

  • xMen
    Posted at 21:14h, 12 February 2009 Reply

    I have never seen this one….so look forward to listening. Thanks Mr.Moo.

  • Bobby
    Posted at 00:34h, 13 February 2009 Reply

    Lovely stuff. The first track is especially hypnotizing. Stay on it – you’re doing great work.

  • Soulcat
    Posted at 01:43h, 13 February 2009 Reply

    This is why I love this blog, just great! Thanks!

  • Trakbuv
    Posted at 07:57h, 13 February 2009 Reply

    Fabuloso – great album from an awesome band whose line-up changed but never faltered – on one of their rare albums where the material matched their talents. ‘Baby I’m for real’ is up there with only ‘Stay in my corner’ as the ultimate ballads of all time for sheer majesty. I take it that the alternative title explains the album cover to a degree. Many thanks for the excellent post and bio Mr Moo !!

  • Tramp
    Posted at 11:11h, 13 February 2009 Reply

    Wow! Lovely post on my fav site. Congrats.

  • Outerpsych
    Posted at 13:27h, 13 February 2009 Reply

    Hi, Mr. Moo. My email is outerpsych (at) laposte (dot) net.
    Thanx a lot for your answer !!!


  • Mr. Moo
    Posted at 14:07h, 13 February 2009 Reply

    @Chris T & Outerpsych: check ur mail

  • Keith
    Posted at 17:33h, 13 February 2009 Reply

    Your blog continues to put a big smile on my face. You post such cool tunes. Thanks. Have a great weekend. Cheers!

  • Fever
    Posted at 21:46h, 13 February 2009 Reply

    Thanks. Much appreciated.

  • hooch
    Posted at 12:32h, 14 February 2009 Reply

    Many thanks Mr Moo – Greatly appreciated as always!

  • Pierre
    Posted at 15:17h, 14 February 2009 Reply

    Mr. Moo, this vinyl rip is just plain exemplary – CD quality! I’ve been looking for a replacement for my totally worn out copy for what seems like ages, so thanks a lot for finally making my day
    and Nikos for hosting this post. I’m most excited about the Originals’ album(s) you’ve announced on What Da Funk.

  • Outerpsych
    Posted at 17:29h, 14 February 2009 Reply

    Hi, Mr. Moo. I checked my email but nothing in it…
    Give you my adress one more time : outerpsych (@)

  • Mr. Moo
    Posted at 18:09h, 14 February 2009 Reply

    @Outerpsych: according to Blogger the invitation was sent 13/2/2009, but not accepted yet. I’ll resend

  • johnv
    Posted at 03:57h, 23 February 2009 Reply

    Thanks as always, Nikos. Your blog never disappoints.

  • Raphy
    Posted at 23:01h, 26 February 2009 Reply

    I have this Lp….but the damn outer part broke off…Shhhhh…[email protected]#$
    Thank You Guys…..for ripping & upload this Gem

    Big [email protected]!

  • Claudio
    Posted at 00:31h, 02 March 2009 Reply

    Thanks for sharing this album.

  • whoknows
    Posted at 05:34h, 02 March 2009 Reply

    I love this group! thanks again Nikos for the hard work!

  • LOL
    Posted at 15:33h, 22 June 2009 Reply

    quite amazing how many ppl have “damaged” copies of this !!!!

  • Jonas
    Posted at 19:48h, 14 August 2009 Reply

    Thanks for a great record… Mr Moo… how do i get in touch with you… i have heard people talk about your page.. i really would like to be a member…

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