The Rubberband Man
|"The Rubberband Man"|
|Single by The Spinners|
|from the album |
Happiness Is Being with the Spinners
|B-side||"Now That We're Together"|
|Length||3:33 (single edit)|
7:22 (album version)
|The Spinners singles chronology|
"The Rubberband Man" is a song recorded by the American vocal group The Spinners.
The song, written by producer Thom Bell and singer-songwriter Linda Creed, was about Bell's son, who was being teased by his classmates for being overweight. Intended to improve his son's self-image, the song eventually evolved from being about "The Fat Man" to "The Rubberband Man".
The last major hit by the Spinners to feature Philippé Wynne on lead vocals, "The Rubberband Man" spent three weeks at number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (blocked from the top spot by Rod Stewart's massive hit single "Tonight's the Night") and topped the U.S. R&B chart at the end of 1976. It was also a top-20 hit in the UK Singles Chart, reaching number 16 in October 1976.
Arrangement and structure
The arrangement opens with rhythmic clavinet and percussion, followed by a Philly string arrangement provided by the Mother Father Sister Brother musicians. There are brief bursts of brass section and piano. Singer Wynne's delivery is "singularly expressive" and the bridge and chorus provide for a classic call and response routine by supporting vocalists Bobbie Smith (tenor), Henry Fambrough (baritone), Billy Henderson (tenor/baritone) and Pervis Jackson (bass). The song also features the bass playing of Motown Legend Bob "Funk Brother" Babbitt.
Wynne alternates between singing the verse and interjecting verbal asides and improvises the eight bars linking the chorus with the bridge. The backing singers' retort of "do-do-do-do," recalls the distinctive chorus in Stephen Stills' song "Love the One You're With."
- Lead vocals: Philippé Wynne
- Background vocals: Bobby Smith, Pervis Jackson, Henry Fambrough and Billy Henderson
- Additional background vocals: the Sigma Sweethearts (Barbara Ingram, Carla Benson and Yvette Benton)
- Instrumentation: MFSB
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