That explains why I've never run across a copy of the parent album! I'm not even sure the single exists in stock-copy form. My own copy is a promo single. Good song, though! It's easy to see why it was a big hit on the R&B charts for The Whispers. Underrated songwriter, this guy.
Our “lost” albums of the week are those albums which were assigned a spot in A&M’s album catalog but for whatever reason, were never released. While Gary Taylor‘s album Just Gets Better With Time was never released, the song of the same title was released as a single on A&M. If the tune sounds familiar, the song … Read the whole post here.
Hey J, "underrated songwriter" is quite an understatement!! Gary Taylor is who I would call one of the best kept secrets in R&B music; heck, in pop music in general! I'd put him up there with such great songwriters as Stevie Wonder, Sting,Paul Simon,Laura Nyro,Bill Withers, Gino Vannelli,Marvin Gaye, and a host of other greats-no slouches in this department indeed!(by the way, Gary has publicly stated that Stevie, Bill and Gino are big influences on him)
I've written about Taylor on this forum before, but I guess one more time won't hurt! Gary is a writer of what I would call truly mature adult music.(no not that kind of "adult"!) Meaning that he creates tone poems about what it realistically means to be in an relationship;between two adults with all the joy and pain, highs and lows, sorrows and happiness that make up what it means to be in love. This is not "moon in June" teenybopper love songs, nor is it "feelin' on ya booty", "let's do it in the back alley" lust songs, rather it's mature adult(there go those two words again)music aimed at a mature adult audience.
On the subject of "Just Gets Better With Time":while I like Gary's original version, I must confess I like The Whispers' version a lot more better.Understand that his arrangement while is pretty much the same as the Whispers' remake, the thing that makes it for me is the light rock guitar in the intro of the song, rather than in the middle of it, which is what Gary's arrangement has. Also, when the song first came out(it was a big hit on R&B radio in the mid 80s), the background vocals(at least to my ears) sounded a lot like Donald Fagan's of Steely Dan fame! this also should come as no surprise since Gary is also a big fan of The Dan! My friend later told me it was The Whispers since I didn't know who the artist/artists were, but I'll bet that Gary obviously had a hand in the producing, as well as music/vocal arrangements.This was basically a R&B "power ballad" if you will, which was created by as according to pop music history and this website, none other than A&M's own Richard Carpenter!
You're right; the album was never released, and it's probably just as well.Gary, thru a bit of personal correspondence in the 2000s, via his website's Q&A section(which he was generous enough to personally answer his fans' questions)told me that he really was not too crazy about his time at A&M. It seems to me that when he was signed to the label(which was '83 or 84) the two biggest male stars at that time in R&B/pop/rock were Michael Jackson and Prince, and I don't know if you all know it, but Prince was nearly signed to A&M, and the contract that he was about to sign was personally endorsed by Herb, Jerry and Gil.So I guess when A&M got Gary, they decided to turn him into the label's version of those two. But dance music and Gary were never a great fit, and the first album didn't do well, so I guess A&M decided to drop the second album and his contract as well.A&M and Gary weren't a great fit, and when he looked back on his time there, it wasn't with too much happiness, and he was dealing with things going on in his life at the time.
He fared a bit better when he joined Virgin Records and was personally signed by former A&M staffer Jeff Ayeroff, and Virgin released COMPASSION, his album for the label.He had a minor hit from the album called "Tease Me", which was popular on R&B "quiet storm" radio circa 1987/1988.Because "Compassion" wasn't a monster success, Virgin too decided to drop him as well. It was at that time that he started to write songs for other artists, and then he decided to start his own label, where he sells and distributes his own albums via his website(he was one of the first artists to discover the power of the internet.)
If you are planning to buy a cd by Taylor, may I suggest the album I was introduced to Gary Taylor, which is THE MOOD OF MIDNIGHT(1995). I guarantee that you will not be disappointed. Sorry to go on and on, but that's how it goes with artists whose music I dig!
Despite what he says, it's easy to see why A&M didn't think this was a hit. It's not fully realized here. The guitar solo (nailed by Michael Thompson on The Whisper's version he produced) is awful. Also, Gary, while a pleasant vocalist, is nowhere near the vocalist that Scotty Scott is. Listening to the two versions is pretty striking. Scotty, while adopting much of Gary's phrasing on their version, simply has far greater vocal ability than Gary does. In fact, that's his major shortcoming. He's a very good writer/arranger/producer but a rather mediocre vocalist. That's precisely why he was never a very big deal on the charts. As has been said, he was also signed to Virgin for a bit and did little there either. I'm very much a fan of his music and have been for years. However, his lack of real vocal presence and charisma is the bottleneck.