Gladys Knight Song Reviews -
The Powerful and Pristine

Gladys Knight's voice isn't pink-bow pretty. Thank goodness!

My Gladys Knight song reviews page features Motown oldies she sang with the Pips. In each case, ragged vocals plus polished backups equals "Perfection in Performance" indeed. (Is that what "Pip" stands for? ;))

Gladys Knight Song Reviews -
"I Heard It Through the Grapevine"

This Gladys Knight and the Pips song was the soul music group's first smash at Motown.

It's also very different from the better-known Marvin Gaye song.

The opening's spicy drumming and low-key bass set a layered tone: fuming on the surface, assured underneath.

Gladys Knight rails against her disloyal man, but the Pips' presence is so clear that the scene resembles a family intervention. Through the call-and-response format, they supportively repeat her lines, like they're making her rage their own. Hmm, maybe the sheer force of their unity will shame her lover...

Actually, this pop and R&B hit doesn't even sound that serious. Her pain is unmistakable in that rough voice of hers. But the rollicking Pips, skippy guitars, and famously strutting keyboard refrain keep the mood up.

This Gladys Knight song makes me want to dance with the family more than cry with the girl. Despite her tears, I think Gladys Knight's character relishes the confrontation, too.

Do these Gladys Knight song reviews make you curious about the singers? Click here for my biography on Gladys Knight and the Pips!

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