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  1. #51
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    I normally dont get into discussions like this but Supremester only said this to prove [[not that Supremester has anything to prove) that people think of him as a ROSS only fan and he wanted to help Martha out and was able to do so. There are many fanatics on the Internet but Supremester walks and walk and talks the talk. I have seen this from years ago and on earlier boards. Never have I seen him out anyone when it comes to personal matters like others have done in the past. Not on Soulful Detroit or any other board. Back to Martha Reeves,,,,,,,When I first got the album I thought the breakout tune was My Man youve Changed my Tune and I thought it would have gone top twenty,, Part of the problem with this album is not that it is bad. The public has always associated Martha with gritty songs like Nowhere to Run and Heatwave and here comes this poppy sounding thing. Loved the cover and the album got a heck of a lot of press. I think the audience wasnt ready for the lack of grit. Talk about not liking a cover I cant remember the title but I went in the record store once and saw Martha on roller skates and there was some song Skating in the Streets!
    Sheesh! I couldnt handle it.

  2. #52
    supremester Guest
    TY Ms Rivers ; ) I wasn't outing Martha and I wasn't bragging that I helped her - most here would have done the same. I brought it up because it was always my fear that, great as she is, w/o hits and w/o live gigs, she'd wind up in trouble - and that's what happened. That's why I listen for the hit first. After I heard ANMHE, I relaxed for side 2. I bit my nails through Everything Is Everything and hoped for Im Still Waiting. Surrender? It was doomed. I also thot My Man was the breakout tune for pop and r&b and maybe A/C. The problem with the song is that she sounds "off" on the first verse. Play it for a stranger and watch their face. Once it picks up - it's a viable commercial possibility. I never saw an LP get as much advance press as this one - all it had to do was deliver a hit or 2.

  3. #53
    supremester Guest
    I was so happy to hear Wild Night in Thelma & Louise. I wouldn't have led with Wild Night as it wasn't cold enough yet from Van Morrison. Gladys had Imagination out before Martha's album, so that was no good. I'm guessing Martha recorded it first, but don't know. My discussions with Martha on this took place between '78-'82 - she might have been fresher in the memory on it. She told me that Perry demanded over 40 takes of Many Rivers To Cross and she did it live with the choir and tempers got crazy and they didn't speak for months. She thought the LP had been shelved.
    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    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.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by detmotownguy View Post
    "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.
    Yeah, demotownguy, I discovered Martha's YouTube video performance on "Don Kirschner's Rock Concert" just last week, and I immediately posted it here on the Motown Forum. You're right, Martha seemed a bit stiff but she was vocally impressive. And her back-up singers were super! Those girls could SING! MCA sent her out well supported for her live TV performance. What I found strange was that it seemed as though Martha was trying to change her visual image. Instead of the classy hair-and-gown image portrayed on her MCA album cover, she purposely dressed down to match the progressive rock-crowd style which was popular at the time. Her dress reminded me of Carole King's Tapestry-era dress style, and Martha's hair was in two long braids [[ala early Rita Coolidge [[who I happen to love a lot). The physical image just didn't fit Martha at all in my book. But, again, her performance with the three back-up singers was stellar! And the audience seemed to really love her.
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 02-09-2015 at 02:01 AM.

  5. #55
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    The Martha Don Kirshner clip is historical ! Three popular background singers ...James Jamerson and Dennis Coffey! Martha blows on Power of Love....I enjoyed it. Martha was sporting those braids they looked great on her. Her little dance on Power of Love showed she could get down when she wanted to.

    Supremester I must be the only nut case when it comes to Ross and her first album. I will take Surrender and Everything is Everything over that first album anyday! Aint No Mountain High Enough and Dark Side of the World are the only songs I can listen to repeatedly. Now on Surrender [[the title track) Did you Read the Morning Paper [[which should have been a single as well and all of the other songs ..And if you See Him....I Could do a Simple Thing Like Cry....she was at her prime vocally..."If I could see a trace of hope somewhere in your eye maybe then I could do a simple thing like crryyy...if it didnt hurt so bad. Im sorry that first album pales compared to Surrender. Everything is Everything well My Place, Baby Its Love with a mean saxaphone, How About you?. Call Me [[she did a great spin on Aretha). I think I may have listened to that first album 8 times in all my life. I have the CDversions of Surrender, Everything and yes the first album just to make it complete. There is no reason on this earth why Black Magic should not have been a hit album. The timing was right and the songs were good. I would have pulled Your Love Makes it All Worthwhile as the first single. Tear it on Down got a lot of play here on the radio. Bless You reminded me too much of the Jackson Five but I liked the song it was a little to juvenile to me for them. Great album cover. This album not selling a lot is one of the biggest crimes in the music world even when I was a little girl on the playground someone had it. Kids have good taste.

  6. #56
    supremester Guest
    LOL - Good thing we were born on the same day or we'd have nothing in common at all.

    1) Everything Is Everything - I like it all but the cringe worthy title track.
    2) Diana Ross - It's all good but I only play it occasionally.
    3) Surrender - If it wasn't for All The Befores, I'd never play it. I like Can't Give Back The Love enough. I only use the mono single mix of Remember Me.

    Black Magic had it all: the best album the group ever did, radio friendly tracks, a cool cover, but a name that hadn't done a thing in too many years. I think Bless You was stupendous - a brilliant production that was ultimately wasted on MR&TV - Ross would have gone to #1 with it, JMC: Top ten. Martha did a killer vocal on it but it was over for them - couldn't get them on TV, on play lists, ....... sad. My singles: Bless You, Tear It On Down, I've Given You The Best Years Of My Life. I'd even have sent Something and No One There to AC. Look how hard it was to get Tina back from oblivion - and she wasn't carting around a 60's name like Vandellas. I think had Black Magic come out a a solo effort, it would have stood a chance. Martha's vocals are stupendous on every track. My least fave is Gordy's Your Love Makes It All Worthwhile and, I can pass on her I Want You Back. The rest is pure gold to me. I plugged that album so hard at Grant High - every dance, every party those songs got out and the response was great [[except for my hippie buds who, for the most part, wanted me to leave my records home.) They couldn't understand how I could sweat Janis and Led Zepplin - yet prefer I'm Still Waiting. LOL.

  7. #57
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    What a Shame lmao,again you should have kept that to yourself Supremester.

  8. #58
    supremester Guest
    Please Stay Positive!

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Yeah, demotownguy, I discovered Martha's YouTube video performance on "Don Kirschner's Rock Concert" just last week, and I immediately posted it here on the Motown Forum. You're right, Martha seemed a bit stiff but she was vocally impressive. And her back-up singers were super! Those girls could SING! MCA sent her out well supported for her live TV performance. What I found strange was that it seemed as though Martha was trying to change her visual image. Instead of the classy hair-and-gown image portrayed on her MCA album cover, she purposely dressed down to match the progressive rock-crowd style which was popular at the time. Her dress reminded me of Carole King's Tapestry-era dress style, and Martha's hair was in two long braids [[ala early Rita Coolidge [[who I happen to love a lot). The physical image just didn't fit Martha at all in my book. But, again, her performance with the three back-up singers was stellar! And the audience seemed to really love her.

    At the the time I thought a more contemporary cover shot might be better. I just thought that dress looked dated. She had a really good figure so show it off! That fluffy dress just didn't do it. I am sure others feel diff.

  10. #60
    supremester Guest
    ! agree - I don't like that shot at all - she's sneering and looks so posed and over processed. Martha looked great on Don Kirshner -

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by supremester View Post
    ! agree - I don't like that shot at all - she's sneering and looks so posed and over processed. Martha looked great on Don Kirshner -
    Kids my age wouldn't buy the album bc of that shot- I wonder how many good recordshave been passed over bc of the cover photo?

  12. #62
    supremester Guest
    Clearly everything that could have gone wrong with the album, practically did. Those of us who love Martha are fond of the project, but it was a commercial nightmare - IMO and I doubt that it got her any new fans. The cover was a beast, made her look matronly and we needed hip Martha. There was so much hype on this, I was expecting a lot more, but still there are lots of good cuts.......just no hits.
    Martha told me how excited she was to be rescued from Motown - she felt they were not interested in her. I've since learned otherwise, and if 4 record companies in 7 years can't get a hit on you.......it's not just the record companies. I think Martha's voice didn't connect with the mass public.

  13. #63
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    Lol there you go again Supremester,and you say you like Martha smh,one thing i know for sure,you love Diana Ross lol,and there's nothing wrong with that,but please STOP IT,with Martha Reeves lmao.you're just too nice,and nasty at the same time.if you do personal things for people,they should stay personal.
    Last edited by REDHOT; 02-09-2015 at 10:43 PM.

  14. #64
    supremester Guest
    This thread is not about Miss Ross, I've said nothing nasty, I do not care for your name calling and insults and am asking you nicely to practice what you preach, stay positive, and leave me out of your whatever it is that you do. Thank You.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by supremester View Post
    Clearly everything that could have gone wrong with the album, practically did. Those of us who love Martha are fond of the project, but it was a commercial nightmare - IMO and I doubt that it got her any new fans. The cover was a beast, made her look matronly and we needed hip Martha. There was so much hype on this, I was expecting a lot more, but still there are lots of good cuts.......just no hits.
    Martha told me how excited she was to be rescued from Motown - she felt they were not interested in her. I've since learned otherwise, and if 4 record companies in 7 years can't get a hit on you.......it's not just the record companies. I think Martha's voice didn't connect with the mass public.
    Ok one last comment! I cant find the footage, but Martha is on stage in a yellow dress singing with I believe a rock band. From what I remember, I was thinking a new direction is what was needed [[more rock based). She was really in control and sounded good. I always remember the drastic move Labelle did and how people reacted. I just hope my memory serves me correctly on this one lol!

  16. #66
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    I dont know if that would have worked for Martha but its a good thought when it comes to rock. The ONLY Motown group who I can think of that did a 360 degree turn when it came to looks and sound was Undisputed Truth. Its debatable as to whether it worked or not. We all know The Marvelettes and Martha and the Vandellas got more glamorous in press pics and onstage like the Supremes. In 1968 and above we know the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and the whole roster was changing their sound. Supremes showed up on Sullivan wearing shorts and being barefoot in the tenement slum and Marvin sang Whats Going On, The Tops were changing with Nature Planned it and STILL WATER but nobody had changed their look like Undisputed Truth I wonder whose idea that was to come out looking silver?

  17. #67
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    You're right Stephanie,about The Undisputed Truth,for some reason,i bet it was Norman Whitfield,he was they're producer,at that time,it's just a guess,i don't know for sure,i must say,i'v been playing a lot of Martha Reeves,she was great,back in the day.

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