The Dramatics

Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get

Composed by Anthony Hester / Tony Hester

Song Review by

This is known as the best Temptations rip ever. Although saying so is to minimize the group and producer, but it's the truth. As this was released, the Dramatics were an anomaly, a Detroit act signed to music's preeminent Southern label. This was recorded in Detroit and was produced and written by Tony Hester. The potent production and execution of this makes this track stand out among the best R&B/pop songs of the early '70s. The beginning was fine if not a little anonymous, singers trading lines like the Temptations did for their Norman Whitfield productions. Then comes that other voice that shouted, "And baby/I'm for real/I'm as real, as real can get." Enough said. The singer who did that famous line was William "Wee Gee" Howard who sounded so much like David Ruffin it probably stunned the genuine article. Throughout this track the Dramatics attain the energy and drama of the best R&B with Howard flawlessly wailing, potentially endangering his vocal chords with his unbelievable precision. The group immediately made a name for themselves and later proved a harder-edged alternative to the often "too nice" Temptations. This also seemed to be a bright beginning for Howard who was much more than a Ruffin ringer, but he left the group by 1973, L.J. Reynolds replacing him. In 1972, "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" zoomed up the R&B charts going all the way to number three; the pop audience liked this as well as it cracked the Top Ten. This is the personification of instant classic and was the first big hit from an often underrated group.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Stax Greatest Hits 1970
Various Artists
Stax 3:59
Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get 1972 Fantasy 3:56
Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get/A Dramatic Experience 1973 Stax 3:56
The Best of the Dramatics 1976 Stax 3:58
Stax Funk: Get up and Get Down 197?
Various Artists
Stax 3:19
No Image 1984 Stax
No Image 1988 Fantasy / Stax / Universal 6:33
Golden Oldies, Vol. 11 [Original Sound] 1989
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:53
No Image 1990
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
Stax Gold: Hits 1968-1974 1990
Various Artists
Stax 3:20
Sounds of the Seventies: 1971 -- Take Two 1990
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:36
Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind!, Vol. 6 1991
Various Artists
Rhino 3:35
The Complete Stax-Volt Soul Singles, Vol. 2: 1968-1971 1993
Various Artists
Stax / Universal 3:30
Safe Soul, Vol. 2 1994
Various Artists
Sou 3:31
Lowrider Oldies, Vol. 4 1994
Various Artists
3:34
Stax: Top of the Stax, Vol. 2: Twenty Greatest Hits 1996
Various Artists
Stax 3:20
Deep Soul, Vol. 3 1996
Various Artists
Priority
Have a Nice Decade: The 70s Pop Culture Box 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:33
70's Funk & Soul Classics 1998
Various Artists
Repertoire 3:57
Stax Gold 1998
Various Artists
Stax 3:19
Soundtracks of Love: Tell It Like It Is 1999
Various Artists
Unison 3:51
Best of the Best: 70's Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
Primary Colors 3:54
Soul Train: The Dance Years 1971 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 3:33
Ultimate Collection 2000 Universal Music 3:57
Stax Story 2000
Various Artists
Stax 3:35
Pure Soul Power 2001
Various Artists
UTV / Uptown/Universal 3:56
Can You Dig It? The '70s Soul Experience 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 3:30
R&B: Selects, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Fye 3:58
Greatest Hits Live 2002 Stax 2:28
The 70s Soul Jam, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
The Right Stuff 2:56
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Hear Music
Golden Oldies, Vol. 11 [Original Sound 2003] 2003
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:53
Superstars of Seventies Soul 2004
Various Artists
Shout! Factory / Sony Music Distribution 4:27
Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky 2004
Various Artists
Brown Sugar / Brown Sugar/ZYX 3:57
Wattstax: Highlights from the Soundtrack 2004
Various Artists
Stax 3:59
Givenchy Presents Lucky Charms Selected 2004
Various Artists
Jvc Victor
Laid Back Soul 2005
Various Artists
ZYX Music / Ayia Napa 3:56
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Dramatics 2005 Hip-O 3:57
Concord Music Group (Sampler) 2005
Various Artists
Concord 3:36
That's Soul [Golden Stars] 2006
Various Artists
Golden Stars 3:47
The Memphis Box, Vol. 2 2006
Various Artists
Icehouse Records 3:35
Body + Soul: Battle of the Groups - Male 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:34
Stax 50: A 50th Anniversary Celebration 2007
Various Artists
Concord / Stax 3:36
Sweet Soul Music: The Best of Stax 2007
Various Artists
Universal 3:35
Talk to Me 2007
Original Soundtrack
Atlantic 3:35
The Very Best of the Dramatics 2007 Stax / Universal Distribution 3:35
Stax Chartbusters, Vol. 6 2007
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 3:35
No Image 2007 Universal Distribution 3:34
Stax 50th Collection 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 3:36
Old School Oldies, Vol. 3 2008
Various Artists
Thump Records 3:52
Soul Six Pack 2009 Stax 3:33
Sweet Soul of the '70s: Stone in Love with You 2009
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:33
Sweet Soul of the '70s [Time Life] 2011
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:33
Classic Stax
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 3:34
No Image
Various Artists
Razor & Tie
Soul to Chill
Various Artists
The World Of / World of / ZYX / ZYX Music 3:56
No Image
Various Artists
Stax
No Image
Various Artists
Razor & Tie
No Image
Various Artists
Brown Sugar 3:57
Windswept Pacific
Various Artists
Longitude
blue highlight denotes editor's pick