Why does 6 by 6 by Earl Van Dyke sound different to most classic Motown tracks?
To my ears, "6 By 6" is a cracking track, but it sounds unlike most other tracks from the classic Motown era.
A noticeable difference is the absence of a tambourine.
The arrangement is also different to most tracks from mid-60s Motown.
More than these things, however, the track seems to lack any decent bass or treble. Instead, it sounds like a very poor cassette recording being played back on a machine with a worn or dirty head, leaving a load of poorly defined mid-range and not much else.
In every aspect, it seems that the normal Motown production values are absent. In fact, it actually sounds like an inexact imitation of Motown, much like a lot of tracks that ended up being classified as Northern Soul. Some of these, however, have a reason to sound like this inasmuch as they are now only available as needle drops of very worn 45s.
Clearly "6 By 6" isn't a needle drop - it's always sounded as it does.
So what's the story behind this track?
I can't really answer your question sotosound, but when I first heard the record, it got reissued in Britain at the end of 1970 on Tamla Motown (TMG 759) and got some airplay, it sounded to me like a HERB ALPERT record ...
Maybe they were trying to sound like Mr Alpert as his records were selling by the truckload in 1964/5/6 ...
I don't know the story, Soto, but by gosh you're right. The drum fills are as you'd expect, but as for the rest...
Originally Posted by roger
I always thought that they were trying to sound like the Tiijuana Brass on this and on "There Is Greater Love" more like Bill Doggett. Maybe having fun being imitators for once.