Sunday, March 30, 2014

Record Labels # 7 Motown

As good as any record label ever got! Not a definitive best of. Just ten I like right now. Will revisit this at some point.
1. Jackson 5 - The Love You Save
A band that set off with four straight US Number Ones. This is probably the least known.
2. R Dean Taylor - There's a Ghost in my House
'Around '82 Motown opened an office in London, not for long and signing us was on the cards. I actually spoke to one of the Gordys once, he was really cool about it. They'd liked Totally Wired and Slates, they thought we were a black group believe it or not.' Mark E Smith. I'm not sure I really do believe it. The Fall covered this of course. Perhaps better known as a Northern Soul song than a Motown one.
3. Frank Wilson - Do I Love You (Indeed I do)
Also most associated with Northern Soul. At one point a punter forked out around £15,000 for it.
4. Martha & the Vandellas - Nowhere To Run
Certainly not off the beaten track but an absolutely fabulous song.
5. Barrett Strong - Money
'The best things in life are free. But you can give them to the birds and bees.' Pretty good opening lines. One of the first big hit records to get Motown rolling.
6. The Temptations - Take a Look Around
A slightly later, lesser known singles as original, key members left.
7. Rick James - Super Freak
A later Motown. A wonderful song.
8. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
'America's greatest poet'. I'm not sure that Smokey really liked this compliment. The heart and soul of the label as a songwriter, performer and singer.
9. The Supremes - Stoned Love
After Diana Ross left. A period during which the band made some of their greatest records.
10. Marvin Gaye - That's The Way Love Is
So no Velvelettes, Marvellettes, Diana, Stevie, Four Tops, Jr Walker, Isley Brothers, Contours, Mary Wells or Monitors. So that's the next ten.
'When I was in Junior High, Motown was starting to happen. I was on summer vacation with my parents in a state park in northern Michigan in a gift shop looking at kitsch crap - a lacquered ashtray with a bear on it. Then on came The Supremes 'Where Did Our Love Go' and it just haunted the atmosphere. The vocals were so haunting but the beat was so resolute.' Igg Pop Mojo Magazine (February 2009)

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