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  1. #1

    Thoughts on the Marvelettes' song "Love Silent Love Deep"

    I have always been intrigued by this song from the "In Full Bloom" album. First of all it is so radically different from anything else they ever did. The high pitched background vocal is something you never heard on any other Marvelettes song but I guess now we know it was one of the Andantes. (Louvain maybe?) I am sure the similarity to the background of Forever Came Today is evident.

    The message in the song is clear enough (the guy can't express himself in words but makes up for it in other ways) and of course Wanda shines as always. If I had a criticism about it, it would be that the background chorus in the bridge seems weaker than it should be...referring to the part leading up to "we understannddd."

    Hope I am making sense. Any other thoughts on this unique song? Overall the album is excellent and as we have discussed in other threads, the cover is one of Motown's all-time greats. Little did we know at the time that it would be the final "true" Marvelettes album.

  2. This is James Dean and William Weatherspoon doing what they did and doing it very well. The team was great for the Marvelettes and I'd go so far to say the relationship between the writers and the group was very much like what HDH were to the Supremes. I especially admire how Dean and Weatherspoon often had Katherine and Gladys (or later, Ann) participating in the backgrounds, using the Andantes, not so much to sub for the others as to add a sort of complimentary counterpoint background part.

    That said, "Love Silent, Love Deep" has been one of those songs I've grown to appreciate more as the years go by. It's a fairly complex musical arrangement where the Funk Brothers are given plenty to do. They paint a very lovely aural picture, an almost It's-Springtime vibe complete with flutes creating a nice sort of musical breeze. Even the title is inspired. It sound like the title of a grand movie from the Classic Hollywood era.

    As with the Funk Brothers, everyone in the Marvelettes and Andantes are given plenty to do. The bridge is actually the part I usually keep going back to; I like how Katherine and Ann feature prominently and also the overlapping vocal play between them and the Andantes. Katherine and Ann sing those lines and the Andantes sing a key word and hold the note underneath and then finish it off with "and we don't speak/ we understand". A masterful blend.

    It took me awhile to fully appreciate the album. "The Pink" album seems to have set a standard, but "In Full Bloom" really is one of Motown's most enjoyable LPs from start to finish. Especially after that very strange period from 1964-1966 where Motown failed to give the group any kind of album release, it almost seems as if they were trying to make up for that by ensuring the group had regular album releases and with quality music. I wouldn't call anything "filler" on the LPs from "The Pink Album" onward. And that is really saying something.

  3. #3
    Just to add that Motown went to eight-track recording in 1965.

    That meant that background vocals could be, and generally were, dubbed in separately from the lead vocal.

    From that point, all three Marvelettes would usually sing in unison as background vocalists - with the additional three voices of The Andantes dubbed in last, but singing in harmony - or, as complete replacement background voices.

    It's also possible that it is actually Gladys singing with Katherine and Wanda on backgrounds to 'Love Silent, Love Deep', as the track (with The Andantes then added) was completed 22nd August 1967, around the time Gladys left.

    This was the same date that 'Now Is The Time For Love' was completed, and not long after 'At Last I See Love As It Really Is' (28th June). To my ears, the lower background voices sound identical on all three tracks.

    And 'completion' of a recording usually meant 'additional background voices' (e.g. The Andantes), used by the producers to 'sweeten' the recordings to best effect.

    On the line mentioned in 'Love Silent, Love Deep', it is likely that the three Marvelettes did record it, but were wiped and replaced by The Andantes - but it is indeed a noticeable drop-out in vocal fullness.

    The original background voices (if both sets were finally heard on the recordings, as with The Marvelettes) were often recorded quite some time before the additional voices.

    If it isn't Gladys in the background, it may not be Ann among the lower background voices. Ann's voice may only have been dubbed later to band tracks as lead voice - and then with the addition of The Andantes.


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Ralph Terrana

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