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  1. #1

    Friday morning - time for the weekly Quality Control meeting! what would you do?

    Part of Motown's success was that it only released winners. or at least attempted to. We all know of the famous QC meetings Berry held each Friday morning. all songs were reviewed and only the best were released. sometimes a song was sent back to the producer to work on some more. Sometimes a supposed winner was released but maybe it really wasn't as strong as it could be. or sometimes a winner was completely overlooked!

    So if you were head of the QC meetings, what released would you have changes or songs altered?

    I'm In A Different World (Four Tops) - this song needs some sort of introduction. something to grab the listener. plus dj's would need the intro to allow them to transition from one song to another.

    How Long Has Evening Train Been Gone (DRATS) - this should have received a single mix and been the Love Child follow up. stronger storyline than Living in Shame. and stronger vocal performance too

    A Little Bit of Heaven (MR&TV) - this should have followed up either I Promise to Wait or I Can't Dance. Frankly given the frankenstein treatment I Can't Dance was given, they should have dropped it and gone with this. Although it needs a little more. it's a tad short as is

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    Part of Motown's success was that it only released winners. or at least attempted to. We all know of the famous QC meetings Berry held each Friday morning. all songs were reviewed and only the best were released. sometimes a song was sent back to the producer to work on some more. Sometimes a supposed winner was released but maybe it really wasn't as strong as it could be. or sometimes a winner was completely overlooked!

    So if you were head of the QC meetings, what released would you have changes or songs altered?

    I'm In A Different World (Four Tops) - this song needs some sort of introduction. something to grab the listener. plus dj's would need the intro to allow them to transition from one song to another.

    How Long Has Evening Train Been Gone (DRATS) - this should have received a single mix and been the Love Child follow up. stronger storyline than Living in Shame. and stronger vocal performance too

    A Little Bit of Heaven (MR&TV) - this should have followed up either I Promise to Wait or I Can't Dance. Frankly given the frankenstein treatment I Can't Dance was given, they should have dropped it and gone with this. Although it needs a little more. it's a tad short as is
    Something should have been redone to eradicate the mic pop on the 'p' in the word 'pride' in Jimmy Ruffin's Don't You Miss me A Little Bit Baby

  3. #3
    And if You See Him (D.Ross). Released as a solid follow up to I'm Still Waiting. A stunning vocal performance over a shimmering, moody production. A true classic in every sense of the word.

  4. #4
    All songs where the singer sings "axe" instead of "ask" would have to have been re-done (I've heard a few but The Jackson 5 "One More Chance" readily springs to mind).

  5. #5
    At the 2:21 mark in Stevie Wonder's "Hey Love", the vocals are doubled as he sings"hey love". I'd have that corrected before release because there's no doubling anywhere else in the song as far as I can tell. By the way, only the mono mix has this anomaly.

  6. #6
    "Everything's Good About You"-Supremes At the :22-:23 mark, just before Diana sings, "You brighten my whole world," the vibraphone (vibes, chime like instrument) does not follow the pattern of progressively moving up a step on each phrase. It does do so in the instrumental introduction and at other points in the song. Although there was a recent edition of this where it appears to have been corrected (or at least covered), it should never have been released with this error. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyVQW9Go7U4

  7. #7
    If I had attended Motown's Quality Control meeting the day they approved The Supremes "There's No Stopping Us Now" for inclusion on "Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland" as well as the B-side of "Love Is Here And Now You're Gone", I would have made H-D-H take that sucker back into the studio and correct the annoying sax squeak in the instrumental break. I still cringe every time I hear it! Motown has always been known for its consistent high quality standards. How they ever let such a mistake slip through the cracks is beyond me -- especially on a recording of their #1 group.

  8. #8
    That sharp note Diana hits at the second modulation of “I Hear a Symphony” (right after “let it go on and on and on now”) has always mystified me. How did that not get a retake?

  9. #9
    "Silent Voices" from the Supremes.

    Either a bad edit job or Jean comes in too early when she sings the line "My love, oh my love."

    It comes out as "Muh. My love, oh my love."

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    That sharp note Diana hits at the second modulation of “I Hear a Symphony” (right after “let it go on and on and on now”) has always mystified me. How did that not get a retake?
    Hey, Sansradio, what I love about this forum, along with the different viewpoints, is the different perceptions we have on the music. I went back to the spot where you mentioned Diana's sharp note at the modulation. Strange, but I didn't hear it. And please, don't say that I must be deaf or stupid (as some would do). I'm not saying that she's not singing sharp at that spot; I just don't hear it. But then again, odd nuances that I hear might not be heard by others. I really enjoy this thread. I'm one of those "backroom" musicians who writes and records music so I am constantly learning.

  11. #11
    This one has been mentioned before. Even after the pressing of the album of the Supremes and the Temptations, there seems to be an error on the vinyl itself in which the song "Why" sounds distorted. I don't have the album right in front of me right now, however, I think it was the last song on one of the sides.
    NOTE: I believe that the audio was corrected when it was released in cd version.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    P
    So if you were head of the QC meetings, what released would you have changes or songs altered?

    I'm In A Different World (Four Tops) - this song needs some sort of introduction. something to grab the listener. plus dj's would need the intro to allow them to transition from one song to another.
    I wouldn't change a thing! I like the cold intro.

    BTW, when exactly did Motown abandon its QC meetings?

  13. #13
    i'm assuming that by the later 60s the meetings were ending? not sure exactly. obviously they did some sort process into the 70s but i'm guessing it wasn't as formal. or perhaps it was more relegated to specific departments and people. in the mid 60s, it was, from my understanding, pretty much all of the executives at the company

  14. #14
    I would've sent the Supremes' "My Heart Can't Take It No More" to the vault and released "A Breath Taking Guy" in it's place. I think the song would've done better with a winter release as by the time summer rolled around, the stuff that was hitting big for the company had taken on a shift in sound, as had the industry period.

    I would've sent the Miracles' "More Love" back and told Smokey to recut it with the Funk Brothers. I've always loved the song but thought it "suffered" from a lack of umph that could've only been found at Hitsville.

  15. #15
    I would have hurled abuse at those who decided to vault Tammi's All I Do!

    I would have asked for another take on the Love Hangover single edit to eliminate the slight pause at "don't need it.....don't want it".

    I would have asked for an improved mono single version of What's Going On to give prominence to the more appropriate lead vocal as per the stereo album version.

    I would have asked Diana Ross to have re-recorded that part of My Place where there sounds like microphone overload on her voice, then have proposed the song as the lead single from Everything Is Everything.

  16. #16
    I'm with you Rovereab on Tammi's "All I Do". I would've also asked for a version of "Hangover" that was only the slow, sexy part. I get that the dance portion of the song sends it over the top, but I've always maintained that the song would've been a number one hit on the strength of the opening (and extended opening) alone.

  17. #17
    I gotta admit I am actually stunned at how All I Do Is Think About You being shelved, not even being considered for a B Side. Tammi is just breathtaking, what a voice!

    I'll never understand what went on at these quality control meets, some real filler songs got released as singles or put on albums while some real gems were left to languish in the vaults for decades, in the cases of some artists like Florence Ballard, were not even to see the light of day until years after the deaths of their singers.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by jobucats View Post
    Hey, Sansradio, what I love about this forum, along with the different viewpoints, is the different perceptions we have on the music. I went back to the spot where you mentioned Diana's sharp note at the modulation. Strange, but I didn't hear it. And please, don't say that I must be deaf or stupid (as some would do). I'm not saying that she's not singing sharp at that spot; I just don't hear it. But then again, odd nuances that I hear might not be heard by others. I really enjoy this thread. I'm one of those "backroom" musicians who writes and records music so I am constantly learning.
    Hey, jobucats, I would never insult you like that! It's the first two "baby"s she utters afterward; she corrects her pitch by the third one. Nails on a chalkboard, I tell ya...and I'm a Rosshead!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Coppelia-Birdsong View Post
    I gotta admit I am actually stunned at how All I Do Is Think About You being shelved, not even being considered for a B Side. Tammi is just breathtaking, what a voice!

    I'll never understand what went on at these quality control meets, some real filler songs got released as singles or put on albums while some real gems were left to languish in the vaults for decades, in the cases of some artists like Florence Ballard, were not even to see the light of day until years after the deaths of their singers.
    You bring up another point regarding quality control when not only selecting what should be released as a single, but what should be considered for a B side, AND what should at least have a place on an album rather than being shelved. We all know that there are so many album fillers which could have easily been replaced with something that was in the vaults which not only was so blatantly superior, but also fit with the album's concept.

    My theory regarding quality control selecting songs for album fillers is that although there were several songs that could have made the cut, consideration was made as to who the writers and producers were to insure that no staff writer/producer was left financially destitute at the time.

  20. #20
    OK, I am going to go back in time and sit in on the quality control meeting regarding the upcoming "Supremes Sing Holland Dozier Holland Album." I see and hear the tracklist.
    Here are my questions:
    1. Out of all of the HDH productions, why are we going to put "Always in My Heart" and "Remove This Doubt" on this album? While they are wonderful songs, they are so DATED sounding. Come on Eddie, Brian, and Lamont, you know you've got fresher material. Go look in that vault of yours if you don't have time to come up with something brand new.
    2. Yes, "I'll Turn to Stone" is a winner of a song and the Four Tops also covered it. If we're putting out a true HDH album and we know that HDH has tons of songs at their disposal, why are we including a song whose writing credits also include someone else? I have nothing against R. Dean Taylor, however, this is a HDH album.

  21. #21
    I think for me I'd have petitioned for more non album b sides on releases at those meetings. I think they'd have shifted more copies by many acts for people who'd already got an album if there was an exclusive song. They were hardly desperate for material. In the case of The Supremes, in particular.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by jobucats View Post
    My theory regarding quality control selecting songs for album fillers is that although there were several songs that could have made the cut, consideration was made as to who the writers and producers were to insure that no staff writer/producer was left financially destitute at the time.
    That's an interesting theory. I wonder how accurate it is.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by jobucats View Post
    1. Out of all of the HDH productions, why are we going to put "Always in My Heart" and "Remove This Doubt" on this album? While they are wonderful songs, they are so DATED sounding. Come on Eddie, Brian, and Lamont, you know you've got fresher material. Go look in that vault of yours if you don't have time to come up with something brand new.
    That has been my sentiments about the issue forever. Those two songs by 1967- even 1966- sound so dated, as good as they were. Also why include such lackluster versions of the already classic "It's the Same Old Song" and "Heat Wave", especially after hearing the first versions the Supremes recorded, which sounds way more fresh than the second versions.

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