You Keep Me Hanging On

Welcome to another Friday song feature.  Today I am featuring a rather obscure song from the psychedelic era.  It is the song You Keep Me Hanging On by Vanilla Fudge.  Vanilla Fudge was a combination of psychedelic rock and the early remnants of heavy metal.  They had some original stuff, but on of the things they would do is take a mainstream song and slow it way down and inject it with a touch of acid and heaviness.  That is what this song is. 

I often listen to Pandora radio when at my desk and this is one of the songs that came up.  I really like the feel of it.  Obviously, this was a well-known song in the 60’s recorded by Dianna Ross and the Supremes, but Vanilla Fudge took the song and just transformed it.  One other cool fact is that my dad told me that this was one of his favorite groups when he was a young man, so I think it is pretty cool that I can enjoy them too.

  If you have never heard it before, I think it will blow you away.  If you have heard it before, I’m sure it has been a while so it should take you back.  In either case, I hope you enjoy!

Orignal recording from their 1967 album Vanilla Fudge.

Live performance on the Ray Anthony Show in 1968.

Live version of the song from the late 60’s with full psychedelia.

Another live version from the late 60’s.

Live version from Jan. 18, 2008 at the West Coast Hotel in Anaheim, CA.

You Keep Me Hangin’ On” is a 1966 song originally recorded by The Supremes for the Motown label. The song became the group’s eighth number-one single when it topped the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart for two weeks in the United States from November 13, 1966 through November 27, 1966.

It has since been covered by numerous musicians such as Wilson Pickett, The Box Tops, Anca, Jackie DeShannon, Rod Stewart, The Rods, Tim Buckley and Dianna Agron in Glee.  The three most successful covers were by late-1960s rock band Vanilla Fudge, 1980s pop singer Kim Wilde, and 1990s country singer Reba McEntire.

Written and produced by Motown’s main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland (H-D-H), the single is very-much rooted in proto-funk and rhythm and blues, compared to the Supremes’ previous single, “You Can’t Hurry Love,” which utilizes the call and response elements akin to gospel.  The song’s signature guitar part originated from a Morse code-like radio signal heard by Lamont Dozier, who collaborated with Brian and Eddie Holland to integrate the idea into a single.

Many elements of the recording, including the guitars, the drums, and Diana Ross and Florence Ballard’s vocals, were multitracked, a production technique which was established and popularized concurrently by H-D-H and other premier producers of the 1960s such as Phil Spector (see Wall of Sound) and George Martin.  H-D-H recorded the song in nine sessions with The Supremes and session band The Funk Brothers before settling on a version deemed suitable for the final release.

The track is one of the more oft-covered songs in the Supremes canon.  They performed the song on the ABC variety program The Hollywood Palace on Saturday, October 29, 1966.

“You Keep Me Hangin’ On” was the first single from the Supremes’ 1967 album The Supremes Sing Holland–Dozier–Holland.  The original version was #339 on Rolling Stones The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.


Vanilla Fudge‘s 1967 psychedelic/hard rock remake of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” reached #6 on the Hot 100 chart two years after the release of the Supremes’ recording.  While the edited version released on the 45 RPM single was under three minutes long, the album version was six minutes and forty-five seconds long.  The recording, done in one take, was Vanilla Fudge’s first single.

You Keep Me Hanging On

Vanilla Fudge

Set me free Why don’t you babe?

Get off my life Why don’t you babe?
You really don’t want me You just keep me hangin’ on

You really don’t need me You just keep me hangin’ on
Why do you keep comin’ around Playing with my heart?

Why don’t you get out of my life

When seeing you only breaks my heart again?
And there ain’t nothing I can do about it
You know I need love (Set me free, why don’t you babe?)

Talkin ’bout love (Get off my life, why don’t you babe?)
You really don’t want me

You just keep me hangin’ on
Get off my life Why don’t you babe?

Get off my life Why don’t you babe?


About wmarsau

Most of the people who visit this blog already know me so it is kind of pointless to try to describe my life in this short little blurb. What is the purpose of this blog is the question. Over the course of this last year I have been exposed to some amazing people and have made personal development an important focus of my life. Being successful, not by the world's standards, but by God's has become my main focus. Mainly, I want to work to develop myself as a person who is kinder, reaches out to help those in need, and truly makes a difference in this world. To this end I am constantly reading and am exposed to so many differnet things along the way. These have been amazing and it is helping me grow so much. Then I started to think, "Why am I being so selfish?" You need to share with others these amazing things you are learning and being exposed to. That is where this blog comes into play. As I am reading and experiencing things that are truly amazing and life changing, I will be posting them on this blog. Obviously, I will not be able to post everything in it's entirity, but I will be summarizing them and letting you know the source of the article or book they come from so you can check them out later if you wish. I want this blog to be a place where you can go to often and be inspired and leave here with a smile on your face. I will be covering all kinds of different topics dealing with success and personal development. Topics like taking action, relationships, living to your potential, reinventing yourself, finances, leadership, presenting, goal setting, time management, etc. I will also be occasionally including topics on cooking, music, and gardening because they are special interests of mine. As a little disclaimer, I have given my life to the Lord and he is #1 in my life. I am his servant and everything I do in life is for his glory. With that being said, religion influences all areas of my life. There will be references to God in this blog because I can't seperate God from this or any other area of my life. I want you to know that if you do not believe in God, that is fine. That is your choice. This blog is open to anyone who wants to better their life. I will not be trying to influence or pressure anyone into having a relationship with the Lord from this site. Please don't feel uncomfortable. You can just read the portions of the blog that you wish to. I am inviting you to go on a journey with me. We will learn together to be the kind of people we were designed to be. Anyone can make a difference in this world, but it starts%
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