Maxine Brown

Oh No, Not My Baby

Song Review by

"Oh No, Not My Baby" was one of the mid-1960s compositions by Gerry Goffin and Carole King that showed their songwriting maturing from the more teen- and girl group-oriented hits of the early 1960s into something more adult and soulful. It was a relatively modest hit for Maxine Brown, making #24, but proved to be pretty resilient, continuing to make its mark via several prominent cover versions. On the Brown single, the first of the melodic hooks at which the songwriting team were so gifted appears in the brief instrumental intro, which highlights a gently rolling soul-rock piano riff. The melody of "Oh No, Not My Baby" is supremely yearning, a good bed for the lyric of a woman who retains faith in her man even in the face of rumors flying about his infidelity. The biggest hook of the song, however, is the way Brown moan-sings the catchy title in the chorus. In the best New York uptown soul arrangement tradition, the song glides into jubilant string section vamping for a brief instrumental break. The big lyrical hook/surprise of the song, however, is that it turns out that the guy was indeed cheating on the singer with a last-minute fling. Brown takes the infidelity with surprising grace, however, particularly considering that in its aftermath, their commitment to their own true love is reaffirmed with a wedding ring. The song's merits were quickly recognized by Manfred Mann, who took a far more upbeat and rock-oriented arrangement of the tune to #11 in the UK in mid-1965. Manfred Mann's version wasn't a mere copy; aside from the fact that it was far more happy-go-lucky, in the chorus, singer Paul Jones lingered on a phrase not found in the Brown version ("not my girl") while vibes tinkered in the background. Dusty Springfield put a much more faithful cover of Brown's original on her 1965 album Ev'rything's Coming Up Dusty, and according to Paul Howes's book The Complete Dusty Springfield, Springfield said at the time "that she didn't like the Manfred Mann version but thought Maxine Brown's was beautiful. In fact, she wanted to do it as a single." Aretha Franklin, Fontella Bass, and Linda Ronstadt are among others who've recorded the song, though its biggest post-1960s success came to Rod Stewart, who had a #6 hit with it in the UK in 1973.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1974
Original Soundtrack
Arista 2:35
No Image 1984 Kent
20 Greatest Hits 1963 1988
Various Artists
Deluxe 2:42
Classic Rock: 1964 - The Beat Goes On 1988
Various Artists
2:38
No Image 1990
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 0:00
Oh No Not My Baby: The Best of Maxine Brown 1990 Kent 2:35
Golden Classics 1991 Collectables 2:35
Rhythm & Blues: 1964 1991
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
The Scepter Records Story 1992
Various Artists
Capricorn 2:36
The Brill Building Sound 1993
Various Artists
Era Records 2:29
Slow Jams: The '60s, Vol. 4 1995
Various Artists
The Right Stuff / Capitol 2:36
Maxine Brown's Greatest Hits [CD] 1995 Tomato 2:36
Greatest Hits [Curb] 1996 Curb 2:35
Classic Soul Love Songs 1996
Various Artists
Intercontinental Records 3:23
Vintage Soul Classics 1997
Various Artists
Beacon Records (Rock) / Beacon Records 2:34
Beg Scream & Shout: The Big Ol' Box of '60s Soul 1997
Various Artists
Rhino 2:43
Tighten Up: No. 1 Soul Hits of the 60's, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
Relativity 2:35
Blues Brother Soul Sister [Time Music] 1997
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
Great Voice of Soul [Rivie're Int'l] 1998
Various Artists
Riviere International Records
The Great Voice of Soul [Cleopatra] 1998
Various Artists
Cleopatra 2:35
60's Girl Power 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:36
Greatest Soul Album of All Time [Dressed to Kill] 1999
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:35
Mods Vs. Rockers 1999
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:33
Most Beautiful Melodies of the Century: Just the Way 1999
Various Artists
Reader's Digest Music 0:00
Sisters of Soul [Crimson] 1999
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:35
The Great Soul Classics 1999
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:35
Soul Monty 2000
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:34
The Essential Cult Movies [13 Disc Box] 2000
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 0:00
The Essential Cult Movies [9 Disc Box] 2000
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:34
The EP Collection...Plus 2000 See For Miles Records 2:37
Spotlight on Maxine Brown/Greatest Hits 2000 Kent 2:38
Black Box [BMG International] 2000
Various Artists
BMG International 2:36
Hippy Chick: The Girls of the 60's 2001
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:34
Mega Soul 2001
Various Artists
Wagram Records 2:34
Radio Gold, Vol. 4 2001
Various Artists
Ace 2:37
A Decade in Sound 2001
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:33
Soul Love, Vol. 2 [Dressed to Kill] 2001
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:35
And the Beat Goes On [Newsound 2000] 2001
Various Artists
Newsound 2000 2:34
Solid Soul, Vol. 8: Soul Heaven 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:36
Blues & Soul Masters 2002
Various Artists
WEA International 2:36
25 All Time Greatest Hits 2002 Varèse Vintage / Varese 2:37
Golden Oldies, Vol. 10 [Original Sound 2002] 2002
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:35
Girls! Girls! Girls! 25 All-Time Classics of the Girl Group Sound 2003
Various Artists
Varèse Sarabande 2:37
Leaders of the Pack: The Very Best of the 60's Girls [Universal] 2004
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 2:35
One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost and Found 2005
Various Artists
Rhino 2:37
Sweet Soul Music: 1964 2008
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:35
Honey and Wine: Another Gerry Goffin and Carole King Song Collection 2009
Various Artists
Ace 2:36
The Complete Soul Collection 2009
Various Artists
Horizon 2:32
The Essential Carole King 2010 Epic / Legacy 2:37
Smooth Soul [Time Life] 2012
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:36
The Greatest Ever... Love Songs [Bellevue] 2014
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 2:36
Hits of the 60s [Delta]
Various Artists
Delta Music Group 2:32
Soul of the '60s
Various Artists
Time Life 2:36
No Image
Various Artists
Dino Entertainment