The Contours

Do You Love Me: The Very Best of the Contours

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Confusing because it shares the same cover and title as their debut LP, this is really a Contours greatest-hits compilation. The vinyl version tops the CD because the original "Do You Love Me" is left alone; the CD contains a pathetic disco mix that's absolutely sickening. Short-term members Joe Stubbs and Dennis Edwards lead a song apiece -- the exciting "Just a Little Misunderstanding," with its running beat, and "It's So Hard Being a Loser," respectively; Billy Gordon growls the rest in his graveled, rough-as-sandpaper voice. "Shake Sherrie" is a bouncy mover; Hubert Johnson basses with his lips, Bean Bowles' baritone sax is awesome, and the vocals contagious and hokey. Gordon bellows out the steps on "Can You Do It," and Johnson, Joe Billingslea, Sylvester Potts, and Billy Hogg cause utter mayhem with their clownish vocals. Hogg warns about a heartbreaking woman on "Don't Let Her Be Your Baby," a finger-popper accented by Motown's renowned handclaps. Smokey Robinson's "First I Look at the Purse" somehow avoided the pop Top 20 instead of deservedly acing it. "Can You Jerk Like Me" is tight as a drum, intense and driven; if you ever witnessed them live, you can visualize the Contours doing their wild moves, splits, and zany antics. The only bummer is "You Get Ugly," which they should have let lie; the harmony-filled "That Day When She Needed Me" would have been a much better choice for inclusion.