David Ruffin

Walk Away from Love

Composed by Charles Kipps

Song Review by

This 1976 Charles Kipps song produced by Van McCoy is arguably David Ruffin's greatest solo release and ranks with anything he did with the Temptations. The man's special qualities come to fore for all to see on this emotional saga about leaving before the bomb hits. As Kipps eloquently wrote: "I'm going to walk away from love before love breaks my heart." Ruffin sings "break my heart" at the end of three choruses, raising the intensity and the length of heart each time, with the last the prettiest and most heartfelt. Catching Ruffin live was always a disappointment after this song hit, because he didn't even try to extend the note, just sung it straight. But on the record his performance is touching; it aced the R&B chart and crept into the pop Top Ten, hanging at number nine. The Choice Four originally recorded this song, but listening to theirs and then David's is akin to amateur and pro sports. It's been remade over and over by and including Kimberly Briggs, Ken Boothe, Bares Hammond, Chuck Jackson, Mike Anthony, and Willie Clayton's great version.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1975 Motown
No Image 1976
Various Artists
Motown
At His Best 1978 Motown 3:16
Hitsville USA, Vol. 2: The Motown Singles Collection 1972-1992 1993
Various Artists
Motown 3:18
Motown Legends 1995 Collectables 3:19
Motown Year by Year: The Sound of Young America, 1975 1995
Various Artists
Motown 3:19
The Ultimate Collection 1998 Motown 5:29
Only Soul 1975-1979 1999
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 3:19
Smooth Soul Grooves 1999
Various Artists
Jazz FM
Hard to Find Classics, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 3:14
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of David Ruffin 2000 Motown 3:20
Blues & Soul, Vol. 4: 1974-1975 2001
Various Artists
Connoisseur 5:30
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: Motown 1970s, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Motown 5:29
Tamla Motown: Big Hits & Hard to Find Classics, Vols. 1-3 2001
Various Artists
Spectrum Audio / Spectrum Music 3:17
No Image 2003
Various Artists
X-Media Records
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Universal Music TV
Motown Greatest Hits 2003
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 3:17
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
The Magic of Motown [Motown] 2004
Various Artists
Motown 3:17
Best of Motown, Vol. 3 2005
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:18
Voices of Motown 2006
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
The Motown Solo Albums, Vol. 2 2006 Hip-O Select 5:31
Number 1's: '70s Soul 2007
Various Artists
Hip-O 5:27
Soul Heaven [Malaco] 2007
Various Artists
Malaco 5:29
The Complete Introduction to Northern Soul 2008
Various Artists
Um3
Motortown Review 2009
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 5:30
Sweet Soul of the '70s: Just to Be Close to You 2009
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:18
Sweet Soul of the '70s [Time Life] 2011
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:18
blue highlight denotes editor's pick