The Persuaders: Love Gonna Pack Up
From Thin Line Between Love and Hate (Win and Lose, 1971)
Sly, Slick and Wicked: Love Gonna Pack Up
From 7″ (Bad Boys, 197?)
It’s not often that I consider a cover version to be superior than the original song. I love covers for the twist they put on the familiar but different doesn’t equate to “better” most of the time. I’d make an exception here.
“Love Gonna Pack Up (And Walk Out On Us)” was the second single, following The Persuaders’ huge hit, “Thin Line Between Love and Hate” and to be certain, it’s a very good song the way the group performs it. However, what Sly, Slick and Wicked do with it is take out the electric guitar and replace it with keyboards instead and in softening up the edge of the song, it really brings out the sublime, sweet soul qualities of the song that, in my opinion, improves on the sound that The Persuaders’ introduced. It’s not a radically different song on the surface but listen to them side by side and it actually sounds like the Sly, Slick and Wicked’s version would be the original and The Persuaders’ is the cover. (The lower-fi quality of SSW’s version doesn’t hurt).
(Just to be clear too: There were two groups in 1970s named Sly, Slick and Wicked. One was from Cleveland and recorded for Paramount and People. The other (above) were from Los Angeles. Just to make things even more confusing, there was the soul group called The Lost Generation who had a decent hit in the same era with a song called “Sly, Slick and Wicked“).