[REMOVE ADS]




Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1

    Question Best and worst lip-syncers at Motown

    Which artists do you think were the best at putting on the act of lip-syncing a song during television performances? Who do you think struggled with the concept of lip-syncing compared to their live vocal performances?

    Since lip-syncing was prevalent in television and later -- certain pop acts -- I'm always fascinated on the subtle differences you find based on a performer's live performance compared to their lip synced performances.

    Mariah Carey tries to exude a sexier, more model-like persona when lip-syncing a lot of her songs, although she sometimes has an issue with timing and actually breathing in time to give people the illusion during big notes. In live performances she's much more "in her head" and focused on the next note in front of her.

    I've also been watching a few Supremes television performances and noticed Cindy Birdsong usually hits the mark pretty well, but her mouth doesn't always form the word of the last syllable. Mary Wilson, like on Soul Train with "He's My Man" exudes tons of emotion, but sometimes misses the mark with the way her mouth forms her syllables to the studio track.

    The methods of such performances also fascinate me: while many artists quite literally "lip" silently to the lyrics, others either sing the song very softly to mimic the mouth movements or (if you're Madonna and Britney) sing behind the backing track during heavier numbers even when the crowd can't hear you.
    Last edited by loganjlr; 08-10-2018 at 03:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Motown should've just sent the instrumental track for the artists to sing live to. They did it for Marvin on THE BITTER END I think it was. On the 2009 MOTOWN classic clips DVD.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Fourtopsbiggestfan View Post
    Motown should've just sent the instrumental track for the artists to sing live to. They did it for Marvin on THE BITTER END I think it was. On the 2009 MOTOWN classic clips DVD.
    If my ABBA-related knowledge serves me correctly, I believe artists used to lip-sync on television to accommodate the studios and sets who weren't up to code with handling live musical performances. Although I love me some live vocals, I always found the performances with pre-taped instrumentals sound strangely mixed in 1960s-1980s performances, probably due to the technological limitations of the time.

    It was probably in Motown's best interest to present the artist and their song in the most pristine light as possible and get as close to the aesthetic of the studio track. For example, without the lavish production, the songs found in the New Hit Medley from the Supremes Live In Japan don't really capture the same "punch" Up The Ladder To The Roof, Floy Joy, and Nathan Jones have in the studio (I think Automatically Sunshine came out pretty well though, aside from Jean being too far from the mic during her first solo-line).

    But I digress: I used to get fairly annoyed when I would find an artist lip-syncing on television, until I realized these performances are much less concerts and moreso promo for the radio single. In a way, a lot of these blatantly lip-synced performances from yesteryear have a certain charm to them -- they're like pre-MTV music videos, interpreted differently by the artist than they would in a live concert setting.



    Side note: I always wondered what was going through Martha's head during this performance. She looks a little absent.
    Last edited by loganjlr; 08-10-2018 at 05:56 AM.

  4. #4
    motown learned early on the importance of lip syncing because it would ensure a great sounding tv appearance. Plus they were often promoting a specific single so using that actual single (or a track similar to it) makes sense

    The house bands for many of the top shows during the 60s also might not be all that great. They wouldn't be familiar with motown music and so the end result could be less than stellar. There's a live performance (audio only) of the 70 Supremes singing Nathan Jones on The Tonight Show. now granted, it's a bootleg tape that's been dubbed again and again. so some distortion of sound is to be expected. But all of the "groove" of that hit song was lost on the band. It sounds as bouncy as In And Out Of Love

    as for the worst lip syncers - i'd put Jean Terrell up there.

    As for the least engagement live performers (on tv) I'd put Martha Reeves. she often comes across as disengaged whether it's Bless You on Soul train or when she did some of her solo Richard Perry work later.

  5. #5
    Most of them lipped good but I don't think Diana (least in the early years), Martha and Mary particularly liked doing it. The others mastered it (like Marvin, he made it work especially on Soul Train).

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=loganjlr;474923]If my ABBA-related knowledge serves me correctly, I believe artists used to lip-sync on television to accommodate the studios and sets who weren't up to code with handling live musical performances. Although I love me some live vocals, I always found the performances with pre-taped instrumentals sound strangely mixed in 1960s-1980s performances, probably due to the technological limitations of the time.

    It was probably in Motown's best interest to present the artist and their song in the most pristine light as possible and get as close to the aesthetic of the studio track. For example, without the lavish production, the songs found in the New Hit Medley from the Supremes Live In Japan don't really capture the same "punch" Up The Ladder To The Roof, Floy Joy, and Nathan Jones have in the studio (I think Automatically Sunshine came out pretty well though, aside from Jean being too far from the mic during her first solo-line).

    But I digress: I used to get fairly annoyed when I would find an artist lip-syncing on television, until I realized these performances are much less concerts and moreso promo for the radio single. In a way, a lot of these blatantly lip-synced performances from yesteryear have a certain charm to them -- they're like pre-MTV music videos, interpreted differently by the artist than they would in a live concert setting.



    Side note: I always wondered what was going through Martha's head during this performance. She looks a little absent.[/QUOTE

    Beautiful ladies
    Beautiful song
    Martha hair is too big it probably had her thinking dang I want to scratch my head.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

[REMOVE ADS]

Ralph Terrana
MODERATOR

Welcome to Soulful Detroit! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
Soulful Detroit is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to Soulful Detroit. [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.