Songfacts®: You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.
There is some mystery to this song. Some people think it is about an impotent man, while others think it is about a frigid woman. Because of the subject matter, Payne did not want to record it at first. She thought the song was about a woman who was a virgin or sexually naïve, and felt it was more suitable for a teenager.
This was released on Invictus Records, which Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland formed after they left Motown in 1968. Holland-Dozier-Holland produced the track and wrote it with their collaborator Ron Dunbar, but because of their dispute with Motown, the H-D-H trio couldn't put their names on the label and credited themselves as "Edythe Wayne." Members of the Motown house band The Funk Brothers played on the track.
When Payne objected to this song (she did not like the lyrics), Ron Dunbar (co-writer of the song) said to her, "Don't worry. You don't have to like them! Just sing it," and she did. Little did she know that this song would become her biggest hit and would give her her first record of gold.
In 1986, Belinda Carlisle did a cover of this song for her debut album Belinda. Carlisle's remake of this song is one of 3 to have entered the Hot Dance Club Play chart. The former Go-Go's vocalist's cover peaked at #26 on a chart run in 1986-87; disco act Sylvester reached #18 with his version, while American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke went all the way to the top of the Club Play chart in 2008 with her update. (thanks, Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for above 2)
The lead guitarist on this track was Ray Parker Jr., who later found success with the theme song for the comedy movie Ghostbusters
Freda Payne is the older sister of Scherrie Payne, the final lead singer of The Supremes. Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote many of The Supremes' hits.
According to 1000 UK #1 Hits
by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, Freda Payne said of this song: "It is about a wedding night that didn't work out. I wondered why a girl would have a problem on her wedding night and why they would be in separate rooms, but they said, 'Just learn it.' I had no idea that it would be such a big hit."
Did Eric Clapton really steal George's wife? What's the George Harrison-Monty Python connection? Set the record straight with our Fact or Fiction quiz.
Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum
Dave explains how the video appropriated the meaning of "Runaway Train," and what he thought of getting parodied by Weird Al.
The acclaimed jazz singer explains how dancing expands her range as a vocalist.
Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind. Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand
, is a fan.