Album: The Temptations with a Lot o’ Soul
. . .
Yet another Temptations song that was covered by godsdamned Rare Earth, “(I Know) I’m Losing You” is also what the kids call an “absolute banger,” featuring an absolutely killer gutbucket guitar lick from Cornelius Grant, and one of Norman Whitfield’s most tension-filled arrangements.
Opening with that lick — four notes stacked on top of each other followed by two that take their sweet fucking time to hit — and a tambourine, “(I Know) I’m Losing You” features another desperate vocal from David Ruffin, this time channeling a man who knows it’s way too late to beg.
Your love is fading, I can feel your love fading
Girl, it’s fading away from me
‘Cause your touch, your touch has grown cold
As if someone else controls your very soul
I’ve fooled myself long as I can
I can feel the presence of another man
As Ruffin starts singing, Funk Brothers James Jamerson and Uriel Jones join Grant in driving a tension-filled rhythm battling with horns and bongos, all of it at the service of an ever-more desperate Ruffin, with the rest of the Temptations providing what support they can, in a futile attempt to make it not so.
Girl, when you speak my name
It’s just not the same
Ooh baby, I’m losing you
It’s in the air
Ooh, I’m losing you
That last falsetto “losing youuuuuuuuu” is actually the closest “(I Know) I’m Losing You” has to an actual chorus, or even a hook. This one really is all about the funk, and the grit and the desperation, especially every time Jones goes to the double times and when the horns go BOM BOM BOM!
“(I Know) I’m Losing You” was written by Whitfield, Eddie Holland and Grant, whose guitar drives the whole thing, even standing out during the bridge, where the horns are flying around the studio and the Temptations are all singing “doo-wop” as if any of that is going to give Ruffin any solace at all.
Oh, it’s all over your face
Someone’s taken my place
Woo, ooh, baby, I’m losing you
You try hard to hide
The emptiness inside
Ooh, I can tell I’m losing you
Ooh (Losing you)
I don’t wanna lose you
“(I Know) I’m Losing You” was a smash hit single, topping the R&B charts and making it to #8 on the Hot 100. It was also one of three top ten singles from The Temptations with a Lot o’ Soul album — the other tow were “All I Need” and “You’re My Everything” — which helped that album be the first Temptations album to make it to the top ten of the Billboard albums chart, making it to #7. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the excellent Rod Steward (with the Faces) cover of “(I Know) I’m Losing You.”
“(I Know) I’m Losing You”
“(I Know) I’m Losing You” Live on The Smothers Brothers, 1967
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