Puneet Varma (Editor)

(I Know) I'm Losing You

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November 2, 1966

R&B, soul

7" single


"I Couldn't Cry If I Wanted To"

Hitsville USA (Studio A); September 12 & September 16, 1966

"(I Know) I'm Losing You" is a 1966 hit single recorded by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label and produced by Norman Whitfield.



This song was another step away from the group's softer records recorded with Smokey Robinson as producer, a change that Whitfield had begun with "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" earlier in the year. "I'm Losing You" features a much more dramatic arrangement than most contemporary Motown songs: a rock-styled guitar riff (devised by Temptations road manager/band director Cornelius Grant), sharp horn blasts and the Temptations' doo-wop vocals paint the backdrop for one of David Ruffin's trademark raspy lead vocals.

As The Funk Brothers keep time with the song's James Brown-inspired beat, Ruffin pointedly accuses his lover of gradually slipping away from him. The closing vocal riff to the song's chorus had the other four Temptations call out an extended "losing you...!" shout in falsetto. The choreography for the line, with each member cupping their hands around their mouths as they shout the line out, became a Temptations standard.

"I'm Losing You" was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard R&B singles chart, and reached No. 8 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart. The single was included as the anchoring track for the summer 1967 album The Temptations with a Lot o' Soul.

The Temptations performed the song live on the CBS variety program The Ed Sullivan Show on May 28, 1967, and in a duet with Diana Ross & the Supremes later that year, on November 19, 1967.


  • Lead vocals by David Ruffin
  • Background vocals by Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin and Otis Williams
  • Guitar by Cornelius Grant
  • Other instrumentation by The Funk Brothers
  • Cover versions

  • Among the most notable covers of "I'm Losing You" was a cover by The Jackson 5 on their 1969 album Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5, with Jermaine Jackson providing lead vocals.
  • "I'm Losing You" was a 1970 version by Motown rock band Rare Earth for their Ecology album. Rare Earth's 10-minute cover was edited for single release and peaked at No. 7, one position higher than the Temptations' original on the U.S. pop charts.
  • During the 1980s, on the Dallas, Texas-based Oak Lawn Records label, the song was covered by the group Uptown and transformed into an upbeat dance tune. This version achieved popularity at Dallas' famed Starck nightclub due to early play by DJ Rick Squillante and became a standard in many U.S. nightclubs, reaching the No. 80 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987.
  • The Faces also recorded a cover version in 1971. It reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year.
  • References

    (I Know) I'm Losing You Wikipedia