David Ruffin

Statue of a Fool

Composed by David Ruffin / Jan Crutchfield

Song Review by

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.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1975 Motown
WDAS FM Classic Soul Hits: WDAS 1996
Various Artists
Collectables 4:20
Soul Classics, Vol. 1 [Amw] 1998
Various Artists
Collectables 4:20
The Ultimate Collection 1998 Motown / Universal 4:26
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of David Ruffin 2000 Motown 4:25
The Motown Solo Albums, Vol. 2 2006 Hip-O Select / Fontana/Hip-O Select / Motown / Universal 4:29
Dancing in the Street [JLT] 2008
Various Artists
Sweet Dreams: Where Country Meets Soul, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Kent / Kent Soul 4:20
blue highlight denotes editor's pick