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Author Topic: What Was Motown's Best Period?  (Read 8355 times)
I. Spaceman
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« Reply #50 on: February 10, 2013, 08:21:03 AM »

I think from 1960-80 you will find the best stuff. If we are talking singles I would say from 1965-72 is hard to beat.
Yeah, I'm thinking singles; the early Motown albums, like a lot from that era, were usually just a couple of hit singles surrounded by filler. Marvin, of course, changed that with What's Going On? and Stevie with those great 70's albums.

Oh my lord. Not true at all. At all.
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Moon Dawg
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« Reply #51 on: February 10, 2013, 04:12:12 PM »

  Motown's 1966-67 peak is exemplified by H-D-H's "gothic soul classical period" of 1966-67. Best examples are mini-trilogies from the Four Tops ("Reach Out I'll Be There", "Standing in the Shadows of Love", "Bernadette") and the Supremes ("You Keep Me Hangin' On", "Love Is Here and Now You're Gone", "Reflections"*)

 * I deliberately omitted "The Happening". Not sure what was going on with that 45.
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #52 on: February 10, 2013, 06:25:50 PM »

The Happening might be my favorite Diana-era Supremes 45.
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« Reply #53 on: February 11, 2013, 12:20:34 AM »

I hate to do it... but I just got to make the point that even some of the Motown stuff from the 80's was pretty decent. 

Debarge - All This Love

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMyuP5S87_k

Probably didn't have anything to do with the Motown Machine by that time, but still it was Motown. 
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« Reply #54 on: February 13, 2013, 10:25:58 PM »

I think there were some very good Motown albums before 1972. The late sixties Temptations and many of the Jackson 5's early albums were very tight.
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #55 on: February 13, 2013, 10:36:15 PM »

Going To A Go-Go is one of the greatest albums of the 60's. There are many other examples. Marvin Gaye's When I'm Alone I Cry, The Temptations Sing Smokey, Chris Clark's Soul Sounds, Junior Walker's Soul Session, The Supremes' Where Did Our Love Go, the first two Four Tops albums, Martha & The Vandellas' Watchout!, etc.
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Peadar 'Big Dinner' O'Driscoll
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« Reply #56 on: February 14, 2013, 05:06:54 AM »

Going To A Go-Go is one of the greatest albums of the 60's

I think"Make it Happen" from 67 is even better. Not a dud track to found. Lots of very solid Miiracles albums right from 61.
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #57 on: February 14, 2013, 07:50:53 AM »

Lots of very solid Miiracles albums right from 61.

Very true.
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« Reply #58 on: February 14, 2013, 07:52:19 PM »

64-67, before the label began trying for "relevance".

Speaking objectively, I have to say Norman Whitfield did some great work writing and producing, but his style is just not to my taste.
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halblaineisgood
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« Reply #59 on: February 14, 2013, 08:00:09 PM »

.
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« Reply #60 on: February 14, 2013, 08:10:13 PM »

.
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #61 on: February 14, 2013, 08:24:40 PM »

Damn right.
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Myk Luhv
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« Reply #62 on: February 14, 2013, 09:54:41 PM »

I think you mean NOT high to not enjoy his work. Dude made great weedmusik
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #63 on: February 14, 2013, 10:54:46 PM »

Case in point:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB3hYQ8AFyA
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« Reply #64 on: February 14, 2013, 11:30:17 PM »

Norman Whitfield was a genius, plain and simple. I would put him right up there with Brian Wilson, Phil Spector, and George Martin. Papa Was A Rolling Stone is a masterpiece of song production and construction. I reccomend everybody here to  sit down and really take a careful listen to it. At any one point in the song, you'll hear vocals, handclaps, guitars, bass, and drums all playing a totally different melody and tempo similtaniously. There are so many different things going on in that song, and no two instruments are playing the same thing at the same time. But it works!  Grin
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« Reply #65 on: February 15, 2013, 02:37:04 AM »

His period with The Temptations was amazing to me.
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« Reply #66 on: June 23, 2013, 02:15:49 PM »

Early Motown is probably the best in terms of how they focused on making great records using basic recording techniques, the attention to detail in terms of sound quality (they played songs in car stereos etc. to make sure they sounded great & recording songs until they were perfect), the Funk Brothers, H-D-H, The Corporation, the departments where they taught acts how to perform, how to act during interviews etc. Very professional run that way. When Motown moved out West & Berry Gordy wanted to get into movies it kind of took away the 'magic' from the music although during the 70's you got 'Whats Going On', Stevie's best solo albums etc.  Although you got DeBarge et al and later Boyz II Men after Motown's heyday although at that point Motown was just a label name, compared to what it was before when it was like more of a umbrella encompasses lots of different elements with the music/production/attention to detail/A&R etc.
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« Reply #67 on: January 19, 2015, 06:07:21 AM »

Early Motown, 45s only, to summer 1966 ("Beauty Is Only Skin Deep", "Reach Out I'll Be There"). 

This is a great Motown song from 1965 that I heard for the first time today. Why it wasn't a huge hit is a complete mystery...

The Dalton Boys----"Take My Hand"
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Ron
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« Reply #68 on: January 21, 2015, 10:21:07 PM »

Two years ago someone mentioned that Boys II Men were possibly victims of their time, and that Booker T & The MG's would have really helped them 100 fold.

I never read that till today, man what a mind-f*** that is!  That would have been superb to hear.

Can you imagine if we got back to the day when the band behind the singers was actually able to improvise and change the feel of the song?  Booker T & the MG's backing up your favorite musicians???

I guess the closest thing we have to that today is the Roots. 
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« Reply #69 on: January 22, 2015, 11:50:56 AM »

Motown was really, REALLY collectively good...in fact GREAT from about 63/64 to 68.  Then it began to be good to great in fewer places and with fewer artists.  From just after Stevie Wonder's Fingertips to around the time when Diane Ross became too big to just be a Supremes member it was top shelf.  But Diane helped to spoil the magic.  Mary and Flo deserved better.  Mary, by the way, calls Diane Diane.  If it's good enough for her...as she shared it with me...it's good enough for me.

Stevie and Marvin continued to flourish into the 70s.  Marvin...'til we lost him...Stevie 'til at least Master Blaster.  Their albums were sensational. Afro  They still sound outstanding. Cool Guy
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« Reply #70 on: April 13, 2017, 12:58:38 PM »

This is the most comprehensive Motown topic, so I shall post all future tracks here.

"Do The Boomerang" from 1965 is easily my favourite track by Jr. Walker & the All Stars. An absolute classic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGfeh06t35w
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JK
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« Reply #71 on: June 03, 2017, 03:18:45 PM »

Another great Motown favourite of mine is The Miracles' 1965 hit "Going To A Go-Go":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-Tfm70dL5s



 
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JK
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« Reply #72 on: June 03, 2017, 03:20:43 PM »

Double post, so let's make the most of it, lol.

The Miracles could sing ballads too (and how!) and this must be the most heart-breaking of them all.

From earlier in that same year of 1965, this is "Ooh Baby Baby":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2UIu57-CRQ
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« Reply #73 on: June 28, 2017, 03:06:58 AM »

Not the best-known '60s Motown track but a real scorcher sung by Kim Weston, later Marvin Gaye's first musical partner.

If anyone were ever to ask me to play them just one typical Motown track, it would be "Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)".

The instrumental break uses minimal means to maximum effect----simply stunning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVkXrimUidA
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« Reply #74 on: June 28, 2017, 04:16:46 AM »

Oh yes, Smoky Robinson and the Miracles are superb!
Great songs you posted. Other faves for me are "I Second that Emotion" and "The Tears of a Clown."

For Jr. Walker and The All Stars, another favorite is "Shake and Fingerpop." I love the lyric "Put on your wig, woman, we're going out to shake and fingerpop" LOL. And that wailing sax. Fun stuff.
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