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  1. #1

    Vandellas Albums Mono vs Stereo

    Hope all is well with everyone!

    Through the past few weeks, I am rediscovering the albums and singles of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.

    My question is were there different versions (takes) on the albums from the mono vs stereo releases?

    I know with the Supremes albums, there were different takes on both albums. Was this the case with the Vandellas?

  2. #2
    I will be interested in following this discussion because when I was buying Motown albums in the 60s and 70s, some of them would say "Stereo" on the cover and would be numbered accordingly, such as Tamla S288, which I am looking at as we speak. But in other cases, I would buy an album that would appear to be a mono album, but if you looked at the seam at the top of the back cover, you could peel it just a tiny bit and see the word stereo. So I wondered back then if maybe all Motown albums were stereo.

  3. #3
    The only albums by Martha & The Vandellas that I've got in both Mono & Stereo are Come And Get These Memories & Dance Party. Two songs (both are from the CAGTM LP) I can tell that are different are "This Is When I Need You Most" (the stereo version contains an instrumental bridge that the mono version doesn't) & "I'll Have To Let Him Go" (the stereo version has a different lead vocal than the mono).
    Last edited by Motown Eddie; 05-14-2020 at 05:33 PM.

  4. #4
    One big difference is their LIVE! album.

    Except for I'M READY FOR LOVE, Side One is a completely different performance depending on whether you're listening to mono or stereo.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    I will be interested in following this discussion because when I was buying Motown albums in the 60s and 70s, some of them would say "Stereo" on the cover and would be numbered accordingly, such as Tamla S288, which I am looking at as we speak. But in other cases, I would buy an album that would appear to be a mono album, but if you looked at the seam at the top of the back cover, you could peel it just a tiny bit and see the word stereo. So I wondered back then if maybe all Motown albums were stereo.
    I think this is just a case of Motown not having to print two different album covers to indicate stereo or mono. Atlantic used to do the same but they would have stereo indication at the top of their covers and mono at the bottom. In other cases, Motown would just stick a small stereo sticker on the album cover.

  6. #6
    I know with the Supremes albums, there were different takes on both albums. Was this the case with the Vandellas?

    Without question the answer is "yes". Have a listen to "Jimmy Mack" on any mono version of Watchout, then go load up the stereo version and have a listen. Not every mono vs. stereo track/album has completely different versions, but many do.


    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    But in other cases, I would buy an album that would appear to be a mono album, but if you looked at the seam at the top of the back cover, you could peel it just a tiny bit and see the word stereo. So I wondered back then if maybe all Motown albums were stereo.
    In my research on various labels and across several time periods, this was a common practice in the era of dual mono- and stereo- releases. The art department would develop one label with "stereo" markings at one end (top or bottom) and "mono" markings at the other. During jacket production, the label would be cut and glued to match the disc. So if it was a mono disc, the label would cut off the stereo markings on the label and glue it down. Motown simply skipped the step of cutting the label and "folded" it under the back label. If you look, for instance, at Verve records from the same era, they used a "cut and glue" approach. RCA Victor did as well. Other, smaller labels like Mercury used a "fold and glue" approach. It most likely came down to who they contracted out for the production of the jacket and cost. It is quite possible that Motown's jacket producer saved Motown $0.05 per hundred jackets, the contractor didn't have the right cutting equipment, or something like that. I knew a guy who worked in a local record factory many years ago and he explained this to me when I asked why he got so many misprints/rejects for free. He had a bunch of records that were mismarked during production (both for this and other reasons).
    Last edited by thanxal; 05-14-2020 at 05:46 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    One big difference is their LIVE! album.

    Except for I'M READY FOR LOVE, Side One is a completely different performance depending on whether you're listening to mono or stereo.
    Try Riding High mono v stereo and then there's the mono DJ release

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