It's a Shame (The Spinners song)
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|"It's a Shame"|
|Single by The Spinners|
|from the album 2nd Time Around|
|B-side||"Together We Can Make Such Sweet Music" (1st ver.)|
|Released||June 11, 1970|
1969-1970, Golden World (Studio B)|
|The Spinners singles chronology|
"It's a Shame" is a song co-written by Stevie Wonder, Syreeta Wright and Lee Garrett and produced by Wonder as a single for The Spinners on Motown's V.I.P. Records label. The single became the Detroit-reared group's biggest single on the Motown Records company since they had signed with the company in 1964 and also their biggest hit in a decade.
The song, which is about a man who complains about a lover's "messin' around" on him, became a huge hit for the group reaching number-fourteen on the Billboard Hot 100 and number-three on the R&B singles chart, making it one of their biggest hits to date. The song was the first song Wonder produced for another act by himself.
Two years later, the group would leave Motown for a contract with Atlantic Records on the advice of fellow Detroit native Aretha Franklin, also an artist on that label. Cameron, who was having an affair with Gwen Gordy (sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy) decided to stay in Motown and the group hired Cameron's cousin Philippé Wynne to replace him. Later, Cameron moved with the Gordys to Los Angeles, and stayed with Motown for over a decade.
Covers and samples
- Jamaican reggae and rocksteady innovator Alton Ellis covered the song in 1971
- Hip-hop group and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five included a cover version on their 1982 debut album The Message.
- In 1988, the song was sampled for "Just Say No" by Toddy Tee featuring Mix Master Spade.
- In 1990, the song was sampled and covered by rapper Monie Love for the hit song "It's a Shame (My Sister)".
- In 1994, the song was sampled for the remix of R. Kelly's "Summer Bunnies".
- In 1998, Norwegian band Folk & Røvere sampled the opening guitar lick for their song Fru Hagen from the album Kaustisksoda.
- In 2002, former 5ive member Abs Breen sampled the song for his single "Shame", which only received a release in Australia and New Zealand.
- In 2003, the song was covered by contemporary musician Paul Jackson, Jr. on the album, Still Small Voice.
- The song "Try", recorded by Sounds of Blackness in both 1999 and 2005, reuses the melody of this song.
- It was also sampled in Lethal Bizzle's song "Fire".
- It was covered by Raphael Saadiq for the Levi's Pioneer Sessions in 2010.
- It was performed in music video form during the closing credits of The Three Stooges by Sean Hayes, Will Sasso and Chris Diamantopoulos (who play the Stooges in the film) and Jennifer Hudson (who plays Sister Rosemary). The performance is credited to "The Spinners and The Three Stooges", but also includes uncredited vocals by Hudson.
- The base of the reggae version by Alton Ellis is used by the Italian rap group Club Dogo in the track "Note Killer", from their first album "Mi Fist" of 2003.
- It was covered in a short sequence by Christopher Jackson (actor) in a 2018 episode of the legal drama Bull (2016 TV series). Jackson plays the character of Chunk Palmer in the series, and sings the song after learning that he fathered a child that he never knew of and is now attempting to connect with after learning she is in the city.
- Lead vocals by G.C. Cameron
- Background vocals by Bobby Smith, Pervis Jackson, Henry Fambrough and Billy Henderson
- Instrumentation by Stevie Wonder and The Funk Brothers
- Arranged by Paul Riser
- TV.com. "The Midnight Special". TV.com.
- "1970: The Top 100 Soul/R&B Singles". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
- "Top 100 Hits of 1970/Top 100 Songs of 1970". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
- "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1970". 29 November 2014. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014.