It is perhaps an unintended tribute to Motown’s impressive stable of songwriters that David Ruffin wrote ”Statue of a Fool when he was 18, but didn’t record the song until 1975 when he was 34, and had left Barry Gordy’s hit factory. A poignant and emotionally direct ballad, this is one of Ruffin’s finest solo vocal efforts, though Van McCoy’s overproduced instrumental backing can be distracting at times. The song was a favorite when Ruffin performed it during several late-career oldies tours. Fortunately during a 1987 tour, he recorded a live version with a rich orchestral sound and the sort of backing vocal harmonies that the song should have had in the first place. Both versions are good, and it’s nice to have a choice of styles.