Willie Harper: I Don’t Need You Anymore (7”, Tou-Sea, 1968)
The first 30 seconds of this song are damn near perfect.
There are some songs which ostensibly claim “I don’t need you anymore” but really, it’s all a fake out. Those singers are lying to themselves – they still do need the inconstant object of their affection, they just can’t bring themselves to fully admit it so they sing us the lie instead.
But Willie? He is done. Gone. Vamoose. 5000.
His first two lines – the inflection in his tone, the bottomless pit of pathos they suggest – leave little room for confusion. You almost don’t even need the rest of the song because nothing else in it will convey Harper’s sentiments as effectively. This love affair is over.
(Shout out to the great Wardell Quezergue, aka “Big Q” for the magnificent production on this)