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  1. #1

    Benjamin - Martha and the Vandellas

    https://youtu.be/Tm9FH58GuFo

    When Martha was in very fine voice, great song

    Are there Vandellas on this or was it too late in the day?

    Canít recall if it was a single but if it was, it didnít see much chart action

  2. #2
    I am not a MR&V expert....I have the purple Anthology 2 LP set (and Heat Wave/Dance Party CD) this was the only song on the 4th side I remember liking as much as everything on the 1st 3 sides....I love every single cut on sides 1, 2, and 3. this one immediately reminded me of something Dionne would have cut. And Dionnes "Another Night" which I like sounds like a Motown suited to MR cut to me. I had gotten 4 of the Anthologies in '73/ '74 when I was 14-15...Supremes / Marvelettes / Martha and Marvin. GF had Tops/ Tempts / Smokey so we were set, and began learning more than the big AM pop top 10 hits from about '66 onward that we were familiar with...I'll Have To Let Him Go, You've Been In Love Too Long, Motoring and I Promise To Wait were my favs.

  3. #3
    It is a nice track and Martha does a great vocal on it. Although it was included on their 1974 ANTHOLOGY, it wasn't a single. Re the background vocals, I'm not an expert on the voices of Lois and Sandra, but I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't them.

  4. #4
    I think Benjamin is a GREAT album track and I loved it from my first spin of the Black Magic lp on its initial release. Martha performs the song like a 3-act play; her singing is extraordinary here. I think the backing vocals on the entire lp have been discussed in prior threads; will research.

  5. #5
    This track clearly is the Andantes I did read over at classic Motown that most of the tracks on the black magic album was Lois, Sandra and the Blackberries.

  6. #6
    I wrote some time ago about this gem,martha was indeed in great voice,this one should've been big,and notice that it has a dionne vibe to it...great one!!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by arr&bee View Post
    I wrote some time ago about this gem,martha was indeed in great voice,this one should've been big,and notice that it has a dionne vibe to it...great one!!
    YES! I recall - can you give that thread a bump-up so we can see it again?

  8. #8
    Benjamin is one of my favorites. It's so good that I thought it must have released as a single. The Black Magic album it very underrated. It is this album that made me realize that Martha is a much better singer than I gave her credit for. Take A Look In The Mirror, Tear It On Down, Any One Who Has A Heart and Bless You, stack up to make this my favorite album by far from the group. I've heard it was not properly promoted.

  9. #9
    Lois and Sandy really aren't on many recordings. On that last LP, I believe they're only on "Something". Martha sung a lot of the backgrounds with the Andantes and Blackberries.

  10. #10
    They did sing bless you.
    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    Lois and Sandy really aren't on many recordings. On that last LP, I believe they're only on "Something". Martha sung a lot of the backgrounds with the Andantes and Blackberries.

  11. #11
    That is good to know. As classic a song as Bless You was, I am pleased to hear it was the "real deal."

  12. #12
    That's the Andantes on "Bless You".

  13. #13
    It’s Lois Sandra and the Andantes

  14. #14
    I did get to meet Lois when they were in the Cape. She told me she indeed sang in most of the Black Magic album also I need to correct myself Bless you is Lois, Sandra and the Blackberries. I also read on classic Motown that Lois and Sandra did record In and Out of My Life augmented by the Blackberries.

  15. #15
    Every time these stories arise about the background and the semi conflicting stories, I end up thinking the group members started off on them and a producer then wiped them 98% and then we ask what and who is left in the end

    Not that it matters that much

  16. #16
    It is conflicting because I've had Martha tell me that it is herself, the Andantes and the Blackberries doing the backgrounds. She specifically said it was her and a few studio singers doing backgrounds for In And Out Of My Life. No mention of Lois or Sandra.

  17. #17
    The same can be said when martha said Roslind and Annette were never signed to Motown but roz says she was signed to the label

  18. #18
    The group members did the original session.

    So they say they sang on it.

    Then the producers wipe it or they obliterate the background so totally that you hear only one of two words of the original group - or you think you do.

    And then the Andantes or someone else say "that's us on that song".

    And Andy or someone says there is some record indicating the group was not on the original single release.

    It all kind of makes sense. And it should make that much difference. When I listened to Benjamin again recently, I can't actually recall hearing the background - just Martha.

    Same kind of thing that happened with the Supremes.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by jobeterob View Post
    The group members did the original session.

    So they say they sang on it.

    Then the producers wipe it or they obliterate the background so totally that you hear only one of two words of the original group - or you think you do.

    And then the Andantes or someone else say "that's us on that song".

    And Andy or someone says there is some record indicating the group was not on the original single release.

    It all kind of makes sense. And it should make that much difference. When I listened to Benjamin again recently, I can't actually recall hearing the background - just Martha.

    Same kind of thing that happened with the Supremes.
    Yes, with some notable exceptions (Temps, with traded leads) the quotidian listener hears the lead. If the background singers were as distinctive as some wish, those singers would be immediately identifiable and we would not be having these depleting, multitudinous deliberations.

  20. #20
    Years ago, I had asked Martha via email about the last two line-ups of Martha and the Vandellas because I wanted to know more about those little known line-ups. She didn't really say much about the one of her, Rosalind and Lois other than that it was short lived. She pretty much insinuated that Lois and Sandy were "for show" Vandellas. As in they really only performed on stage and appeared in photo sessions. She said she did the majority of the later studio work by herself. I asked if she was in the background for some songs cause I heard her voice and she said yes several songs and that's when she mentioned "In and Out of My Life".

    She did say regarding the backgrounds (and I remember this very vividly): "(My name) does it really matter who's singing back there? Just sit back and enjoy the music!"

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by floyjoy678 View Post
    Years ago, I had asked Martha vie email.....

    … She did say regarding the backgrounds (and I remember this very vividly): "(My name) does it really matter who's singing back there? Just sit back and enjoy the music!"
    Thank you! This made me smile reading it.

  22. #22
    Truthfully it’s is conflicting on who is being truthful or not . It is possible that since backgrounds are recorded separately from the lead on different days that Martha wouldn’t know. You have Martha saying one thing and you have Roz and Lous saying another.

  23. #23
    Deke had a very close working relationship with The Blackberries. He got them on No Matter What Sign You Are and they then got used a lot on most LA product and some Detroit. He did the background vocals on all of my life we need you and leave a little room and you can tell that those are the same voices on bless you. Martha also told me that there are no Vandellas on the black magic album and we were talking about bless you and I’ve given you the best years of my life when she said that. Of course that doesn’t mean it’s true, but I put money on the fact that it’s the blackberries alone on bless you.

  24. #24
    We know for sure they sang Something. I highly doubt Lois and Sandra were brought in to sing just one song and that’s it. Like I said before Martha said one thing and Lois is saying another thing.

  25. #25
    Also didn’t Martha say Tear it on Down was written for her when in fact was a a rework of a Marvin Gaye song

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