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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    After the summer of 1967

    Did any of the Motown acts, after the summer of 1967, continue to consistently maintain or even surpass their Billboard chart placements with about the same consistency they did prior to that time?

    Off hand, I recall groups such as the Four Tops and the Supremes still had some hits; however, not to the level as they did in 1964-67. Are there any Temptation fans here who might have an assessment as to how this applied to that group? Martha & the Vandellas? Smokey & the Miracles? Marvin Gaye?

    I ask this because I am reading on another forum how the departure of a member of a group led the group to no longer have the success that it did which I personally do not buy as a reason. I am looking for an overall assessment...were chart placements just as consistent with hit records as the summer of 1967? THANKS


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    The departure [and the 'work slowdown' prior to that] of writer/producers Holland-Dozier-Holland from Motown Records in mid 1967 would have it's affect on the company. The acts that couldn't continue to maintain the success [or Billboard chart placements] that they had after the summer of '67 were the acts that H-D-H principally wrote and produced for like The Supremes, Four Tops, Martha & The Vandellas. Also, consider the departure of another writer/producer, William 'Mickey' Stevenson at around the same time. Others at Motown [who didn't work as much with H-D-H or Stevenson] such as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey and The Miracles & The Tempts would see some of their biggest hits [as well as consistent success] after summer '67 with songs like "For Once In My Life", "I Heard It Through The Grapevine", "Cloud Nine", "The Tears Of A Clown" & "Just My Imagination". Also, Motown had introduced a new team of writer/producers, Nicholas Ashford & Valerie Simpson that would help take up the slack from losing H-D-H and keep up the company's peak years through [at least 1971].
    Last edited by Motown Eddie; 07-26-2021 at 01:17 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    With credit to Motown Eddie, Gladys Knight & The Pips' I Heard It Through The Grapevine was the first song out of the box in September 1967, along with Everybody Needs Love, the group's first Motown album.

    Hot on the coattails of Diana Ross & The Supremes' psychedelic soul Reflections single, I Heard It Through The Grapevine not only fit well with the sound of the legendary Summer of Love, but it also, immediately, intensified and expanded the excitement and dominance of the Motown Sound.

    People weren't necessarily aware of the slowdown/loss of Holland-Dozier-Holland or the impact of that move in part because Gladys was there to step up and claim a spot for her group. It enabled an almiost seamless shift from Classic Motown B, 1964-1967 to Classic Motown C, 1967-1971.

    By the way, the Everybody Needs Love album was the first album I bought having never heard either the singer or any of the songs beforehand.

    But in an interview that summer, at the time Diana Ross began to be billed separately, she mentioned Gladys and gave her high praise, so when I saw the album on display a month or so later, I recognized Gladys' name and bought the album, no questions asked, and I was pleased that I did.

    There were other welcome surprises, too, as The Marvelettes "return" brought us several more albums, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas had a streak of new hits and Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers' Does Your Mama Know About Me added a new level of maturity to Motown releases.


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Ralph Terrana

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