Could It Be I'm Falling In Love (Smooth Soul Survivor)

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    "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love"

    [song written by Mervin and Melvin Steals]

    "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love"

    [song written by Mervin and Melvin Steals]

    The highly produced ‘Philadelphia' sound of the early seventies paved the way for the studio constructions of disco and urban contemporary R & B in the years that followed.  It was the producing and writing partnership of Gamble and Huff who took much of the credit for what came from this particular bi-product of soul and disco but it was another ‘Philly' producer, Thom Bell, who was influential in developing the distinctive lush and seductive sound of the group that is responsible for this latest Smooth Soul Survivor.  That group is the Spinners and the tune, the Mervin and Melvin Steals composition ‘Could It Be I'm Falling In Love', proved to be a massive hit on both sides of the Atlantic.  Steals and Steals worked as producers and percussionists with many ‘Philly' chartmakers of the mid seventies and enjoyed credits that included collaborations with First Choice, Gloria Gaynor and the Trammps.

    The Spinners were known as the Detroit Spinners in the UK to avoid confusion with another band of the same name that came from Liverpool, England and who were popular around the same period.  In common with the Isley Brothers, the (Detroit) Spinners had started out in the fifties and gone on to sign with Motown in the mid sixties.  However, also in common with the Isley's, they went on to have their greatest success with another label and, for The Spinners, that label was Atlantic.  It was there, between 1972 and 1977, that they enjoyed their most productive period with a string of hits that included ‘I'll Be Around', ‘Mighty Love', ‘Then Came You', ‘The Rubberband Man' and, of course, ‘Could It Be I'm Falling In Love'.  It was taken from the 1973 album ‘The Spinners' and made the US singles charts that same year.

    In April 1973 it climbed to #11 in the UK and overall was on the chart for eleven weeks.  It made a brief reappearance there in 1977 with the EP of the same name.  David Grant and Jakki Graham also covered it to good effect in the UK where they took a version, very faithful to the original, to #5 in 1985.

    ‘Could It Be I'm Falling In Love' is a survivor in every sense of the word.  It is a massively covered number and for over thirty years has kept the Spinners in the spotlight with inclusions on numerous compilations.  Notable among these is a remixed version of the original on the 1998 ‘Everybody Dance 3'.  ‘Could It Be I'm Falling In Love' is also a tune that seems to work for film producers.  The Spinners original appears on the soundtrack of the 1996 film ‘Beautiful Girls' as well as that of the 1994 movie ‘Babe', although it must be added not the one about pigs!  The hip-hop / urban band 11D Extreme also cover it on the soundtrack of the 1994 film ‘Blankman'.

    Other covers span a wide range of influences and genres.  Rap artist El Barrio features it on the 1991 album ‘Unity' and an interpretation by Messenjah can be found on the 1996 reggae compilation ‘Run For Cover'.  The version by Euro group Worlds Apart can be heard on their 1994 album ‘Together' as well as on the CD's ‘Awesome Dance' and ‘Dance Hits 94' of the same year.  Also in the disco mould, S-Connection, featuring Annabella, include it in their 1997 ‘DiscoNnected'.

    Contemporary jazz connections are also memorable.  Peter White showcases the tune on his 1994 ‘Reflections' and again on the 1996 ‘Collections - Limited Edition'.  One time Rippingtons regular Jeff Kashiwa makes it part of his 1995 release ‘Remember Catalina' and it figures on the 1999 release from saxophonist Houston Person titled ‘Real Thing'.

    The track is moved closer to its soul roots by the prolific and constantly engaging Regina Belle who has it on her 1995 release the excellent ‘Reachin Back', a collection of eleven classic R & B and soul covers.

    Just another great Smooth Soul Survivor.

    Denis Poole

    See other Smooth Soul Survivors