Could It Be I'm Falling In Love

Album: Spinners (1972)
Charted: 11 4
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Songfacts®:

  • After being emotionally abused on "It's A Shame" and cast aside in "I'll Be Around," The Spinners have finally found love - the healthy, reciprocated kind - in "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love." The song describes that feeling when you meet someone and your priorities start to change. It's that strange sensation that could be love.
  • The song was written by the twin brothers Melvin Steals and Mervin Steals, also known as "Mystro and Lyric." They pitched the song to The Spinners' producer, Thom Bell, who thought it was perfect for the group. Other Steals compositions include "Trusting Heart" by The Trammps and "Honey Bee" by Gloria Gaynor.
  • The Spinners, from Detroit, spent nine years at Motown watching groups like The Temptations and The Four Tops land hit after hit while they stayed on the sidelines, releasing just two albums during this time. They left for Atlantic Records in 1972, and spun gold in their first sessions with producer Thom Bell, which resulted in "How Could I Let You Get Away," "I'll Be Around," and "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love." Atlantic insisted that "How Could I Let You Get Away" be the first single, as it was the kind of slow, yearning song Thom Bell was known for as producer of The Stylistics. It was just a minor hit, but Bell's choice, "I'll Be Around," was huge, giving them their first #1 on the R&B chart. "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" was released next and also topped the chart. After nearly a decade of frustration at Motown, The Spinners were off an running. They became one of the most popular vocal groups of the '70s.
  • Bobbie Smith, one of the group's founding members, gets the lead vocal on this one. At the end of the song, new member Philippé Wynn (he replaced G.C. Cameron, who stayed at Motown when The Spinners left) shouts out his ecstasy, ad-libbing lines like "I feel so good!" In concert, this part could go on for a while as the crowd got into it as well.
  • Take note of the conga drums that play throughout the song. They were played by Larry Washington, one of the many stellar house musicians at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, where The Spinners recorded the track. "Sometimes the music gets a little herky-jerky, so in order to keep something uniform going, to keep a flow going, I used congas," producer Thom Bell explained in The Billboard Book Of #1 R&B Hits. "There has to be some continuity there so it doesn't throw people's ears off, it doesn't throw their rhythms off."
  • The female backing vocals are high in the mix, something producer Thom Bell worked out to make the lyrics easier to understand and fill up the sound spectrum. He had a lot of experience working with male vocal groups and knew how to keep them from sounding muddy.
  • Most of the Spinners' hits over the next few years had lead vocals by Philippé Wynn, who left the group in 1977. They managed a few hits without him, but stopped recording in 1989. They did have remarkable staying power as a touring act, playing nostalgia concerts, state fairs, and other showcases into the 2020s. In 2021, they released another album; Henry Fambrough, the only original member still alive, was still with the group.
  • Covers of this song include a duet by David Grant and Jaki Graham in 1985 that reached #5 on the UK singles chart; a version by Donny Osmond; and one by Regina Belle (known for her duet with Peabo Bryson on "A Whole New World" from the Disney film Aladdin).

Comments: 3

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenOne of the great R&B songs of its time. I always love that keyboard riff that bridges to the last verse.
  • Markantney from BiloxeJun 2015, one of the best songs from my youth that stands the test of time.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 25th 1973, "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" by the Spinners peaked at #4 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on December 24th, 1972 at position #79 and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 6 of those 15 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    And on February 4th, 1973 it reached #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1961 and 1995 the group had twenty-nine records on the Top 100; with six making the Top 10 and two reaching #2, the two #2s were "The Rubberband Man" (for 3 weeks in 1976) and "Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me, Girl" (for 2 weeks in 1980).
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