Okay... maybe I exaggerate. But “In My Opinion” by the Vandals – a 1970 release on the Isley Brothers’ T-Neck label – is damn hard to find. I’ve been looking for at least 15 years. (I should have gone here.)
What I’ve really been waiting for is this track to be digitally reissued, all crisp and clean. Because I have not encountered even a vinyl-ripped MP3 copy.
Until earlier this week, when a kindhearted stranger dropped one in my email box.
Dude responded to a “WTB” notice I’d posted somewhere 14 months ago. (Thank you, Donnie.) He happens to be searching for a clean vinyl copy of “In My Opinion,” and he apologized for the pops and clicks on his burn.
Hell, no worries! I’m just happy to hear this record again after 35 years... though I always vividly remembered its lush strings, intricate vocal arrangement and the extended vamping on “Part 2.”
I’m streaming the MP3 on my Vox blog. Click here to groove... especially if you share my fondness for soul falsettos.
By the way, the falsetto here belongs to Otis Harris, Jr., who had formed this singing group as a teenager in Baltimore. The group sang Temptations covers and called itself the Young Tempts – until Motown objected. They became the Young Vandals and then, simply, the Vandals.
Otis Harris joined the real-life Temptations in 1971, occupying the high-tenor slot originally held by Eddie Kendricks. Harris adopted the stage name “Damon Harris” in deference to the Temptations’ other Otis... group leader Otis Williams.
Damon Harris can be heard rocking the falsetto on “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”
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