[REMOVE ADS]




Results 1 to 14 of 14

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. Motown's Quality Control Meetings- Question for those who know...

    Watching Hitsville: The Making Of Motown, it was really fascinating to be able to hear a bit of one of Motown's Quality Control Meetings. Hearing the various artists and the singles being considered for release and the various opinions on "My Girl".

    I'm sure there are those here who know and could maybe comment on those meetings. Watching that little bit made me hungy for more. I'd love to know what the comments and opions were when discussing other artists like The Marvelettes in particular. I've read Smokey Robinson's recollections of how he had to basically "beat his brains out" to get "Don't Mess With Bill" and "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" released. Apparently, the feeling was that these were a bit too "jazzy" for the group's image. I wonder how they felt with "I'll Keep Holding On" or "Danger, Heartbreak Dead Ahead"...

    Brenda Holloway seems to have been another where the feeling was that since she scored big with "Every Little Bit Hurts", that was the type of song the company needed to focus on.

    Looking back, there are more than a few records I'd just love to know what the feeling was when they came up for review. Did the company consider a Monitors record any kind of priority? Did anyone say, "we need to get product on The Velvelettes"? What did everyone think whenever a record by "The Hit Pack" came up for review?

    Quality Control Meetings could make for a fascinating book in itself.

  2. #2
    I agree. Fascinating stuff!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    Watching Hitsville: The Making Of Motown, it was really fascinating to be able to hear a bit of one of Motown's Quality Control Meetings. Hearing the various artists and the singles being considered for release and the various opinions on "My Girl".

    I'm sure there are those here who know and could maybe comment on those meetings. Watching that little bit made me hungy for more. I'd love to know what the comments and opions were when discussing other artists like The Marvelettes in particular. I've read Smokey Robinson's recollections of how he had to basically "beat his brains out" to get "Don't Mess With Bill" and "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" released. Apparently, the feeling was that these were a bit too "jazzy" for the group's image. I wonder how they felt with "I'll Keep Holding On" or "Danger, Heartbreak Dead Ahead"...

    Brenda Holloway seems to have been another where the feeling was that since she scored big with "Every Little Bit Hurts", that was the type of song the company needed to focus on.

    Looking back, there are more than a few records I'd just love to know what the feeling was when they came up for review. Did the company consider a Monitors record any kind of priority? Did anyone say, "we need to get product on The Velvelettes"? What did everyone think whenever a record by "The Hit Pack" came up for review?

    Quality Control Meetings could make for a fascinating book in itself.
    I agree that a book on Motown's QC meetings would be a great book for diehard Motown fans (and yes, the segment in Hitsville where they discussing whether or not to release "My Girl" was one of the best features in that documentary). Also since we know that we know that beloved songs like "Don't Mess With Bill", "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" & "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" (Marvin Gaye's version) had to be fought over tooth and nail to get Motown's past QC, let's find out what other songs were almost left 'on the table'.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    I agree that a book on Motown's QC meetings would be a great book for diehard Motown fans (and yes, the segment in Hitsville where they discussing whether or not to release "My Girl" was one of the best features in that documentary). Also since we know that we know that beloved songs like "Don't Mess With Bill", "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" & "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" (Marvin Gaye's version) had to be fought over tooth and nail to get Motown's past QC, let's find out what other songs were almost left 'on the table'.
    I think it would be very eye-opening for certain. One thing someone recently said (or did I read someone saying it here?) is that we are listening to this music with 2019 ears as opposed to 196-whatever ears, so things we think would have been sure shots may not have been so certain back then. Things like this are just so fascinating.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    Watching Hitsville: The Making Of Motown, it was really fascinating to be able to hear a bit of one of Motown's Quality Control Meetings. Hearing the various artists and the singles being considered for release and the various opinions on "My Girl".

    I'm sure there are those here who know and could maybe comment on those meetings. Watching that little bit made me hungy for more. I'd love to know what the comments and opions were when discussing other artists like The Marvelettes in particular. I've read Smokey Robinson's recollections of how he had to basically "beat his brains out" to get "Don't Mess With Bill" and "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" released. Apparently, the feeling was that these were a bit too "jazzy" for the group's image. I wonder how they felt with "I'll Keep Holding On" or "Danger, Heartbreak Dead Ahead"...

    Brenda Holloway seems to have been another where the feeling was that since she scored big with "Every Little Bit Hurts", that was the type of song the company needed to focus on.

    Looking back, there are more than a few records I'd just love to know what the feeling was when they came up for review. Did the company consider a Monitors record any kind of priority? Did anyone say, "we need to get product on The Velvelettes"? What did everyone think whenever a record by "The Hit Pack" came up for review?

    Quality Control Meetings could make for a fascinating book in itself.
    Excellent idea for a Motown Quality Control Meetings book, Waiting! You can count on me to buy a copy!

  6. Quote Originally Posted by Philles/Motown Gary View Post
    Excellent idea for a Motown Quality Control Meetings book, Waiting! You can count on me to buy a copy!
    I'd spend my money for a book like that without thinking twice, Gary!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    I'd spend my money for a book like that without thinking twice, Gary!
    I think we all would, Waiting!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance View Post
    Watching Hitsville: The Making Of Motown, it was really fascinating to be able to hear a bit of one of Motown's Quality Control Meetings. Hearing the various artists and the singles being considered for release and the various opinions on "My Girl".

    I'm sure there are those here who know and could maybe comment on those meetings. Watching that little bit made me hungy for more. I'd love to know what the comments and opions were when discussing other artists like The Marvelettes in particular. I've read Smokey Robinson's recollections of how he had to basically "beat his brains out" to get "Don't Mess With Bill" and "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" released. Apparently, the feeling was that these were a bit too "jazzy" for the group's image. I wonder how they felt with "I'll Keep Holding On" or "Danger, Heartbreak Dead Ahead"...

    Brenda Holloway seems to have been another where the feeling was that since she scored big with "Every Little Bit Hurts", that was the type of song the company needed to focus on.

    Looking back, there are more than a few records I'd just love to know what the feeling was when they came up for review. Did the company consider a Monitors record any kind of priority? Did anyone say, "we need to get product on The Velvelettes"? What did everyone think whenever a record by "The Hit Pack" came up for review?

    Quality Control Meetings could make for a fascinating book in itself.
    A QC book is a juicy idea, though I can't see it being that many pages. Motown certainly didn't want The Marvelettes to mature with their fanbase and Smokey was the only producer to see what the real issue was with the slide in sales. Brenda Holloway's situation was more personal than QC's bad call on single choices. The Monitors like many groups just got lost in the shuffle at the company. It was a very busy time and producers were giving the A material to top notch acts. In addition to that no proven producer had much time to spend with them to craft the perfect tune for them. Same situation with The Velvelettes: A lack of time and other priorities with their bigger sister groups at the company. The Hit Pack was just a tax write off along with Staunton & Walker in my opinion. I don't think QC really liked any of that stuff and what did surface I feel was Berry Gordy trying to be nice. I believe that he wanted those guys to catch up with their cohorts so bad that he would just roll the dice to see what would come of it. He also couldn't fire anybody, so Mickey Stevenson would have to take the lead with that.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Quinn View Post
    A QC book is a juicy idea, though I can't see it being that many pages. Motown certainly didn't want The Marvelettes to mature with their fanbase and Smokey was the only producer to see what the real issue was with the slide in sales. Brenda Holloway's situation was more personal than QC's bad call on single choices. The Monitors like many groups just got lost in the shuffle at the company. It was a very busy time and producers were giving the A material to top notch acts. In addition to that no proven producer had much time to spend with them to craft the perfect tune for them. Same situation with The Velvelettes: A lack of time and other priorities with their bigger sister groups at the company. The Hit Pack was just a tax write off along with Staunton & Walker in my opinion. I don't think QC really liked any of that stuff and what did surface I feel was Berry Gordy trying to be nice. I believe that he wanted those guys to catch up with their cohorts so bad that he would just roll the dice to see what would come of it. He also couldn't fire anybody, so Mickey Stevenson would have to take the lead with that.
    Leave it to you to come up with some very astute insights. Lately, I've been listening to those Staunton and Walker things and while some are pretty good, I am starting to hear where Quality Control would have trouble fitting some of those things into the Motown puzzle.

    I can also see where sales would be scratching their heads trying to figure out how to sell something like "We Call It Fun" or "Didn't I". Either one would probably have been given the green light elsewhere, but Motown had such focus when it came to marketing, yeah, I guess you're right about what things they did release being tax write offs.

    Poor Kim Weston- I honestly think she just perplexed the heck out of Motown. She sounded far too sophisticated; much more mature than her years. She couldn't sing "teen age" and yet her voice seemed to outdistance the more typical "Motown Sound." Still, it would be interesting to hear the opinions on something like "Don't Let Me Down" or "You Hit Me Where It Hurt Me". Those two had a much more commercial sound than what she had been doing. However, for my money, it seems Holland-Dozier-Holland were the ones who produced her the best, but, of course, they were quite busy elsewhere.
    Last edited by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance; 09-02-2019 at 02:18 AM.

  10. #10
    Yes I'd like a book on this subject but who would really remember such details about each of the tracks at this distance? Just as interesting for me would be how tracks were decided for each album and how decisions were made to leave so many great tracks in the vault.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by mysterysinger View Post
    Yes I'd like a book on this subject but who would really remember such details about each of the tracks at this distance? Just as interesting for me would be how tracks were decided for each album and how decisions were made to leave so many great tracks in the vault.
    That could be possible.....Mr. Gordy recorded all those meetings..

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by dvus7 View Post
    That could be possible.....Mr. Gordy recorded all those meetings..
    Now THAT would make for one heck of a multi-volume series of CD box sets!

  13. #13
    Yes, all of this regarding Quality Control is fascinating. It must have been perplexing to select what to release from all of the outstanding output that was presented at each meeting. As others have stated, it was more to the decision process that just the actual sound of the recording.

    I've often shaked my heads at those who 'blast' Motown QC with comments like "What were they thinking? This should have been released!" Yes, so much of the material was single-quality productions; however, this might have led to a much too Motown saturated market which could have backfired.

    I'll have to admit. When it comes to what was selected as "album fillers," I've often been confused as to how some outstanding non-released material would have been left off of an album in favor of some really substandard recordings (IMO). I would tend to think those decisions would have been made partly to allow some financial compensation for various writers and producers, whether they were on the A-list or not.

  14. Quote Originally Posted by jobucats View Post
    Yes, all of this regarding Quality Control is fascinating. It must have been perplexing to select what to release from all of the outstanding output that was presented at each meeting. As others have stated, it was more to the decision process that just the actual sound of the recording.

    I've often shaked my heads at those who 'blast' Motown QC with comments like "What were they thinking? This should have been released!" Yes, so much of the material was single-quality productions; however, this might have led to a much too Motown saturated market which could have backfired.

    I'll have to admit. When it comes to what was selected as "album fillers," I've often been confused as to how some outstanding non-released material would have been left off of an album in favor of some really substandard recordings (IMO). I would tend to think those decisions would have been made partly to allow some financial compensation for various writers and producers, whether they were on the A-list or not.
    Ohhhhh, some very good considerations! I do sometimes get to thinking that we say "this couldda been a hit" maybe on too many of those vaulted songs. Like you said, everything couldn't gain a release, otherwise there would have been an oversaturation of all things Motown.

    You've read my mind on the subject of how songs were chosen for albums. I don't have too many issues with the albums up to 1967, but from '68 on, it seems a lot of weak songs ended up on those LPs. Who knows how these things worked?

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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

[REMOVE ADS]

Ralph Terrana
MODERATOR

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