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  1. The Marvelettes "Pink Album" a milestone for both The Marvelettes and Motown

    This album has been the subject of discussion more than a few times. I keep coming back to it and I keep marveling at how cohesive, tight and flawless this album is. Nearly all 60's Motown albums gave you a lot of listening pleasure for the money, but at times, some LPs (thankfully not too many) could sound like what they were: a collection of songs by various producers assembled together. The "Pink Album" is among Motown's best albums ever.

    I have to think there was a certain amount of "deliberate care" in putting this album together. If you notice, although Wanda Rogers had become the primary lead, both Wanda and Gladys share a pretty even split of cuts on the album, with one- "Keep Off, No Trespassing" featuring both ladies- Gladys on verses, Wanda on choruses. Clever!

    There is an overall sense that Motown decided Smokey Robinson was right all along- The Marvelettes really could sing jazzier, more adult tunes. "Message To Michael", "I Know Better", "This Night Was Made For Love" and the incredibly moving, "I Can't Turn Around" are some of the most songs of substance you'll ever find on any Motown album, wait- on ANY album period. Of course "Hunter", "Young And In Love" are heavyweights in the Marvelettes cannon as well. Really, there isn't a lightweight cut on the album anywhere.

    I keep wondering, with the success of "Don't Mess With Bill", did the group's stock rise in the eyes of Motown. There is a concert souvenir program I have that gives the group the entire back page. That really shocked me as I would have figured honor would have gone to The Sups, Tempts, Tops or Miracles. All the other programs I have usually feature a montage of various Motown artists. Even if "Don't Mess With Bill" gave the group a boost in the ranks at Motown, you have to applaud the fact that at least they did seem to attempt to build on the momentum of that hit and gave the group arguable their best album ever.

    The booklets we've received in the various expanded editions of The Supremes albums all give great insights and background on what went into assembling those albums. It would be great to hear from some of the songwriters and producers involved in the making of The Pink Album to see if there was a sense at the company to make this as fine an album as possible.

    I have to say too, I'll be forever indebted to Harry Weinger, Keith Hughes, George Solomon, Kevin Reeves and everyone else associated with and responsible for giving us the "Forever More" box sets. Those are truly "Expanded Editions" for we got mono and stereo mixes of the LPs and all kinds of extras. For me, I'm most grateful for the mono and stereo mixes of our beloved "Pink Album."Name:  pink album (16).jpg
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  2. #2
    got this LP somewhere around 1971....it really was a great LP....this version of Message to Michael remains my favorite....Barefootin' was a fun opener. I played that first side to death....I loved I Know Better...and since I never heard the Velvelettes yet, He Was Really Sayin' Something was a great new song for me...other than Anthology, this was my only vinyl purchase from them...in early 2000's I got the LIVE Lp on Ebay for a steal. (also got Mary Wells)...very raw live performances. I was going to collect all 4 of these early live LPs at one point (Marvin/Miracles) but funds and interest ran out and I resold the 2 I had....I also have 1990 (?) Now LP that has a VERY similar cover. I got a ton of copies (8?) and have had them listed on Ebay along with the also excellent Velvelettes 1990 LP

  3. #3
    Iíve heard that even w the success of Donít Mess, Smokey still had to push for Hunter. The follow up to Bill was the only so-so Youíre The One. I donít think Motown was ever really going to get behind them since the girls werenít in the big supper club category

  4. #4
    But I do absolutely agree. This lp is sensational. From beginning to end. Especially given there were 7 or 8 different producers or combos of producers. Itís a strong collection

  5. #5
    "This Night Was Made For Love" is one of the most romantic love songs to come out of Motown. I really wish it got more attention and included on Motown Love compilations. It's wonderfully produced and Gladys delivers a great vocal. You can really hear her grow as a vocalist.

    "Keep Off, No Trespassing" is another track that deserved attention. It should have been a single. I love both the mono and stereo mixes since there are elements in each that aren't the other. I would love to hear a new stereo mix for it.

  6. #6

    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    The follow up to Bill was the only so-so Youíre The One

    I'm sitting here ROTFLMAO about how different our tastes are on this forum. While You're the One never became a hit, it was instrumentally every bit as strong as Don't Mess With Bill and the performance also was just as strong. The song gets several repeats whenever the Marvelettes are played in the car or at home.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    "This Night Was Made For Love" is one of the most romantic love songs to come out of Motown. I really wish it got more attention and included on Motown Love compilations. It's wonderfully produced and Gladys delivers a great vocal. You can really hear her grow as a vocalist.

    "Keep Off, No Trespassing" is another track that deserved attention. It should have been a single. I love both the mono and stereo mixes since there are elements in each that aren't the other. I would love to hear a new stereo mix for it.
    Point-for-point, I'm with you all the way. "This Night Was Made For Love" is probably the one of the best productions by Robert Walker and Robert Staunton while they were at Motown. Their sometimes-eccentric production qualities were reeled in here, and still, it's nothing like Motown has ever produced. I too wish it was given more exposure on all those compilations instead of the same 20 songs over and over.

    The album had quite a few possibilities for singles, and right up there is "Keep Off, No Trespassing." True it was give place as a B-side, but still, what a wasted opportunity.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by nabob View Post

    I'm sitting here ROTFLMAO about how different our tastes are on this forum. While You're the One never became a hit, it was instrumentally every bit as strong as Don't Mess With Bill and the performance also was just as strong. The song gets several repeats whenever the Marvelettes are played in the car or at home.
    haha - i know. it's always fun to see who likes what and why

    i don't think You're the One was terrible. far from it. it just didn't really develop the sound established from Bill. Don't Mess With Bill was so unique and different. really amazing. You're just doesn't really do much more. Hunter certainly did. Magician certainly did.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by nabob View Post

    I'm sitting here ROTFLMAO about how different our tastes are on this forum. While You're the One never became a hit, it was instrumentally every bit as strong as Don't Mess With Bill and the performance also was just as strong. The song gets several repeats whenever the Marvelettes are played in the car or at home.
    "You're The One" is one of those songs that was an oddity for me at first. I had only read about it for years, never heard it until the CD age. At first, I kinda thought, "Now I know why it didn't climb higher on the charts." But then again, I'm not sure if I held that opinion because of something I had read years earlier, that the song was a weak sound-alike follow-up. Maybe that prejudiced my feelings about it.

    But the funny thing is, I'd never play it once. I'd play it quite a few times. It's got a fantastic hard-stomp of a beat with some excellent lyrics. In fact, this song gives Wanda the platform to really show off a more soulful performance than "Bill." Still, this seems to be an "invisible" Marvelettes 45 that escapes nearly everyone's notice.

    My belief is that had this not come after "Don't Mess With Bill" it may have done better. It would have been heard on its own merits and not as a soundalike follow-up. Smokey wrote brilliant songs, but I've noticed he's not one for writing soundalikes. He has signatures and traits common to his songs and productions, but I don't think he believed in trying to mine a formula. "You're The One" is one of the few times it seems he tried to copy himself.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    haha - i know. it's always fun to see who likes what and why

    i don't think You're the One was terrible. far from it. it just didn't really develop the sound established from Bill. Don't Mess With Bill was so unique and different. really amazing. You're just doesn't really do much more. Hunter certainly did. Magician certainly did.
    It took me several paragraphs to say what you did in a couple of lines! Mom always said I talk too much!!!!

  11. #11
    wasn't this the first new LP released in 4 years? The hits LP contained the singles...I loved the singles thru to Forever....and then there were a few really corny ones (He's A Good Guy, My Daddy)...Too Many Fish and I'll Keep On Holding On seemed to get them back on track.

  12. Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    wasn't this the first new LP released in 4 years? The hits LP contained the singles...I loved the singles thru to Forever....and then there were a few really corny ones (He's A Good Guy, My Daddy)...Too Many Fish and I'll Keep On Holding On seemed to get them back on track.
    It seems to me, with those singles you mentioned, "He's A good Guy", "My Daddy Knows Best", Motown was trying to capitalize on that teeny bopper sound that gained them their audience initially. All those record companies did that. Whatever worked in the first place, mine it until you milked the sound for every last mile you could get.

    Fortunately, Motown had the writers and producers who could blow away the competition when it came to creating hits and The Marvelettes had the goods to rebound from their mid 60's slump and finally get to their grown-up phase of music.

  13. #13
    This album was probably among the first dozen or so albums I ever bought and it definitely was one of my favorites. I agree with the many positive comments. For me the highlight cut was He Was Really Sayin' Somethin' but that was because at the time I had not even HEARD of the Velvelettes and therefore the Marvs' version was the only one I knew. I still prefer it over the original.

    As for You're The One, I have always liked it and I agree it could have been a bigger hit. But I guess I just cannot see the similarity between it and Don't Mess With Bill. And to call it a potentially better song than Bill????? Oh my, as we say here in the south "Them's Fighting Words."

    Bill was an incredible, masterfully-crafted song and I am not sure the Marvelettes were capable of doing anything better.

  14. Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    As for You're The One, I have always liked it and I agree it could have been a bigger hit. But I guess I just cannot see the similarity between it and Don't Mess With Bill. And to call it a potentially better song than Bill????? Oh my, as we say here in the south "Them's Fighting Words."

    Bill was an incredible, masterfully-crafted song and I am not sure the Marvelettes were capable of doing anything better.
    No, I don't think "You're The One" in any way could be called a better song than "Bill", but I think it suffered by the sheer fact of being the follow up release. The thing about "Don't Mess With Bill" is that, as you said, it was such a masterfully-crafted song, how would you follow it up except to go a completely different direction. "You're The One" had the similar tempo, similar drum fills, nice swingin' organ drive, but coming after "Bill", those were BIG shoes to fill.

    To me, "Bill" is like another Smokey masterpiece: Mary Wells' "My Guy." That song, too, was so well-done and perfect, I've always wondered just what could have followed it? To try to create a "daughter-of-My Guy" would have been nearly impossible. It would have been interesting to see what would have come after "My Guy". (for the record, my vote would have been either "Whisper You Love Me Boy" or "He's My Honey Boy")

  15. #15
    That really was the group's best album, even if it's heavily padded out with Andantes. What puzzled me then, and now, is, with all the obvious care taken in production, why the cover was so slapped-together. Gladys is slightly out of focus, Kat is incongruously enlarged, and Wanda's wig is really funky (you can see the cap at the hairline). It really cheapens the look of an otherwise exceptional album.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    No, I don't think "You're The One" in any way could be called a better song than "Bill", but I think it suffered by the sheer fact of being the follow up release. The thing about "Don't Mess With Bill" is that, as you said, it was such a masterfully-crafted song, how would you follow it up except to go a completely different direction. "You're The One" had the similar tempo, similar drum fills, nice swingin' organ drive, but coming after "Bill", those were BIG shoes to fill.

    To me, "Bill" is like another Smokey masterpiece: Mary Wells' "My Guy." That song, too, was so well-done and perfect, I've always wondered just what could have followed it? To try to create a "daughter-of-My Guy" would have been nearly impossible. It would have been interesting to see what would have come after "My Guy". (for the record, my vote would have been either "Whisper You Love Me Boy" or "He's My Honey Boy")
    "You're The One" is a good song that probably shouldn't have followed "Don't Mess With Bill", a true Smokey classic. (I still smile at a music writer's praise of the Marvelettes' marvelously "bitchy" performance.) But how to follow up?! Like daviddesper above, I really, really like "He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'". I too prefer it to the Velvelettes' original, which I hadn't heard before. (What do you think of Banarama?) The Marvelettes' version, like "Bill", really jumps and has an attitude. It's also different enough, written, not by Smokey, but by other top Motowners Norman Whitfield, William Stevenson & Eddie Holland.
    If Mary Wells had stayed at Motown, I think "Whisper You Love Me, Boy" would have been a great follow-up, too. After all, it's a Holland-Dozier-Holland song.
    I also think a polished "When I'm Gone" (like the single version Smokey did with Brenda Holloway) would have been a marvelous follow up. It's also a classic song by Smokey, but emotionally different.
    Last edited by lucky2012; 09-24-2018 at 11:51 AM.

  17. #17
    I've always felt that this gem is the marvelettes best..i can't turn around is a killer,and the cosmic[tonight was made for love]is out of this world..a great classic gem from motown.

  18. Quote Originally Posted by BigAl View Post
    That really was the group's best album, even if it's heavily padded out with Andantes. What puzzled me then, and now, is, with all the obvious care taken in production, why the cover was so slapped-together. Gladys is slightly out of focus, Kat is incongruously enlarged, and Wanda's wig is really funky (you can see the cap at the hairline). It really cheapens the look of an otherwise exceptional album.
    I never wanted to say those things "out loud" but that always bugged the h**l out of me. When I first came across the album, I was 16 in the 80's and I thought it was one of the Pickwick or budget re-issue albums just from the cover. Then I saw the Tamla logo and was pretty stunned. Over the years, I've come to love it in its own way, but like you said, it does look like it was slapped together. Oddly, I think it's why I came to love the album so much- on the outside, it's so plain-looking, but the album inside blew my mind.

  19. Quote Originally Posted by lucky2012 View Post
    "You're The One" is a good song that probably shouldn't have followed "Don't Mess With Bill", a true Smokey classic. (I still smile at a music writer's praise of the Marvelettes' marvelously "bitchy" performance.) But how to follow up?! Like daviddesper above, I really, really like "He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'". I too prefer it to the Velvelettes' original, which I hadn't heard before. (What do you think of Banarama?) The Marvelettes' version, like "Bill", really jumps and has an attitude. It's also different enough, written, not by Smokey, but by other top Motowners Norman Whitfield, William Stevenson & Eddie Holland.
    If Mary Wells had stayed at Motown, I think "Whisper You Love Me, Boy" would have been a great follow-up, too. After all, it's a Holland-Dozier-Holland song.
    I also think a polished "When I'm Gone" (like the single version Smokey did with Brenda Holloway) would have been a marvelous follow up. It's also a classic song by Smokey, but emotionally different.
    I like your ideas for Marvelettes and Mary Wells follow-ups. I guess I wasn't the only one where it was the Marvelettes' version of "He Was Really Saying Something" I heard first. I loved it right away. Like you said, it's got attitude and really kicks a**. At the same time, Gladys sings it, not like a teenager who is infatuated, but a full-grown woman in LOVE. Gladys brought an adult edge to it. I only heard the Velvelettes' original years later. I love that one because it's such a dark, funky groove, but for me, the Marvelettes' version will always be my favorite.

    I was surprised to read that H-D-H had worked up "I Hope You Have Better Luck Than I Did" as a contender for follow-up to "Don't Mess With Bill" (or was it another record's follow-up?) I know they did "Barefootin'" and "Message To Michael" for the album, but still, that was eye-opening to see they were still involved with the group.

  20. Quote Originally Posted by arr&bee View Post
    I've always felt that this gem is the marvelettes best..i can't turn around is a killer,and the cosmic[tonight was made for love]is out of this world..a great classic gem from motown.
    "I Can't Turn Around" is so light years removed from ANYTHING any of the other groups were doing that it's really astonishing all these years later. It just sounds so emotionally true-to-life, as if the writer, Frank Wilson, was exposing something going on in his personal life. It really drives me crazy that there are a million compilation Motown CDs out there and none of them can find a place for a song like this or "Tonight Was Made For Love".

  21. #21
    that is Diana's wig Wanda is wearing...did this not cross anyone elss mind?

  22. #22
    I’m not the biggest fan of The Marvelettes’ records but I did enjoy them somewhat the two times I saw them in the 60s - they had a charm that I can’t describe plus they sang Danger which I loved. Anyway, reading this thread, I just played the pink album and I’m shocked at how good it is. Thanks to this thread and this forum, I’ve found another nugget!

  23. #23
    Despite not having a lot of support from Motown, I think the final four albums by The Marvelettes are all strong. Stronger than the final two DRATS albums, or some of the material Martha Reeves and the Vandellas' put out in the late 60's, IMO.

  24. Quote Originally Posted by Thornton View Post
    Despite not having a lot of support from Motown, I think the final four albums by The Marvelettes are all strong. Stronger than the final two DRATS albums, or some of the material Martha Reeves and the Vandellas' put out in the late 60's, IMO.
    So true, so VERY true. Someone had once remarked that because Motown wasn't so focused on the Marvelettes, trying to keep them "trendy" in the way the Supremes' success required, it allowed them to record a lot of very good songs that never would have been considered for the Supremes. I believe there is something to that.

    There was so much pressure for the Supremes to record ground-breaking, chart-topping, relevant music. Also, everything had to be aimed specifically at mass-market appeal so even if they recorded something soulful, it had to be the kind of song that would be viewed as "Oh, how trendy! The Supremes are tackling Soul! TrŤs chic!

    To some degree, probably the same attitude went with Martha Reeves & The Vandellas as they were Motown's 2nd biggest girl group. The Marvelettes, however, had no such expectations applied to them, even when they showed they were more than capable of handling excellent material like "Hunter". In an ironic way, it served to free the Marvelettes from having to do things aimed at a specific image or demographic. They got to sing songs that really could have served the other girl groups just as well, but because they weren't cutting-edge, they'd never be considered for those groups.

    Hey! I'll take any of the Marvelettes' albums over a lot of Motown's late 60's albums any day.

  25. #25
    I love the cover of the "Pink" LP...it was very cool in 1967, I got it & Martha & the Vandellas "Watchout" Lps for my 16th birthday, March 1967. I think the "Pink" LP just came out the month before.I already had all the 45's but getting the LPs were a big deal to me then.

  26. #26
    Since the pink cover was essentially the same concept as More Hits By the Supremes, I wonder if any thought was given to putting their names on the cover? That might have given them a little more familiarity and identity to the fans.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    Since the pink cover was essentially the same concept as More Hits By the Supremes, I wonder if any thought was given to putting their names on the cover? That might have given them a little more familiarity and identity to the fans.
    It would have been nice, although it might have been seen as a copycat of MORE HITS.

    That said, for years, I thought Katherine was the lead singer simply because her photo was the largest. It wasn't until years later when I read an article with Wanda Rogers and not too long after that, bought a copy of SOPHISTICATED SOUL on which they were identified, that I realized who was who.

  28. #28
    WaitingWatching, The Marvelettes' 'Pink' album was thrilling from start to finish from the first time I played it. Having bought it from the day it hit the streets back in Spring 1967, each and every track blew me away -- especially "Hunter", "When You're Young And In Love", "I Can't Turn Around", "The Day You Take One", and "When I Need(ed) You". My only concern at the time was why "You're The One" wasn't included, as I loved that single every bit as much as "Don't Mess With Bill". I was pleasantly surprised that it was finally included on "Sophisticated Soul" a year later (better late than never).

    Personally, I loved the front cover of the 'Pink' album. I thought Wanda, Gladys, and Katherine looked hot. The only oddity was that Kat had never sung lead, yet her photo was the featured photo. Kat later revealed in the Marvelettes' book that the photographer admittedly like her eyes and decided to feature them. (I'm surprised that Motown allowed that to happen.
    And I've always wondered how that set with Wanda and Gladys at the time!) I, too, was quick to notice the similarity between Wanda's wig and Diana's, especially on the front cover of the "In Full Bloom" album.

    Overall, the 'Pink' album remains not only my favorite Marvelettes album, but it's among my favorite Motown albums of all time.

    As one final thought -- Of all the fantastic deluxe Hippo CD releases that Harry Weinger and company adorned us with, The Marvelettes "Forever More: Motown Albums (Vol. 2) is at the very top of my list. Waited forever for it, and was rewarded with much more than expected. It was definitely worth the wait!
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 09-26-2018 at 10:10 AM.

  29. #29
    Thanks to the good things said about "The Pink Album", I found a used copy on Amazon (last one). I can't wait to get it. Why was it not included in the "Forever More" set?

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_june View Post
    Thanks to the good things said about "The Pink Album", I found a used copy on Amazon (last one). I can't wait to get it. Why was it not included in the "Forever More" set?
    It was included in the “Forever More” boxed set—both the stereo and mono mixes of the album, too.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_june View Post
    Thanks to the good things said about "The Pink Album", I found a used copy on Amazon (last one). I can't wait to get it. Why was it not included in the "Forever More" set?
    There are 2 sets of Forever More released - one was the early albums, the other was the later albums & unreleased songs. This is on Forever More Vol.2.

  32. Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    WaitingWatching, The Marvelettes' 'Pink' album was thrilling from start to finish from the first time I played it. Having bought it from the day it hit the streets back in Spring 1967, each and every track blew me away -- especially "Hunter", "When You're Young And In Love", "I Can't Turn Around", "The Day You Take One", and "When I Need(ed) You". My only concern at the time was why "You're The One" wasn't included, as I loved that single every bit as much as "Don't Mess With Bill". I was pleasantly surprised that it was finally included on "Sophisticated Soul" a year later (better late than never).
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post

    Personally, I loved the front cover of the 'Pink' album. I thought Wanda, Gladys, and Katherine looked hot. The only oddity was that Kat had never sung lead, yet her photo was the featured photo. Kat later revealed in the Marvelettes' book that the photographer admittedly like her eyes and decided to feature them. (I'm surprised that Motown allowed that to happen.
    And I've always wondered how that set with Wanda and Gladys at the time!) I, too, was quick to notice the similarity between Wanda's wig and Diana's, especially on the front cover of the "In Full Bloom" album.

    Overall, the 'Pink' album remains not only my favorite Marvelettes album, but it's among my favorite Motown albums of all time.

    As one final thought -- Of all the fantastic deluxe Hippo CD releases that Harry Weinger and company adorned us with, The Marvelettes "Forever More: Motown Albums (Vol. 2) is at the very top of my list. Waited forever for it, and was rewarded with much more than expected. It was definitely worth the wait!


    Now THIS is the kind of thing I like: hearing from the people who bought this album when it was originally released, and hearing their reactions to it. It's so funny how, even though I bought the album about a decade after its original release, I had the same reactions to it as yourself and others here. I remember we were on vacation in Houston, Texas in '81. My folks took us all to one of the shopping malls and I hit the record stores. My fascination with Motown had really taken root and I was just looking for anything and every 60's Motown artist I could find. At this time, it was mostly the classic albums Motown was re-releasing on vinyl and I was happily going broke grabbing each and every last one I came across.

    I saw a bin marked "cut-outs." I had no idea what that meant, but I went looking through and came across "The Pink Album." I didn't know all the much about the Marvelettes at this point. The reason I knew anything was that my mom had bought me a Smokey Robinson & The Miracles album, one of those MFP compilation LPs and it had "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game." I loved that song and then read on the back album jacket that the song had been written for and recorded first by the Marvelettes. I was mildly curious, but that was it. Well, I saw that song listed on the album cover and so I bought it just to see what their version sounded like.

    To be honest, I really thought it was a budget album because the cover, to me, seemed very "basic." Seeing the TAMLA logo, I just shrugged and said hmmmmm. Now here is the funny thing: the album didn't knock me out. At all. I didn't like the songs. At all. I wasn't thrilled by "Hunter". The only one I kinda liked was "Tonight Was Made For Love." So I played the album and put it away. There was something about that though because I couldn't stop thinking about it. I couldn't put Wanda's and Gladys's voices out of my head.

    A week went by and I played it again and thought, ok, this song is nice, that one is o.k., but that's as far as it went. Still, the music kept playing in my mind. It took the longest time for that album to grow on me but when it did, it became MY FAVORITE album!!!!!!! To the point where I was playing it so much, my whole entire family knew those songs by heart. I even put it onto a cassette tape so I could play it in the car on long road trips. Then my mom became a fan of the album, especially the song, "The Day You Take One (You Have To Take The Other)."

    I'd sit and play that album all the way through and just stare at the cover for hours. Like everyone else, I thought Katherine was the lead singer. Those pictures made me fall in love with all three of those ladies. I thought they were the most beautiful women! I'm amazed I could see the light of day after staring at that cover so much and for so long. Again, something I wasn't crazy about at first ended up becoming one of my all-time favorite Motown album covers.

    Originally, I had been a Supremes fan, then it was Martha & The Vandellas. "The Pink Album" totally changed all that, so the Marvelettes became my Number 1 Motown group.
    Last edited by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance; 09-27-2018 at 03:19 AM.

  33. Quote Originally Posted by mr_june View Post
    Thanks to the good things said about "The Pink Album", I found a used copy on Amazon (last one). I can't wait to get it. Why was it not included in the "Forever More" set?
    I'm so glad to hear that! It's really such a fantastic album. I remember here on the forum when there were hints that this album was going to a CD release. Man, I thought I was going to the moon! Every now and then the ones who ended up being responsible for the release would ask a question here, a question there about the album. The heart-stopping moment for me was when questions were being asked about whether there were big differences in the mono and stereo mix of the LP. Who knew all that was leading up to not one, but TWO huge CD sets of every Marvelettes album?

  34. #34
    At the time, I thought "When I Need You" was good enough to be a single.

  35. #35
    I absolutley love these[marvelettes]post, although i love all the motown ladies the marvelous marvelettes will always be my ultimate girl group.

  36. Quote Originally Posted by arr&bee View Post
    I absolutley love these[marvelettes]post, although i love all the motown ladies the marvelous marvelettes will always be my ultimate girl group.
    My feelings exactly!

  37. Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    At the time, I thought "When I Need You" was good enough to be a single.
    That is a great SOUL tune, absolutely. That one sort of stands out on its own because it sounds like something I could imagine Etta James singing. "My pride has kept me going / I wouldn't stop now if I could / All my love is showing / I guess I always knew it would" I LOVE that lyric!

  38. #38
    Maybe the coolest song ending in motown history is the too cool-oh yeah,that ends thgcbtg,ohhhhhhhhhh marvelettes forever!!!

  39. #39
    I agree that The Marvelettes (aka The Pink Album) is a great LP. A couple of questions I have are;

    How come the stereo version of the LP featured the edited version of "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" (and why is there no stereo mix of "This Night Was Made For Love"). Also (as another poster said) I feel that the cover was "slapped together" with Katherine's picture larger than the other Marvelettes (IMHO both Sophisticated Soul & In Full Bloom had better front covers).


    As the first Marvelettes album to focus on their new mature sound (not to mention their first LP of new songs since 1963), it's certainly a landmark in their career (and since it's the last one to feature Gladys Horton makes it a bittersweet one for me).
    Last edited by Motown Eddie; 09-28-2018 at 11:56 AM.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    i’ve heard that even w the success of don’t mess, smokey still had to push for hunter. The follow up to bill was the only so-so you’re the one. I don’t think motown was ever really going to get behind them since the girls weren’t in the big supper club category
    hehe,funny you call[you're the one]so-so,it's my favorite from them.

  41. Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    I agree that The Marvelettes (aka The Pink Album) is a great LP. A couple of questions I have are;

    How come the stereo version of the LP featured the edited version of "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" (and why is there no stereo mix of "This Night Was Made For Love"). Also (as another poster said) I feel that the cover was "slapped together" with Katherine's picture larger than the other Marvelettes (IMHO both Sophisticated Soul & In Full Bloom had better front covers).


    As the first Marvelettes album to focus on their new mature sound (not to mention their first LP of new songs since 1963), it's certainly a landmark in their career (and since it's the last one to feature Gladys Horton makes it a bittersweet one for me).
    Motown, and for that matter, a lot of other record companies would give you alternate mixes or completely different versions between stereo and mono mixed albums. Was it to ensure double sales? If fans compared notes and you found out there was a difference in mixes between a stereo and mono album, would you be tempted to go out and buy both? It's been working on me for years. I've become nearly fanatical about finding both mono and stereo mixes of Motown albums. Sometimes you got some really jaw-dropping differences.

    "The Pink Album" is super enjoyable because there are lots of different mixes between the mono and stereo versions. Some are subtle, like an added, very high background singer that you'll hear only at the tail end of "When I Need You." "Keep Off, No Trespassing" features horns on the mono mix and strings on the stereo mix and you'll also find a very subtle difference in Gladys's vocal at the very beginning of the song between the two mixes.

    The cover of "The Pink Album" sorta grows on you, but I love that some of the commenters here had a different view of it, loving it from the start. There is something pretty cool about the stark, warm pink color of the LP and that we got pictures of the group dressed as individuals instead of the usual formal wear.

  42. Quote Originally Posted by arr&bee View Post
    Maybe the coolest song ending in motown history is the too cool-oh yeah,that ends thgcbtg,ohhhhhhhhhh marvelettes forever!!!
    when you think about it, that really is a very unique ending for a Motown song!
    brilliance!

  43. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    Motown, and for that matter, a lot of other record companies would give you alternate mixes or completely different versions between stereo and mono mixed albums. Was it to ensure double sales? If fans compared notes and you found out there was a difference in mixes between a stereo and mono album, would you be tempted to go out and buy both? It's been working on me for years. I've become nearly fanatical about finding both mono and stereo mixes of Motown albums. Sometimes you got some really jaw-dropping differences.

    "The Pink Album" is super enjoyable because there are lots of different mixes between the mono and stereo versions. Some are subtle, like an added, very high background singer that you'll hear only at the tail end of "When I Need You." "Keep Off, No Trespassing" features horns on the mono mix and strings on the stereo mix and you'll also find a very subtle difference in Gladys's vocal at the very beginning of the song between the two mixes.

    The cover of "The Pink Album" sorta grows on you, but I love that some of the commenters here had a different view of it, loving it from the start. There is something pretty cool about the stark, warm pink color of the LP and that we got pictures of the group dressed as individuals instead of the usual formal wear.

    You're right about the differences between the mono and stereo mixes of The Marvelettes. It was common practice during the '60s to have huge differences between the two mixes of an LP and one big reason for this is that most of the stereo mixes from that time were done quickly (it was also not unusual to have differences between the single versions and the album versions of a song). Stereo was the new & more expensive format during Motown's heyday so most listeners bought the albums in monaural sound (until stereo became the standard for albums by 1968/1969).

    One more thing, fans of The Marvelettes were sure lucky to get The Marvelettes & Sophisticated Soul in both their stereo & mono mixes as part of the Forever More set.
    Last edited by Motown Eddie; 09-29-2018 at 11:47 AM.

  44. #44
    ....even though, unless I missed it, we did have to wait 35 years between 'A Collection Of 16 Big Hits Vol 5' from 1965, until release of 'The Best Of The Marvelettes - Millennium Collection' in 2000, for the true stereo version of 'I'll Keep Holding On'...?

    That stereo version does not feature on the subsequent 'The Marvelettes: Forever' box set.

    Is it me, or is the mono version on that set not quite the same as the original 45 version?

    My copy is long gone but, from memory, it had a pronounced echo on the alternate beat with the tambourine?

  45. Quote Originally Posted by westgrandboulevard View Post
    ....even though, unless I missed it, we did have to wait 35 years between 'A Collection Of 16 Big Hits Vol 5' from 1965, until release of 'The Best Of The Marvelettes - Millennium Collection' in 2000, for the true stereo version of 'I'll Keep Holding On'...?

    That stereo version does not feature on the subsequent 'The Marvelettes: Forever' box set.

    Is it me, or is the mono version on that set not quite the same as the original 45 version?

    My copy is long gone but, from memory, it had a pronounced echo on the alternate beat with the tambourine?
    Wow! Now you've got me thinking... I have the 45 as well as The Complete Motown Singles and Forever set. I'll have to listen to all 3 and check that out.

    Also, the stereo mix of "I'll Keep Holding On" is really interesting. With all that pristine separation of instruments going on, it really loses the kick of the mono mix. I do like that we get to hear everything very distinctly in stereo, but the mono has a much darker,almost eerie vibe. The way the guitars and horns are mixed further back, I always felt like the record has a sort of depth, arual 3-D feeling.

  46. Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    You're right about the differences between the mono and stereo mixes of The Marvelettes. It was common practice during the '60s to have huge differences between the two mixes of an LP and one big reason for this is that most of the stereo mixes from that time were done quickly (it was also not unusual to have differences between the single versions and the album versions of a song). Stereo was the new & more expensive format during Motown's heyday so most listeners bought the albums in monaural sound (until stereo became the standard for albums by 1968/1969).

    One more thing, fans of The Marvelettes were sure lucky to get The Marvelettes & Sophisticated Soul in both their stereo & mono mixes as part of the Forever More set.
    Thanks for that background on why record companies were releasing stereo and mono mixes on LPs and the buying habits of fans.

    I agree too about our getting both mixes on the Forever More set. Especially considering that The Marvelettes were more or less a third priority among the girl groups at Motown, I thought it amazing that we've been gifted with their entire album output; something not even groups like The Four Tops or Miracles have received.

  47. #47
    the first LP I noticed different mixes on was The Very Best of Connie Francis! my brother had the mono LP....I was 7 and had the stereo issue....3 songs were entirely different vocal takes...WTF? its the same record...I thought he just had a wimpy record player. At the time I was using the big Zenith TV/Radio/Phono credenza in our living room which really had great stereo separation and sound.
    Back to Marvelettes...I first heard them and practically everything else but DRATS and Heat Wave, & I Can't Help Myself on the 5 LP Motown Story...they used all fat mixes on that set....when I started inheriting and buying used 45s I found many sounded different...My guess is (and I am uneducated here) the yellow Anthology '75 (?) LP used Stereo mixes and my 1st group CD Compact Command Performances used some Mono mixes? on Anthology So Long Baby and Strange I Know and a few more sound like they are standing in the room singing to me...on the 45's and CD not so....school me up, folks!

  48. #48
    As WaitingWatchingLookingforChance (the original of this wonderful thread), said, "The Marvelettes really could sing jazzier, more adult tunes." That is one of the reasons I love the Marvelettes outputs. IMO, the producers really knew what do it in the selection of the songs and the execution of the recordings, in order to put a Marvelettes stamp on their songs.

    Wanda Rogers and that thick, syrupy voice of hers....oh, my goodness! One thing that I've noticed about her vocal style is that on the last word of most of the phrases she sings, her voice delves off into almost 'off pitch' tones which definitely works for that jazzy, sultry sound of hers. A good example of this is her singing of the word 'love' at the end of the phrases, "When you're young and in love." She was such a great vocal stylist.

  49. Quote Originally Posted by jobucats View Post
    Wanda Rogers ... One thing that I've noticed about her vocal style is that on the last word of most of the phrases she sings, her voice delves off into almost 'off pitch' tones which definitely works for that jazzy, sultry sound of hers. A good example of this is her singing of the word 'love' at the end of the phrases, "When you're young and in love." She was such a great vocal stylist.
    I'm so glad you're enjoying this thread and added your view!

    YES! Wanda had that thing where she would trail off at the end of a note. There was an excellent review of "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" by a renowned music writer (I WISH I could remember where I read it) and he focused on this very thing. He remarked how Wanda had a signature style where she would drag the last note down by half a tone. He seemed to be impressed by it, that not many pop vocalist can do this sort of thing.

    I loved the fact that he was giving this group and Wanda in particular, a much more insightful consideration than I had ever read before.

    Another time, I was watching a television music show and they were interviewing a female jazz singer (I want to say it was Cassandra Wilson but I'm not certain) and she mentioned one of her favorite records was The Marvelettes' "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game." I had to pick my jaw up from the floor when I hear that!

    So nice to see that sort of attention and appreciation coming from such unexpected sources!

  50. Quote Originally Posted by gman View Post
    the first LP I noticed different mixes on was The Very Best of Connie Francis! my brother had the mono LP....I was 7 and had the stereo issue....3 songs were entirely different vocal takes...WTF? its the same record...I thought he just had a wimpy record player. At the time I was using the big Zenith TV/Radio/Phono credenza in our living room which really had great stereo separation and sound.


    So indeed, it wasn't just Motown doing this sort of thing!

    [/QUOTE]
    Back to Marvelettes...I first heard them and practically everything else but DRATS and Heat Wave, & I Can't Help Myself on the 5 LP Motown Story...they used all fat mixes on that set....when I started inheriting and buying used 45s I found many sounded different...My guess is (and I am uneducated here) the yellow Anthology '75 (?) LP used Stereo mixes
    [/QUOTE]

    For the most part, yes. The yellow Anthology album featured stereo mixes, except oddly, "I'll Keep Holding On" was mono. I had never thought much about that until I started writhing this. My feeling is that Motown may have gone with the mono mix of that one song because the stereo mix really loses all of the punch and dynamic of the mono mix.

    [/QUOTE]
    ... my 1st group CD Compact Command Performances used some Mono mixes? on Anthology So Long Baby and Strange I Know and a few more sound like they are standing in the room singing to me...on the 45's and CD not so....school me up, folks![/QUOTE]

    I haven't played that Compact Command Performances CD in some years, so I'd have to go back to it- but if you think you're hearing a few songs in mono, you probably are. Again, maybe the feeling was to go with the strongest mix of certain songs. Still, I'll see if I can find it and I'll give it a listen...

    The other thing to consider, those first generation CDs sometimes gave you excellent, crystal clear sound while other times you got some muddy, sort of flat mixes. That fact became clear when I started getting newer CDs after they had been remastered. As far as 45's there was so much going on with trying to get the biggest, most dynamic sound, you could end up with something light years away from the raw, unprocessed tapes.

    Stereo mixes, as I've read over and over, were an afterthought, so I think a lot of times you got something closest to the rawer, direct-to-tape studio sound. Maybe you were hearing the stereo mixes of "So Long Baby" and "Strange I Know" (?) The CD version of the "Playboy" album actually has that sound to me- like you're right in the studio with the musicians and group; but it's also a stereo mix without a lot of added reverb and such.

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