Junior Walker is one of the most distinctive Motown musicians of all time: as soon as you heard that wailing Saxophone, you just knew it was him. Best known for tunes like "Shotgun" and "Roadrunner", his output was huge, varied, and uniformly excellent.
But, for me, there's one song which sticks out a mile. It's not the A- side of this single "Gotta Hold On.." but it's the flip side, "Clinging To The Thought That She's Coming Back". And, luckily, it fits the rules of this blog as it's unavailable on CD at the moment (though the A-side crops up on all the regular greatest hits compilations)
"Clinging...." is all about someone holding a candle for the love they've lost, it's one of the most sweetly poignant lyrics I've heard; simple and direct in its pleas for forgiveness and resolute in its hope for a better future. All of it topped by Walker's coruscating Sax, and a typically lush production by Soul legend Johnny Bristol, who was the person who first discovered the band, back in the early 60's.
It's one of those records I play CONSTANTLY, and put into my DJ sets wherever and whenever I can. It's a life-affirming piece of soulful genius, and it gets me every single time.
Junior Walker & the All-Stars "Clinging To the Thought That She's Coming Back" (mp3)