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Author Topic: What Was Motown's Best Period?  (Read 7419 times)
harrisonjon
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« on: January 07, 2013, 12:22:18 PM »

Yesterday I was listening to some Supremes circa 1965 and this just blew me away:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcylDkRw7dg

The rhythm section hits a groove in 1965-67 that is unsurpassed in any music I know. Such as this Four Tops number:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wYoLQc-x5g

Jimmy Ruffin on the subsidiary Soul Label (original 1966, reissued 1975):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vf3ZE7CLg0



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EgoHanger1966
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 01:09:04 PM »

Not a popular opinion, but to me, Motown was never better than its 1961-1963 output. So many fantastic sounds by The Miracles, Mary Wells, Eddie Holland, Marvin Gaye (before he went into heavier R&B, he tried his hand at standards and soul-pop with great results), The Marvelettes, and the early efforts of the "no-hit" Supremes.
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 02:30:37 PM »

Sheesh, that's a tough one. Up until 1971 the label was just ON FIRE. I'd say the 1959-71 era was the best.
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 03:53:47 PM »

1966. But there are essential records, all the way through 1982. I wouldn't trade any Motown period for another, up till then.
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harrisonjon
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 05:34:01 AM »

It doesn't thin out after 1971? I know you have Stevie flying the flag but what else of that standard?
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Peadar 'Big Dinner' O'Driscoll
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 08:41:58 AM »

61-65
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2013, 03:17:13 PM »

It doesn't thin out after 1971? I know you have Stevie flying the flag but what else of that standard?

Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, The Miracles, The Temptations, Rick James, Teena Marie, Mary Jane Girls, Willie Hutch, Thelma Houston, Syreeta, Eddie Kendricks, Undisputed Truth, Gladys Knight & The Pips and many others.
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the captain
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2013, 03:30:19 PM »

It doesn't thin out after 1971? I know you have Stevie flying the flag but what else of that standard?

Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, The Miracles, The Temptations, Rick James, Teena Marie, Mary Jane Girls, Willie Hutch, Thelma Houston, Syreeta, Eddie Kendricks, Undisputed Truth, Gladys Knight & The Pips and many others.

OK, those, but what else?

(that was a joke)
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2013, 03:36:32 PM »

It doesn't thin out after 1971? I know you have Stevie flying the flag but what else of that standard?

Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, The Miracles, The Temptations, Rick James, Teena Marie, Mary Jane Girls, Willie Hutch, Thelma Houston, Syreeta, Eddie Kendricks, Undisputed Truth, Gladys Knight & The Pips and many others.

OK, those, but what else?

(that was a joke)


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the captain
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2013, 03:40:50 PM »

It doesn't thin out after 1971? I know you have Stevie flying the flag but what else of that standard?

Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, The Miracles, The Temptations, Rick James, Teena Marie, Mary Jane Girls, Willie Hutch, Thelma Houston, Syreeta, Eddie Kendricks, Undisputed Truth, Gladys Knight & The Pips and many others.

OK, those, but what else?

(that was a joke)




Isn't that 1983 (and so ineligible)?

I rest my case. Your witness, Spaceman.
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2013, 03:51:44 PM »

Can't Slow Down's cover is greatly misunderstood. Most folks think the choice of white pants, white carpet and a nearly empty white room as being symptomatic of Lionel's music being the most pasteurized version of R&B music that could possibly be imagined. Actually, he is taking a visual cue from Yoko Ono and commenting on the essentially austere, goal-focused ethos of the decade the album was made in. At times, he notes the threat of cocaine-fueled excess to the 80's wholesome surface, particularly in the subtle parenthetical insistence in the title "All Night Long (All Night)". The idea of the visually afflicted having a greater sense of "sight" than "normal" people, which is expressed in the moving video for "Hello", finds great resonance with the early work of Pete Townshend.
I'll think of more later. I gotta go return some videos.
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2013, 05:21:58 PM »

Can't Slow Down's cover is greatly misunderstood. Most folks think the choice of white pants, white carpet and a nearly empty white room as being symptomatic of Lionel's music being the most pasteurized version of R&B music that could possibly be imagined. Actually, he is taking a visual cue from Yoko Ono and commenting on the essentially austere, goal-focused ethos of the decade the album was made in. At times, he notes the threat of cocaine-fueled excess to the 80's wholesome surface, particularly in the subtle parenthetical insistence in the title "All Night Long (All Night)". The idea of the visually afflicted having a greater sense of "sight" than "normal" people, which is expressed in the moving video for "Hello", finds great resonance with the early work of Pete Townshend.
I'll think of more later. I gotta go return some videos.

 LOL

And my dad had that album.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2013, 09:17:09 PM »

Can't Slow Down's cover is greatly misunderstood. Most folks think the choice of white pants, white carpet and a nearly empty white room as being symptomatic of Lionel's music being the most pasteurized version of R&B music that could possibly be imagined. Actually, he is taking a visual cue from Yoko Ono and commenting on the essentially austere, goal-focused ethos of the decade the album was made in. At times, he notes the threat of cocaine-fueled excess to the 80's wholesome surface, particularly in the subtle parenthetical insistence in the title "All Night Long (All Night)". The idea of the visually afflicted having a greater sense of "sight" than "normal" people, which is expressed in the moving video for "Hello", finds great resonance with the early work of Pete Townshend.
I'll think of more later. I gotta go return some videos.

 LOL

And my dad had that album.

But did he have the limited edition replica of the Lionel bust from the "Hello" video? They gave away 5 of them, you'd win the head if you opened the album jacket and found a gold ticket inside.

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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2013, 09:59:51 PM »

Can't Slow Down's cover is greatly misunderstood. Most folks think the choice of white pants, white carpet and a nearly empty white room as being symptomatic of Lionel's music being the most pasteurized version of R&B music that could possibly be imagined. Actually, he is taking a visual cue from Yoko Ono and commenting on the essentially austere, goal-focused ethos of the decade the album was made in. At times, he notes the threat of cocaine-fueled excess to the 80's wholesome surface, particularly in the subtle parenthetical insistence in the title "All Night Long (All Night)". The idea of the visually afflicted having a greater sense of "sight" than "normal" people, which is expressed in the moving video for "Hello", finds great resonance with the early work of Pete Townshend.
I'll think of more later. I gotta go return some videos.

 LOL

And my dad had that album.

But did he have the limited edition replica of the Lionel bust from the "Hello" video? They gave away 5 of them, you'd win the head if you opened the album jacket and found a gold ticket inside.



He's going to be so mad when he finds that he missed out.
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2013, 12:18:42 PM »

Just My Imagination, 1971. Doesn't get any better than this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5Z9-QCmZyw
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2013, 04:13:50 PM »

Yeah, that song is pure astral projection.
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LetHimRun
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2013, 10:02:27 PM »

1961-1972, and inside of that, 1963-1967. Absolutely amazing music was being cranked out left and right, and Holland-Dozier-Holland were amazing songwriters and the Funk Brothers? Nothing else needs to be said. I couldn't live without it.
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Peadar 'Big Dinner' O'Driscoll
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2013, 03:31:46 AM »

Just My Imagination, 1971. Doesn't get any better than this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5Z9-QCmZyw


been obsessed with that song lately, that harmony blend...wow
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2013, 12:55:25 PM »

Just My Imagination, 1971. Doesn't get any better than this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5Z9-QCmZyw


been obsessed with that song lately, that harmony blend...wow
I think those 7 or 8 harp notes near the beginning have to be the most effective 7 or 8 harp notes in the world.
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KittyKat
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2013, 03:22:09 PM »

Can't Slow Down's cover is greatly misunderstood. Most folks think the choice of white pants, white carpet and a nearly empty white room as being symptomatic of Lionel's music being the most pasteurized version of R&B music that could possibly be imagined. Actually, he is taking a visual cue from Yoko Ono and commenting on the essentially austere, goal-focused ethos of the decade the album was made in. At times, he notes the threat of cocaine-fueled excess to the 80's wholesome surface, particularly in the subtle parenthetical insistence in the title "All Night Long (All Night)". The idea of the visually afflicted having a greater sense of "sight" than "normal" people, which is expressed in the moving video for "Hello", finds great resonance with the early work of Pete Townshend.
I'll think of more later. I gotta go return some videos.

 LOL

And my dad had that album.

But did he have the limited edition replica of the Lionel bust from the "Hello" video? They gave away 5 of them, you'd win the head if you opened the album jacket and found a gold ticket inside.



He's going to be so mad when he finds that he missed out.

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Sheriff John Stone
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« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2013, 05:27:35 PM »

Thanks for starting this thread, harrisonjon. It prompted me to get out my Motown. Just for the heck of it, my Top 10, today Cheesy:

1. Love Child - The Supremes
2. You're All I Need To Get By - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
3. My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder
4. Get Ready - The Temptations
5. It's The Same Old Song - The Four Tops
6. Goin' To A Go-Go - The Miracles
7. Maybe Tomorrow - The Jackson 5
8. Jimmy Mack - Martha & The Vandellas
9. Papa Was A Rolling Stone - The Temptations
10. Mercy Mercy Me - Marvin  Gaye
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« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2013, 09:40:16 PM »

Does this count as Motown? It was actually on Epic Records. Takes about 2 seconds for this song to make me break down:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE0pwJ5PMDg
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« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2013, 09:43:55 PM »

And the way the guitar line in this song interacts with the rest of the song has always had me spellbound:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lihbaHfnDhk

Another borderline Motown song I suppose.
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mikeyj
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« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2013, 11:17:40 PM »

Does this count as Motown? It was actually on Epic Records.


You've answered your own question. It can't be Motown if it was released on Epic. Great record though!
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2013, 12:05:28 AM »

Best has gotta be 1964-67. The best Four Tops, Temps, Miracles and Supremes records came out mostly during those years. "Reach Out I'll Be There" has gotta be in my top 10 of all time.
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