There’s a few things to consider over the next few weeks. 1) The Sun is in Leo. 2) There’s a Venus Retrograde, soon to retreat back into the flames of Leo and 3) There’s a bevy of Soul Legends born under the sign of Leo as well. We’re kicking off festivities with Darlene Love, who despite being in the near shadows, has always radiated warmth and the love of her stage name on all of her recordings, whether in a lead role or in a support role. We wish this regal lioness a happy 74th Birthday.
Whenever these birthday moments come flying up, I’m going to try my best to pair them with songs that give a good deal of love advice alongside. Hence choosing Darlene Love’s first non-charting single under her own name from the Spring of ’64. While both sides of the effort are great, and remarkably clean and uncluttered for Phil Spector’s 1964-66 work, we’re giving the tip of the hat on her birthday to the B-side that warns of those shy men that still are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
It floats along far more elegant in tone than most contemporary Spector productions, moreso pointing toward the shimmery Uptown Soul of Chicago, Motown and New York. Perhaps it was the effort that could have poised Darlene against Mary Wells and Dionne Warwick’s stratospheric rises into legend during the Spring and Summer of ’64. As it stands it’s the kind of finishing school manual on vinyl advising how not to be corrupted by the infinite variety of men available on the dating scene.