Motown Live Albums- Couple Of Questions FORUM: Archive - After July 12, 2003: Motown Live Albums- Couple Of Questions
Top of pageBottom of page   By ErikT.O. ( on Sunday, June 29, 2003 - 06:58 pm:

Hi folks, my first question is about a live Motown Revue lp I saw yesterday- the band is listed as Bohannon with (or conducting?) 'The Motown Sound' or something like that (No Funk Bros reference)... anyhow, where & when was this lp recorded, and am I to assume there's no official cd release? The lp was in awful shape for 15 bucks, so I passed. Any comments on the performances?
My second question- how many live Motown lp's are there?? I really dig the ones I have, and found one yesterday I'd never seen before (as well as the afore mentioned Bohannon-led lp which I'd also never seen anywhere before)... The Miracles Recorded Live On Stage (Tamla 241)- this album smokes! On the back, liner notes by Billie Jean Brown refer to a 'Recorded Live On Stage' series of Motown lp's... any comments on some of the other live Motown lp's? I'm curious as to what venues were used, how much (or little) overdubbing was done afterwards...

Top of pageBottom of page   By HW ( on Sunday, June 29, 2003 - 07:40 pm:

There were four 'Motortown Revue' live albums.

Vol. 1 - APOLLO NYC (rec. 1962, issued 1963)
Vol. 2 - issued 1964, not sure of venue, sorry
Live In Paris - recorded & issued 1965
Motortown Revue Live @ Fox Theater - issued 1969

The 'Live On Stage' series coincided with the first 'Motor Town Revue' album; the series also included Little Stevie Wonder's '12-Year-Old-Genius - Recorded Live On Stage' and albums by the Miracles, Marvelettes, Mary Wells and Marvin Gaye.

The company like most labels added fake applause to some if not all of the tracks.

Top of pageBottom of page   By motownboy ( on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 01:44 am:

There is a lot of fake applause in later live Motown albums like "GIT on Broadway" (1969), "Diana! TV Special" (1971), "Diana Ross Live At Caesar's Palace" (1974). The latter is evidenced by the different mix released on the CD issue than that which was used for the original LP, which had lots of dubbed in (and annoying) fake applause...........

Top of pageBottom of page   By motownboy ( on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 01:45 am:

Harry W -

Do you know if "Live In Paris" was originally recorded in stereo or mono? I have never seen a stereo copy.....

Top of pageBottom of page   By TonyRussi ( on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 07:24 am:

My fave and the most exciting sounding is Vol.II that was recorded end of '63 or early '64 at the Fox Theater in Detroit.

Top of pageBottom of page   By ErikT.O. ( on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 04:39 pm:

Hm, I think it was the '69 one I saw... too bad it was in such crappy shape... as I mentioned, I just got & really enjoy that Smokey live release even if the sides clock in at 12 or 13 minutes each! As a follow-up question, where was the live Earl Van Dyke lp recorded? Have these live lp's ever been officially released on cd?

Top of pageBottom of page   By TonyRussi ( on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 04:42 pm:

To my knowledge they haven't been on CD...I thought they were going to be issued in a CD Box set. HW is the man!

Top of pageBottom of page   By HW ( on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 07:29 pm:

won't be getting to that box set yet, unfortunately.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Reese ( on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 10:19 am:

The 1969 Motortown Revue album made it to CD back in the 80s. I kick myself now for not buying it.

Top of pageBottom of page   By stephanie ( on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 11:20 am:

The Supremes live at the Copa and the Temptations live doesnt sound like fake applause to me..I did hear from someone once that the Supremes at the Copa had been doctored up though and that Diana sang over some of this because her voice was hoarse. Is this true? Im sure like any live album it may have been a couple of performances put together but both of the albums sound cohesive and you cant tell if this is the case!!!!

The girls sound crazy on that Temptations Live album and CD you could tell they put on a good show and when I hear Melvins bass I just want to cry he could really do the Old Man River thing,

Top of pageBottom of page   By TonyRussi ( on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 11:58 am:

ErikTO, the '69 Motortown Revue which was recorded at the Fox Theater is worth the Blinky performance. The only live LPS that had some "doctoring" to them is the individual live LPS issued in '63. Mary Wells told me that hers was recorded at the Apollo and the Regal in Chicago but that the equipment(remote) was terrible and she remembers all the acts being called in to the studio to sit in chairs and cheer upon que because audience mikes had not worked during some of the recordings.

Top of pageBottom of page   By motownboy ( on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 03:51 pm:

Stephanie -

If you were to compare the mono and stereo LPs for Supremes "At the Copa" you can tell that Diana overdubbed some of her leads. In certain spots, like in "Come See About Me", you can hear where they kept part of the live vocal on the mono version and in the same spot on the stereo version, that live vocal can be heard in the background.

At the Motown Boards, Harry W. confirmed that Supremes at the Copa had studio overdubs. The DRATS "Farewell" lp does, too. The "Diana" TV special LP/CD has tons of fake applause as does the LP version of Diana Ross "Live At Caesar's Palace." Interestingly, the CD release of the "Caesars" album used a different master/mix and it doesn't have all (or nearly as much?) fake applause....

Top of pageBottom of page   By TonyRussi ( on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 04:03 pm:

I was only referring to the older live LPS...and as far as "At The Copa" my brother had the mono version, we didn't have stereos then and the mono LPs were a dollar cheaper.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Handsome ( on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 04:09 pm:


Question for Motownboy: Would you also say that was fake applause on T.C.B (Diana Ross & The Supremes with The Temptations) & Diana Ross & The Supremes at the Hollywood Palace (now that one sounds fake to me) Diana starts off singing "Where Do I Go", which sounded like a pre-recorded track. The the Supremes (Mary & Cindy) come in on "Good Morning Starshine'.

Top of pageBottom of page   By stephanie ( on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 06:08 pm:

I know for a fact on the TCB Soundtrack that the song It Aint Necessarily So is prerecorded I have two different takes of it and TCB the song was prerecorded I dont know personally about the other ones. At least Motowns fake applause sounds real because I sure couldnt tell but the Farewell album now that one fooled me. Didnt the people applaud enough or it isnt loud enough for the record so they have to add some? I guess if the mikes are not in the audience they have to add some any comments?

The explanation that TonyRussi gives makes sense but the applause on the Diana Ross and the Supremes Farewell album doesnt sound real to me except for the Intro do Someday We'll be together that does sound contrived..

Top of pageBottom of page   By motownboy ( on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 08:17 pm:

Hey Handsome(?) -

Yes, I would say that there is fake applause on TCB, GIT & the Hollywood Palace. Probably, the backing tracks for "Where Do I Go/Good Morning Starshine" from "Hollywood Palace" were recorded in a studio, but the vocals were done live at the taping. I am quite sure that on many of the Ed Sullivan performances, the music tracks were newly recorded in a studio specifically for the show. However, it seems that in MOST instances, the lead vocals, at least, were sung live....

Stephanie -

I never thought that "Farewell" had fake applause. It could very well have it. I guess a good job was done on it because I never noticed the appluse sounding fake as in most other Motown live albums......

Regarding the "Hollywood Palace" LP, I wonder what happened on side two? Side one is in true stereo and great sound, while side two sounds like a mono TV video soundtrack with "fake stereo" processing........

Top of pageBottom of page   By Reese ( on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 10:31 am:

Hey Steph:

IT AIN'T NECESSARILY SO wasn't from TCB. It was from G.I.T. ON BROADWAY. :-)

In any event, G.I.T. shouldn't be considered a live album, as the show was not taped before a studio audience. I believe there are at least two versions of the G.I.T. album. I bought two over the years and noticed some slight differences in applause, fades, and that sort of thing. Also, if you listen closely, some of the fake applause used for G.I.T. is also used on Gladys Knight and the Pips' live Motown album ALL IN A KNIGHT'S WORK.

Re the album MOTOWN AT THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE. It is really a combination of two episodes of the series hosted by Diana and the Supremes. Most of Side One is from the second show, and most of Side Two is from the first show.

The album performances of WHERE DO I GO/GOOD MORNING STARSHINE, CAN YOU REMEMBER, and CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU are completely different that what actually aired on TV. Also, the Gladys Knight and the Pips and Willie Tyler and Lester sections might have come from other episodes in the series,as I've never seen them on any of the bootleg videos of the Supremes-hosted episodes that I've come across.

Sorry to be so longwinded.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 05:55 pm:

GIT On Broadway was a television special that aired on NBC-TV as was its predecessor, TCB.

The DIANA! special aired on ABC-TV in April, 1971.

Fake applause and canned laughter were used in the original broadcasts so it's no surprise that the LP soundtracks had the same.

The Hollywood Palace LP was a compilation of segments from different airings.

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Uptight ( on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 03:12 am:

It's best to listen on headphones to pick out this stuff:

-On "Supremese Live at Copa," you can hear Diana overdubbing cleaner vocals over the distorted live one (another case where remote recording equipment was probably not up to par).

-On "Diana Ross Live At Caesar's Palace ('74)" the difference in the CD and LP masters were the edits. The end of a song might contain the applause of the next song, performed during another "set." Some of the applause may be authentic in that, while the applause may have been "inserted" to mask some edits, it still may be Caesar's Palace applause from her act there.

-"All In A Knight's Work" by Gladys Knight/Pips is like a hodge-podge of different live venues, with a bit of "canned" TV applause. I believe many live shows like theirs were recorded but not necessarily for release as albums--possibly to be studied by the artist to make improvements in their act. Somebody at Motown edited these GK/Pips performances in the form of a quasi-live LP.

TV show soundtracks like "The Temptations Show" and "G.I.T on Broadway" should not be considered live albums. The Tempts' TV special may have had a studio audience, but boy is it heavy on the "canned" audience. The Tempts TV album is definately from the audio track of the videotape, as the performance is in mono and the applause in sort-of phasey stereo. (Seems like canned TV applause literally got worn out over the years, as evidenced by the dropouts and phase shifting from overuse. LOL)

btw: Does anyone else agree that the Hitsville reverb chamber was used too much for those early live LPs? I'm grateful these LPs exist, but sheesh, enough with the reverb, already. No real auditorium sounded like that. LOL

Top of pageBottom of page   By Randy Russi ( on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 09:39 am:

The On Stage series, released about 63, as stated
before were LPs by Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, the
Miracles, and the Marvelettes. The best is the
one by the Miracles. All the others have obvious
flaws, ex: Mary Wells' LP plays the actual record
of "Old Love" and "Operator" w/an audience
applauding. On the Marvelettes' LP you can hear
how Gladys overdubbed "Twistin' Postman" because
the lead voice didn't come through, but you CAN
hear two voices; on "So Long Baby" it sure sounds
like Bobby Rogers yelling in the audience (which
was probably done in the studio) as Wanda sings.

Martha & the Vandellas Live LP, from 66 or 67, is
two different shows from the mono version to the
stereo version. Same songs, same venue (20 Grand), but different shows!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Handsome ( on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 10:51 am:

Thanks MotownBoy, Reese & KevGo.

Top of pageBottom of page   By BankHouseDave ( on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 11:01 am:

What Earl van Dyke live album?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Handsome ( on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 11:18 am:

I'm guessing that was a "real audience" on the album/cd Diana Ross & The Supremes, "Live At London's Talk of the Town"?

Also, I have a videotape of T.C.B- Not trying to crack, but did anyone notice in the opening, when Diana Ross & The Supremes come out sing the theme song, Mary was out of sync (temporarily) with the sway? Diana & Cindy were on cue. Mary caught herself and got right back in time.

Another thing I noticed was when Diana, Paul, Otis & Eddie were singing "Do you Know the Way to San Jose'", the guys looked like the were lip- syncing. What brought my attention to this was when the guys were going off the stage, Eddie stop singing, yet the vocals & track continuing to fade out.

One part that ALWAYS cracks me out is the African vogue scene with Diana Ross. I'll stop there, ha ha!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Uptight ( on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 05:12 pm:

Handsome, I think what you were seeing was a visual edit combining what looked good with what sounded good. On TCB, I believe they actually sung everything live with the band in more than one take, and what we see edited for the TV show is a sometimes combination of one visual take with another audio take. The Supremes & Tempts weren't actually mimicking to prerecorded vocals, it's just a phenomenon that occurs with videotape editing. Thus the lips might not match in a couple of spots.

Being an editor myself, I know there are challenges when combining what looks good with what sounds good for a video.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 06:45 pm:

According to Malcolm Addey, who was an engineer for EMI in the 1960s, the Supremes "Talk Of The Town" album was recorded direct to two-track tape.

If Motown dubbed in applause for the album, I wouldn't be surprised (see Uptight's commentary).

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Uptight ( on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 05:49 pm:

Anyone who attended a lot of these live shows in the 60s--can you tell us whether they usually performed their songs at a normal tempo?

On the days the band were notified that a live album is being recorded, were they told to speed up the tempo so they can fit most of the show on an LP? You can tell that some LP master tapes were sped up as well to cram a show onto the vinyl LP (which often gives the sound a mickey-mouse effect). It sounds like everything was performed at break-neck speed. It seems impossible to have enjoyed the show if they were rushing through it all.

I know that for a live show you have to give the songs a little more pep and energy (instead of recreating the record) to excite the crowd, but sheesh...

Top of pageBottom of page   By John Lester ( on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 03:35 pm:

Soneone asked about Motortown Revue Live In Paris

This album does exist in stereo..I ahve proof..but sorry no scanner

Top of pageBottom of page   By BankHouseDave ( on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 03:46 pm:


I would like to get hold of that. I saved up from my first summer job from school to buy the EMI Tamla-Motown mono version, only to have it stolen in 1971.

Top of pageBottom of page   By BankHouseDave ( on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 05:30 pm:

I know what you're saying, Uptight. Supremes at the Copa certainly sounded like it was on fast forward.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Uptight ( on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 06:07 pm:

BankHouse, Supremes at Copa master tape was definately sped up. Contrary to popular belief, Diana probably never sounded that whiney & nasal in real life.

John Lester, The Motortown Revue Live in Paris exists in stereo, but it is fake stereo. A mono recording but processed to simulate stereo onto a stereo LP master. What I mean is some of the bass is EQ'd more on the left channel while the treble is EQ'd more on the right. What a disappointment. Obviously this process proved a waste of time for the mastering engineer, and they rarely ever did it again.

Top of pageBottom of page   By BankHouseDave ( on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 06:23 pm:

That explains a lot, Uptight. I thought the MD was on speed. The result was that the bass dominated the mix - at least on the record player I had. Presumably it had shifted up to the alto register

Top of pageBottom of page   By Handsome ( on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 01:40 pm:

Thanks KevGo & Uptight.

Top of pageBottom of page   By motownboy ( on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 02:10 pm:

Hi Uptight,

Regarding your comments on Diana Ross at Caesar's Palace 1974 - The difference between the CD and The LP releases is not edits, it is a totally different mix on both. On The LP, Diana's vocal has lots of club "reverb" whereas the CD version has her voal more upfront in the mix without as much reverb.

The difference in applause is most easily discernable during the Lady Sings The Blues medley......In the MIDDLE of the medley, there is fake applause thrown in on the LP version that is put dead center in the mix wehereas the true applause from the crowd is in stereo..... Playing the two side by side, you can hear the difference and it is not due to edits.....

I do remember that there was also a quadraphonic version released in the US on 8-track only, but was released on quad LP in Japan back then....

Top of pageBottom of page   By motownboy ( on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 02:14 pm:

Hey John Lester -

Thanks for answering my question on the "Live In Paris" LP.....I have one more question:

Is the stereo LP version in TRUE stereo or is it fake,"re-channled" stereo???

Top of pageBottom of page   By Uptight ( on Monday, July 07, 2003 - 06:53 pm:

Hey, Motownboy. You're right. I'd forgotten the major diff between the CD & LP mixes of "Live at Caesar's." For example, you do hear the violins more prominently on one than the other.

I guess your A/B comparison was done more closely than mine. It's good to have both versions in your collection.

btw: I've seen the Q8 tape pop up on ebay a couple of times.

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