Mary Wells

Two Lovers

Composed by Smokey Robinson

Song Review by

"Two Lovers" was Mary Wells' biggest hit besides "My Guy," as the third of a trio of 1962 Top Ten hits that also included "The One Who Really Loves You" and "You Beat Me to the Punch." In its early days (and to a degree in its later days), Motown would stick with a formula for a few singles after the first success of a certain sound, and "Two Lovers" certainly bore some similarities to the approach that had landed her earlier hits: the light, tasteful, jazz-influenced backing (in contrast to the brashest earliest Motown smashes), and a suave mid-tempo ambience. "Two Lovers" had, though, a killer, immediately memorable chorus, in which Wells' smoky vocals were multi-tracked (or so it sounded) to add depth. The verses weren't as hooky as the chorus, but the later parts of those had some fine call-and-response interaction between Wells and just-post-doo wop male backup singers. The slyest aspects of the tune, though, were the lyrics, which at first hearing seemed to be quite risqué for 1962: a woman with two lovers who not only wasn't ashamed of it, but seemed to be boasting about it, albeit in a dignified fashion. The punchline of the record didn't come until the final verse, when Wells revealed -- after a slight pause in the instrumentation -- that the two lovers were in fact two aspects of one and the same guy. If you were harsh you might view this as a cop-out, but without the cop-out the song wouldn't have gotten played, and we would have been deprived of one of Motown's better early-'60s singles.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Two Lovers 1962 Motown / Uni 2:47
Live on Stage 1963 Motown / Uni / Universal 3:31
No Image 1963
Various Artists
Motown
Greatest Hits 1964 Motown / Uni 2:47
No Image 1966 Motown
Good Feeling Music of the Big Chill Generation, Vol. 5 1978
Various Artists
Motown
The Old, The New & The Best of Mary Wells 1984 Fuel 2000 3:42
No Image 1985 Motown
No Image 1987
Various Artists
Motown
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: 1962 - Still Rockin' 1988
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
No Image 1989
Various Artists
Rhino
Two Lovers/My Guy 1990 Motown
Rhythm & Blues: 1963 1990
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Motown
AM Gold: 1962 1991
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:47
Hitsville USA - The Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971 1992
Various Artists
Motown 2:47
Looking Back 1961-1964 1993 Motown 2:47
The Best of Mary Wells [Pilz] 1994 Pilz 4:04
You Beat Me to the Punch 1995 Collectables 2:46
Motown Legends: Girl Groups 1995
Various Artists
PSM 2:48
Motown Milestones: Mowtown's Leading Ladies 1995
Various Artists
Motown 2:48
Motown Classic Hits, Vol. 5 1995
Various Artists
Motown 2:45
Tell It Like It Is [K-Tel] 1996
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:56
Latin Oldies, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
2:45
20th Century Rocks, Vol. 10: '60s Soul - Tell It Like It Is 1997
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:58
Party Gold 1997
Various Artists
Compose Records 3:00
Rock n' Roll Reunion: Class of 62 1997
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:56
My Guy: The Best of Mary Wells [Aim] 1997 Aim Records 3:43
This Is Soul: Romantic Soul 1997
Various Artists
Pegasus 2:53
The Best of the 60s 1998
Various Artists
Sonoma Entertainment 2:54
The Ultimate Collection 1998 Motown 2:47
Soul Legends: The Classic Collections of Sweet Soul 1998
Various Artists
Master 3:49
Sisters of Soul [Excelsior] 1998
Various Artists
Excelsior Recordings 2:53
Latin Oldies Trilogy 1999
Various Artists
Thump Records 2:45
My Guy 1999 Charly Records 3:39
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of Mary Wells 1999 Motown 2:47
Art Laboe's Dedicated to You, Vol. 9 1999
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:45
Best of the Best 1999 Federal Records 2:58
Early Classics 2000 Spectrum Music 2:48
Classic Soul Crate 2000
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:57
Sisters of Soul [Direct Source] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:57
Women in Rock [Direct Source #2] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:57
Rock N' Roll Reunion: 1960 to 1969 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution 2:59
Homegirls of Soul 2001
Various Artists
Thump Records 2:44
The Classic Rhythm & Blues Collection, Vol. 1: 1958-1963 2001
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:45
The Best of Mary Wells [Direct Source] 2001 Direct Source 3:43
Pure American Soul, Vol. 1: 60's 2001
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:45
Dance with Me 2001 Park South Records / Town Sound 3:42
Three Decades of Soul 2001
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:57
The Sound of Motortown Detroit 2002
Various Artists
Goldies 3:39
My Guy: The Best of Mary Wells [Prestige Elite] 2002 Prestige Elite Records (Japan) 2:48
Jukebox Hits 1962 [Madacy] 2002
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution 2:57
Homies in a Box 2002
Various Artists
Thump Records 2:44
The Definitive Love Collection [K-Tel] 2002
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:54
Gold Collection: R&B Favorites 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:53
The Definitive Love Collection [K-Tel UK] 2002
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:51
Classic Soul Hits! [Direct Source 2003] 2003
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:55
Hot Summer Nights [K-Tel] 2003
Various Artists
Dominion / K-Tel / K-Tel Distribution 2:54
Rock N Roll Reunion 1962 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:53
Casey Kasem Presents: America's Top Ten - The 60's Motown's Greatest Hits 2003
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 2:46
The Motown Story, Vol. 1: The Sixties 2003
Various Artists
Motown 3:08
20 Rockin' Hits of the 60's [Disc 2] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 2:52
Gold Collection: Anthology of Soul 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:53
Soul City R&B's Greatest Performers - Live!!! [DVD] 2004
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
100 Rockin' Hits of the 60's 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 2:52
The Queen of Motown 2005 Platinum Disc 2:55
1960's Happy Days [2005 #3] 2005
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:53
The Motown Box 2005
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:46
The Motortown Revue Collection 2005
Various Artists
Hip-O Select / Fontana/Hip-O Select 4:11
Classic Soul: Motown Legends, Vol. 4-5/100% Motown 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 2:48
Tribute to Motown 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:52
40 R&B #1 Hits 2006
Various Artists
United Audio Entertainment 2:53
This Is R&B [Cleopatra] 2006
Various Artists
Cleopatra / Goldenlane/Cleopatra Records 2:53
The Best of R&B [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:53
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Hip-O Select / Island / Motown 2:47
The Girl's Sound 2006
Various Artists
Golden Stars 3:38
13 R&B #1 Hits, Vol. 1 2006
Various Artists
United Audio Entertainment 2:53
The Soul Story, Vol. 4 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:47
Greatest Hits [DVD] 2007 Music Video Distribution
Essential Collection: Soul Ballads 2007
Various Artists
The Exclusives 2:54
Soul Story Infomercial Set 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:47
No Image 2007
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:54
Dick Clark's American Bandstand 50th Anniversary 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:48
My Guy [LT Series] 2007 Lt Series
#1 R&B Hits 2007
Various Artists
United Audio Entertainment 2:53
Dick Clark's American Bandstand, Vol. 3: Rock Around The Clock 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:48
R&B Romance 2008
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:47
Dancing in the Street [JLT] 2008
Various Artists
JLT
Malt Shop Memories [Box Set] 2008
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:48
Sweet Soul Music: 1963 2008
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:46
The Definitive Collection 2008 Motown 2:45
Motown: The Complete No. 1's 2008
Various Artists
Motown / Island/Def Jam / Universal Music 2:46
The Mary Wells Collection 2008 Spectrum Music / Universal 2:46
No Image 2008 Universal Distribution / Universal Ltd. 2:46
Motortown Review 2009
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:46
60s Hits of the Ladies 2010
Various Artists
TGG Direct 2:53
The Motown Collection 2010
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:47
Smooth Soul [Time Life] 2012
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:46
200 Sixties Hits: 200 Classic No. 1 Songs from the 60s 2012
Various Artists
Maximuze 2:47
The One Who Really Loves You/Two Lovers 2012 Kent 2:47
Dick Clark's Jukebox Gems: Heat Wave 2012
Various Artists
Life / Time 2:48
Dick Clark's Jukebox Gems 2013
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:48
Motown the Musical: Originals – The Classic Songs That Inspired the Broadway Show 2013
Various Artists
Motown / Universal 2:47
Sweet Soul Music 2013
Various Artists
Delta / Performance
Bye Bye Baby: The Early Collection 2013 Jasmine Records 2:46
Motown the Musical: 100 Originals 2013
Various Artists
Cobalt Helladisc / Universal Music 2:46
#1 R&B Hits
Various Artists
AAO Music
'60s R&B Classics
Various Artists
Sonoma Entertainment 2:49
202 Motown Songs: The Complete #1's
Various Artists
Island/Def Jam / Universal Music 2:46
No Image
Various Artists
X5 2:53
America's Music Legacy: Rhythm and Blues
Various Artists
Quantum Leap
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:44
Bye Bye Baby: Early Collection Jasmine
Golden Oldies Hit Series, Vol. 42
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:44
No Image
Various Artists
Black Star Records
No Image K-Tel 2:54
I Just Love Soul Music
Various Artists
Music Digital 2:45
No Image Ba-Ba 2:51
Memories from the Motor City
Various Artists
Cherished Records 2:48
Motor City 50: Legends of Motor City and More...
Various Artists
AAO Music / United Audio Entertainment 2:55
Motown Collection, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:46
No Image Prestige Elite 2:48
Old School Gold Series: the Best of Mary Wells Thump Records 2:46
Oldies Hits A to Z, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:38
Recorded Live at the Apollo, The Motortown Revue
Various Artists
Motown / Uni 4:11
Soul City Detroit
Various Artists
Fantastic Voyage
Soul Music Hits the Charts 1955-1962
Various Artists
History of Soul Records 2:47
Soul Sensations [Cherished]
Various Artists
Cherished Records 2:46
No Image
Various Artists
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:44
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