Record Store Wednesdays: “Last Time I Saw Him” Promo Copy

Diana Ross Last TIme I Saw Him Promo cover

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.

Diana Ross Last TIme I Saw Him Promo

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?

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About Paul

Album-by-album, track-by-track, a look at the entire Diana Ross discography...
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11 Responses to Record Store Wednesdays: “Last Time I Saw Him” Promo Copy

  1. Michael Spoleti says:

    I agree with Love Me. It should have been the 2nd single. I did hear Sleepin’ on the radio here in NY on WBLS. It got some airplay. Stone Liberty is another great choice.   Mike

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S4 on Verizon Wireless 4G LTE 

    • Paul says:

      I would love it if “Stone Liberty” had been a hit — imagine it on compilations and in concert. Diana’s output at this time was a bit vanilla, and that song would have added a nice shot of energy to her collections!

  2. V16TROLA says:

    Love Me is a great song – if I remember rightly it was a respectable hit in the UK. I find Sleepin’ just too slow and depressing to be a hit. Diana’s reading is very haunting which makes it even sadder.

    • Paul says:

      I absolutely love “Sleepin'” — but I think it was a wrong single choice. Diana does give a haunting performance — that’s a perfect way to describe it — but you’re right, it’s almost too sad for radio. “Love Me” could have been a decent hit for Diana. Wonder who made the ultimate decision on this?

  3. jamesrainbowboy says:

    I love “When Will I Come Home To You”. Or rather, I love singing along to Diana singing the song!!!

  4. spookyelectric says:

    I love ‘Sleepin’ but can’t imagine what the thinking behind it as a 45 would have been. Maybe because the Diana’s ‘Lady’ work had scored so well? ‘Love Me’ was a much better choice – though it only scraped the bottom of the UK Top 40, at a time when she was having consistent top 10s.

    Thrilled to see you’re back on the block Paul – this was an unexpected choice as a post. Would be amazing if anyone out there has other radio promo stickered albums from back in the day…

    • Paul says:

      Hey you — long time no “see”! Totally agree — I love “Sleepin'” — but it was the wrong choice for a 2nd single. Not sure why “Love Me” didn’t hit bigger in the UK, but I think it could have done well in the US. You guys in the UK were definitely getting the better singles during this period — the Diana & Marvin cuts released over there were SO superior to what Motown released in the states. “Stop, Look, Listen” should have been a huge hit — it still sounds good today, as opposed to “My Mistake,” which is okay but quite dated.

  5. James Grattan says:

    Your posts always make me smile:) I consider Last Time I saw him part of the 70’s trio of lp’s with Surrender and Everything is Everything. Those three remain in a constant playlist rotation together for various reasons, You know I actually always loved “When will I come home to you.”…the lyrics are so melancholy/mid-seventies. And if I remember correctly, I too found Last time in the bargain bin one afternoon in the mid-eighties!!! I thought I’d won the lottery:)
    Have you ever considered compiling your writing/posts into an anthology of sorts? There’s a journey we readers get to take with you thoughts….thank you for that!
    Friend-to-Friend,
    James

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