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Today 04:47 PM

Would things have been different for the Four Tops if H-D-H had stayed at Motown

I think this was discussed before, not sure; all these years we've read about how the departure of H-D-H from Motown really hurt the Four Tops and Supremes. The Four Tops have commented on how it hurt them chart-wise because H-D-H really knew them and wrote songs suited to them.

BUT- I wonder if H-D-H had remained at Motown, would it really have stopped the chart slide of both the Tops and Supremes? Looking at the songs that went out shortly before H-D-H departed, it seems the slide was already beginning.

"You Keep Running Away", "I'm In A Different Word", "Forever Came Today", "Keep Falling In And Out Of Love"; none of these really set the charts ablaze. Really though, after the absolutely stunning productions of "Reach Out", "Standing In The Shadows Of Love", "Bernadette" and even "Seven Rooms Of Gloom", where could you go? Likewise for songs like "Love Is Here And Now You're Gone" or "Reflections". Those productions were mammoth, broke new ground and new sounds. How do you top those?

Just a personal feeling here, but I also noticed the studio sound had changed after these hits. I don't know if Motown had changed over to newer recording equipment, but if you listen to the unreleased H-D-H tunes like "Lonely Lover" and "One Last Look", that Motown sound is quite a bit different from the '67 sound. To me, a song like "Different World" doesn't have the light, crisp sound of tunes like "I'll Turn To Stone" or "What Else Is There To Do (But Sit And Think About You)". When I heard "Different World", I just found that I couldn't get into it all that much. It had a rather heavy sound to it.

I'm not throwing "shade" as they say, but I've always thought that maybe, just maybe H-D-H had started to hit a sort of brick wall as far as where to go stylistically by this time. So, would things have been radically different for the Tops and Sups if H-D-H had stayed?
Today 05:26 PM

My Sound Of Philadelphia Blog

Hi! I have started a blog on the music of my birthplace: Philadelphia, PA. So far I have written four entries (The Volcanos' "Storm Warning", The Soul Survivors' "Expressway To Your Heart", The Formations' "At The Top Of The Stairs", and "The Horse" which was credited to Cliff Nobles). The entries so far are in date order, and will continue in that manner until I get to Back Stabbers in 1972 and the Philadelphia International label really takes off.
The recordings that I am discussing are all favorites from my youth and each recording contributed greatly to the evolution of The Sound Of Philadelphia in a different way. If a recording that you love has been omitted, it is not intended as a slight.
I would greatly appreciate feedback, and would love to hear about the singles you would like to see discussed in the future. Thank you for your time and if enjoy the blog, I hope you will subscribe. Jim.

https://jimbagleyphillymusic.wordpress.com/
Today 05:44 PM

Barrett Strong - Misery

I am listening to this right now on CKWW 580 out of Windsor, Ontario, Canada and thought I'd share this great recording here:

Today 05:18 PM

Martha Reeves & the Vandellas Gowns

There have been discussions in the past regarding the Supremes' gowns, as well as exhibits presented by Mary Wilson. However, Martha & the Vandellas had some nice gowns as well. Has anyone seen any of their stage attire displayed at any of the museums? Did Martha keep any of them? I was looking at the cover of Sugar N' Spice tonight and those gowns were lovely.
Today 05:03 PM

Spinners produced by Thom Bell

I was thinking recently about the great success that the Spinners had when they were linked with Thom Bell. I often wonder what avenues Thom would have opened had he been in the Motown leadership and worked with the Spinners at that time. He probably could have been a great success with other Motown artists.

I know that it is probably impossible, but does anyone have any knowledge of any Spinners/Thom Bell recordings that remain in the Atlantic vaults (wherever they might be) or in the PIR vaults. We all know where the Motown vault roster is located but Atlantic/PIR????????

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Ralph Terrana
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