The Great Songs: The Delfonics – Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)

by Eric Melin on November 10, 2010

in Columns,The Great Songs

delfonics self-titledMaybe the first time you heard this song was in the 1997 Quentin Tarantino film “Jackie Brown.”

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.

Delfonics-didnt i blow-1970“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:

The Great Songs: Big Star – Thirteen

The Great Songs: The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset

The Great Songs: The Jayhawks – Blue

The Great Songs: Pavement – Summer Babe

The Great Songs: The Zombies – Care of Cell 44

The Great Songs: The O’Jays – Back Stabbers

The Great Songs: Queen & David Bowie – Under Pressure

The Great Songs: George Jones – He Stopped Loving Her Today

The Great Songs: Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart

The Great Songs: KISS – Deuce

The Great Songs: The Flying Burrito Brothers – Hot Burrito #1

The Great Songs: The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize??

The Great Songs: Pink Floyd – Astronomy Domine

The Great Songs: The Beach Boys – Surf’s Up

The Great Songs: Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get it On

The Great Songs: Slayer – Angel of Death

The Great Songs: Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Beyond Belief

The Great Songs: The Replacements – Unsatisfied

The Great Songs: Cheap Trick – Surrender

The Great Songs: Guided by Voices – Motor Away

The Great Songs: The Louvin Brothers – Knoxville Girl

The Great Songs: Badfinger – Baby Blue

The Great Songs: Ray Charles – That Lucky Old Sun

The Great Songs: Television – Marquee Moon

The Great Songs: Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Cortez the Killer

The Great Songs: David Bowie – Life On Mars?

The Great Songs: Thin Lizzy – The Cowboy Song

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers and regular critic for KCTV5. He’s a member of the BFCA, VP of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also the current 2013 Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Reed November 11, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Fantastic choice! Indeed, this is the place where I first heard this song. Like Tarantino had given me a gift that I should have already had.

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2 Eric Melin November 11, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Glad you dug it, Reed. I’ll tell ya what: I mentioned Tarantino taking the time to show characters enjoying music in other movies in this article, but have since come up with more (besides “Death Proof”):

- Ear scene in “Reservoir Dogs;” he turns up the music (Stealers Wheel) and dances to it

Mia Wallace puts on “Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon” in “Pulp Fiction”

Any more?

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