Cameron, G.C.

Band members                         Related acts

- G.C. Cameron (aka George Curtis Cameron) -- vocals




- G.C. & Syreeta

- The Spinners

- The Temptations





Genre: soul

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Love Songs & Other Tragedies

Company: Motown

Catalog: M6-819S1

Year: 1974

Country/State: Jackson, Mississippi

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: DJ sticker on cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 102

Price: $20.00


I wrote this review and then started wondering if I'd been fair in my comments.  Curiously, when I went on line looking to see what other folks had to say about the LP, I couldn't find a single review ...   Very strange !  Anyhow, the end result is there's nothing out there for me to bounce my thoughts against.


By the early-1970s, G.C. Cameron had longstanding professional and personnel ties with Motown Records.  As a member of The Spinners, he'd recorded quite a bit of material for Motown, but much to the group's growing frustration, Motown management seemed to have little interest in promoting the group.  Cameron's personal roots to Motown came as a result of his relationship with Berry Gordy's sister Gwen Gordy.   That left Cameron in an awkward position when The Spinners and Motown parted ways.  Seemingly under the impression Motown would push him to superstardom as a solo act, Cameron decided to stick with Motown.  With his departure The Spinners brought Cameron's cousin Philippe Wynne onboard as a replacement.  They promptly signed with Philadelphia International, enjoying massive commercial success throughout the '70s.


Cameron's Motown career started off slowly.  Initially signed to MoWest, Cameron's solo debut came out in 1971:


- 'Act Like a Shotgun' b/w 'Act Like a Shotgun' (MoWest catalog number MW 5005F)


That was followed by a series of equally overlooked singles:


- 1972's 'I'm Gonna Get You Part 1' b/w 'I'm Gonna Get You Part 2'' (MoWest catalog number MW 5012F)

- 1972's 'What It Is, What It Is' b/w 'You Are That Special One' (MoWest catalog number MW 5015F)

- 1973's 'Don't Wanna Play Pajama Games' b/w 'Jesus Help Me' (MoWest catalog number MW 5036F)

1974 saw Cameron switched from MoWest to Motown.  In creative terms, the company brought in its 'A' team for what was Cameron's long overdue debut LP.  Among the behind the scenes talents producing, arranging, and contributing material to 1974's "Love Songs & Other Tragedies" were Marvin Gaye, Willie Hutch, Norman Whitefield and Stevie Wonder.  Not only was the support staff impressive, but half of the tracks were first-rate, deserving far wider recognition.  At least to my ears Cameron's always had one of Motown's most engaging voices.  His delivery was super flexible, allowing him to handle a wide variety of genres, ranging from love man ballads ('If You're Ever Gonna Love Me') to true funk number ('Come Get This Thang').   The main problem with this outing was Motown's decision to try to market Cameron as a love man crooner.  Completing the image by dressing him in a black shirt and razor sharp white suit, half of the tracks were slow ballads.  Taken in isolation most were quite good, but when heard in a compressed setting, they literally started to blend together. Had Motown shifted the focus to a slightly more dynamic mix, this would have been an early-'70s classic release.


- 'If You Don't Love Me' was a strange, almost bossa-nova-meets funk number which made perfect sense when you discovered Stevie Wonder had penned it. Cameron certain turned in an engaging performance on the song and it was easy to see why Motown tapped it as the lead-off single,  but you were left to wonder what the Wonder original would have sounded like.   rating: **** stars

- Anyone who doubted Cameron could get funky need only check out the blazing 'Come Get This Thang'.  With some mesmerizing hyper speed horns, Cameron's soul-drenched performance made it hard to believe he'd been a member of The Spinners ...  Only complaint - the song was too short.   rating: **** stars.

- 'A silky smooth mid-tempo ballad, I'm Gonna Give You Respect' was the first track that actually showcased how cool Cameron's voice was.  Having Marvin Gaye and Willie Hutch on backing vocals certainly didn't hurt the performance.   One of the album's standout performances, this one should have been a major hit for Cameron.   rating: **** stars.

- Side one's prettiest performance, 'If You're Ever Gonna Love Me' was a breezy ballad with a sweet melody and one of Cameron's most effortless performances.  Another track that had high commercial potential, Motown released it as the second single.  rating: *** stars

- The album's first disappointment, 'Let Me Down Easy' wasn't a bad song, but simply lacked the spark the rest of side one exhibited.   Cameron's shift into high pitched screech didn't help the song.   rating: ** stars

- The second Stevie Wonder contribution, 'All In Love Is Fair' was a pretty enough ballad, but just didn't have that magic ingredient to make it stand apart from the other slow numbers.      rating: ** stars

- So the cricket sound effects were an interesting touch, but the decision to slap yet another ballad on the album wasn't a great choice.  Add to that the fact Cameron sang this one in a super high falsetto (he sure didn't sound very comfortable), and you had another sub par performance.  rating: ** stars

- Thankfully moving back into up-tempo territory 'Your Love Won't Turn Me Loose' was written by longtime buddy Willie Hutch.  It also sounded like Hutch shared lead vocals on the track.  Easily one of the standout performances on the album, this one had an instantly mesmerizing melody and some truly joyful vocals form Cameron and Hutch.    rating: **** stars

- Kicked along by some blistering piano, 'You Forgot To Remember Me' was a  bluesy, Gospel-tinged number.  Nice, but nothing you haven't heard before.   rating: *** stars

- The album closed out with the lone Cameron original - the breezy, easy-to-like 'Tippin'''.   Given the caliber of this number you were left to wonder why he wasn't allowed  more room for other originals.   rating: *** stars

As mentioned, the album was tapped for a pair of singles:


- If You Don't Love Me b/w Topics (Motown catalog number M 1311F)

- If You're Ever Gonna Love Me b/w 'Tippin'' (Motown catalog number M 1347F)


"Love Songs & Other Tragedies" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) If You Don't Love Me   (Stevie Wonder) - 2:39
2.) Come Get This Thang    (Willie Hutch) - 2:36
3.) I'm Gonna Give You Respect    (Willie Hutch) - 2:46
4.) If You're Ever Gonna Love Me    (Frank Johnson) -  3:40
5.) Let Me Down Easy   (Van McCoy - Joe Cobb) - 3:50


(side 2)

1.) All In Love Is Fair   (Stevie Wonder) - 3:25
2.) Riverboat   (Don Daniels - Terri McFadden) - 4:20
3.) Your Love Won't Turn Me Loose    (Willie Hutch) - 2:26
4.) You Forgot To Remember Me   (George Gordy - Larry Brown - Elgie Stover) - 3:50
5.) Tippin'   (G.C. Cameron) - 4:02


Genre: soul

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  G.C. Cameron

Company: Motown

Catalog: M6-855S1

Year: 1976

Country/State: Jackson, Mississippi

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: still in shrink; opened and torn

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6031

Price: $10.00


I've been a G.C. Cameron fan since his 1960s/early-1970s heyday with The Spinners.  When the rest of the group signed with Atlantic and went on to enjoy mega-fame working with Thom Bell and others, engaged to Berry Gordy's sister Gwen, Cameron remained with Motown where he found himself stuck with a low-keyed solo career before eventually jumping ship in the late-1970s. 


I'll be perfectly upfront and tell you that 1976's cleverly-titled "G.C. Cameron" was a middling effort.  Working with a slew of producers (Cameron produced one track himself and co-produced a number of other tracks), the set was all over the musical genre roadmap, never really finding a consistent groove to showcase Cameron's considerable talents -  something that would plague his entire Motown tenure.  As a songwriter Cameron was a hit or miss commodity; the album including three originals which served to showcase his good and bad sides: the good exemplified by Strong Love' and the bad being the hideous down and dirty 'Don't You Want To Give It Up'. The album also served to underscore Cameron's strengths and weaknesses as a singer.  At his best when he simply laid back and didn't push it, on way too many tracks Cameron felt the need to underscore his talents by trying to turn up the power.  The results were seldom very impressive.


- With an instantly memorable melody and a killer refrain, the opener 'Dream Lady' was probably the album's most commercial track.  The up-tempo track also served as a nice showcase for Cameron's rugged, gospel-tinged vocals.  The most Spinner-like song on the album, it was easy to see why Motown tapped it as a single.    rating: **** stars

- 'Not necessarily a bad song, but Me and My Life' was simply too disco-tinged for my ears.  The chirpy female backing vocalists were particularly irritating.  rating: ** stars

- Originally 'If I Ever Lose This Heaven' didn't do a great deal for me, but I'll admit that the track's seductive groove has grown on me.     rating: *** stars 

- While I've always liked Cameron's voice, he can be guilty of over-singing and 'Include Me In Your Life' served as a perfect example of that weakness.  Horribly over-orchestrated, kicked along by some painfully screechy falsettos, this ballad just reeked of 'trying-too-hard'.   rating: ** stars

- Complete with moaning female sound effects, 'Don't You Want To Give It Up' found Cameron trying to get down and funky. The result wasn't particularly endearing, though the song sported a great fuzz guitar solo ...  Dennis Coffey ?   rating: ** stars

- Side two opened with another Spinners-esque number in 'Truly Blue'.  I can't really articulate it, but for some reason Cameron sounded way better when he laid back and simply didn't try to hard.  That talent was spotlighted on this classic slice of old school soul.  One of the album's highlights.     rating: **** stars

- The second Cameron composition, 'The Joy You Bring' could have been a great track except for the lackadasical lyric - essentially Cameron repeating the title time after time ...  it got old quickly.     rating: ** stars

- 'Share Your Life (Let Me In)' was a pretty ballad, but Cameron sounded very uncomfortable trying to handle it in an extremely high register ...  Shame since it could have been a standout performance had he sounded more comfortable.  rating: ** stars

- The third and best Cameron composition, 'Strong Love' sported a nice melody and found Cameron using his most rugged delivery to good effect.  This one would have made a better single than the two tracks Motown tapped as 45s.  rating: **** stars

- 'It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday' was included on the soundtrack to the film "Cooley High" and tapped as the album's first single.   Curious choice since the song itself was a plodding and largely anonymous ballad.   rating: ** stars



Motown tapped the album for a pair of quickly forgotten singles:


- 1975's 'It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday' b/w ''Haulin, Cold Blooded' (Motown catalog number M 1364F)

- 1975's 'Dream Lady' b/w 'Tippin' (Motown catalog number M 1397F)


"G.C. Cameron" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Dream Lady   (Terri McFaddin - Lawrence Brown - Victor Caston) - 3:30

2.) Me and My Life   (T-Boy Ross - Rouglass Gibbs) - 3:39

3.) If I Ever Lose This Heaven   (Leon Ware - Pam Sawyer) - 3:20

4.) Include Me In Your Life   (Marilyn McLeod - Mel Bolton) - 4:11

5.) Don't You Want To Give It Up   (G.C Cameron) - 3:13


(side 2)

1.) Truly Blue    (Terri McFaddin - Lawrence Brown) - 2:59

2.) The Joy You Bring   (G.C. Cameron) - 3:21

3.) Share Your Life (Let Me In)    (Elgie Stover - Kenneth Stover) - 3:58

4.) Strong Love   (G.C. Cameron) - 3;33

5.) It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday   (Freddie Perren - Christine Yarian) - 3:10




Genre: soul

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  You're What's Missing In My Life

Company: Motown

Catalog: M6-880S1

Year: 1977

Country/State: Jackson, Mississippi

Grade (cover/record): NM / NM

Comments: small cut out notch along edge; still sealed

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5195

Price: $20.00


1977's "You're What's Missing In My Life" was Cameron's third solo album for Motown and served as a collaboration with famed producer Brian Holland.  Overlooking the hysterical cover art (brave man having shoved a pair of razor sharp knives next to the family jewels), the album nicely showcased Cameron's highly versatile voice (reportedly he had a five octave range) on a diverse set of outside material. As on earlier releases it was almost scary to hear him switch vocal personas; as an example 'You're What's Missing in My Life' bore an uncanny resemblance to Marvin Gaye.  Unfortunately Cameron and Holland's song selection wasn't particularly impressive.  Clearly meant to tap into popular tastes and sales trends, 'This Will Make You Dance' and 'Let's Run Away Together' found Cameron surrounded by distinctive disco arrangements.  Major waste of his talents ...  At the other end of the spectrum, in isolation heavily orchestrated ballads like 'Don't Tear Down What Took So Long To Build', 'Kiss Me When You Want To' and 'I'll Love You Forever' were all pretty, but there were simply too many of slow numbers with the end result being that the album collapsed into a mind-numbing sameness.  In spite of those criticisms Cameron was too talented to turn in a total mess.  Highlights included the up-tempo numbers 'You Need a Strong Dose of Love' and 'Nothing's Sweeter Than Love'.  As with past releases, Motown's marketing arm didn't seem to have much interest in Cameron and the single 'You're What's Missing In My Life' b/w 'Kiss Me When You Want To' (Motown catalog number M 1412F) disappeared without a trace.


"You're What's Missing In My Life" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) This Will Make You Dance   (Harold Beatty - Brian Holland) - 

2.) You're What's Missing in My Life   (Harold Beatty - Brian Holland - Eddie Holland) -

3.) Don't Tear Down What Took So Long To Build   (Harold Beatty - Brian Holland - Eddie Holland - L.T. Horn) -  

4.) Kiss Me When You Want To   (Richard Davis - Brian Holland - Eddie Holland) -

5.) You Need a Strong Dose of Love   (Harold Beatty - Brian Holland - Eddie Holland) -


(side 2)
1.) Let's Run Away Together   (Reggie Brown - Stanford Floyd - Brian Holland, - Eddie Holland) - 

2.) I'll Love You Forever   (Richard Davis - Brian Holland - Eddie Holland) -

3.) I'll Be Your Servant   (Brian Holland - Eddie Holland) -

4.) Nothing's Sweeter Than Love   (Clyde Wilson) - 


In case anyone was interested, Cameron has a nice website at: