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Thread: Hdh???

  1. #1

    Hdh???

    When/Why did HDH move their operations to LA??? It would have made more sense to stay in Detroit!!

  2. #2
    I don't know much about this part of the Invictus/Hot Wax story. But I believe they moved to Los Angeles not too long after Berry Gordy moved Motown there. As to why I'd say the reason was the same as anyone else's: Growth and expansion. Detroit wasn't the same anymore. Unemployment,crime and drug use started to become more prominent in the city. Musically it hadn't changed, it's still a musical city, but the windows of opportunity was elsewhere. The late,great Leon Ware relocated there in 1967, just as Detroit was changing. Lamont Dozier & McKinley Jackson moved to L.A. as well as a host of other musicians and singers for greener pastures.

    Many people say Motown should've stayed in Detroit, but I don't agree. Berry Gordy could only be a record man there and he conquered that business. The movie industry didn't treat him that well, but he took a risk to grow. I read accounts that blame the trek on his failure in L.A., but he simply lost interest in making records: PERIOD. In addition to the first family being absent sans Smokey Robinson. Movies have never been cheap to make and the expenses to create music pales in comparison. I'm sure Eddie & Brian Holland had been bigger aspirations and goals too, in order to reach them they had to leave Detroit. The Motor City was no longer the musical epicenter anymore, L.A. was the place.

  3. #3
    I always assumed they hung around Detroit a few years after Motown left for LA in 1972. They did the Dionne Warwick Just Being Myself album in Detroit with the Funks in 1973 and there were more Detroit recordings in 1973 into 1974. I'd say by 1974 with the departure of Lamont Dozier that they went out west to LA.

  4. #4
    I had never really thought about this before but I guess HDH would have relocated to Los Angeles, as Motown did.

    Also, I need to check out that Dionne Warwick album!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TomatoTom123 View Post

    Also, I need to check out that Dionne Warwick album!
    It's a great album, Tom. If you like Dionne and HDH, you'll love the combination of the two. Some beautiful ballads contained therein.

  6. #6
    It's a brilliant album ...but Dionne hated it and working with HDH,
    .
    I read that the tracks were prepared for Eloise Laws, hence the Invictus feel. DW was dubbed over the tracks , which wasn't to her liking. Great LP all the same.

  7. #7
    Are there any definitive books on HDH and there Record Empire?

  8. #8
    Thanks for info Gary and snake, I'll definitely seek that album out.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    It's a brilliant album ...but Dionne hated it and working with HDH,
    .
    I read that the tracks were prepared for Eloise Laws, hence the Invictus feel. DW was dubbed over the tracks , which wasn't to her liking. Great LP all the same.
    Snakepit, I had no idea that Dionne hated the album and hated working with HDH. That sure is news to me. However, if she found out that the tracks were offered to her second-fiddle as Eloise Laws rejects, I guess that would sour the project for her, and rightfully so. Still sad to hear it, though. To hear the songs, you'd swear they were taylor-made for her.
    Last edited by Philles/Motown Gary; 03-04-2019 at 04:04 PM.

  10. #10
    Can't remember where I rrad it, but certain things stick in my ageing mind.
    She was unhappy with the album/recording methods of HDH.
    Perhaps she objected to dubbing over tracks rather than studio work. I know she dosen't like the album
    Fans love it.

  11. #11
    Snakepit, you may have hit that nail right on the head. In Darlene Love's autobiography from the 1990's, she expressed a dislike for HDH's recording-session process in which HDH were in the control booth which was mounted way up high on another floor, looking down on Darlene & The Blossoms singing at the mic on the first-floor recording studio. Darlene allows that it was way too impersonal, as HDH conversed with them via a mic and a speaker with absolutely no face-to-face contact whatsoever. Plus, she added it felt like the girls were being looked down upon. The recording session was not at all comfortable. To add insult to injury, The Blossoms recorded only one song -- a gospel song -- which, as luck would have it, ended up getting credited to the Glass House on one of their albums. I can see why Dionne may have hated working with HDH, if that were the case. It's sad and unfortunate, but apparently true.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Snakepit, you may have hit that nail right on the head. In Darlene Love's autobiography from the 1990's, she expressed a dislike for HDH's recording-session process in which HDH were in the control booth which was mounted way up high on another floor, looking down on Darlene & The Blossoms singing at the mic on the first-floor recording studio. Darlene allows that it was way too impersonal, as HDH conversed with them via a mic and a speaker with absolutely no face-to-face contact whatsoever. Plus, she added it felt like the girls were being looked down upon. The recording session was not at all comfortable. To add insult to injury, The Blossoms recorded only one song -- a gospel song -- which, as luck would have it, ended up getting credited to the Glass House on one of their albums. I can see why Dionne may have hated working with HDH, if that were the case. It's sad and unfortunate, but apparently true.
    It's interesting to hear these stories from Darlene and Dionne about not liking HDH's recording methods, yet you never heard Diana/Supremes, Four Tops, Martha/Vandellas, Mary Wells, or Marvin complain about HDH's recording methods. I know Levi and Marvin sometimes complained about the keys of the songs, but that was more about the song rather than the actual process of recording.

    I have to wonder if it was a coastal thing for Darlene coming from LA and Dionne recording in both New York and LA. The coasts had different recording styles. A lot of Darlene's work with Phil Spector was very much an all day recording process involving musicians and singers all together in one room and Spector constantly running into the studio to correct anything that wasn't to his liking. HDH were coming from Motown's 22/7 assembly line method where vocals were always recorded on pre-recorded tracks. For HDH, this was better as they could give each area better attention and focus. Spector liked to wear out the musicians and erase any artistic individualism any of them had. Motown was very much about the artistic uniqueness of the artists and Funk Brothers and they wanted to knock out tracks as fast as possible. The Funk Brothers made it clear they would give a producer hell if they had to do multiple takes on a song. I'm sure Spector would have had a meltdown working with the Funk Brothers. With Darlene having done so much work in LA and being adjusted to that method, it had to be pretty jarring for her to see the Motown method.

    Back to topic, HDH studios were in an old movie theatre so I doubt their intention was to "look down" upon the artists, but rather to get a better view of studio. Remember they were coming from Hitsville's Studio A which was the size of a garage.

  13. #13
    Brad, I may be wrong, but I never got the impression that the Motown groups were isolated from the producers. I'm sure I've seen photos over the years of HDH in the "snakepit" coaching the Motown artists -- at least, prior to the tapes rolling. I got the impression that HDH's studio habits were totally different at Invictus/Hot Wax records. The Blossoms showed up and HDH weren't there to greet them in person. They were almost hiding up behind their control room window on high. It's cold and, personally, I wouldn't like that either.

    I know that Phil Spector coached Ronnie, Darlene, and Lala as can be heard on the 3 CD box sets of the making of Philles hits. Phil ran into Larry Levine's engineering room during the actual recording process, but he spent time with the artists teaching them the lyrics to the songs and how to treat the phrasing. I got the impression from Darlene that when the girls showed up for the recording session, there was no face-to-face interaction at all. Totally cold and impersonal.

    I had to laugh! You're right about Phil and the Funk Brothers! They would have thrown him out on his ear after the first mic sound-check before they even recorded a single note!

  14. #14
    Gary, do you think it had to do with the fact that HDH were running the label? At Motown, they were the top songwriting/producing team at the label and that was their job. They didn't have to deal with the business end of Motown. They had that one-on-one interaction with Diana or Levi or Martha. With Invictus/Hot Wax, in addition to the songwriting/producing, they were the heads of the label running a business. I'm not dismissing Darlene's feelings. I'd feel that same way too, but adding in what they were doing at the time it may explain part of the distance. I'd be interested to know what experiences Freda Payne, Edna Wright or Scherrie Payne had with HDH during those days.

    I'd pay to watch Phil Spector try to coach the Funk Brothers in the studio. They'd chew him up and spit him out. He'd get three or four takes out of them on a song and they'd move on to the next song whether he'd like it or not.

  15. #15
    I suspect that DW was used to more involvement with the producers at Scepter/Wand...more studio contact with Bacharach and David etc. It appears that she was presented with these tracks ( Eloise Laws) and told to sing over them...no real team effort and perhaps no 'respect' from HDH that she expected as a 'star'. Remember the Motown artists were groomed in the Hitsville way...they didn't know any different recording techniques...DW had been in another set up.
    Last edited by snakepit; 03-05-2019 at 04:48 AM.

  16. #16
    Trying to find some info on the album.
    There is a quote that the recotdings were down in Detroit..so no LA angle at all. (Grand River studio).
    That makes sense re Eloise Laws cast offs. This info is from an Amazon.com review..by "The Magic Christian" who says it was thought to be intended for Freda Payne or Eloise Laws. My memory is the notes either on Invictus Singles box set or EL Invictus CD.
    Last edited by snakepit; 03-05-2019 at 05:14 AM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    Gary, do you think it had to do with the fact that HDH were running the label? At Motown, they were the top songwriting/producing team at the label and that was their job. They didn't have to deal with the business end of Motown. They had that one-on-one interaction with Diana or Levi or Martha. With Invictus/Hot Wax, in addition to the songwriting/producing, they were the heads of the label running a business. I'm not dismissing Darlene's feelings. I'd feel that same way too, but adding in what they were doing at the time it may explain part of the distance. I'd be interested to know what experiences Freda Payne, Edna Wright or Scherrie Payne had with HDH during those days.

    I'd pay to watch Phil Spector try to coach the Funk Brothers in the studio. They'd chew him up and spit him out. He'd get three or four takes out of them on a song and they'd move on to the next song whether he'd like it or not.
    You may very well be right, Brad. When Berry Gordy achieved big-time success with Motown, things changed. He suddenly became inaccessible to the artists. Could be that HDH found it necessary to do the same.

    Oh, God no! I would NOT want to witness the Funk Brothers laying down the law to Phil. I hate violence! And I sure wouldn't want to witness Phil's meltdown. (He actually did that one day at Gold Star. I think it was when Phil's engineer, Larry Levine, accidently erased a Philles master tape which had taken hours upon hours to record. Phil freaked inside himself and crouched under a desk and hid like a frightened little boy until Larry found a way to resurrect the recording.) Such is the downside of an otherwise musical genius.

    On the plus side, can you imagine the Philles/Motown productions had Phil and the Funk Brothers been able to work cohesively together? Could have been incredible!

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    I suspect that DW was used to more involvement with the producers at Scepter/Wand...more studio contact with Bacharach and David etc. It appears that she was presented with these tracks ( Eloise Laws) and told to sing over them...no real team effort and perhaps no 'respect' from HDH that she expected as a 'star'. Remember the Motown artists were groomed in the Hitsville way...they didn't know any different recording techniques...DW had been in another set up.
    I agree with everything you say, Snakepit. I just can't imagine a recording session without a moment's eye-to-eye contact and verbal warm-up with the producer. Seems like the performance would be as cold, impersonal, and unsoulful as the recording session itself.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    Trying to find some info on the album.
    There is a quote that the recotdings were down in Detroit..so no LA angle at all. (Grand River studio).
    That makes sense re Eloise Laws cast offs. This info is from an Amazon.com review..by "The Magic Christian" who says it was thought to be intended for Freda Payne or Eloise Laws. My memory is the notes either on Invictus Singles box set or EL Invictus CD.
    I have both CD sets. I'll have to look it up when I get a chance. The behind-the-scenes happenings are always really interesting -- sometimes in a positive way; sometimes not so much -- yet always interesting.

  20. #20
    I don't seee how this has to do with "why" HDH moved to LA....I am pretty sure Dionne Warwick was not a deciding factor!!LOL!!!

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by dvus7 View Post
    I don't seee how this has to do with "why" HDH moved to LA....I am pretty sure Dionne Warwick was not a deciding factor!!LOL!!!
    We did go a little off path, but the reason why they moved to LA is pretty clear. Thatís where the music industry was and they were going where the action was.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by dvus7 View Post
    I don't seee how this has to do with "why" HDH moved to LA....I am pretty sure Dionne Warwick was not a deciding factor!!LOL!!!
    Brad is right. In looking back over the previous posts, it had already been established as to why they moved.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by bradsupremes View Post
    We did go a little off path, but the reason why they moved to LA is pretty clear. Thatís where the music industry was and they were going where the action was.
    I beg to differ....There was vacuum that HDH could have taken advantage of, they would have been one of the best shows in town!!! Maybe Eddie was not as smart as he thought he was!!!

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by dvus7 View Post
    I don't seee how this has to do with "why" HDH moved to LA....I am pretty sure Dionne Warwick was not a deciding factor!!LOL!!!
    Perhaps it is an idication WHY HDH moved to LA.
    An album recorded on an established big star in pop/soul/r&b in Detroit by industry giants was virtually ignored....Detroit was finished as far as the music industry was concerned.

  25. #25
    The move from Detroit to Los Angeles mirrors the move of high tech companies from Boston, MIT and Massachusetts to Silicon Valley in the late 80s. All the investment, venture capital and new technologies were attracting talent from the East Coast to the West Coast, and those companies remaining in the East Coast lost their talent and their futures. It was deemed that if you wanted to succeed in high tech, you just had to be in Silicon Valley, because that's where all the action and new ideas were. Past success was irrelevant.

    Interesting to note that although Dionne did not like the HDH experience, and the album received zero promotion and commercial success, it is very highly rated after all these years. I think the tracks were excellent, and the Hollands went on to record The Supremes with Mary singing lead on Don't Let My Teardrops Bother You and You Are The Heart Of Me, so clearly the Hollands continued to believe in their material. High Energy was issued in 1976, by which time Lamont had left the Hollands, and the musicians were Los Angeles based.
    Last edited by MIKEW-UK; 03-06-2019 at 10:19 AM.

  26. #26
    I always loved the 'Just Being Myself' by Dionne produced by HDH, I pulled it out yesterday again, first time for ages, Thanks! 'Your'e Gonna Need Me' and the production just haunts me that I play it over and over again! Dionne at her best vocal wise.

    Only music I never liked with Dionne was when she was on her period of expressing her different tastes in music, such as Brazilian, just not me. I saw Dionne many times over here in the UK, but one tour was just before Obama was elected, yes I was into Barack a friend worked for him as his script writer, but Dionne sat down on the stool and for over 10 minutes in Manchester talked about USA politics, people started to shuffle, some left, suppose she is her own woman! lol

  27. #27
    We should also consider the change in taste of music. By the 70s, the Detroit sound was no longer in style. People were preferring the music coming out of Philadelphia. Plus everyone left Detroit for LA. Some of the Funk Brothers like James Jamerson and Eddie "Bongo" Brown headed west for work. For HDH (by 1974, it was just the Holland Bros.) there were more options in LA to record, produce, collaborate with different artists, musicians, and labels. In Detroit, they'd have to fly everyone in and be separated from the action. It was just smarter to go out west with everyone else.

  28. #28
    I know Dvus7 will be upset that this thread has been hijacked. But it happens sometimes.
    I.saw DW in Manchester 1975..she had to sit on a stool because she had a sore backside...a tetanus jab I think. Weird concert which had an opera singer, magician...and Jimmy Helms.
    Re

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by snakepit View Post
    Trying to find some info on the album.
    There is a quote that the recotdings were down in Detroit..so no LA angle at all. (Grand River studio).
    That makes sense re Eloise Laws cast offs. This info is from an Amazon.com review..by "The Magic Christian" who says it was thought to be intended for Freda Payne or Eloise Laws. My memory is the notes either on Invictus Singles box set or EL Invictus CD.
    If you remember, the box-set included Eloise Laws' acetate version of Dionne's "Don't Burn the Bridge..."

  30. #30
    I need to dig it out..thanks

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