The Bells (The Originals song)
|Single by The Originals|
|from the album Portrait of the Originals|
|B-side||"I'll Wait For You"|
|Released||January 8, 1970|
|Recorded||1969, Hitsville, USA (Studio A), Detroit, Michigan|
Anna Gordy Gaye
|The Originals singles chronology|
The Originals version
Shortly after the release of the Originals' first hit "Baby, I'm for Real", Motown issued this similarly produced record, which was a Marvin Gaye production. Gaye had proved skeptics at the label wrong by producing a hit song for another act. Both "Baby I'm for Real" and "The Bells" set the precedent for Gaye's 1971 landmark album What's Going On.
Primarily functioning as background session singers at Motown during much of the 1960s, The Originals would continue to provide background vocals for Gaye until 1973.
"The Bells" peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and reached number four on the Hot Black Singles chart. It remains the most successful single of the group's career, the rest of which included several more Gaye-produced R&B hits and the Frank Wilson and Michael B. Sutton's disco dance hit "Down to Love Town".
Laura Nyro version
Color Me Badd version
Two decades later, 1990s R&B band Color Me Badd covered the song on their 1993 album, Time and Chance. Much like After 7's cover of "Baby I'm for Real" two years prior, the song entered the R&B charts again, but didn't prove to be as successful as After 7's venture.
- Lead vocals by Walter Gaines, Henry Dixon and C.P. Spencer
- Background vocals by The Originals: Freddie Gorman, Walter Gaines, Henry Dixon and C.P. Spencer
- Spoken interlude by Freddie Gorman
- Instrumentation by The Funk Brothers, Marvin Gaye (drums) and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 443.