I came across this promo copy of Last Time I Saw Him while rummaging through the bins at Wax N Facts Records in Atlanta’s Little 5 Points neighborhood. There’s nothing particularly extraordinary about the LP itself — but check out the great PROMOTIONAL RECORD sticker pasted on the front. It lists “suggested air play cuts” for radio DJs, which gives interesting insight into Motown’s vision for the album at the time.
The LP’s two singles, “Last Time I Saw Him” and “Sleepin'” are listed, of course; the former ended up a Top 20 Pop and #1 Adult Contemporary hit, the latter a masterful recording that somehow failed on the charts (Motown released three Diana Ross albums in 1973, so perhaps there was some oversaturation by this time). Also suggested for radio spins are the ballad “Love Me” and the Bob Gaudio-penned and produced “When Will I Come Home To You.”
“Love Me” seems a natural choice for a push; in my original review of Last Time I Saw Him (read it HERE), I wondered why “Love Me” hadn’t been released as a physical single, considering it’s a catchy ballad that would have sounded good on pop radio (it was released in the UK). Perhaps had “Sleepin'” been a bigger hit, Motown would have lifted this song as a third single in the US; it probably would’ve served as a better second single.
“When Will I Come Home To You” is a stranger choice; along with “Turn Around,” it’s probably the least-inspired work on the LP. In retrospect, there are many other songs that would have better represented the album at radio; the thunderous “I Heard A Love Song (But You Never Made A Sound) and the rocking “Stone Liberty” (both Gaudio productions) both come to mind as tracks that would have set the airwaves on fire. Man, can you imagine if “Stone Liberty” had been a hit? Diana Ross would KILL that song in concert today.
So did Motown make the right choice in its “suggestions” to DJs?