QT used The Delfonics not just as background music but to illustrate the budding romance between bail bondsman Max Cherry (Robert Forster) and stewardess Jackie Brown (Pam Grier). After hearing the song “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” on a vinyl record at Jackie’s apartment, Max goes to a record store (remember those?) and picks up The Delfonics on cassette.
Tarantino does something most movies would never even consider next: He lets the song play out and the next one start up. It’s “La-La (Means I Love You),” also by The Delfonics, and also another downright classic.
Listening to The Delfonics while he’s driving makes Max think of Jackie–and that feels good. Tarantino is one of the rare filmmakers around today who has the patience to show how pop songs affect people emotionally.
“Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” is nothing if not emotional. The song was from The Delfonics fourth record (which was self-titled) and was released as a single on the Philadelphia-based Bell (Philly Groove) label run by super producer Thom Bell. It was a big hit, charting at number-three on the Billboard R&B singles chart and number 10 on the Billboard pop chart in 1970.
Co-written by Bell and Delfonics singer William Hart, “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” features all the signatures of the Philly soul sound: layered horns, lush string arrangements, heartfelt vocals, and a sublime melody. The production is perfect; even with all that instrumentation going on, it never overpowers the Hart’s lovely falsetto. (Click here to hear/read about another Philly classic profiled on an earlier post of The Great Songs.)
I wish music still sounded this rich and warm. The embed above is from the mono mix on vinyl. Below I’ve embedded the scene from “Jackie Brown.” Enjoy!
The song is also the inspiration for the 20-volume Rhino soul music compilation Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn’t It Blow Your Mind, which is a MUST HAVE if you love the 70s soul sound as much as I do (even if it does get a little too disco by the end of the decade).
The Great Songs series so far: