Thursday, August 27, 2015


Motherlode had a top 20 hit with this song in the summer of 1969. Most listeners would immediately peg the group as Philly soul (I'm a sucker for a lot of the stuff that Gamble and Huff did) or perhaps even a Motown act.

Surprise. They were Canadian.

Lodged in my brain from early childhood AM radio brainwashing, "When I Die" is one of my favorites for the harmony parts alone. Written by band members William Smith and Steve Kennedy, it stands as a classic, smooth soul/pop confection. Carol Kaye plays bass on the track. Her session work is extensive ("Pet Sounds" being one of many highlights). Terry Brown (who produced Rush and countless others) was behind the board along with Doug Riley.

Beautiful song, albeit slightly sad.


Charlie Ricci said...

I love this song. I still have the 45 RPM. It never gets played on oldies radio at all.

Todd Mason said...

Another, for me, in the slow late accretion of underplayed soul hits from the late '60s and into the '70s, which essentially began with The Undisputed Truth (I first was aware of hearing "Smiling Faces Sometimes" around 1980). I caught onto the bands such as War and Gil Scott-Heron's when they were in their first great runs, but a lot of the bands and choruses such as these folks have been happy encounters in an intermittent stream. Thanks.