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  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Fourtopsbiggestfan View Post
    The NOW album has the amazing MY PAST JUST CROSSED MY FUTURE. That is one funky groove. Should've made another album with the unreleased material like SAME O SAME O, NO TIME, MY LOVE KEEPS ON GROWING etc
    Fourtopsbiggestfan, you're so right! "My Past Just Crossed My Future" is powerful! Not much melody -- just the same chord or two throughout the entire song, yet it grabs you. Levi does a great job on lead vocals, as always. And those string passages are HOT! Been loving it since the first time I heard it.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Fourtopsbiggestfan, you're so right! "My Past Just Crossed My Future" is powerful! Not much melody -- just the same chord or two throughout the entire song, yet it grabs you. Levi does a great job on lead vocals, as always. And those string passages are HOT! Been loving it since the first time I heard it.
    The background vocals definitely need to turned up. I hope the album gets a much needed re release with new mixing.

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Fourtopsbiggestfan View Post
    The background vocals definitely need to turned up. I hope the album gets a much needed re release with new mixing.
    Yes, I agree on both counts. The Four Tops "Now" is long overdue for a fresh remastering. I'm just glad I bought the CD when it first came out. It seems to be out of print, and, as usual, the price gougers are out in full force. A third-party dealer on Amazon wants $99.95 for a copy. And, not to be out-done, an eBay dealer is asking $129.95 for it. Those may or may not be new sealed copies. [[It made me too nauseous to check!) Talk about greed!!!

  4. #54
    There can be much speculation on this, but I think the Tops started burning out with HDH before the Supremes did. Notice after Bernadette, there were no other Top Ten hits for HDH and HDH was still at Motown for the rest of 1967, or most of it. This is according to Billboard Magazine but I have to say 7 Rooms and Walk Away Renee did go Top Ten on numerous other charts.

    Again the Tops were cooling off before HDH left. I just wish they had been teamed with Frank Wilson a couple years earlier, his work on them is incredible

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    I think this was discussed before, not sure; all these years we've read about how the departure of H-D-H from Motown really hurt the Four Tops and Supremes. The Four Tops have commented on how it hurt them chart-wise because H-D-H really knew them and wrote songs suited to them.

    BUT- I wonder if H-D-H had remained at Motown, would it really have stopped the chart slide of both the Tops and Supremes? Looking at the songs that went out shortly before H-D-H departed, it seems the slide was already beginning.

    "You Keep Running Away", "I'm In A Different Word", "Forever Came Today", "Keep Falling In And Out Of Love"; none of these really set the charts ablaze. Really though, after the absolutely stunning productions of "Reach Out", "Standing In The Shadows Of Love", "Bernadette" and even "Seven Rooms Of Gloom", where could you go? Likewise for songs like "Love Is Here And Now You're Gone" or "Reflections". Those productions were mammoth, broke new ground and new sounds. How do you top those?

    Just a personal feeling here, but I also noticed the studio sound had changed after these hits. I don't know if Motown had changed over to newer recording equipment, but if you listen to the unreleased H-D-H tunes like "Lonely Lover" and "One Last Look", that Motown sound is quite a bit different from the '67 sound. To me, a song like "Different World" doesn't have the light, crisp sound of tunes like "I'll Turn To Stone" or "What Else Is There To Do [[But Sit And Think About You)". When I heard "Different World", I just found that I couldn't get into it all that much. It had a rather heavy sound to it.

    I'm not throwing "shade" as they say, but I've always thought that maybe, just maybe H-D-H had started to hit a sort of brick wall as far as where to go stylistically by this time. So, would things have been radically different for the Tops and Sups if H-D-H had stayed?
    Interesting. “I’m In A Different World” is my favorite Tops song ever. Not only were the Tops songs by HDH not hot on the charts I think Motown promotion for the Tops had slowed down. It seems like Motown was basically focused on the Supremes and The Temptations as far as groups. And the Tops werent too thrilled about going to LA either. It is interesting thinking about what would have happened.

  6. #56
    I feel sure that had HDH stayed at Motown, after Forever Came Today failed Gordy would have changed producers anyway.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by BayouMotownMan View Post
    I feel sure that had HDH stayed at Motown, after Forever Came Today failed Gordy would have changed producers anyway.
    Or, BayouMotownMan, it's possible that Motown purposely didn't promote The Supremes "Forever Came Today" and the Four Tops "I'm In A Different World". After all, by the time those recordings were released, H-D-H were long-gone. After defecting, why would Motown reward them with two additional hit records? Unfortunately, if that's the case, The Supremes and Four Tops were the ones who got punished for H-D-H jumping ship.

    As an extra side note, I remember reading years ago that HDH were pissed that Motown had released "Forever Came Today" as they claimed it was an "unfinished" recording. [[I'm not sure whether that figures into the formula or not, but it's a piece of the puzzle, regardless.)

  8. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by Encyclopedia Mack View Post
    Interesting. “I’m In A Different World” is my favorite Tops song ever. Not only were the Tops songs by HDH not hot on the charts I think Motown promotion for the Tops had slowed down. It seems like Motown was basically focused on the Supremes and The Temptations as far as groups. And the Tops werent too thrilled about going to LA either. It is interesting thinking about what would have happened.
    For years, I really thought the Four Tops were in the Motown Elite Artists club. Still, Motown was really thrown for a loop as to what to do after the Golden Trio of hits [["Reach Out", "Standing", "Bernadette") had run their course. It does seem Motown cooled on the group, though there were an awful lot of changes going on at Motown with nearly all the groups facing personnel changes and the old family feeling evaporating. The Temptations were getting hotter with each new release, so I can see how the attention would swing dramatically in their direction. Of course the Supremes were the fulcrum of the company's phenomenal success, so obviously the bulk of your efforts would go to keep their momentum going. It was just unfortunate that nobody could come up with a new direction for the Four Tops that grabbed the public's attention- at least, not until the Frank Wilson years of triumph.

    "I'm In A Different World" is a good record, but I always felt there was something lacking in the mix; it just didn't have a HOT sound like some of the other Motown records. What's funny is that the first time I heard that song, it was on an 8-track [[yes, I had one of those!) I thought the song sounded muted or very subdued and chalked it up to the 8-track just being old. Then I got my hands on the album and record, and it sounded very much the same. Until maybe '68, Motown would mix their singles, often using what I believe was a lot of compression to make those songs sound "hot" and as loud as possible. "I'm In A Different World" didn't really have that sort of sound to me. However, as an experiment, I made a dub of the song, running it through a compressor and it revealed a lot more in the mix than I had heard before. It actually made me look at the song in a different way and enjoy it more than I ever had.

    Not to say this was the whole issue with the Tops' issues on the charts, but then again, Motown would sometimes do things like that, withdraw a single and replace it with a different mix if they thought it would make it jump out of your speakers a little more.

    What's sad too is that I've been listening to disc two of the Lost And Found set a lot more carefully than I had before and I'm finding there are plenty of songs that may have helped spark the Top's career post-H-D-H. "Clip My Wings", "I Can't Hold Back", "These Are The Questions" and especially "Which Way Is The Sky" are incredibly good and gave the Four Tops a completely fresh, new sound. Was QC afraid that these were too radical, or were they just out to lunch?

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    I, too, love "The Key", Waiting..... In fact, speaking of cover versions [[which I sometimes find dull before even hearing them, i.e., "Little Green Apples"), the Four Tops "Now" contains the full-length version of the most beautiful rendition of "MacArthur Park" I've ever heard. It's a classic example of Motown taking another record company's song and making it all their own -- spectacularly!
    BINGO! I admit, I never gave "Four Tops Now!" or "MacArthur Park" a full chance until just a week ago. I played it and played it and played it all the way through while I was going to and from work and even while I was at work [[I drive a work van, so I get to play all my favorite music while traveling!) It was great because I found out that album is one of the more "playable" LPs of Motown's late 60's era.

    What I really like about this album is that is almost sounds as if it's arranged in these mini-suites or set pieces; You've got a nice set of Motown Sound originals: "The Key", "What Is A Man", "My Past...", "Don't Let Him Take..." then you have a tasteful section of covers with 2 being wonderful Jimmy Webb compositions.

    What makes the covers enjoyable is that they were well-produced without a lot of ornate orchestration and overblown pathos. I agree with you too, the Tops' rendition of "MacArthur Park" is very beautiful. I think I just had to mature a few years to fully appreciate it. Definitely as you say, Motown [[and the Tops) taking outside material and making it their own.

    After the covers/Jimmy Webb suite, we get a few more Motown Sound originals and then we close out on a surprising bit of Beatles arranged as jazz with "Fool On The Hill". To me, this album is much like the Reach Out album in that everything worked together so well, the covers mesh seamlessly with the Motown originals.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    BINGO! I admit, I never gave "Four Tops Now!" or "MacArthur Park" a full chance until just a week ago. I played it and played it and played it all the way through while I was going to and from work and even while I was at work [[I drive a work van, so I get to play all my favorite music while traveling!) It was great because I found out that album is one of the more "playable" LPs of Motown's late 60's era.

    What I really like about this album is that is almost sounds as if it's arranged in these mini-suites or set pieces; You've got a nice set of Motown Sound originals: "The Key", "What Is A Man", "My Past...", "Don't Let Him Take..." then you have a tasteful section of covers with 2 being wonderful Jimmy Webb compositions.

    What makes the covers enjoyable is that they were well-produced without a lot of ornate orchestration and overblown pathos. I agree with you too, the Tops' rendition of "MacArthur Park" is very beautiful. I think I just had to mature a few years to fully appreciate it. Definitely as you say, Motown [[and the Tops) taking outside material and making it their own.

    After the covers/Jimmy Webb suite, we get a few more Motown Sound originals and then we close out on a surprising bit of Beatles arranged as jazz with "Fool On The Hill". To me, this album is much like the Reach Out album in that everything worked together so well, the covers mesh seamlessly with the Motown originals.
    Too many cover. Too many pop covers. They had plenty of original material but Motown as usual screws things up. Should've covered actual soul material like TYRONE DAVIS , FONTELLA BASS, PERCY SLEDGE and other STAX songs. Motown was white washing themselves.

  11. #61
    "Soul Spin" had at least two tracks as potential singles in "Nothing" and "Barbara's Boy". Tony Blackburn couldn't get the BBC to support "Barbara's Boy" as a single, possibly because of its controversial lyric.

  12. #62
    I think Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me is a lost hit. if fun, loud, a bit more funky than earlier ones. the Temps struck gold with the psychedelic soul so the route wasn't really open to the Tops. so i think they could have done something more r&b and soul powered. Levi's voice is exceptional and can really blast. maybe something more like what the Isley Bros got into might have worked.

    and then of course i love their early 70s stuff with frank wilson.

  13. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    I think Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me is a lost hit. if fun, loud, a bit more funky than earlier ones. the Temps struck gold with the psychedelic soul so the route wasn't really open to the Tops. so i think they could have done something more r&b and soul powered. Levi's voice is exceptional and can really blast. maybe something more like what the Isley Bros got into might have worked.

    and then of course i love their early 70s stuff with frank wilson.
    It's always puzzled me that "Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me" wasn't a much bigger hit. I immediately thought it was one of the group's best songs. Like you said, it's fun, loud and so much funkier than anything they had cut before. Really, it was a new direction for them overall because you got to really hear the Tops' backing vocals without the Andantes being mixed in. That too puzzled me that here you've got a group that can do these fantastic jazz harmonies and yet they're always recorded singing unison lines. Here on "Don't", you really got to hear a bit of what the Tops were capable of. I wish this song had hit bigger, it's really a fantastic tune.

  14. #64
    I really wish Motown gave Raynard Miner a chance when he was with the label. The material he wrote for the Tops was top notch and had potential to be hits. Someone mentioned "Clip My Wings" and I love that song. It's a great song, but to me it sounds incomplete. It definitely needed brass and strings to give it that sweetened, soaring edge to send it flying. It'd be fun to hear someone add some strings to the track. Another Raynard Miner/Four Tops track "You Can't Keep A Good Man Down" was another missed opportunity. How could Motown let that sit in the vaults? It's one of my all-time favorite Four Tops songs. It's stellar and proof Raynard Miner was a great fit for the Tops. In fact, a few years ago I met Mr. Miner and told him how much I loved that song. He seemed so happy to hear someone appreciated his work at Motown despite so much of his material being canned.

  15. #65
    To Sup_Fan, WaitingWatching, and Tommy Tomato: Contrary to popular belief, I never particularly cared for "Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me". It just didn't sound like Motown to me. Back in the day, I bought each and every Motown album as they were released. It seems like nearly every artist signed to the label released a version of "DLHTYLFM. By the time I heard versions by [[off the top of my head) the Four Tops, Jimmy Ruffin, The Temptations, Gladys Knight & The Pips, and the Undisputed Truth, I was growing mighty weary of that song. But if you all like it, more power to you. I would have much preferred Motown releasing "The Key" or "My Past Just Crossed My Future" as a single.

    If you like the funkier side of Levi & The Four Tops, my vote goes to Frank Wilson's production of "I Can't Quit Your Love". That record is hot -- and similar to his production of Eddie Kendricks' "Girl You Need A Change Of Mind". Both records were danceable, yet, surprisingly, I rarely hear anyone praising "I Can't Quit Your Love". Anyone have any idea why?
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 08-25-2018 at 08:44 PM.

  16. #66
    Gary I also love "I Can't Quite Your Love", it's funky and the production is so full of energy, typical Frank Wilson excellence! I've said it before but the whole Nature Planned It LP is similarly fantastic.

    Now as for "Don't Let Him Take Your Love For Me", I really love that song, in any of its versions really. I heard the Jimmy Ruffin and Tempts renditions first so they're the ones I am familiar with and love most, it but I really enjoy the uptempo Tops version as well. It does deserve to have been a bigger hit for me too.

    And Gary I also agree that "The Key" would have made a great single... "My Past Just Crossed My Future" is good but a bit of a strange song [[cough damn sitar cough)... perhaps not smash hit material

  17. #67
    Here's what we said about "My Past Just Crossed My Future" last time it was discussed

    https://soulfuldetroit.com/showthrea...e-Any-thoughts

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    Here's what we said about "My Past Just Crossed My Future" last time it was discussed

    https://soulfuldetroit.com/showthrea...e-Any-thoughts
    Tom, I just listened to "My Past Just Crossed My Future" and "The Key" on YouTube -- just to refresh my memory. Funny, but as much as I've always liked "MPJCMF", I don't remember that sitar [[or whatever it is). There's a lot of pent-up energy going on in that song. I guess I've always concentrated on those incredible string passages and back-up vocals. I would love to hear a mix with the back-up vocals louder and with The Andantes added. Overall, as much as I like it, I think I've gotta agree with you that it was better left as an album track. "The Key", however, is quite another story. That record, with its uplifting horns and strings, is pure Motown. Should have been released as a hit single.

  19. #69
    Ha, the sitar is about the only thing I remember being in "My Past Just Crossed My Future" Gary! I'll give it a listen now and refresh my memory.

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    Ha, the sitar is about the only thing I remember being in "My Past Just Crossed My Future" Gary! I'll give it a listen now and refresh my memory.
    Okay, Tom!

  21. #71
    I listened to "MPJCMF" and "The Key", again, both great! I didn't appreciate the drum, strings and bass in "My Past" enough! Great stuff. And "The Key" is a wonderful Motown groove!!

  22. #72
    Yeah, there's a lot happening within that musical arrangement. I think you're right, though, Tom. "The Key" would have been the better choice for single release. It's light and bright, and it has a better, more radio-friendly melody. From the first note of the bass, strings, and tambourine intro, it's instantly recognizable as pure Motown. Love it!

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Tom, I just listened to "My Past Just Crossed My Future" There's a lot of pent-up energy going on in that song. .
    Whew! I love colorful words and phrases and you really hit it by saying "There's a lot of pent-up energy going on..." That's what I was looking for. I love that song to pieces, and always thought there was something I couldn't quite peg about it-until I read your words. This is one of those songs, I could listen to a million times in a row and still never quite wrap my head around all the stuff going on in that song.

    It was a few years before I even focused on the lyrics! The drums nearly steal the whole show. Why did Motown mix backing vocals so low on nearly everyone's music? Here we get to hear the Tops un-adorned harmonies and they're nearly buried in the mix. Actually, I stumbled onto a little trick where I can play a CD, tape or album through a pedal effects compressor and darn if it doesn't help to bring up backing vocals and other things in the mix just a bit louder and clearer. Doing that, I'm really appreciating how good the Tops [[and Andantes, when they were used) really were.

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    I really wish Motown gave Raynard Miner a chance when he was with the label. The material he wrote for the Tops was top notch and had potential to be hits. Someone mentioned "Clip My Wings" and I love that song. It's a great song, but to me it sounds incomplete. It definitely needed brass and strings to give it that sweetened, soaring edge to send it flying. It'd be fun to hear someone add some strings to the track. Another Raynard Miner/Four Tops track "You Can't Keep A Good Man Down" was another missed opportunity. How could Motown let that sit in the vaults? It's one of my all-time favorite Four Tops songs. It's stellar and proof Raynard Miner was a great fit for the Tops. In fact, a few years ago I met Mr. Miner and told him how much I loved that song. He seemed so happy to hear someone appreciated his work at Motown despite so much of his material being canned.
    Hey! You met Mr. Miner? Fantastic! His work really could have been another success story as far as turning Motown on to a new direction in music. I'm not sure how to describe his work, but to me, just like Deke Richard's work, it somehow retained the fundamentals of The Motown Sound while giving it a kick upwards and making it sound new at the same time.

    Why most of his works was canned is something I'll never understand. Was it deemed not commercial enough? Or was it down to QC being staffed by people who were more suited to running a bank or business than a creative entity? I've always had the feeling that some of the best music ever recorded at Motown was never released. The more of these vaulted sessions that we get to hear the more I'm convince of it.

    I enjoy nearly all of Motown's albums up til '67. For some reason though, once I get to the albums from '68 on, it seems a lot of weak material larded many of those LPs. The "Lost And Found" set is stocked with so much good material, there is just no reason why Motown couldn't have built much stronger, enjoyable LPs. I think there may have been a mindset of playing it very safe by stocking an album with either covers that were very popular, or material that everyone thought was cutting edge, but was just downright awful.

    I'm thinking specifically of albums like "Soul Spin" that starts out strong and ends up not living up to its full potential-or it's title, "Yesterday's Dreams", which was good, but could have replaced a couple of the covers with Motown originals recorded during its timeline, the Supremes' "Reflections", with it's weak L.A.-recorded selections, and, well, that's enough for now.

  25. #75
    "The Key" was released on 45.

  26. #76
    Think it was only ever a B-Side snakepit.

    Just checking now it was the flip to "Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me" released in late '69.

  27. #77
    Well, by George, you're right, snakepit. "The Key" was indeed the B-side of "Don't Let HimTake Your Love From Me". At the time, I had bought the Four Tops "Now" LP, and didn't pay any attention to the single. I don't recall "DLHTYLFM" getting any local radio airplay. Too bad they didn't flip the record over and play "The Key" -- unless the promo copy contained the A-side tune on both sides of the 45.

  28. #78
    Tom,
    I know ..I had it.
    I wasn't too keen on "DLHTYLFM" , whereas " The Key" was a brilliant, fresh track, IMHO.
    BTW Tom are you not interested in the box set of 66 Motown tracks at £7.99?

  29. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    Think it was only ever a B-Side snakepit.

    Just checking now it was the flip to "Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me" released in late '69.
    Well, Tom, as Mary Wells would say, you beat me to the punch -- by 6 minutes! While I was still typing, you were posting! Ha!

  30. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Tom, I just listened to "My Past Just Crossed My Future" and "The Key" on YouTube -- just to refresh my memory. Funny, but as much as I've always liked "MPJCMF", I don't remember that sitar [[or whatever it is). There's a lot of pent-up energy going on in that song. I guess I've always concentrated on those incredible string passages and back-up vocals. I would love to hear a mix with the back-up vocals louder and with The Andantes added. Overall, as much as I like it, I think I've gotta agree with you that it was better left as an album track. "The Key", however, is quite another story. That record, with its uplifting horns and strings, is pure Motown. Should have been released as a hit single.
    That's exactly what I'm always thinking. My ears struggle to hear the background vocals but the song is my favorite off the NOW album.

  31. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    Whew! I love colorful words and phrases and you really hit it by saying "There's a lot of pent-up energy going on..." That's what I was looking for. I love that song to pieces, and always thought there was something I couldn't quite peg about it-until I read your words. This is one of those songs, I could listen to a million times in a row and still never quite wrap my head around all the stuff going on in that song.

    It was a few years before I even focused on the lyrics! The drums nearly steal the whole show. Why did Motown mix backing vocals so low on nearly everyone's music? Here we get to hear the Tops un-adorned harmonies and they're nearly buried in the mix. Actually, I stumbled onto a little trick where I can play a CD, tape or album through a pedal effects compressor and darn if it doesn't help to bring up backing vocals and other things in the mix just a bit louder and clearer. Doing that, I'm really appreciating how good the Tops [[and Andantes, when they were used) really were.
    So true. The background vocals are almost non existent. Someone didn't know what they were doing.

  32. #82
    Interesting thoughts all around. I'm not sure ... But I loved the ABC Dunhill years and think the label change energized the Tops.

  33. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by Fourtopsbiggestfan View Post
    That's exactly what I'm always thinking. My ears struggle to hear the background vocals but the song is my favorite off the NOW album.
    Yeah, I love it, too, biggest fan. It's definitely a unique track -- one that only Motown could have conquered so successfully. I can't think of any other record company whose producers and arrangers could have pulled off such a feat and made it sound so good -- and all with just the same chord over and over!
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 08-26-2018 at 08:16 PM.

  34. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    Tom,
    I know ..I had it.
    I wasn't too keen on "DLHTYLFM" , whereas " The Key" was a brilliant, fresh track, IMHO.
    BTW Tom are you not interested in the box set of 66 Motown tracks at £7.99?
    ah snakepit of course you did

    Now with that box set, it does look good, but I prefer to collect studio albums and compilations [['complete Motown recordings' type) by artists, not various artists compilation sets.

    Not sure why, maybe it's the completist and OCD in me.

  35. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post

    Not sure why, maybe it's the completist and OCD in me.
    I'm glad to hear I'm not alone, Tom. When it comes to being a completist with musical "OCD", I suffer from it, too! Big time!!! ��

  36. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    I'm glad to hear I'm not alone, Tom. When it comes to being a completist with musical "OCD", I suffer from it, too! Big time!!! ��
    Oh Gary! It's a struggle! I'll collect half of an artists' discography just for one song!!!! I just have to!!!!!!!

  37. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Or, BayouMotownMan, it's possible that Motown purposely didn't promote The Supremes "Forever Came Today" and the Four Tops "I'm In A Different World". After all, by the time those recordings were released, H-D-H were long-gone. After defecting, why would Motown reward them with two additional hit records? Unfortunately, if that's the case, The Supremes and Four Tops were the ones who got punished for H-D-H jumping ship.



    As an extra side note, I remember reading years ago that HDH were pissed that Motown had released "Forever Came Today" as they claimed it was an "unfinished" recording. [[I'm not sure whether that figures into the formula or not, but it's a piece of the puzzle, regardless.)
    why would Motown reward THEM? Do you honestly feel that Motown would jeopardize their #1 and #3 money makers’ fortunes to be that petty? I sincerely doubt it. Remember that The Supremes had not hit #1 since Flo left, And the prior single, In & Out was a bust that barely hit the top ten for a brief minute, and The Tops hadn’t been top ten in a year.....no way wouldvMotown sabotage these groups to make a point. Both singles were not that commercial - both were weak, IMHO, I like them, yes, but hit material? NFW. I hate the sound of the bg on FCT - they needed Mary and Flo or a sweeter sound from The A’s.

    I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it doesn’t have that HDH gloss to me.

  38. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    Oh Gary! It's a struggle! I'll collect half of an artists' discography just for one song!!!! I just have to!!!!!!!
    Amateur! When I discover an artist or a producer I like, something takes over me and I can't rest until I have every note of their available music in my collection! Now that's addiction! I've been going through that again recently since discovering Stock Aitken Waterman [[SAW) and their respective artists. What a huge roster of artists they had! And, with the exception of their early '80s overly-synthesized stuff, I love their sound! It's no wonder their music was endearingly nicknamed "The British Motown Of The '80s"! Their songs are well-constructed with hook-laden melodies utilizing the most gorgeous chords -- just like Motown. I think I can safely say that I finally have all or, at least, most of their artists' music that's currently available on CD! One of SAW's 3 books that I have includes a complete discography of their productions. That was all it took! From the discography to YouTube [[to pre-audition each song) and then on to eBay to purchase each group and their U.K. CDs. I'm helpless and hopeless -- but musically rich!
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 08-26-2018 at 09:23 PM.

  39. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Amateur! When I discover an artist or a producer I like, something takes over me and I can't rest until I have every note of their available music in my collection! Now that's addiction! I've been going through that again recently since discovering Stock Aitken Waterman [[SAW) and their respective artists. What a huge roster of artists they had! And, with the exception of their early '80s overly-synthesized stuff, I love their sound! It's no wonder their music was endearingly nicknamed "The British Motown Of The '80s"! Their songs are well-constructed with hook-laden melodies utilizing the most gorgeous chords -- just like Motown. I think I can safely say that I finally have all or, at least, most of their artists' music that's currently available on CD! One of SAW's 3 books that I have includes a complete discography of their productions. That was all it took! From the discography to YouTube [[to pre-audition each song) and then on to eBay to purchase each group and their U.K. CDs. I'm helpless and hopeless -- but musically rich!
    Oh Gary we're one in the same! First check out the discography, then listen on YouTube [[sometimes iTunes covers both of these for me) and if you like, onto the acquiring!!! I've started doing the same thing with music labels, of course Motown [[that's been a long-term thing) but recently also Salsoul! It's addictive.

    Now, Stock Aitken Waterman I know wrote and produced some songs for Rick Astley including "Never Gonna Give You Up" which I do like. I looked into some of their other work and not sure I could get into Bananarama or Dead Or Alive, but maybe I should listen before I judge.

  40. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMotownManiac View Post
    why would Motown reward THEM? Do you honestly feel that Motown would jeopardize their #1 and #3 money makers’ fortunes to be that petty? I sincerely doubt it. Remember that The Supremes had not hit #1 since Flo left, And the prior single, In & Out was a bust that barely hit the top ten for a brief minute, and The Tops hadn’t been top ten in a year.....no way wouldvMotown sabotage these groups to make a point. Both singles were not that commercial - both were weak, IMHO, I like them, yes, but hit material? NFW. I hate the sound of the bg on FCT - they needed Mary and Flo or a sweeter sound from The A’s.

    I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it doesn’t have that HDH gloss to me.
    Well, MotownManiac, I honestly don't know what to think. I merely offered that view as a possibility which, for all I know, may very well have been true -- especially if Berry were in a vengeful mood toward HDH having defected. When Diana demanded creative freedom, Berry stopped financing her exhorbitant shows to teach her a lesson that with freedom comes responsibility. She would have to finance her shows herself. If Berry would risk decreasing the quality of his top artist's live shows, he may have gambled the same risk to "Forever Came Today" and "I'm In A Different World" in order to punish HDH. Who knows? It's a shame because I love both of those records -- especially "FCT". I also love the back-up vocals.

  41. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post
    Oh Gary we're one in the same! First check out the discography, then listen on YouTube [[sometimes iTunes covers both of these for me) and if you like, onto the acquiring!!! I've started doing the same thing with music labels, of course Motown [[that's been a long-term thing) but recently also Salsoul! It's addictive.

    Now, Stock Aitken Waterman I know wrote and produced some songs for Rick Astley including "Never Gonna Give You Up" which I do like. I looked into some of their other work and not sure I could get into Bananarama or Dead Or Alive, but maybe I should listen before I judge.
    No doubt about it, Tom. We're two peas from the same pod! I bought Dead Or Alive just to have it but it's my LEAST favorite of SAW's productions. Bananarama I bought -- also just to have in my collection. However, after they broke up, two of the girls returned as a duo. Their CD "Please Yourself" [[Expanded) on Cherry Pop is excellent! Nearly every track I love! Another favorite is Lonnie Gordon's "If I Have To Stand Alone" which sounds like Motown to me. Another favorite is Sonia. I can't get enough of her "Only Fools [[Never Fall In Love)". Pure Motown! [[I played it for Kenny and he loved it, too!) Or go on YouTube and check out the group Worlds Apart and their song titled "Arnold Schwarzenegger". Horrid title, but the most beautiful song imaginable. I can't stop playing it!

  42. #92
    Oh, almost forgot, Tom. I collect Salsoul. Philly soul at it's finest!

  43. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Well, MotownManiac, I honestly don't know what to think. I merely offered that view as a possibility which, for all I know, may very well have been true -- especially if Berry were in a vengeful mood toward HDH having defected. When Diana demanded creative freedom, Berry stopped financing her exhorbitant shows to teach her a lesson that with freedom comes responsibility. She would have to finance her shows herself. If Berry would risk decreasing the quality of his top artist's live shows, he may have gambled the same risk to "Forever Came Today" and "I'm In A Different World" in order to punish HDH. Who knows? It's a shame because I love both of those records -- especially "FCT". I also love the back-up vocals.
    That shows what a shyster that fella is. Istill think he wouldn't have done much with the tops if H-D-H would've stayed. Just bread crumbs.

  44. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by Fourtopsbiggestfan View Post
    That shows what a shyster that fella is. Istill think he wouldn't have done much with the tops if H-D-H would've stayed. Just bread crumbs.
    Well, Berry was definitely a shrewd business man, as all good business leaders have to be in order to survive, but I would never call him a "shyster" which is a term typically reserved for describing shady, unscrupulous lawyers. Some of his decisions regarding Motown's artists may have been unpopular among us fans, but, like it or not, he did what he did in the name of what he felt was best for Motown at the time. I really can't fault him for that.

  45. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Well, MotownManiac, I honestly don't know what to think. I merely offered that view as a possibility which, for all I know, may very well have been true -- especially if Berry were in a vengeful mood toward HDH having defected. When Diana demanded creative freedom, Berry stopped financing her exhorbitant shows to teach her a lesson that with freedom comes responsibility. She would have to finance her shows herself. If Berry would risk decreasing the quality of his top artist's live shows, he may have gambled the same risk to "Forever Came Today" and "I'm In A Different World" in order to punish HDH. Who knows? It's a shame because I love both of those records -- especially "FCT". I also love the back-up vocals.
    there is nothing in BG’s DNA to suggest he would mess with the sanctity of his top acts just to show HDH that not all of their songs are hits - they already knew that and the relative failure of those singles would prove nothing at all except even they were not perfect. Anyway, I disagree with you that there’s even a snowballs chance in hell he blew those two records on purpose. With The Happening not going top ten Black, then Reflections not going to #1, then In & Out a dismal #16 Black, that was a warning sign and he needed FCT to anchor the Reflections album since the title song had been off the charts for nearly 6 months. There was simply too much riding on it to afford two weak singles in a row and selling the new line-up. Just my opinion.

    Do do you know what the bgs are singing in FCT? If so, please advise as I cannot get them at all during the change.

    Berry stopped financing Diana’s live shows because she wasn’t making any money on them - and was wondering why she was selling out at top prices everywhere and her money still seemed a mystery. Those lavish shows were Berry’s productions - as soon as a Ross took over, she began to whittle them down. By the time she left Motown, she was basically the show. Period. GenevSimmons helped her realize how majorally she had been screwed over by Motown. She was touring arenas and basically was in salary - if even that since she couldn’t get a real accounting of anything.

  46. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by Fourtopsbiggestfan View Post
    That shows what a shyster that fella is. Istill think he wouldn't have done much with the tops if H-D-H would've stayed. Just bread crumbs.
    it doesn’t show anything because it’s just his conjecture, quite specious in my opinion.


    I believe had HDH stayed, they’d have had hits and misses and adapted to changing times and styles better than is being suggested here. They were clever and had all of Motown’s creative forces to mine to keep DR&TS and The Tops on top. I think The Reflections album could have been Thw=evSupremes’ Pet Sounds if HDH stayed on course. In and Out would prolly not have been a single at all. Geez, the reach Out album is the best album they ever did with anyone. We may never have had Love Child, but we wouldn’t have been subjected to STYNGUT either lol.

  47. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    Hey! You met Mr. Miner? Fantastic! His work really could have been another success story as far as turning Motown on to a new direction in music. I'm not sure how to describe his work, but to me, just like Deke Richard's work, it somehow retained the fundamentals of The Motown Sound while giving it a kick upwards and making it sound new at the same time.

    Why most of his works was canned is something I'll never understand. Was it deemed not commercial enough? Or was it down to QC being staffed by people who were more suited to running a bank or business than a creative entity? I've always had the feeling that some of the best music ever recorded at Motown was never released. The more of these vaulted sessions that we get to hear the more I'm convince of it.
    Mr. Miner was very nice and appreciative that someone recognized and liked his work with Motown. I can understand why he was with the label for a short time. 2 years, I think? Why stick around when the label keeps sticking your material in the vault or putting out as album fillers? There's definitely something unique and different about his work. He almost is testing the Motown Sound and what it could do. Listen to the Vandellas' "We Will" and "Full Speed Ahead," the Marvelettes' "The Truth's Outside My Door," and the Supremes' "In The Evening Of Our Love." Very different approaches to what other producers were doing at the time. I particularly find his production of "I Love The Man" to be one of the most beautiful ever recorded at Motown. He even took his hit "Rescue Me" and gave it a new spin with Blinky. I'm eager to hear what will get released on Motown Unreleased 1968 and 1969. I would bet there are some great Raynard Miner productions.

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