“Leaving Here” by Eddie Holland
Northern Soul Monday
“Hey, fellas, have you heard the news?
Yeah, the women in this town have been misused,
Yeah, I seen it all in my dreams last night.
Girls leaving this town ’cause you don’t treat ’em right.”
It’s time for this week’s installment of Northern Soul Monday featuring the best in Northern Soul Music every month, every week, and every Monday.
Are you ready to hear Eddie Holland’s Stomper of a Northern Soul track that focuses on women’s empowerment and a call-to-action to treat women better? “Leaving Here” is all of that, and more. A well-deserved pick to feature for this week’s Northern Soul Monday song.
“Leaving Here” was released in December of 1963 by Eddie Holland. The song peaked at # 76 on the Billboard Hot 100, and at # 27 on the Billboard R&B chart, before becoming a Northern Soul classic. It was written earlier, in 1963, by the Motown songwriter trio of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Brian Holland, credited as Holland-Dozier-Holland (see below).
The songwriting trio was responsible for many Motown hits of their time, besides “Leaving Here”. Some of the most notable songs they penned were singles and records Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes, The Four Tops, and The Isley Brothers, the Four Tops and the Supremes, including 10 of the 12 US # 1 singles performed by the Supremes’.
“You Keep Me Hanging On” was one of their numbers Holland-Dozier-Holland wrote.
“You Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes
Edward “Eddie” Holland, Jr. was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1939. Although he was an early Motown artist who recorded minor hit singles such as “Jamie”, and “Leaving Here”, he spent most of his life working behind-the-scenes in music, mostly because of his near-crippling stage fright.
He was a member of Holland-Dozier-Holland, the songwriting and production team responsible for much of the Motown Sound (see above).
Holland served as the trio’s lyricist, and also worked with producer Norman Whitfield on lyrics for songs produced for The Marvelettes and the Temptations. “Too Many Fish in the Sea” is one of those songs.
“Too Many Fish In the Sea” by The Marvelettes
More about “Leaving Here”
The original Holland recording of “Leaving Here” has been released on various compilation albums such as Heaven Must Have Sent You: Holland/Dozier/Holland Story, released in 2005, and The Complete Motown Singles Vol.3 (1963), released in 2006. And, in 2016, it was released on “A Collection of 16 Big Hits, Vol. 2” on Motown, the only version available on CD.
There has been countless cover versions and samplings done of “Leaving Here”. Some of the most notable are by Motörhead. “Leaving Here” was their debut single, in 1977. That said, it was not Holland’s version that inspired the band’s founder Lemmy to choose the song to cover. No, it was The Birds 1965 cover of “Leaving Home” that Lemmy was a fan of.
“Leaving Here” by The Birds
Motörhead had originally recorded a version of “Leaving Here” for their debut album On Parole, but unsure of its commercial viability their record company United Artists, to whom they were still under contract, were refusing to issue it. Jake Riviera of Stiff Records, a casual acquaintance of Lemmy’s, offered to release a new single from the band.
No official deals were made, the band paid for the studio time whilst Riviera paid all other expenses. The single was scheduled for release when United Artists intervened forcing Stiff Records to shelve its distribution.
It was released in France and Sweden, with some copies being imported into the UK.
“Leaving Here” by Motörhead
Another notable cover was from The Who. They recorded the song in the studio twice in 1965, and once for BBC Radio. None of the recordings were released officially for decades. Not until the 1985 compilation album Who’s Missing, and the 1998 remaster of Odds and Sods compilation album, did their cover version surface.
“Leaving Here” by The Who
Other artists to have covered the song are The Rationals in 1966, Tinsley Ellis in 1989, Pearl Jam in 1996, Lars Fredriksen and the Bastards in 2001, and by Ron Wood in 2001.
The Bugs an English psych/garage band recorded a cover of “Leaving Here” on their Hit Records debut EP in 1987, and most recently, the Irish Rock Band The Strypes recorded a cover for their EP Young, Gifted and Blue.
“Leaving Here” by The Strypes
I’m sure that isn’t the last we will hear of different versions of this Northern Soul stomper. It is such a big song that it certainly seems to have taken on a life of its own, traveling through time and musical genres. I wonder where it will end up next?
What are your thoughts on “Leaving Here”? Had you ever heard any of the cover versions of the song? Had you ever heard the Eddie Holland original? Share your thoughts in the comments below – we’d love to read them!
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