Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cusp Song of the Day: Games People Play

The Spinners have been playing and touring since 1961, but their golden era was unquestionably the 1970s, when they were one of Atlantic Records' stable of R&B greats. The group had more than a dozen top 40 hits during the decade, including "They Just Can’t Stop It the (Games People Play)."

The song, from their 1975 album Pick Of The Litter, went to number 5 on the pop charts in September of that year. It features vocals by Bobby Smith with the late Barbara Ingram, a well-known back-up singer who rarely got to sing lead. The renowned Thom Bell - Grammy-winning Producer of the Year in 1975, known for his work with the Delfonics and the Stylistics - produced, with backing by Philly Sound house band MFSB.

"Games People Play" is the second of three songs that play at a bar on closing night of Playland. All three resonate strongly for Karen, who is about to break up with her "summer love" Patrick. When she hears the song sandwiched between "Why Can't We Be Friends?" and "Jive Talking"  she asks, "Jesus, is there no relief?"

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