Heaven Must Have Sent You

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"Heaven Must Have Sent You"
Single by The Elgins
B-side "Stay In My Lonely Arms"
Released 1966
Format 7"
Genre R&B
Label V.I.P. (Motown)
V.I.P. 23067
Tamla Motown (UK)
TMG 583, TMG 771 (Reissue)
Writer(s) Holland–Dozier–Holland
Producer(s) Holland–Dozier–Holland
The Elgins singles chronology
"Darling Baby"
(1965)
"Heaven Must Have Sent You"
(1966)
"It's Been A Long, Long Time"
(1967)

"Heaven Must Have Sent You" is a song written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland when at Motown, and first recorded by The Elgins in 1966. It was also a 1979 disco hit single by Bonnie Pointer.

The Elgins[edit]

The version by the Elgins, released on the Motown subsidiary V.I.P. Records label in 1966, reached #9 on the Billboard R&B chart and #50 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Popular on the Northern soul scene in the UK, it was reissued in by Tamla Motown in 1971, and reached #3 on the UK Singles Chart.[1][2][3] The Elgins' backing vocals were augmented by The Andantes.

Bonnie Pointer[edit]

"Heaven Must Have Sent You"
Single by Bonnie Pointer
B-side "Heaven Must Have Sent You" (LP Version)
Released 1979[4]
Format Vinyl, 12"
Genre Disco/Funk
Length 5:12
3:22 (7" version)
Label Motown
Writer(s) Holland–Dozier–Holland
Producer(s) Jeffrey Bowen
Berry Gordy

"Heaven Must Have Sent You" was one of two remakes of Motown hits recorded by Bonnie Pointer for her 1978 self-titled solo debut album which was released by Motown: Pointer would state: ""I wanted to cut that tune and the other old Motown tune: 'When I'm Gone', simply because I've always dug them."[5] Pointer has stated that she suggested to Berry Gordy that he have her remake "Heaven Must Have Sent You" as a disco track after Pointer had heard the Village People hit "Y.M.C.A." and realized that "Heaven Must Have Sent You" would work well with an arrangement similar to that of "Y.M.C.A".[6]

Set to a 12/8 shuffle beat, Pointer's disco version of "Heaven Must Have Sent You" features violins in the background throughout the track: the ringing of rhythmic tubular bells is heard during the into, giving way to a funky bass guitar heard as a refrain throughout the song. The bass guitar part can be heard three times between the verses, and the bells are heard again in the instrumental interlude played mid-song. During the track's outro, Pointer sings "It's heaven, it's heaven, I'll love you more and more each day..." in a lower register with a raspy tone, reminiscent of Louis Armstrong. Pointer had spontaneously "channeled" Armstrong while recording her vocal for the album version of "Heaven Must Have Sent You" and the result was considered sufficiently catchy to be brought forward to the disco version of the song.

Issued with an edit of the original album version as B-side, the disco version of Pointer's "Heaven Must Have Sent You" became a hit over the summer and early fall of 1979 peaking at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 that October.[7]

The special four-on-the-floor re-recorded Motown Disco 12" Single mix of "Heaven Must Have Sent You" includes a much longer instrumental interlude with extra percussion and string solos towards the middle of the song. It was Side 1, while the album version was Side 2.

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Nowell. The Story of Northern Soul. Anova Books. pp. 40–. ISBN 978-1-907554-72-8. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-1995. Record Research. p. 133. 
  3. ^ Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952-2004 (1st ed.). London: Collins. p. 254. ISBN 0-00-717931-6. 
  4. ^ Smith, Ronald (2001). Chicago Top 40 Charts 1970-1979. iUniverse. p. 93. ISBN 1462080936. 
  5. ^ "Bonnie Pointer September 1979 Interview: Pointer view". SoulMusic.com. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "The Free Spirit of Bonnie Pointer". Alan Mercer's Profile AmproFile.blogspot.ca. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955-2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 553. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.