Edwin Starr — Who Is the Leader of the People

A Who Is the Leader of the People? (stereo) 2:19 Nick Zesses / Dino Fekaris
B Who Is the Leader of the People? (mono) 2:27 Nick Zesses / Dino Fekaris

Written, Produced and Arranged by Nick Zesses & Dino Fekaris
Horns by David Van DePitte

In 1972, Motown removed the lead vocals of the then unreleased Stoney and Meatloaf track “Who Is the Leader of the People” and gave the song to Edwin Starr, who just had a hit with “War”. The original background vocals, done by Stoney and Meatloaf are, according to Meat’s autobiography To Hell and Back, still on the track.
A version with vocals by Meat Loaf can be heard on the 1979 reissue of the eponymous Stoney and Meatloaf album.

Label Soul Cat.No. S 35100 Format 7″ Year 1972 Country USA Notes promo

Who Is the Leader of the People

C’mon now!
Well well, well—well

Who is the leader of the people?
(who is the leader?)
And who’s gonna really think about the people?
(follow the leader!)
Well, who is the leader?

I’m in a state of confusion
And I don’t know if I’m up or down
Now I swear I heard the man say something else
And now he’s changed it—yes he did—all around

Who is the leader of the people? Y’all!
(who is the leader?)
And who’s gonna really think about the people?
(follow the leader!)
Well, who is the leader?

Politicians taking my money
And he takes it with a smile on his face
Well, I’m gettin’ kinda hungry as I’m sittin’ here wonderin’
Who needs money, Lord, Lord, Lord […]
Oooh—it’s all I know....

Lord, ooh!
(who is the leader of the people?)
Will somebody tell me now, Lord?
(who is the leader of the people?)
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna know, tell me
(who is the leader of the people?)
Oooh, Lord
Somebody tell me
(who is the leader)
‘Cause I gotta know
Who is the leader of the people?
Well, well, well
It’s been on my mind
(who is the leader)
It’s been worrin’ me all the time
Who is the leader of the people?
I gotta know now
Somebody tell me
(who is the leader)
‘Cause I wanna know who is the leader of the people?…
[stereo version fade out]
I gotta know
I gotta know
Somebody tell me
(who is the leader)
‘Cause I wanna know
Who is the leader of the people?…
[mono version fade out]

(N. Zesses, D. Fekaris) Jobete Music Co., Inc., ASCAP © 1972 Jobete Music Co., Inc.