Label: Motown - WL72163 • Format: 2x, Vinyl LP, Compilation • Country: Europe • Genre: Funk / Soul •
It was founded by Berry Gordy Jr. Motown played an important role in the racial integration of popular music as an African American -owned label that achieved crossover success. In the s, Motown and its subsidiary labels including Tamla Motownthe brand used outside the US were the most successful proponents of the Motown Sound, a style of soul music with a pop influence. During the s, Motown achieved 79 records in the top-ten of the Billboard Hot between and Motown expanded into film and television production, remaining an independent company untilwhen it was sold to MCA Records.
Wright Museum. Berry Gordy 's interest in the record business began when he opened a record store called the 3D Record Mart, a shop where he hoped to "educate customers about the beauty of jazz", in DetroitMichigan. The Gordys were an entrepreneurial family. Although the shop did not last very long, Gordy's interest in the music business did not fade. He frequented Detroit's downtown nightclubs, and in the Flame Show Bar he met bar manager Al Green not the famed singerwho owned a music publishing company called Pearl Music and represented Detroit-based musician Jackie Wilson.
Gordy Nathan Jones - Various - Motowns Dreamgirls became part of a group of songwriters—with his sister Gwen Gordy and Billy Davis —who wrote songs for Wilson. Between andGordy wrote or produced over a hundred sides for various artists, with his siblings Anna, Gwen and Robert, and Life Struggle - Various - DJ-Kicks EP collaborators in varying combinations.
Smokey Robinson first met Gordy in ; he was little more than a local seventeen-year-old who fronted a vocal harmony group called the Matadors. At the time, Gordy was interested in the doo-wop style that Robinson sang. The practice was common at the time for a small-time producer. Gordy recorded a number of other records by forging a similar arrangement, most significantly with United Artists. Seeing that the song had great crossover potential, Gordy leased it to United Artists for national distribution but also released it locally on his own startup imprint.
When he found the name was already in use, Berry decided on Tamla instead. Harvey Fuqua later married Gwen Gordy in Gordy looked toward creative self-sufficiency and established publishing firm Jobete, incorporated to the state of Michigan in June He applied for copyrights on more than seventy songs before the end ofincluding material used for the Miracles and Frances Burnett records that were leased to Chess and Coral Records.
The Michigan Chronicle of Detroit called Gordy an "independent producer of records", as his contributions to the city were beginning to attract notice. By that time, he was the president of Jobete, Tamla, and Rayber, a music writing company. Gordy worked in various Detroit-based studios during this period to produce recordings and demos, but most prominently with United Sound Systems which was considered the best studio in town.
However, producing at United Sound Systems was financially taxing and not appropriate for every job, so Gordy decided it would be more cost effective to maintain his own facility. Now, rather than shopping his songs to other artists or leasing his recordings to outside companies, Gordy began using the Tamla and Motown imprints to release songs that he wrote and produced.
He incorporated Motown Records in April Smokey Robinson became the vice president of the company and later named his daughter "Tamla" Nathan Jones - Various - Motowns Dreamgirls his son "Berry". Several of Gordy's family membersincluding his father Berry Sr. By the middle of the decade, Gwen and Anna Gordy had joined the label in administrative positions as well. Gordy's partner at the time and wife from —64Raynoma Lilesalso played a key role in the early days of Motown, leading the company's first session group, The Rayber Voices, and overseeing Jobete.
Also inGordy purchased the property that would become Motown's Hitsville U. The photography studio located in the back of the property was modified into a small recording studio, and the Gordys moved into the second-floor living quarters.
Within seven years, Motown would occupy seven additional neighboring houses:. It was Tamla's first million-selling record. Postman ". From toMotown had top 10 hits. The company operated several labels in II Allegretto - Ilan Volkov Conducts Mendelssohn*, Schubert*, Haydn*, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestr to the Tamla and Motown imprints.
A third label, which Gordy named after himself though it was originally called "Miracle" featured the Temptationsthe ContoursEdwin Starrand Martha and the Vandellas. A fourth, V. A fifth label, Soulfeatured Jr.
Under the slogan "The Sound of Young America", Motown's acts were enjoying widespread popularity among black and white audiences alike. Into the s, I was still not of a frame of mind that we were not only making music, we were making history. But I did recognize the impact because acts were going all over the world Nathan Jones - Various - Motowns Dreamgirls that time.
I recognized the bridges that we crossed, the racial problems and the barriers that we broke down with music. I recognized that Whole Lotta Shakin Going On - Little Richard - The Very Best Of.
Little Richard I lived it. I would come to the South in the early days of Motown and the audiences would be segregated. Then they started to get the Motown music and we would go back and the audiences were integrated and the kids were dancing together and holding hands.
The company loosened its production rules, allowing some of its longtime artists the opportunity to write and produce more of their own material.
Motown had established branch offices in both New York City and Los Angeles during the mids, and by had begun gradually moving more of its operations to Los Angeles. By re-locating, Motown aimed chiefly to branch out into the motion-picture industry, and Motown Nathan Jones - Various - Motowns Dreamgirls got its start Burnt Toast - Summer Cats - Passion Pop film by turning out two hit-vehicles for Diana Ross : the Billie Holiday biographical film Lady Sings the Bluesand Mahogany Ewart Abnerwho had been associated with Motown since the s, became its president in Victory - The White Shadow - Instrumentals 2 (File, Album) By the s, the Motown "hit factory" had become a target of a backlash from some fans of rock music.
Things don't change. Nowadays, of course, Motown is hip. During the s, Motown was home to successful recording artists such as Boyz II Men and Johnny Gillalthough the company itself remained in a state of turmoil.
MCA appointed a series of executives to run the company, beginning with Berry Gordy's Fascination - Mantovani And His Orchestra - More Mantovani Film Encores successor, Jheryl Busby.
Busby quarreled with MCA, alleging that the company did not give Motown's product adequate attention or promotion. InMotown sued MCA to have its distribution deal with the company terminated, and began releasing its product through PolyGram. PolyGram purchased Motown from Boston Ventures three years later. Harrell served as Motown's CEO for just under two years, leaving the company after receiving bad publicity for being inefficient. Seagram had purchased Motown's former parent MCA inand Motown was in effect reunited with many of its MCA corporate siblings Seagram had hoped to build a media empire around Universal, and started by purchasing PolyGram.
Universal briefly considered shuttering Nathan Jones - Various - Motowns Dreamgirls label, but instead decided to restructure it. Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and the Temptations had remained with the Sweetling - Sandy Denny And The Strawbs* - All Our Own Work since its early days, although all except Wonder recorded for other labels for several years.
Ross left Motown for RCA Records from tobut returned in and stayed until Nathan Jones - Various - Motowns Dreamgirls , while Robinson left Motown in although he did return to release one more album for the label in The Temptations left for Atlantic Records inbut returned in and eventually left again in As of [update]Wonder is the only artist from Motown's early period still on the label.
Motown was merged with Universal Records to create the Universal Motown Records and placed under the newly created umbrella division of Universal Motown Republic Group. Motown celebrated its 50th anniversary on January 12, Motown specialized in a type of soul music it referred to with the trademark "The Motown Sound".
Crafted with an ear towards pop appeal, the Motown Sound typically used tambourines to accent the back beatNathan Jones - Various - Motowns Dreamgirlsand often melodic electric bass-guitar lines, distinctive melodic and chord structures, and a call-and-response singing style that originated in gospel music. InJon Landau wrote in Rolling Stone that the sound consisted of songs with simple structures but sophisticated melodies, along with a four-beat drum pattern, regular use of horns and strings and "a trebly style of mixing that relied heavily on electronic limiting and equalizing boosting the high range frequencies to give the overall product a distinctive sound, particularly effective for broadcast over AM radio".
Complex arrangements and elaborate, melismatic vocal riffs were avoided. The Motown production process has been described as factory-like. The Hitsville studios remained open and active 22 hours a day, and artists would often go on tour for weeks, come back to Detroit Communion Song - Continental Singers & Orchestra* - Sing It With Love record as many songs as possible, and then promptly go on tour again.
Berry Gordy held quality control meetings every Friday morning, and used veto power to ensure that only the very best material and performances would be released. The test was that every new release needed to fit into a sequence of the top five selling pop singles of the week. Several tracks that later became critical and commercial favorites were initially rejected by Gordy; the two most notable being the Marvin Gaye songs " I Heard It Through the Grapevine " and " What's Going On ".
Many of Motown's best-known songs, including all the early hits for the Supremeswere written by the songwriting trio of Holland—Dozier—Holland Lamont Dozier and brothers Brian and Eddie Holland. The style created by the Motown musicians was a major influence on several non-Motown artists of the mids, such as Dusty Springfield and the Foundations. In the United Kingdom, the Motown Sound became the basis of the northern soul movement.
Smokey Robinson said the Motown Sound had little to do with Detroit:. People would listen to it, and they'd say, 'Aha, they use more bass. Or they use more drums. When we were first successful with it, people were coming from Germany, France, Italy, Mobile, Alabama. From New York, Chicago, California. From everywhere. Just to record in Detroit. They figured it was in the air, that if they came to Detroit and recorded on the freeway, they'd get the Motown sound.
Listen, the Motown sound to me is not an audible sound. It's spiritual, and it comes from the people that make it happen. What other people didn't realize is that we just had one studio there, but we recorded in ChicagoNashvilleNew York, L.
And Nathan Jones - Various - Motowns Dreamgirls still got the sound. In addition to the songwriting process of the writers and producers, one of the major factors in the widespread appeal of Motown's music was Gordy's Villain (Clean) - Crooked I - Villain (File) of using a highly-select and tight-knit group of studio musicians, collectively known as the Funk Brothersto record the instrumental or "band" tracks of a majority of Motown recordings.
The band's career and work is chronicled in the documentary film Standing in the Shadows of Motownwhich Good For Nothing Man - Gentle Assassins - They Knew Too Much the fact that these musicians "played on more number-one records than The Beatles, Elvis, The Rolling Stones, and The Beach Boys combined.
Much of the Motown Sound came from the use of overdubbed and duplicated instrumentation. Motown songs regularly featured two drummers instead of one either overdubbed or in unisonas well as three or four guitar lines. Artist development was a major part of Motown's operations instituted by Berry Gordy.
The acts on the Motown label were fastidiously groomed, dressed and choreographed for live performances.
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