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"California Soul" is a funk-soul tune written by Ashford & Simpson, issued originally as the B-side of the Messengers' single "Window Shopping" in 1967 under the Motown group of labels.
|Single by The Messengers|
|Released||September 7, 1967|
|Songwriter(s)||Ashford & Simpson|
- Nick Ashford then released his own version in June 1968 on Verve 10599.
- The song was then issued as a single by American pop quintet The 5th Dimension in late 1968.
- The song was also covered by Motown vocal duo Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. It was Gaye's and Terrell's last single together when released in early 1970.
- A version appears on the 1970 studio album War & Peace by Edwin Starr (Gordy Records). Cash Box said that this version "glimmers with the special touch of a motor city arrangement and the vocal fuel ignited by this splendid team."
Both The 5th Dimension's version and the Gaye-Terrell version were modest charted hits. The 5th Dimension's performed better, reaching number twenty-five on the pop singles chart. Marvin and Tammi's cover was the B-side of "The Onion Song". The duo's version of "California Soul" reached number fifty pop but never charted on the US R&B chart. The duet was released after Terrell's death from a brain tumor in March 1970.
The 5th Dimension versionEdit
- All vocals by The 5th Dimension: Billy Davis Jr., Marilyn McCoo, Florence LaRue, Lamonte McLemore, and Ron Townson
- Written by Ashford & Simpson
- Produced by Bones Howe
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell versionEdit
- All vocals by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (contrary to misreports, Valerie Simpson denied ever subbing for Terrell)
- Written and produced by Ashford & Simpson
- Instrumentation by The Funk Brothers
Certifications and salesEdit
Marlena Shaw versionEdit
|United Kingdom (BPI)
Sales since 2004
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
- ^ "www.discogs.com". discogs.com. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
- ^ Record World Magazine July 27, 1968, p. 166.
- ^ "www.allmusic.com". allmusic.com. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
- ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. April 11, 1970. p. 20. Retrieved 2021-12-08.
- ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 222.
- ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 225.
- ^ The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 9: 1969, Motown/Hip-O Select, 2008, p.109
- ^ "British single certifications – Marlena Shaw – California Soul". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 2, 2022.