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Today 12:00 PM

When do you think rhythm and blues/soul went downhill?

I'm going with the 1980s, I felt that was the beginning of the end of good soul music.

What about you guys?
Today 04:02 PM

Sound Engineering Question: "The Miracles Oh Be My Love"

Hopefully, Bradburger will see this as he always seems to pick right up on what I'm going on about. From the Away We A Go-Go album, this has always been one of my favorites. There is something ethereal, otherworldly and sinuously, seriously slinky about "Oh Be My Love." The tempo is at such a relaxed, slow-as-molasses pace, this had to have been an ultimate make out tune. [[And that bass line though- there is some serious finger work going on with this one.)

One thing in particular about this song; I always felt the drums sounded as if they were hitting the beat just a millisecond off, a very casual playing technique very different than Motown's usual right-on-the-beat style. So recently, I was listening to this when it hit me- was this thing recorded at one speed and then slowed down a tone or two? There is something in the drum sound that made me wonder if that's what is going on here. I'd love to hear others' opinions on this. So recently, I was listening to this when it hit me- was this thing recorded at one speed and then slowed down a tone or two? There is something in the drum sound that made me wonder if that's what is going on here.
Today 07:37 PM

Sisters Love CD Question

For those of you who have the CD "With Love," does your copy have writing on the inner side of the back insert? Mine does, some of it is red, and it looks like it might have been notes from a recording session.

I just wanted to make sure this is on ALL copies, not just mine.
Today 05:03 PM

The Marvelettes "Paper Boy" "Please Mr. Postman" clone?



On another thread, the subject of Motown B-sides came up. I was thinking about this one by the Marvelettes, "Paper Boy." I recall being kinda ticked that Motown would stick such an older song on the B-side of "You're The One." I was looking for something much more "MOTOWN!" [[chuckle). It's not a bad song, but I had the feeling that this was something that back in 1963, somebody thought would be a tie-in hit going back the the "Postman" theme and feeling. Had anyone else recorded this, I probably wouldn't have liked it at all, but as usual, the Marvelettes were able to transcend even the dullest and poorly-conceived material.

This more or less illustrates the issue Motown was having in trying to capitalize on The Marvelettes first major hit [[Please Mr. Postman) and trying distill what made that one work into their later follow-ups. It's pretty much the same issue the company had with Little Stevie Wonder. Once "Fingertips" hit, they had a heck of a time trying to figure out how to build on that to keep the momentum going. I think Brenda Holloway too was saddled with having to remain in her "box" as a singer of slower, emotional ballads after having a hit right out of the gate with "Every Little Bit Hurts".

"Paper Boy" was recorded in 1963, quite a few years beyond "Postman." Yet the implications are all there that this was some kind of attempt to recapture the glory of that first image-making hit. If that was the case, this would seem to be hitting rock bottom. Especially when you consider Motown ended up going with "My Daddy Knows Best" and "As Long As I Know He's Mine." Not the worst of songs, but definitely and very much tunes contrived to keep the group in their teeny-bopper stage. Still, you gotta hand it to the group that their fan base and Motown's creativity was strong enough that even their lower-charting singles kept them on the charts long enough to weather the drought of hits until "Don't Mess With Bill."

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Ralph Terrana
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