Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing

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"Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing"
Single by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
from the album You're All I Need
Released March 28, 1968
Format 7" single
Recorded Hitsville USA; 1967
Genre Soul, pop
Length 2:12
Label Tamla
T 54163
Writer(s) Ashford & Simpson
Producer(s) Ashford & Simpson
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell singles chronology
"If I Could Build My Whole World Around You"
(1967)
"Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing"
(1968)
"You're All I Need to Get By"
(1968)

"Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" is a 1968 single released by American R&B/soul duo Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, on the Tamla label in 1968. The B-side of the single is "Little Ole Boy, Little Ole Girl" from the duo's United LP. The first release off the duo's second album: You're All I Need, the song - written and produced by regular Gaye/Terrell collaborators Ashford & Simpson - became a hit within weeks of release eventually peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot Soul Singles chart,[1] the first of the duo's s two #1 hit R&B hits. In the UK "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" reached #34.

Personnel[edit]

Chart history[edit]

Chart Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart 8
U.S. Billboard R&B Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 34
Preceded by
"Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day" by Stevie Wonder
Billboard Hot R&B Singles number-one single
June 8, 1968
Succeeded by
"Think" by Aretha Franklin

Remakes[edit]

US charting versions[edit]

Aretha Franklin remade "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" for her 1974 album Let Me in Your Life from which it was issued as a single (the album's third) that August. Franklin's version radically re-invents the upbeat Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell original as a deep soul ballad which Jon Landau of Rolling Stone dismissed as "misconceived (done too slowly)"[2] and "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" did not afford Franklin one of her very biggest hits with a Billboard Hot 100 peak of #47 (#6 R&B). However the song did win Franklin the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Grammy for 1974 marking Franklin's eighth total and consecutive win in that category and her last such win until the Grammys for 1981.

Donny Osmond and Marie Osmond, billed as Donny & Marie, remade "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" for their November 1976 album release New Season with the track having a concurrent single release to reach #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1977 also charting Adult Contemporary at #17.

Chris Christian remade "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" in medley with another Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell hit "You're All I Need to Get By" for his Bob Gaudio-produced 1981 album: a duet with Amy Holland, the track "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing/ You're All I Need to Get By" had a single release in the summer of 1982 to reach #88 on Billboard Hot 100 also charting Adult Contemporary at #21. (Amy Holland's husband Michael McDonald would remake "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" for his 2003 album Motown.) Christian's 1986 live album release Live At Six Flags features "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" in medley with "Don't Worry Baby" and "I Go to Pieces".

Marcella Detroit & Elton John version[edit]

"Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing"
Single by Marcella Detroit and Elton John
from the album Duets and Jewel
Released 2 May 1994
Recorded 1993
Genre Pop
Length 3:36
Label London Records
Writer(s) Marcella Detroit
Marcella Detroit singles chronology
"I Believe"
(1994)
"Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing"
(1994)
"I'm No Angel"
(1994)
Elton John singles chronology
"Shakey Ground"
(1994)
"Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing"
(1994)
"Can You Feel the Love Tonight"
(1994)
Alternative cover
CD single 2

"Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" was recorded by UK singer Elton John and US singer Marcella Detroit for John's 1993 album Duets. After its inclusion on Detroit's album Jewel, the song was released as a single under London Records in May 1994, as the fourth and final song from Duets, and the second single from Jewel, with all b-sides performed solo by Detroit.[3][4]

Track listing[edit]

  • CD Single 1
  1. "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" — 3:36
  2. "Break the Chain" — 3:47
  3. "I Feel Free" — 4:08
  • CD Single 2
  1. "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" (Kenny Dope Extended Mix) — 5:48
  2. "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" (Troopa Mood Mix) — 3:43
  3. "I Feel Free" (Full Cream Mix) — 9:35
  4. "I Feel Free" (Cry Out Loud Mix) — 5:47

Charts[edit]

Chart (1994) Peak
position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[5] 24

Other versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 225. 
  2. ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/let-me-in-your-life-19740411
  3. ^ "Elton John - Duets at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  4. ^ "Marcella Detroit at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  5. ^ "Chart Log UK 1994–2010 Asher D – Dyverse". Retrieved 2012-11-25. 

External links[edit]