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  1. #1

    "Fake" live cuts?

    Did Motown ever release any singles or album cuts where they dubbed in live audience sounds to give the impression of a live recording? I've heard countless tracks by other artists (James Brown, Isley Brothers for example), but I can't recall any from Motown.

  2. #2
    Wasn't the original "At the Copa" album a rerecording in the studio with the audience dubbed in? I think in the Expanded Edition it talks about that.

    I'm sure there are others, but thankfully Motown seemed less inclined to do this than many other artists. I think it's great hearing, for example, the early Marvelettes live, even though sometimes they are way off key. It's still a fun recording.

    James Brown seems to be the most well known of those who would create fake "live" albums. His "Sex Machine" album had 2 sides truly live and 2 sides fake live. The "Sex Machine" track on the album was exactly the same as the single but for the dubbed in applause and crowd noise.

    But I remember one album (I just wish I could remember whose it was) where even on the live album, the songs faded out! Anyone would have known that was fake! Of course this often happened on "American Bandstand" and "Soul Train" because they were mostly (I believe) lip synced performances.

    So glad Motown didn't do this that often. It's great hearing the truly live performances, warts and all.

  3. #3
    "The Earl Of Funk" album by Earl Van Dyke was recorded live at the Hi Chapparal club in Detroit but they dubbed in audience noises later.

  4. #4
    I was just about to ask about that Earl Van Dyke album... it just didn't sound live.

    So it was live, but there was no audience there?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    Wasn't the original "At the Copa" album a rerecording in the studio with the audience dubbed in? I think in the Expanded Edition it talks about that.

    I'm sure there are others, but thankfully Motown seemed less inclined to do this than many other artists. I think it's great hearing, for example, the early Marvelettes live, even though sometimes they are way off key. It's still a fun recording.

    James Brown seems to be the most well known of those who would create fake "live" albums. His "Sex Machine" album had 2 sides truly live and 2 sides fake live. The "Sex Machine" track on the album was exactly the same as the single but for the dubbed in applause and crowd noise.

    But I remember one album (I just wish I could remember whose it was) where even on the live album, the songs faded out! Anyone would have known that was fake! Of course this often happened on "American Bandstand" and "Soul Train" because they were mostly (I believe) lip synced performances.

    So glad Motown didn't do this that often. It's great hearing the truly live performances, warts and all.
    Dionne Warwick Live in Paris was a fake live album released in the mid-sixties. With fade outs, poor editing and Dionne singing full songs phonetically in French “live” in concert. Pretty bad. Could this be the LP you were thinking of?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    "The Earl Of Funk" album by Earl Van Dyke was recorded live at the Hi Chapparal club in Detroit but they dubbed in audience noises later.
    "Ben's Hi Chapperal's" Wow! Now that is a name from out of the past. It was a Detroit landmark in my opinion. I still remember the TV commercials.

  7. #7
    I don't know about live audience dub ins, but Motown did create fake "parties" in the studio of a couple of recordings such as Jr. Walker & the Allstars "How Sweet It Is to Be Loved By You", the Temptations "Psychadeliac Shack" opening and Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up".

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    Wasn't the original "At the Copa" album a rerecording in the studio with the audience dubbed in? I think in the Expanded Edition it talks about that.

    I'm sure there are others, but thankfully Motown seemed less inclined to do this than many other artists. I think it's great hearing, for example, the early Marvelettes live, even though sometimes they are way off key. It's still a fun recording.

    James Brown seems to be the most well known of those who would create fake "live" albums. His "Sex Machine" album had 2 sides truly live and 2 sides fake live. The "Sex Machine" track on the album was exactly the same as the single but for the dubbed in applause and crowd noise.

    But I remember one album (I just wish I could remember whose it was) where even on the live album, the songs faded out! Anyone would have known that was fake! Of course this often happened on "American Bandstand" and "Soul Train" because they were mostly (I believe) lip synced performances.

    So glad Motown didn't do this that often. It's great hearing the truly live performances, warts and all.
    Diana's vocals were re-recorded in the studio due to technical difficulties. I also read that Marvin Gaye re-recorded some of his vocals in the studio for his LIVE AT THE LONDON PALLADIUM concert.

    On Mary Wells' live album, the tracks OLD LOVE and OPERATOR were studio recordings with applause dubbed in.

    There is fake applause on the Supremes / Tempts ON BROADWAY album to make it sound like it was recorded before a studio audience. Some of the DIANA! soundtrack album was done the same.

  9. #9
    Non-Motown, but Betty Wright comes to mind. I think "Tonight is the Night"?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyB View Post
    Dionne Warwick Live in Paris was a fake live album released in the mid-sixties. With fade outs, poor editing and Dionne singing full songs phonetically in French “live” in concert. Pretty bad. Could this be the LP you were thinking of?
    Wow, that sounds terrible. I don't think that's the one I'm thinking of, though I have the Warwick album and maybe played it once in all the years since I bought it. I remember not thinking much of it the one time I listened to it.

    She also had that double LP which was made up of various live tracks. Was it called "From Within" or something like that? I wonder where all the sources for that album came from. Perhaps it included some of the "Live in Paris." In Scepter Records' waning last year or two, they issued several compilations like that one. I think Dionne may have even had another double LP set, as I think did BJ Thomas also.

    I think Aretha's live album on Columbia ("Oh Yeah?") was also fake. I'm not sure from listening to it, but I think I read that in the liner notes for one of her Columbia comps.
    Last edited by kenneth; 07-28-2018 at 01:28 AM.

  11. #11
    Also not Motown, but Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles’ SWEETHEARTS OF THE APOLLO is another egregious fake, with wild applause at the first strains of even the most obscure album tracks. I was crushed when I realized I’d been bamboozled.

  12. #12
    Rare Earth's "Get Ready" is a good example of a 'fake live cut' that Motown issued. It's very noticeable on the full length LP version of the song where you hear the identical cheers over & over (and on the DFTMC site, the notes for the song state that it was done in the studio).

  13. #13
    The Temptaions opening track from All Direction, "Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On" was supposedly recorded live at the Funky Monkey but was in fact recorded in the studio with an audience dubbed in.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by masterblaster View Post
    The Temptaions opening track from All Direction, "Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On" was supposedly recorded live at the Funky Monkey but was in fact recorded in the studio with an audience dubbed in.
    I also think Yvonne Fair's version of the song was given the same 'fake' live background treatment.

  15. #15
    There's something at the back of my mind about the various artists' album, Motown at the Hollywood Palace, but I can't remember exactly what.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    Also not Motown, but Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles’ SWEETHEARTS OF THE APOLLO is another egregious fake, with wild applause at the first strains of even the most obscure album tracks. I was crushed when I realized I’d been bamboozled.
    I felt really bamboozled when I bought their Parkway ON STAGE album via a collector's magazine. When it arrived, I found out it was just a retitled version of their SWEETHEARTS OF THE APOLLO album with a song deleted.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    There's something at the back of my mind about the various artists' album, Motown at the Hollywood Palace, but I can't remember exactly what.
    It was compiled from two episodes hosted by Diana Ross and the Supremes. Many of the performances on it don't match those on the tv show. And although Gladys Knight and the Pips are included, they never appeared on the same episode as the Supremes.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I don't know about live audience dub ins, but Motown did create fake "parties" in the studio of a couple of recordings such as Jr. Walker & the Allstars "How Sweet It Is to Be Loved By You", the Temptations "Psychadeliac Shack" opening and Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up".
    Good points Marv2. It's worth noting that the intro to the stereo LP version of the Tempts' "Psychedelic Shack" was taken from the intro to their previous classic, "I Cant Get Next To You" (they added a few knocks on a door on "Shack" to add to the 'shack' theme of the song). And another Motown classic that had a 'live party' intro is The Miracles' "Mickey's Monkey".

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    Wow, that sounds terrible. I don't think that's the one I'm thinking of, though I have the Warwick album and maybe played it once in all the years since I bought it. I remember not thinking much of it the one time I listened to it.

    She also had that double LP which was made up of various live tracks. Was it called "From Within" or something like that? I wonder where all the sources for that album came from. Perhaps it included some of the "Live in Paris." In Scepter Records' waning last year or two, they issued several compilations like that one. I think Dionne may have even had another double LP set, as I think did BJ Thomas also.

    I think Aretha's live album on Columbia ("Oh Yeah?") was also fake. I'm not sure from listening to it, but I think I read that in the liner notes for one of her Columbia comps.
    Dionne's album IN PARIS did have a few genuine live tracks on it: OH YEAH YEAH YEAH, WALK ON BY, and WHAT'D I SAY.

    Her other live Scepter album THE DIONNE WARWICKE STORY was recorded at the Copa, Basin Street West, Columbia University, and the Garden State Arts Center. It does contain one studio track, A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME. This album, as well as FROM WITHIN, were released around the time Dionne left the label.

    Scepter also released a "live" album called THE GREATEST LIVE ON STAGE on which many of the tracks were done in the studio.

    And yes, Aretha's YEAH! was a studio set with fake applause dubbed onto it.
    Last edited by reese; 07-28-2018 at 09:11 AM.

  20. #20
    Isn't David and Jimmy Ruffin's "Stand By Me" a fake live? I seem to remember someone posting a version of it without the audience noise.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Non-Motown, but Betty Wright comes to mind. I think "Tonight is the Night"?
    Yeah, I believe the entire album is a fake concert. I don't recall the liner notes even specifying a venue. I have a version of "Lovin Is Really My Game" that is the exact same track and lead but no audience. However, Betty killed that album from beginning to end so she's easily forgiven.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    Also not Motown, but Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles’ SWEETHEARTS OF THE APOLLO is another egregious fake, with wild applause at the first strains of even the most obscure album tracks. I was crushed when I realized I’d been bamboozled.
    You and me both. After hearing how great they were supposed to be live, I thought this album was going to rush into my favorites. I was pissed that it was a fake concert atmosphere over the original tracks I already had. We should be able to sue for crap like that. False advertisement. Lol

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    I felt really bamboozled when I bought their Parkway ON STAGE album via a collector's magazine. When it arrived, I found out it was just a retitled version of their SWEETHEARTS OF THE APOLLO album with a song deleted.
    Thanks for the information Reese. I've seen "On Stage" listed and have contemplated purchasing it in the hopes that it is the actual real thing as opposed to the fake I bought. But I never bought it because I feared it was exactly as you described, a retitled release of the other fake crap. So now I know to officially pass. I know the Bluebelles had a handful of live cuts on Dreamer, but it would be nice if someone put together a package of their live performances to make up for SOTA and On Stage.

  24. #24
    Great posts! Some of the stuff mentioned I knew about but for some reason couldn't think of.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Non-Motown, but Betty Wright comes to mind. I think "Tonight is the Night"?
    I love this album. I had no idea it was fake live.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Good points Marv2. It's worth noting that the intro to the stereo LP version of the Tempts' "Psychedelic Shack" was taken from the intro to their previous classic, "I Cant Get Next To You" (they added a few knocks on a door on "Shack" to add to the 'shack' theme of the song). And another Motown classic that had a 'live party' intro is The Miracles' "Mickey's Monkey".
    Yeah, I remember the intro to "Mickey's Monkey". Martha Reeves and Mary Wilson have spoken of it several times. They said one day Smokey just came running into the office all told everyone to come into the studio and that he was cutting this new track.......

  27. #27
    On Sirius XM's Real Jazz Rhonda Hamilton (LOVE her) just played Cannonball's 'Mercy..." which we assume was a true live crowd and STILL excites 142 years later!

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    On Sirius XM's Real Jazz Rhonda Hamilton (LOVE her) just played Cannonball's 'Mercy..." which we assume was a true live crowd and STILL excites 142 years later!
    That one gets played on SoulTown satellite radio, too. Thought it was a true live crowd until now.

  29. #29
    Cheap Thrills ”live” cuts by Big Brother with Janis done in the studio and really sounds live.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Yeah, I believe the entire album is a fake concert. I don't recall the liner notes even specifying a venue. I have a version of "Lovin Is Really My Game" that is the exact same track and lead but no audience. However, Betty killed that album from beginning to end so she's easily forgiven.
    She really did murder that album! But tell me this: When did Betty win a Grammy by that point? The “announcer” introduces her as “Grammy-Award winning”.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    Cheap Thrills ”live” cuts by Big Brother with Janis done in the studio and really sounds live.
    Yes - though wasn't a cut or two live or was the entire lp studio?

  32. #32
    You're right about the Hollywood Palace. The vocals from Where Did I Go/Good Morning Starshine and Mary's solo are completely different from the album.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    It was compiled from two episodes hosted by Diana Ross and the Supremes. Many of the performances on it don't match those on the tv show. And although Gladys Knight and the Pips are included, they never appeared on the same episode as the Supremes.
    You're right about the Hollywood Palace. The vocals from Where Did I Go/Good Morning Starshine and Mary's solo are completely different from the album.

  34. #34
    What an interesting thread. As I've said before, you guys are such experts! What a wealth of knowledge the forum has. If the general public were as interested in Motown minutiae as all of us are, we would have to write a book together or something!

    A philosophical suggestion. I studied art fakes for a time, and got very interested in some famous/infamous artists who were known for faking great masterpieces or even painting new works in the style of famous artists and passing them off as undiscovered masterpieces. Orson Welles did a documentary style film on one of these artists called "F is for Fake."

    I remember reading somewhere that "a fake is like a dead thing." You might enjoy it initially, but once you realize it's a fake its "provenance" or whatever you want to call it is diminished and you will lose pleasure in it. I always thought that was a very astute observation, and one which I think might apply to some of the albums mentioned. Not to get too heavy on a Saturday evening, but something to think about.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    She really did murder that album! But tell me this: When did Betty win a Grammy by that point? The “announcer” introduces her as “Grammy-Award winning”.
    "Where Is The Love" won a Grammy for Best R&B song.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    What an interesting thread. As I've said before, you guys are such experts! What a wealth of knowledge the forum has. If the general public were as interested in Motown minutiae as all of us are, we would have to write a book together or something!

    A philosophical suggestion. I studied art fakes for a time, and got very interested in some famous/infamous artists who were known for faking great masterpieces or even painting new works in the style of famous artists and passing them off as undiscovered masterpieces. Orson Welles did a documentary style film on one of these artists called "F is for Fake."

    I remember reading somewhere that "a fake is like a dead thing." You might enjoy it initially, but once you realize it's a fake its "provenance" or whatever you want to call it is diminished and you will lose pleasure in it. I always thought that was a very astute observation, and one which I think might apply to some of the albums mentioned. Not to get too heavy on a Saturday evening, but something to think about.
    That is definitely something to think about. Love that message. 🙂🙂

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    "Where Is The Love" won a Grammy for Best R&B song.
    Thanks, Reese!

  38. #38

    Diana! TV Soundtrack

    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Some of the DIANA! soundtrack album was done the same.
    I don't think the show was ever aired on TV here, but I remember buying the LP, and being rather disappointed (I had no idea who Bill Cosby was for example), and just wanted Diana to sing. Even all those years ago, it didn't seem as if it was a 'live' recording, and was bitterly saddened, when my favourite track by Diana was just a recording of her single (remember me).

    It must be said, that I'm not a fan of "live" recordings (Sylvester's 'Living Proof' is an exception, as is Millie Jackson's "Live and uncensored").

  39. #39
    I believe "Hip City" and "Money (That's What I Want)" by Junior Walker & The All Stars also have fake live audiences in the background...

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by masterblaster View Post
    I also think Yvonne Fair's version of the song was given the same 'fake' live background treatment.
    I believe it's Yvonne's version of "Let Your Hair Down" that has the fake live audience, not "Funky Music". "Let Your Hair Down" also has background vocals from The Undisputed Truth, and Marvin Gaye can be heard on "Funky Music"!!!!

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I don't know about live audience dub ins, but Motown did create fake "parties" in the studio of a couple of recordings such as Jr. Walker & the Allstars "How Sweet It Is to Be Loved By You", the Temptations "Psychadeliac Shack" opening and Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up".
    You can include the track "Stone City Band, Hi!" by Rick James.

    Why is it that this forum ignores Rick James?

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by soulster View Post
    You can include the track "Stone City Band, Hi!" by Rick James.

    Why is it that this forum ignores Rick James?
    Does it? I know for a fact I've enjoyed Rick discussions in this forum.

  43. #43
    Jr. Walker's "Feel Like Making Love", The Temptation's "Keep Holding On" had the fake live party effect.

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    I believe it's Yvonne's version of "Let Your Hair Down" that has the fake live audience, not "Funky Music". "Let Your Hair Down" also has background vocals from The Undisputed Truth, and Marvin Gaye can be heard on "Funky Music"!!!!
    Of course it was, should have checked the track before posting.

  45. #45
    Another one is Gladys Knight and The Pips "All In A Knight's Work" album featuring "a" live or live performances from the Copa. Such a disappointment with all that fake applause. Lousy idea to do that, IMO.

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Yeah, I believe the entire album is a fake concert. I don't recall the liner notes even specifying a venue. I have a version of "Lovin Is Really My Game" that is the exact same track and lead but no audience. However, Betty killed that album from beginning to end so she's easily forgiven.
    RanRan; is this the version that's almost like a duet? Do you have any idea who the male voice is? Always been curious.

  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    RanRan; is this the version that's almost like a duet? Do you have any idea who the male voice is? Always been curious.
    Hey, marybrewster, I’m not RanRan, but the Discogs app has one credit for background vocals (Robert Webb, Jr., who’s also credited on percussion). Hope this helps.

  48. #48
    Hey sans, thank you very much! I never thought to look there!

  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    Hey sans, thank you very much! I never thought to look there!
    You got it, my friend!

  50. #50
    Perhaps somehow related to this thread, if you've ever watched clips of the Supremes, especially the two below, you'll find the "applause" is far greater than the amount of people in the audience. Always makes me laugh especially because none look to even be clapping their hands.....or even moving for that matter!

    Bad Weather

    https://youtu.be/mzZXYmSop5Q

    Up the Ladder

    https://youtu.be/7X20KB0FAdw

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