Armed with a Hammond organ and a drummer named Frosty, Lee Michaels bounced his way into the Top 10 with a track from his Fifth LP. Were it not for the soulful vocals of Lee and the Jagger swagger of the beat, Do You Know What I Mean might have not been able to compete with the Brown Sugars of the time. Luckily it really didn’t have to, since it cracked the Top 10 the same week that light pop such as Donny Osmond’s Go Away Little Girl and the Carpenters’ Superstar were ruling the roost. It’s all about timing, folks.
Not that this isn’t a good song on its own, it most definitely is. But it always helps to stand out on pop radio. (Or at least it used to be that way.) And Lee pulls off the trick of rocking hard behind an organ & keyboard.
The song is about Lee getting cheated on by his girlfriend with his best friend, Bobby. That’s it. Simple enough, until Lee confronts his girlfriend and she retorts with:
Lee you haven’t loved me in nearly four years
You haven’t noticed that I held back my tears
And now you have, but it’s really too late
Better find yourself another girl
Better find another girl
Better find uh, another place
Oh snap…or as Lee puts it…Whooh! That’s a nice twist on a cheating song, a guy drives his woman into the arms of another man, as in the guy has absolutely no control of the relationship. In fact it sounds like he lost out to Billy Paul. And knowing that Lee was her former boyfriend, we know why she won’t let it go now.
Do you know what I mean?