Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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“Barbara’s Boy”: Song Premise Invalidated By Modern Science

The Four Tops took a turn for the topical on their 1969 Motown LP, Soul Spin, an album that included this very tuneful track – “Barbara’s Boy” – about the psychological impact of uncertainty over paternity issues in the wake of a failed romantic entanglement:

Barbara’s Boy”     The Four Tops     1969

There’s an interesting moment around the 2:24 mark where the song changes key twice in quick succession — by the sound of it I can’t help but wonder if the tape engineer might have manually sped up the master tape to achieve that effect.  Am I just hearing things?

Barbara's Boy - The Four Tops

“Barbara’s Boy” was a hit in both Benelux (Cash Box‘s March 28, 1970 edition) and Belgium (according to Cash Box‘s May 2, 1970 edition), as well as the Netherlands (Cash Box‘s May 16, 1970 edition).

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