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  1. #1

    Martha'ts first solo album - a discussion

    I absolutely adore Martha's debut solo album produced by Richard Perry and released on MCA. it's such a shame that it never found it's niche with the public.

    on the DRATS forum, we've had a great thread going on the Touch lp. people sharing what they like or dislike. What's wonderful. What they might have changed. Thought Martha's lp would be a great topic too

    Wild Nights is an amazing song and IMO should have done much better. Also love her version of Imagination, Peculiar. Dixie Hwy is great too

    i find her voice much stronger here than on many of her later Motown recordings. i like that her vibrato isn't so wild

  2. #2
    I always thought "Wild Nights" should have been the first 45 released instead of "Power of Love", it was more exciting and would have garnered more air-play.

  3. #3
    i agree - i like power too but Wild is really the hottest song on the lp. it would have helped generate a lot of buzz. Power would have made a good 2nd single

  4. #4
    "Power of Love" had already been a big hit for Joe Simon the year before.

  5. #5
    Great album! Martha shined on it. My favorite tracks are "I've Got To Use My Imagination", "My Man (You Changed My Tune)", "Ain't That Peculiar", "You've Got Me For Company", and "Power Of Love". I was never all that crazy about "Wild Nights". It was too white-college-crowd Saturday-Night-Live-ish for me. I like Martha's version of "Power Of Love", but it was a foolish choice for a single release -- especially the FIRST single released -- since Joe Simon had already had a hit with it just a year or so before. I would have chosen "Imagination" or "Peculiar" for the first single release, to be followed up by "My Man (You Changed My Tune".

  6. #6
    I too loved this album and sadly her subsequent albums went steadily downhill after that, although the second one was not too bad and had some great stuff on it.

    As for this one, Wild Night and Power of Love were both great songs and by far the two strongest on the album. Sadly though, I think those two and maybe (?) Storm in My Soul were the only ones that could have caused any impact as singles. I enjoyed some of the others (Facsimile and My Man come to mind) but they would not have had any success at all on the charts. As for Imagination and Peculiar, those two both strayed too far from the original and just did not grab me at all.

    But overall a great album. I remember at the time thinking it was odd that she put Stand By Me on the B side of each of the first two singles but did not put it on the album. It was a pretty good song also.

    By the way, Wild Night was included on a movie soundtrack and got some extra exposure but right now I can't remember which movie it was. Big Chill maybe????

  7. #7
    David, it was 1991's "Thelma & Louise".

  8. #8
    Marthas' version of "Imagination" was the original.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    David, it was 1991's "Thelma & Louise".
    Yes and hearing it in the movie theaters was the best thing ever.

  10. #10
    Storm In My Soul might have also been a solid choice for first single

    Does anyone know what happened to make this album flop? did MCA not promote it? was martha's drug issues resurfacing and therefore causing problems?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by sup_fan View Post
    Storm In My Soul might have also been a solid choice for first single

    Does anyone know what happened to make this album flop? did MCA not promote it? was martha's drug issues resurfacing and therefore causing problems?
    Martha says that so much was spent on recording the album (supposedly it was the most expensive album ever recorded up until that point) and that she had been living off advances from MCA the entire time. So that when it came time to promote it, MCA spent little $ to do so.

    I would imagine that it would be hard to get a hit on an artist who had not had a major hit in seven years by that point. Putting out POWER OF LOVE was a bad move. Even though it was a great cover, it didn't vary much from Joe Simon's original. It took me years to really enjoy the album but I have come to really like it. And it probably captures Martha's best period vocally.

  12. #12
    A great lp that I still treasure as an actual LP! I join the chorus of those who support WN as the first single but I also obsessed over 'My Man (You Changed My Tune)' . YET ... I find this to be Dr. Reeves' SECOND best lp. For me, 'The Rest of My Life' surpassed it as TROMY was less fussy in production and that extraordinary Dr. Reeves vocal was way up front.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    A great lp that I still treasure as an actual LP! I join the chorus of those who support WN as the first single but I also obsessed over 'My Man (You Changed My Tune)' . YET ... I find this to be Dr. Reeves' SECOND best lp. For me, 'The Rest of My Life' surpassed it as TROMY was less fussy in production and that extraordinary Dr. Reeves vocal was way up front.
    For me, THE REST OF MY LIFE is essential, if only for LOVE STRONG ENOUGH TO MOVE MOUNTAINS. A lost hit, for sure.

  14. #14
    At the time, I too heard that story about it being such an expensive album to produce. When I bought the album I had what appeared to be an odd experience in the store but I could not guarantee that I had heard what I thought I heard, so I let it drop.

    This happened in Charlottesville, VA, your typical college town, where rock music would have been the preferred choice of most shoppers. So in this case, when I picked Martha's album off the shelf and brought it to the cash register, I was pretty sure I heard one clerk make a smart aleck remark to another one...something to the effect of "oh look we actually sold one."

    At the time I thought how unprofessional of a clerk in a record store to criticize anyone's taste in music, but as I said, I might have been mistaken so I did not say or do anything.

  15. #15
    ^Wow. When you wrote "Charlottesville," I steeled myself. That's horrible.

  16. #16
    I grew up in a town with a large non-white population but the record store clerks quite frequently made comments like those daviddesper experienced when I bought soul lps. Not malevolent, certainly, but surely unprofessional and probably 'racey' if not outright racist.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    For me, THE REST OF MY LIFE is essential, if only for LOVE STRONG ENOUGH TO MOVE MOUNTAINS. A lost hit, for sure.
    Yes, that's a killer cut for sure. But I also love Martha's takes on 'Now That We Found Love' & 'This Time I'll Be Sweeter". I thought 'Second Chance' could have been a hit as well. I just love the LP!

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    Yes, that's a killer cut for sure. But I also love Martha's takes on 'Now That We Found Love' & 'This Time I'll Be Sweeter". I thought 'Second Chance' could have been a hit as well. I just love the LP!
    I attended many of Martha's 80s and 90s concerts with Rosalind and Annette. During one, they performed THIS TIME I'LL BE SWEETER. It was good, but it must have gone on for at least 10 minutes. I think she used it to sort of take a break from the uptempo songs, but she also used it to celebrate every occasion shouted out to her, from birthdays to anniversaries.

  19. #19
    I think the story about the cost of making the "Martha Reeves" album is almost certainly true. Richard Perry was a really hot ticket in those days, with Carly Simon's "No Secrets" and Barbara Streisand's "Stony End" to his credit. He was clearly in great demand, and possibly because of this his project for Martha's album just overran the budget. I was thrilled to get my copy in 1974 when it came out, and very excited by her new sound. It was clearly an artistic success, if not a commercial one. Wild Night is fabulous, and so is Many Rivers To Cross, and Dixie Highway. I also love her own composition, the quirky and clever Facsimilie. Very catchy. Very Martha.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    I too loved this album and sadly her subsequent albums went steadily downhill after that, although the second one was not too bad and had some great stuff on it.

    As for this one, Wild Night and Power of Love were both great songs and by far the two strongest on the album. Sadly though, I think those two and maybe (?) Storm in My Soul were the only ones that could have caused any impact as singles. I enjoyed some of the others (Facsimile and My Man come to mind) but they would not have had any success at all on the charts. As for Imagination and Peculiar, those two both strayed too far from the original and just did not grab me at all.

    But overall a great album. I remember at the time thinking it was odd that she put Stand By Me on the B side of each of the first two singles but did not put it on the album. It was a pretty good song also.

    By the way, Wild Night was included on a movie soundtrack and got some extra exposure but right now I can't remember which movie it was. Big Chill maybe????
    "Wild Night" got substantial airplay on CKLW in the Detroit area.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    "Wild Night" got substantial airplay on CKLW in the Detroit area.
    Great album Marv. I bought that record @ Dearborn music. Great music I thought the photo was a bit dated tho. You been doing ok?

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by detmotownguy View Post
    Great album Marv. I bought that record @ Dearborn music. Great music I thought the photo was a bit dated tho. You been doing ok?
    I'm fine thanks DET. Really busy right now. How are you doing buddy? I bought this album at Peaches Records out on Reynolds Rd in Toledo back then. The could have used more current looking album cover art. We were all wearing jean/denim jackets in those days. LOL!

  23. #23

    I thought we ought to see the album art and the glamourous Ms Reeves from back then.

  24. #24
    it seems rather counter-intuitive to spend a fortune to produce an album but then not spend anything to promote the album and recoup your initial investment.

  25. #25
    I like the back photo, in fact Martha autographed it for me decades ago.

  26. #26
    This photo of Martha is also from 1974 and going by the type of songs and the style of the music on that album, this would have made a great album cover (in my opinion).

    Attachment 15419

  27. #27
    This link should take you to the NY Times review of this album and one by Eddie Kendricks.
    https://www.nytimes.com/1974/07/28/a...ecordings.html

  28. #28
    I've not heard much, if anything, from this album. Seems like I'm missing out. Will have to source a CD

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpmoves View Post
    This link should take you to the NY Times review of this album and one by Eddie Kendricks.
    https://www.nytimes.com/1974/07/28/a...ecordings.html
    I enjoyed reading them. Thank you Sharpmoves.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    For me, THE REST OF MY LIFE is essential, if only for LOVE STRONG ENOUGH TO MOVE MOUNTAINS. A lost hit, for sure.
    I agree “The rest of my life” is my favorite Martha Reeves solo album. I wore that album out!

  31. #31
    that above photo Marv is the one I have autographed, it was on the back or the inside of the LP. Its my fave pic of Martha & she says hers too.I'm not at home to check my LP.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by motony View Post
    that above photo Marv is the one I have autographed, it was on the back or the inside of the LP. Its my fave pic of Martha & she says hers too.I'm not at home to check my LP.
    I haven't seen my copy of that album in years, but it is a great picture and very much like what I would see in 1974 including the denim! LOL!

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    I've not heard much, if anything, from this album. Seems like I'm missing out. Will have to source a CD
    Or you can listen to it on YouTube mysterysinger. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI9S...EwNHaj78_8HG6v

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by motony View Post
    Marthas' version of "Imagination" was the original.
    motony, I found this quite interesting , but nothing about it in wiki, (Martha's version not mentioned at all!)--- in looking further , found this:

    https://secondhandsongs.com/work/49220/all

    Barry's version :




    My thought : get this in the hands of Pops Staples.

    Last edited by Boogiedown; 05-04-2019 at 03:33 AM.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    This photo of Martha is also from 1974 and going by the type of songs and the style of the music on that album, this would have made a great album cover (in my opinion).

    Attachment 15419
    You're right Marv, Martha looks so natural on it, though I love the real cover, too, even if more sophisticated.


  36. #36
    Here Martha performs "Wild Night" with John Mellencamp. Her version was also used in the 1991 film "Thelma & Louise":


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