[REMOVE ADS]




Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    5,505
    Rep Power
    189

    The Return of the Marvelettes LP COVER PHOTO question?

    I know the story goes that this LP was originally conceived as a vehicle for Wanda's solo career, but fearing Wanda's name [[and voice) weren't marketable, it was changed to a Marvelettes release. This angered Ann and Katherine [[who hadn't participated much in the recording), and they refused to participate in a photoshoot for the cover photo.

    So here's the $64,000.00 question: Motown, by this time, did whatever the heck it wanted. So why didn't they just use an archived photo of Wanda, Katherine, and Ann? There had to have been something suitable taken within the last year that the group was together?

    Were Katherine and Ann still under contract at Motown? Or had they disbanded by this time? If they were still under contract, could they really have refused in the promotion of this release? If they had disbanded, didn't it seem suspicious that suddenly there was a new release from the group?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    7,378
    Rep Power
    210
    To my knowledge, the group had already broken up by the time of its release. When they decided to release it under the Marvelettes' name, Katherine has said that someone from Motown did call and ask her to participate in a photo session.

    Why didn't they use an old photo? Smokey is credited with the album cover concept so probably he was fixated on the Western theme.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    9,841
    Rep Power
    210
    I think that the group as we knew them were finished after[1968].

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    3,615
    Rep Power
    167
    Yes it has been documented that they had split up the year before the album was released. I think likely they wanted a more contemporary photo rather than an old one which would more or less date the album. I love the concept and to me the album photograph shows great artistry. It is one of my favorite album covers of all time. Also my favorite album. But everyone here knows how much I love Wanda Rogers’ voice.

    I hadn’t thought of it before, but it seems that the Marvelettes were the first of the Motown girl groups to appear on their albums in contemporary clothing. Their last album as a group, “In Full Bloom,” show them in a natural setting in casual attire. This was the same year that the Vandellas appeared on the cover of “Sugar ‘n Spice” in the usual matching gowns. The same year that “Return” came out the Vandellas appeared in contemporary clothing on the cover of “Natural Resources.” The Supremes never really did that until much later, and after Diana Ross had left the group. Although they did appear in the urban streetwear on the cover of “Love Child,” I would consider those outfits more or less to be costumes.
    Last edited by kenneth; 04-29-2021 at 11:33 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2,430
    Rep Power
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    So here's the $64,000.00 question: Motown, by this time, did whatever the heck it wanted. So why didn't they just use an archived photo of Wanda, Katherine, and Ann? There had to have been something suitable taken within the last year that the group was together?
    I also would've preferred a photo of the group for their last album, however, Motown had owned the name of the group and they "did what the heck they wanted". So their marketing department decided since westerns were popular at the time, they chose that theme [and the title of the LP] to market The Return Of The Marvelettes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,295
    Rep Power
    159
    I always thought it was rather odd that they titled it the "return", which is to imply that they were back and might stay a while, if it had already been determined that they were in fact finished. A contradiction in terms you might say...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2,430
    Rep Power
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    I always thought it was rather odd that they titled it the "return", which is to imply that they were back and might stay a while, if it had already been determined that they were in fact finished. A contradiction in terms you might say...
    "A contradiction in terms" Indeed! In fact, Motown didn't even issue a single to help promote TROM until over a year after the album came out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    9,841
    Rep Power
    210
    Word on the street says that the[fake??]horses used in the shot wanted their own album but berry fired em!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    7,378
    Rep Power
    210
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    I always thought it was rather odd that they titled it the "return", which is to imply that they were back and might stay a while, if it had already been determined that they were in fact finished. A contradiction in terms you might say...
    It is a strange title for an album by a group that was already disbanded. Not to mention that Motown had to know what Wanda's condition was at the time. Maybe if it had hit they would have gone about trying to get her some help. Or maybe the album was just done to pacify Smokey and lift Wanda's spirits, as I think Berry was fond of her.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2,430
    Rep Power
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    Or maybe the album was just done to pacify Smokey and lift Wanda's spirits, as I think Berry was fond of her.
    I also think those are the reasons the The Return Of Marvelettes got recorded and released at all. Consider that B.G. & Smokey were [and still are] close friends and Wanda was married to Smokey's fellow Miracle, Bobby Rogers. Still when we consider that no singles were released from TROTM at the time in came out in late 1970 [the only single, "A Breath Taking Guy" came out over a year after the album], this was Motown's way saying 'farewell' to The Marvelettes [and Wanda Rogers as well].

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    7,378
    Rep Power
    210
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    I also think those are the reasons the The Return Of Marvelettes got recorded and released at all. Consider that B.G. & Smokey were [and still are] close friends and Wanda was married to Smokey's fellow Miracle, Bobby Rogers. Still when we consider that no singles were released from TROTM at the time in came out in late 1970 [the only single, "A Breath Taking Guy" came out over a year after the album], this was Motown's way saying 'farewell' to The Marvelettes [and Wanda Rogers as well].
    MARIONETTE was also released as a single, in November of 1970.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2,430
    Rep Power
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by reese View Post
    MARIONETTE was also released as a single, in November of 1970.
    Ooops! I completely forgot that "Marionette" was released as a single. Thanks for the info Reese.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,295
    Rep Power
    159
    Didn't Marionette either crack the Hot 100 or at least bubble under?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2,430
    Rep Power
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by daviddesper View Post
    Didn't Marionette either crack the Hot 100 or at least bubble under?

    "Marionette" charted at #50 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1970 [according to the Forever More collection]. It may have "bubbled under" on the Hot 100 but I can't find anything on that.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2,430
    Rep Power
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by marybrewster View Post
    So here's the $64,000.00 question: Motown, by this time, did whatever the heck it wanted. So why didn't they just use an archived photo of Wanda, Katherine, and Ann? There had to have been something suitable taken within the last year that the group was together?
    Getting back to that $64,000 question; there were a lot of photos of the final lineup of The Marvelettes that Motown could've used for the TROTM LP even when Katherine & Ann refused to do other photo shoot [and many of them showed up on the group's Forever More collection in 2011]. So it was Smokey Robinson, who was credited with the album's design, choice to do the LP cover with a western theme with just Wanda & two other ladies.

    PS: Another Motown album from around the same time with a similar 'western theme' was The Return of The Magnificent Seven by The Supremes & The Four Tops.
    Last edited by Motown Eddie; 05-01-2021 at 07:14 AM.

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.