Album: I Was Made To Love Her
. . .
Unlike “Uptight (Everything’s Alright),” which was an uptempo rush from the start, Stevie’s next great single, “I Was Made To Love Her,” was slower, more measured, and funkier on every level.
Once again written & produced by Sylvia Moy, Hank Cosby and of course Stevie — who got his mother a partial songwriting credit because why not — “I Was Made to Love Her” featured a sitarish guitar hook from Eddie Willis which led into a short harmonica solo from Stevie before he got down to business with a bit of misdirection about his life story.
I was born in Lil’ Rock
Had a childhood sweetheart
We were always hand in hand
I wore hightop shoes and shirt tails
Suzy was in pigtails
I knew I loved her even then
There are seven verses to “I Was Made To Love Her” and zero choruses, and it gets across in a bunch of different ways, the main one being Stevie’s desperate, almost unhinged vocal as he goes through the story of how he’s loved her his whole life, through parental disappointment, through good times and bad, but despite it all, he will always love her. Because he was made to!!
The other thing that gets it across is the tight, tough backing of the aformentioned Willis — who provided not just the main hook after each verse, but some on point rhythm guitar during the verse — the completely in the pocket drumming of Benny Benjamin and the ungodly bass runs of James Jamerson, who on the fifth verse, just lets go with the funk as Benjamin switches up the beat and Willis drops out completely.
Outside of the backing vocals sneaking in with some “hey! hey! hey!” at the opening and the later verses, that fifth verse is basically the only variation in the song, and it’s practically gone before you realize it’s there.
In a lot of ways, “I Was Made To Love Her” is a strange song to get near the top of the charts, but it’s also completely infectious — you can’t help but root for Stevie — and I’m guessing that’s why it did so well, making it to #1 on the R&B charts, #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #5 on the U.K. charts, his highest showing yet.
“I Was Made To Love Her”
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