View Full Version : R&B/Motown Fans?

Ashley Banks
05-26-2008, 01:02 PM
Hey! Any Motown fans out there?

My parents raised me on the classics....Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, The Temptations, The Supremes....

I was just on their website and noticed the label has a pretty sick roster! Erykah Badu, Ashanti and India.Arie isn't a bad start at all! Nice site too!
http://www.universalmotown.com <---go here!!

Looks like they're really pushing Erykah's new album and doing a lot of giveaways.
Good place to check out!

05-26-2008, 02:10 PM
nice spamming attempt

05-26-2008, 02:32 PM
nice spamming attempt

I was about to say that, very smooth.

05-26-2008, 02:54 PM
I thought this was another Obama thread

Ashley Banks
05-26-2008, 04:46 PM
Honestly not a spamming attempt. I'm new to the board so I figured I'd discuss something related to music Im really into! Hoping to make it to Coachella next year too!

05-26-2008, 05:35 PM
well if she doesn't, i will.

05-26-2008, 08:07 PM
At least she spammed in the correct thread.

05-26-2008, 08:08 PM
well if she doesn't, i will.

That's very gay of you.

Hopeless Semantic
05-26-2008, 08:12 PM
There is no shortage of caring individuals here at the coach board.

Ashley Banks
05-28-2008, 07:01 AM
a) I'm not spamming, I'm an actual human being trying to start a conversation. Hi.

b) No, I dont want to cyber with you. You're probably ugly anyways.

06-03-2008, 07:15 AM
i went to www.universalmotown.com and all I have to say is...VERY IMPRESSIVE INDEED. I've always loved Motown's artists, and the recent ones look very promising, especially Erykah Badu.

Young blood
06-03-2008, 07:48 AM
I whistled for a cab and when it came near the license plate said fresh and it had dice in the mirror. If anything I could say this cab was rare, but I thought nah forget it, YO HOLMES TO BEL-AIR!

04-25-2015, 06:57 PM
i posted this on facebook, but thought i would share here too.

https://scontent-2.22773.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/s180x540/11036805_1040981375916843_7357738303796125337_n.jp g?oh=4e893f4ff0fa9a6219ecec88a7fd0edd&oe=55E1E3FC

the project:

i set out to listen to every motown single from the detroit days and make my own playlist. i started listening on spotify december 3rd and finished march 3rd. my life has been crazy lately though, so only getting around to posting now. i got the idea after going to see "motown the musical" over thanksgiving with my family. even though my mom and her cousin hailed from memphis and the infamous "sun records", they sure knew a lot about motown. it was cool to see them light up at their favorite hits from the motown era. see the spotify link below:


the method:

i searched "motown singles" on spotify and found the "Complete Motown Singles" by volume/year and listened chronologically. that's 1,849 songs spanning 14 years. i listened mostly while working, so i probably missed a song or two on the playlist. my final playlist tally came out to 342 singles. that's about 20% of all their singles. that's a lot, but i couldn't really find a way to bring it down more without making this project annoying.

i didn't pay much attention to artist or historical significance. i simply added songs that i liked. some songs were redundant (stereo version, single version, re-release, etc.). but i included songs that were the same, but with different artists if i liked the different versions.

motown facts:

motown was founded by berry gordy jr. in 1959 in detroit. berry wrote songs such as jackie wilson's "lonely teardrops" before founding motown. motown was originally called "tamla records" and that name was still used outside the US. as you can guess, "motown" is a play on "motor city", which is the nickname of detroit. motown was all over the billboard charts of the 1960s. motown eventually took up 7 "hitsville" houses in detroit.

motown moved to LA in 1972. it remained an independent record company until acquired in 1988 by MCA. my playlist does not cover this time frame. for one, it was a lot of fucking music to listen through 59-72. for two, i started to lose interested in the 70s.

motown's first signed artist was the miracles, which becomes obvious if you listen given the heavy influence of smokey robinson. smokey and his family played a big part in running motown. gordy also spent quite a bit of time with diana ross in the latter part of the 60s. they have a daughter together.


as you can imagine, motown came alive during an era of political change that is reflected in its music. motown musicians started off playing to segregated audiences in the southern states. unfortunately many songs written by the black artists couldn't become popular until performed by white people. although i don't enjoy the heavy political music of the late 60s/early 70s, i understand where it was coming from historically.

motown's music is quintessential 60s pop. lots of soul and gospel influence.

it was a joy to listen through the evolution of motown and i hope you enjoy too.


top ten favorites

what makes you love him - singin' sammy ward
who's lovin' you - the jackson 5
you've really got a hold on me - the miracles
ninety-nine and a half won't do - the wright specials
someday we'll be together - the supremes
my cherie amour - stevie wonder
me and my lonely room - marvin gaye
just my imagination - the temptations
i wish it would rain - the temptations
walk away renee - the four tops

volume 1 (1959-1961):
155 songs

very, very, very long. right up my alley though. songs like "what makes you love him" by singin' sammy ward are just the kind of bluesy music i was hoping to find. this is also the first of many renditions of the miracles' song "who's lovin' you?". within the motown realm, i really love this version, brenda holloway's version from 1965, and the jackson 5 verison of course.

volume 2 (1962):
112 songs

shorter, a few redos, not as much that i liked

volume 3 (1963):
119 songs

lots of instrumentals. not necessarily bad, just not really my thing. lots of gospel too though, which i enjoy.

volume 4 (1964):
163 songs

i have been surprised at the amount of twangy country style stuff. definitely news to me that this stuff was on motown. also, i know my girl came out this year, but i just can't hear that song ever again in my life.

volume 5 (1965):
166 songs

i think i noticed this in volume 4, but we start seeing smokey's name appear separately from the miracles. this is also the first volume i notice diana ross & the supremes. the supremes really seemed to start to put out more hits than the marvelletes this year too. don't get me wrong, i love the supremes, but i have enjoyed hearing marvelletes. also, martha reeves is a badass as well. and "beautiful brown eyes" by the freeman brothers has a bit of a ska vibe to it, i dig it.

volume 6 (1966):
126 songs

i noticed jr. walker & the all stars in volume 5, but i really am noticing them this volume. love them. also loving shorty long. i am glad to see the isley brothers and jimmy ruffin popping up. this is the first year i started noticing that stevie wonder sounds more like an adult now too.

also, apparently this is the year everyone covered "i hear a symphony" and continues to cover "money"

volume 7 (1967):
120 songs

this is the first year i noticed galdys knight & the pips on the lineup. stevie wonder is sounding more grown-up now. he would have been around 17 in 1967 (the timeframe of this volume).

volume 8 (1968):
144 songs

"walk away renee" by the four tops was the first song that got me excited this year. so far, this has been the year of the get down, because all i want to do is shake it! stevie definitely grows into his manly voice this year. so beautiful. songs like "you met your match" have a lot more power than his earlier stuff. this has been my favorite year so far. a great mix of soul and get down :)

volume 9 (1969):
148 songs

"my cherie amour" by stevie wonder of course made me think of silver linings playbook. but it's such a great song. i think it would be fun for karaoke. between "don't let the joneses get you down" & "i can't get next to you" by the temptations, they bring the funk this year. was pleasantly surprised to hear these from them.

and huzzah! enter the jackson 5. "i want you back" never ceases to make me smile. it was cool to see " motown: the musical" last fall and watch my mom's reaction to different songs since she so rarely shows any sign of sentimentality. the jackson 5's (michael's really) cover of "who's lovin' you" really brightened her evening and i can now see why. this year also has my favorite supremes song ever, "someday we'll be together". it's also impressive how consistently great marvin gaye sounds every year. yet another great year from motown.

volume 10 (1970):
144 songs

i have definitely started to notice the political influence on music. also the vibe definitely changed around 68/69/70. less soulful and more funk. "ball of confusion (that's what the world is today)" by the temptations has a ton of power and i am still really surprised it's them. marvin gaye's "me and my lonely room" is probably one of my favourites thus far. this is the year i start to notice samples from dj mixes, such as the intro to "(i know) i'm losing you" by rare earth and "message from a black man" by the spinners. "young, gifted, and black" & "peace of mind" by bob & marcia were a real surprise with a total first wave ska vibe. this is also the year i start noticing the influence of the war.

volume 11a (1971):
119 songs

this volume starts off a bit too political for me. the first song i was excited about was my favorite temptations song "just my imagination (running away with me)". i don't mind politics, but the musical substance just isn't there for the joe hilton stuff. marvin gaye's "what's going on" and "war" by edwin starr have much more gonig for them.

the "we can work it out" cover by stevie wonder was a nice surprise. i still stand by my theory that beatles covers are generally better than the originals (see "i call your name" - mamas & the papas, "with a little help from my friends" - joe cocker, "because" - elliott smith, "across the universe" - fiona apple, "she's leaving home" - tori amos... the list goes on, come at me bro)

also, sammy davis jr was a big, hilarious surprise. stoney & meat loaf (not that meatloaf) are probably my favorite newbies this album.

um, "love story" by diana ross & bill cosby was one of the most bizarre things i have heard before. reminds me of "a letter from camp" by allan sherman.

volume 11b (1971):
120 songs

this is the first volume that i noticed the originals. they were the first thing i enjoyed on this volume. otherwise, i haven't really enjoyed this volume. a bit bland. and jesus, who is this tom clay fuck. remember SHUTTING THE FUCK UP.

volume 12a (1972):
113 songs

not much to say. my interest waned on the past few volumes. i'm just ready to be done at this point. "why do you cry" by howl the good sounds like a beatles song that i can't remember the name of, maybe something off let it be.

volume 12b (1972):
100 songs

HOME STRETCH! ahh, the year of ben. also performed by "michael jackson" and not the "jackson 5". first year i noticed that. anyway, i remember as a little girl how much i adored the plur sentiment of "ben". only to find out that it's about a fucking rat. poor kid was weird from the start. jermaine also has his own songs. still happy to see some jackson 5 on there too. especially "corner in the sky" from pippin. musical theatre represent!

"good morning heartache" & "god bless the child" tell me that "lady sings the blues" must have come out around this time. i still need to see that movie. when i watched "motown the musical" and they started talking about diana in a big studio movie, i thought it was going to be "the wiz", LOL. i find her voice to be an odd choice for billie though. it just doesn't fit. it's too pretty.

and that's the end, it was nice to close off with the supremes. i definitely lost interest in the last few years, but overall i am glad i went through all these hits.


04-25-2015, 07:12 PM
That's awesome! I stopped listening after 1970, which sounds the right decision. I will definitely have to give that playlist a spin.

04-25-2015, 07:31 PM
glad we're in agreement :)

also, i am about to watch that "standing in the shadows of motown" doc you recommended.

04-25-2015, 08:06 PM
very cool project.

04-25-2015, 09:40 PM

04-25-2015, 09:54 PM
Awesome. Thanks for posting.

04-26-2015, 01:18 PM
I've been meaning to do a chronological run through the Muscle Shoals/Swampers catalog. Totally not the same thing, obviously, but your project has motivated me to finally get off my duff and do that.

On topic: My interest for Motown really wanes around 1970. Outside Marvin Gaye and Stevie, there just wasn't a whole lot going on after that. '64-'70, though? That's the hot shit right there. I need to go back through and re-experience the 70s stuff even though I don't dig it nearly as much.

04-26-2015, 01:42 PM
yeah i want to do something similar for sun and chess records, but having trouble finding anything comprehensive on spotify.

good luck with your project!

04-26-2015, 03:40 PM
Going through Chess records would be incredible. And it would get suuuper weird in the late 60s with bands like Rotary Connection. And then their Cadet label had a lot of jazz, funk, and spoken word. Or their Checker imprint from the 50s also had a lot of amazing R&B singles. That would be a hell of musical journey to take.

04-26-2015, 06:27 PM
Oh man, Chess had one of those runs.

Completely different sound, but I have REALLY wanted to do this with SST records. I own a generous amount of their catalog, and I would love to just familiarize myself with all 300-something releases, as the ones I know are short-listed for my favorite albums of all-time.

04-26-2015, 10:31 PM
Completely different sound, but I have REALLY wanted to do this with SST records. I own a generous amount of their catalog, and I would love to just familiarize myself with all 300-something releases, as the ones I know are short-listed for my favorite albums of all-time.

Bizarre coincidence, but just yesterday I made a Spotify playlist of everything from a ? SST Records collage.

Link (https://open.spotify.com/user/tallguycm/playlist/2FTsJvm9y3SXNHocBWBNo6)