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    Exclamation Martha Reeves voice Today... WHAT HAPPENED?

    I was watching some videos on YouTube about Martha Reeves, and watched a actual video of her, and I wondered, who is this woman? The voice of Martha is so unstable, it seems breathless, what happened to her voice? She barely can sing Nowhere To Run...

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEROOTU_v9E

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    She's advanced in age and has been singing for 50+ years? I'm amazed she still has as much energy as she has.

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    She did some surgery on the vocal cords or something? Her voice changed since 1984 i guess...

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    I guess it just depends on individual..gladys, mary, scherrie, diana , thelma, datlene and patt etc still sing quite well.Darlene at 73 was fantastic on letterman recently.

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    Actually this was pretty good for martha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Weslley Francisco View Post
    I was watching some videos on YouTube about Martha Reeves, and watched a actual video of her, and I wondered, who is this woman? The voice of Martha is so unstable, it seems breathless, what happened to her voice? She barely can sing Nowhere To Run...

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEROOTU_v9E

    its real real easy to sit back and say that the First Lady of Motown Records Dr Martha reeves cant sing like she used to. You try performing 10 months of the yaer at darn near 74 years old. Miss Reeves sounds great and shes still thrilling audience all over the world and in huge demmand and shes got the best personality and stage presennse in the business. Her Christmas CD was real real good and I say God bless this great legend.

    Roberta

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    its real real easy to sit back and say that the First Lady of Motown Records Dr Martha reeves cant sing like she used to. You try performing 10 months of the yaer at darn near 74 years old. Miss Reeves sounds great and shes still thrilling audience all over the world and in huge demmand and shes got the best personality and stage presennse in the business. Her Christmas CD was real real good and I say God bless this great legend.

    Roberta
    What about Patti LaBelle? That woman has been belting her face off for year - constantly pushing the limits and giving phenomenal performances to this day.

    I think its a matter of vocal technique and treatment. Depending on how well you treat your voice, combined with how you sing, one can either retain their range and quality or destroy it completely.

    The vocal cords is a muscle - a very, very tiny piece of mechanism that is essentially two tiny, thin pieces of paper [[except thinner than paper). When we use our voice, those cords vibrate together. Excess force - shouting, over singing, screaming, etc. - can cause too much friction, resulting in hoarseness, vocal nodules or cysts, or more severe damage. Over an extended period of time, improper care and technique can cause one's vocal quality - range, color, strength, etc. - to diminish. Sometimes, with proper rest and training, the damage can be reversible or halted. Other times, it cannot.

    Look at Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. Aretha had *THE* voice. Her strength and power were like no one else's. Today, it is almost painful to listen to her. Her range is gone and her tone is no longer as clear and strong as it once was.

    Whitney Houston, we all know, abused drugs and cigarettes for years. While that definitely did damage to her voice, I believe the MAIN cause for her vocal demise was her technique. She toured with 'The Bodyguard' for TWO years - a daunting task for most singers. On top of that, all of her material on her tour was limit-pushing - she was belting non-stop, over singing, and pushing through hoarseness. At one point, she developed vocal nodules, but continued with the tour. Singing over nodules is extremely damaging and unhealthy. In general, her technique was not the greatest. Her famous jaw warble was a result of jaw tension. She also had throat tension, over sang [[used her belt too often when she should have used her head voice), and did not rest or take the proper care that her voice needed.

    The voice, like any muscle, needs to be warmed up. It needs to be used properly, otherwise damage - be it temporary or permanent - can occur. Think of when athletes damage muscles in football or baseball.

    However, what can also happen is adverse health problems can affect the voice. Linda Ronstadt, for example, can never sing again due to her Parkinson's. Medications and surgeries can also be damaging to the vocal cords.

    Back to Martha. As powerful and beautiful as her voice was, I can surmise her technique and treatment of her voice contributed to her vocal decline. Either that, or she could have suffered some ill health that contributed to the loss of power and control in her voice.

    However, each person and each person's voice is different, and there's no way of us actually knowing what happened, unless we are an ENT that can examine the vocal cords specifically.

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    From what Martha has said to me, she really didn't learn much about how to exercise any big control over her voice until the mid-seventies, when, as she described it, she learned to let her voice be "drawn" from her rather than her "pushing" it out, and this is very evident when you compare her Hitsville tracks with her later ones. She attributed this to her spiritual epiphany. At that time, she gained another octave by not "pushing." Once she got that extra octave it seems like she got to enjoying being able to show it off and would slide all up and down the scales, way into the stratosphere. Eventually, this sort of singing can take its toll on vocal cords. Even Yma Sumac eventually had to rein it in, after all. Martha, however, just kept on belting. Most multi-octave singers [[especially operatic ones, but other singers as well) usually retire from public performance in their fifties or sixties. Martha's not ready to "go gentle into that good night."

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    antceleb:

    Thanks for taking the time to provide that amazing post. It was very informative.

    I know too well about how some of my favorites persevere with very little change [[Shirley Bassey for example), whereas others [[Dionne Warwick) are mere shadows of what they once were. As you said, it is all about taking care of the instrument.

    As for Martha, it seems to me as if she changed her entire style between the Rest of My Life album and the We Meet Again album, which was only a two-year gap. She went to what I considered at the time to be falsetto, even though that may not be the proper term for it. She continued in that style through the next album [[Gotta Keep Moving) and it appears that she now does even her older stuff in that same higher register.

    I didn't like the change when it happened, but I just considered it her personal choice as opposed to having any reasoning behind it. But I will take growly Martha [["I rolled the dice, seven eleven") over the "really like your rap" Martha any day.

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    Antceleb12 is correct.
    Each human being is different and so different genetics kicks in. It is very unfair to compare singers against each other and say one aged better than the other because this or that they did during their lifetime. While it is true that lifestyle will affect singing, so will genetics.

    As much as I love Motown, none of these singers compares to Ella Fitzgerald in my mind in terms of vocal technique and clarity. Yet toward the end of her career, Ella developed a very audible vibrato. This was largely due to her diabetic condition. No one could say she led a harsh lifestyle. She didn't smoke, no drugs, very little drink. She was overweight, granted, but is that genetics or lifestyle? I would not consider her to have a bad lifestyle but she went from being as clear as a bell and able to hold notes no human should be able to do in her middle Verve years to a terribly jarring vibrato by about the mid-1970s when she was recording for Pablo.

    I'm just glad that Ms. Reeves is still singing and performing. I am happy to listen to her, if for no other reason, out of sheer respect.
    Last edited by thanxal; 02-05-2015 at 07:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thanxal View Post
    I'm just glad that Ms. Reeves is still singing and performing. I am happy to listen to her, if for no other reason, out of sheer respect.
    Great words. I completely agree. She's a living legend, and if you watch her in any interview she remembers everyone at Motown and speaks about them often and with great respect.

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    thanal; You hit the nail on the head when you stated you're just glad that Martha Reeves is still singing and performing, and that you're happy to listen to her out of sheer respect! Many of our favourite entertainers from the 60's who are still performing have morphed into entertainers perhaps more being able to thrill with the impressive vocal powers they once possessed. I'm more than willing to give a pass for the ravages of time when the essence is the performer is still alive and kicking.

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    Whenever I hear Martha Reeves interviewed and discussing any and all things Motown, there's one thing about her that always seems to hit me: She is the voice of reason. And that voice is direct, forthright, and open. And she listens very closely and responds honestly and often with a quick wit and sense of humor that doesn't obscure what she's saying but enhances it. It all draws me in; it makes me want to hear what she has to say. And Martha's perspective on Motown and the artists' place within the structure of it repeatedly strikes me as unflinchingly clear and focused; she knows how good she was during that portion of her career but she is just as willing to recognize--and to acknowledge--all the other people and elements that went into making the music so unique and, ultimately, lasting. She seems to effortlessly speak her mind because she's so mindful of what was and is.

  14. #14
    I never thought of Martha as such a technically great singer, I always just thought she had soooo many good songs! I always prefer great songs sung with emotion rather than boring, "technically" perfect vocals.

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    Martha Reeves will always be one of the greatest Rock & Soul performers of all time.

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    Thank you everyone who support the First Lady of Motown Records Dr Martha reeves. Miss Reeves is was and always will be Motowns greatest ambassador and they greatest performer. When i think of Motown i think of Miss Martha Reeves and when she speak of Motown or mr Gordy she always speak real well and in glowing terms. Her voice is great and she's in high demand and she looks great and sounds great and is Motowns best performer imo. the First Lady of Motown Records Dr Martha reeves is almost 74 years old and still putting on a show that has more energy that some of these performers who lip sinc and strut around the stage barely breaking a sweat.

    God bless the First Lady of Motown Records Dr Martha Reeves and may God watch over her.

    Fondly,

    Roberta

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    I love Martha but have trouble listening to her these days.

    When I saw Susaye and Scherrie recently, it was amazing to me how little both their voices had changed since their heyday with the Supremes. There was - perhaps - a very slight deepening of tone and I'm not sure but I think neither could hit the highest notes they did in the past, but both their voices sounded virtually identical to their recordings from the Supremes' and "Partners" LPs.

    Whether this is because they both took amazing care of themselves [[I'm sure they both did), the fact that they haven't toured constantly like Martha or others, or just because they were both blessed with incredibly supple voices, I don't know. But it's a feat to behold, I can tell you.

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    Before anyone get me wrong, the reason this thread was not to say that Martha cant sing I was shocked, and also worried, because I had never seen an actual video of her, I thought had happened, an accident or an illness that damaged her voice, but after 50 years singing, she continues singing beautifully, she is one of my favorite singers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Weslley Francisco View Post
    Before anyone get me wrong, the reason this thread was not to say that Martha cant sing I was shocked, and also worried, because I had never seen an actual video of her, I thought had happened, an accident or an illness that damaged her voice, but after 50 years singing, she continues singing beautifully, she is one of my favorite singers

    Then em why did you say that Dr Martha Reeves could barely sing Nowhere to Run to?

    you are right about Miss Reeves still singing beautifuly cause she does.

    Roberta

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    If i may chime in,the great martha reeves is still amazing,74yrs old fifty plus years on stage with all the reheasing that comes before hitting the stage,many 70 somethings can barley talk or even remember things,and this legend is still outthere god bless her,hell i hope she's still doing it at 100...martha reeves forever!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by arr&bee View Post
    If i may chime in,the great martha reeves is still amazing,74yrs old fifty plus years on stage with all the reheasing that comes before hitting the stage,many 70 somethings can barley talk or even remember things,and this legend is still outthere god bless her,hell i hope she's still doing it at 100...martha reeves forever!!
    Preach arr&bee preach. Dr martha Reeves is amazing.

    Yours, with every good wish.

    Roberta

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    Roberta... 'Cause for me it seems a little breathless, and his voice is a half unstable, she can't sing high notes in linear tone, her voice wavers sometimes... But she's still singing very very very well...

  23. #23
    supremester Guest
    No one sings like Martha Reeves - case closed!!

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    Amem...

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    Quote Originally Posted by supremester View Post
    No one sings like Martha Reeves - case closed!!
    thank you dear. We know shes the best.

    Fondly,

    Rioberta

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    Only semi-related to this thread, but I do wish to encourage all fans of Dr. Reeves to pick up a copy of the recently re-issued "The Rest Of My Life", which is just sublime and I think her mature masterpiece, before it goes out of print.

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    Probably my favorite. If you don't have this one.....it's a keeper....get it!

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    Contains the all-time absolutely best version of Van Morrison's WILD NIGHT. It turned up in the movie "Thelma & Louise," too.

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    Well, Berry Gordy heard this album and wanted Richard Perry to produce Diana Ross because Richard did such a good job [[or Martha did such a good job) on this album!

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    Quote Originally Posted by blueskies View Post

    Probably my favorite. If you don't have this one.....it's a keeper....get it!
    It is a wonderful album.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Methuselah2 View Post
    Contains the all-time absolutely best version of Van Morrison's WILD NIGHT. It turned up in the movie "Thelma & Louise," too.
    I agree, Methuselah.....one of the reasons I love it so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertZ View Post
    Only semi-related to this thread, but I do wish to encourage all fans of Dr. Reeves to pick up a copy of the recently re-issued "The Rest Of My Life", which is just sublime and I think her mature masterpiece, before it goes out of print.
    I got my copy a few weeks ago, Robert. The CD remastering is excellent. Although my favorite track is still "Second Chance", I found that I love the entire album even more than I had remembered. Martha's voice is in top form, the back-up girls are hot, and every track is a winner. Martha deserved to have a huge hit with this release.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blueskies View Post

    Probably my favorite. If you don't have this one.....it's a keeper....get it!
    Already got it, blueskies. This album, too, should have been a huge hit for Martha. Richard Perry had Norman Whitfield's "Grapevine" groove down to a tee on Martha's version of "I've Got To Use My Imagination". The entire album is great from start to finish. How it failed on the charts is still beyond me.
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 02-06-2015 at 10:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    I got my copy a few weeks ago, Robert. The CD remastering is excellent. Although my favorite track is still "Second Chance", I found that I love the entire album even more than I had remembered. Martha's voice is in top form, the back-up girls are hot, and every track is a winner. Martha deserved to have a huge hit with this release.
    I agree! The remastering on all the Funkytowngrooves CDs is just wonderful. The Martha Reeves album is better than I remembered also, just as Gary said. But my favorite is still "Love Blind" which to me is very Vandellas-esque. Loved it then, love it now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by antceleb12 View Post
    What about Patti LaBelle? That woman has been belting her face off for year - constantly pushing the limits and giving phenomenal performances to this day.

    I think its a matter of vocal technique and treatment. Depending on how well you treat your voice, combined with how you sing, one can either retain their range and quality or destroy it completely.

    The vocal cords is a muscle - a very, very tiny piece of mechanism that is essentially two tiny, thin pieces of paper [[except thinner than paper). When we use our voice, those cords vibrate together. Excess force - shouting, over singing, screaming, etc. - can cause too much friction, resulting in hoarseness, vocal nodules or cysts, or more severe damage. Over an extended period of time, improper care and technique can cause one's vocal quality - range, color, strength, etc. - to diminish. Sometimes, with proper rest and training, the damage can be reversible or halted. Other times, it cannot.

    Look at Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. Aretha had *THE* voice. Her strength and power were like no one else's. Today, it is almost painful to listen to her. Her range is gone and her tone is no longer as clear and strong as it once was.

    Whitney Houston, we all know, abused drugs and cigarettes for years. While that definitely did damage to her voice, I believe the MAIN cause for her vocal demise was her technique. She toured with 'The Bodyguard' for TWO years - a daunting task for most singers. On top of that, all of her material on her tour was limit-pushing - she was belting non-stop, over singing, and pushing through hoarseness. At one point, she developed vocal nodules, but continued with the tour. Singing over nodules is extremely damaging and unhealthy. In general, her technique was not the greatest. Her famous jaw warble was a result of jaw tension. She also had throat tension, over sang [[used her belt too often when she should have used her head voice), and did not rest or take the proper care that her voice.

    However, what can also happen is adverse health problems can affect the voice. Linda Ronstadt, for example, can never sing again due to her Parkinson's. Medications and surgeries can also be damaging to the vocal
    However, each person and each person's voice is different, and there's no way of us actually knowing what happened, unless we are an ENT that can examine the vocal cords specifically.
    Whitney's "The Bodyguard Tour" actually lasted 3 years. And Mervyn Warren, the producer of "The Peacher's Wife" said she kept leaving the studio and never finished
    one song in a few takes. Narada Michael Walden said she nailed "The Greatest Love of All" in one take.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arr&bee View Post
    If i may chime in,the great martha reeves is still amazing,74yrs old fifty plus years on stage with all the reheasing that comes before hitting the stage,many 70 somethings can barley talk or even remember things,and this legend is still outthere god bless her,hell i hope she's still doing it at 100...martha reeves forever!!
    That is absolutely not true! Those in their seventies who can't talk or remember things suffer from illnesses. Most people in their seventies are still active and in fine voice.

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    Within the record industry, MCA was known as "the M.usic C.emetery of A.merica", where an artist's career goes to die. [[RCA was known as the R.ecording C.emetery of A.merica).
    Besides Olivia Newton John, who's rise was more the mid 70s....and possibly their track record with female country artists, I cannot think of any female artists that MCA can be credited with breaking prior to that time.
    Not only that, Martha was a well respected R&B/pop artist whose last major success was 5 years before.
    MCA was tasked with transforming a female R&B /pop artist into a Pop /r&b artist, which was clearly above their abilities. I am not sure exactly who signed Martha to MCA, but, that person should have walked hand in hand with Martha educating the ranks into his vision.
    It seems they A&R'd a great critically acclaimed record, not unlike Minnie Riperton's debut on Chess, "Come to My Garden".....that struggled to find its audience.
    "Wild Night" was a great launch. But Martha's success at radio began with R&B. R&B could not be expected to break "Wild Night". "Honey Chile", her last pop success) peaked just under the Top 10 [[#11) at Pop radio....but that was 5 years before in 1967.
    So while one could applaud the M.C.A./Publicity Dept. for a good press effort....that same diligence didn't resonate anywhere else at MCA. [[Ironically, decades later Me'Shelle N'degeocello would have a Top 5 Hot 100 hit with "Wild Night". But Me'Shelle already had an eclectic fanbase, let alone an amazing duet partner).
    Last edited by Bokiluis; 02-07-2015 at 04:52 PM. Reason: grammar

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    Quote Originally Posted by antceleb12 View Post
    that is absolutely not true! Those in their seventies who can't talk or remember things suffer from illnesses. Most people in their seventies are still active and in fine voice.
    i said some not all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    I got my copy a few weeks ago, Robert. The CD remastering is excellent. Although my favorite track is still "Second Chance", I found that I love the entire album even more than I had remembered. Martha's voice is in top form, the back-up girls are hot, and every track is a winner. Martha deserved to have a huge hit with this release.
    Great comments and I agree 100%! Glad you love the re-release as much as I. Did you have the LP, Gary?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertZ View Post
    Great comments and I agree 100%! Glad you love the re-release as much as I. Did you have the LP, Gary?
    Yes I did, Robert. In fact, I received the album as a Christmas gift [[at my request) when it first came out in 1976.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arr&bee View Post
    If i may chime in,the great martha reeves is still amazing,74yrs old fifty plus years on stage with all the reheasing that comes before hitting the stage,many 70 somethings can barley talk or even remember things,and this legend is still outthere god bless her,hell i hope she's still doing it at 100...martha reeves forever!!
    Hear, Hear! Miss Martha is legend!

  42. #42
    supremester Guest
    I was/am a huge Martha fan. No one was looking forward to her first solo LP more than me. Black Magic was my fave of her albums by a mile and I assumed it would get better still. This album was a giant disappointment to me. Nothing against Richard Perry, but if he was a genius, he would not invest so much into a formatting nightmare like this Carole King meets Bettye LaVette at Muscle Shoals mess. Some songs are in the wrong key. One killer radio-friendly track has wretched lyrics [["my dog had some pu-pies. Would you like to have one? He will be your friend and he will lick your face!") Some were annoyingly formula even when it was new. Some are in the wrong key. Perry filters her voice to heavily on most cuts. It had been ten years since her last top 5 hit, and seven since her last top 40 - geez, shouldn't it be just a little bit more tailored to radio than this? Martha's career was teetering on the edge and this project had so much pre-release press for a year, that only an astonishingly unremarkable debut album such as this could have petered out so fast. I know I'm rough on it. I listen to it out of frustration because I have to listen to SOMETHING Martha did, but geez, the only sublime track, Many Rivers To Cross, is not exactly top 40 material - and even it goes into the fade too soon. I wanted a hit for Martha because I want to be able to buy lots of Martha albums, so when I heard this no-hit collection, it was prognosis negative. I prolly would have re-cut the first verse of My Man and sent it out as the lead single with a much longer fade for the album. I think it had the best shot of multi format play. Didn't like the cover much either. -
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Already got it, blueskies. This album, too, should have been a huge hit for Martha. Richard Perry had Norman Whitfield's "Grapevine" groove down to a tee on Martha's version of "I've Got To Use My Imagination". The entire album is great from start to finish. How it failed on the charts is still beyond me.

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    That's just like you Supremeter,nice and nasty at the same time lmao.

  44. #44
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    It's not nasty, it's why I think the project failed so miserably. Everyone knows it didn't hit. The industry was anxiously awaiting it - as was I. I was thrilled that MY Martha was finally getting a huge chance to prove her mettle and have a big career. I cared because selfishly, I wanted her to have output like Miss Ross and Gladys - with new tours with her new hits. These are opinions, btw, I shared openly and candidly with Martha in the 70's and she not once thought I was being nasty. She was grateful, in fact, when just a few years after this masterpiece was released, to have Diana Ross' #1 fan bring her food, pot and a little money when she was broke, fired and cut off from room service at her hotel in my city because she showed up with no Vandellas for a two week return gig at The Sheraton Airport Lounge. THAT'S the kind of gig she was happy to get in the late 70's and early 80's. a HUGE talent like hers playing joints.......but she put on a great show each time. I hated the idea of her worrying about money and the like when she had brought so much pleasure to so many. She told me how Motown owed her a bunch of money in royalties and how they screwed with her and Richard Perry to gain her release. I was fascinated.
    We also discussed the failure of her Arista project and not once did she, or Miss Ross, mercifully, resort to blame their poor showings on lack of promotion, sabotage or fear of competition. There: THAT was nasty. Happy?
    Last edited by supremester; 02-08-2015 at 09:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by supremester View Post
    I was/am a huge Martha fan. No one was looking forward to her first solo LP more than me. Black Magic was my fave of her albums by a mile and I assumed it would get better still. This album was a giant disappointment to me. Nothing against Richard Perry, but if he was a genius, he would not invest so much into a formatting nightmare like this Carole King meets Bettye LaVette at Muscle Shoals mess. Some songs are in the wrong key. One killer radio-friendly track has wretched lyrics [["my dog had some pu-pies. Would you like to have one? He will be your friend and he will lick your face!") Some were annoyingly formula even when it was new. Some are in the wrong key. Perry filters her voice to heavily on most cuts. It had been ten years since her last top 5 hit, and seven since her last top 40 - geez, shouldn't it be just a little bit more tailored to radio than this? Martha's career was teetering on the edge and this project had so much pre-release press for a year, that only an astonishingly unremarkable debut album such as this could have petered out so fast. I know I'm rough on it. I listen to it out of frustration because I have to listen to SOMETHING Martha did, but geez, the only sublime track, Many Rivers To Cross, is not exactly top 40 material - and even it goes into the fade too soon. I wanted a hit for Martha because I want to be able to buy lots of Martha albums, so when I heard this no-hit collection, it was prognosis negative. I prolly would have re-cut the first verse of My Man and sent it out as the lead single with a much longer fade for the album. I think it had the best shot of multi format play. Didn't like the cover much either. -
    No problem, supremester. I didn’t take your review of Martha’s first solo album as being nasty. You were just expressing your opinion. It’s funny how we Motown fans can be so similar and yet so opposite. Your favorite track was "Many Rivers To Cross" – that, and "Dixie Highway", remain my least favorites. Methuselah2 and, I think, somebody else mentioned how much they love "Wild Nights". It, too, was my least favorite track upon my first listening. It sounded too "Saturday-Night-Live"-ish [[progressive rock-ish), although it has since grown on me a lot. There’s nothing horrible on the album, though. My favorite tracks have always been "You’ve Got Me For Company", "Ain’t That Peculiar", "Power Of Love", "My Man [[You’ve Changed My Tune)", and "I’ve Got To Use My Imagination". I still say that Martha’s first solo outing on MCA should have been a hit.

    Oh, BTW, that was really nice of you to help Martha out in her time of need. - Gary
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 02-08-2015 at 05:14 PM.

  46. #46
    supremester Guest
    My issue is my own selfishness about the artists I really like: I want them to have hits so they'll keep recording and touring. I didn't hear a hit on here. It's the first thing I'd listen for every time a new Ross album would come out - Where's the hit? I love Wild Night [[lol @ your Sat Nite Live ref)- but it couldn't go R&B easily and Martha couldn't even get play on Bless You - that Motown pushed like mad. Power Of Love is fine, but not original enough. It makes me crazy because Martha had killer pipes. And issues, bless her. Her fight with Richard perry says it all. This dude spent 6 figures wrestling her from Motown and they wound up not speaking for many months - in the middle of recording this album. A lot of people don't connect with Martha's voice - that's why she never sold albums at Motown, so she needs super commercial production to get her on the radio - she just didn't get much of it after Motown. I'm happy that's she's doing well, working a lot and is financially secure.

  47. #47
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    I happen to think Martha's MCA lp is incredible, maybe a little uneven at times, but it should have established Martha as a solo artist of stature. The lp got rave revues with Billboard saying there wasn't a bad cut on it.

    The problem came with packaging and selections of singles. Clearly Wild Night was the standout hit on here but for whatever reason MCA put out Power Of Love instead. That song had only been out a few years prior and Martha's version wasn't all that different. With modest promotion the single made a dent on the Pop chart. By the time Wild Night came out as a single the lp was already losing momentum. Martha's version of Imagination to me is miles better than Gladys's, but MCA held back on that one too. My Man is a fine song, but not commercial for its time. But that was the third release and by this time the album was dead. Even the funk-added to Sweet Misery would have been a better choice for single release.

    Martha and I have spoken about this lp many times and she always had glowing things to say about Richard Perry. She never mentioned having a fall out with him. Another problem Martha had with MCA was that she was accustomed to charging everything to her record company while at Motown. MCA wasn't having it. They spent a small fortune getting her out of her Motown contract and they weren't going any further in debt to an artist that was not selling records.

    If you catch Martha on YouTube she appeared on Don Kirschner's Rock Concert at the time the lp came out. She had a strong band and some good backing vocalists. But she appears uneasy on stage by herself.

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    To this day,i still loved the album,what Martha needed was a team,behind her,that she didn't have,i think that Richard Perry did a fine job,on producing the album,Supermester if the story you told is true,about you giving Martha money and all,shame on you for telling us,i would have only told,my close friends,maybe smh.
    Last edited by REDHOT; 02-08-2015 at 08:53 PM.

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    "If you catch Martha on YouTube she appeared on Don Kirschner's Rock Concert at the time the lp came out. She had a strong band and some good backing vocalists. But she appears uneasy on stage by herself".

    Yea you know she did look a bit uneasy, maybe even a bit stiff; but she did smile a few times. Otherwise, I thought she sounded really strong and really enjoyed the performance.

  50. #50
    supremester Guest
    IF this story is true??? GFY. Don't get me confused with your bff on here who lies all the time. Personally, I don't GAF what YOU would do in any situation. I never told this story in public for a long time because Martha was struggling. ONE person on this list knew about it at the time and he never told anyone either. Martha is doing very well for herself now and is not embarrassed to admit she had rough times 3 and a half decades ago.

    I'm glad you love the album. Unfortunately, you or me liking something doesn't make it hit material. Martha had a tough time selling albums always. Even Dance Party & Watchout! sold poorly considering they had two big hits each. After Watchout!, her Live LP and Riding High barely charted, the next two didn't chart at all, and Black Magic did a little business. The Richard Perry album desperately needed Top 40 friendly material and didn't have any.

    Quote Originally Posted by REDHOT View Post
    To this day,i still loved the album,what Martha needed was a team,behind her,that she didn't have,i think that Richard Perry did a fine job,on producing the album,Supermester if the story you told is true,about you giving Martha money and all,shame on you for telling us,i would have only told,my close friends,maybe smh.

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