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  1. #1

    Motown unreleased songs question

    From those albums I have bought it seems that a high percentage of unreleased songs are released in mono. However, some are released in stereo. So my question is....

    Are unreleased songs in the vault present in both mono and stereo versions?


  2. #2
    Whilst it would be wrong to say that no unreleased song exists as a DM stereo master - ie a stereo master made back in the day, the usual (but not exclusive) route by which stereo masters are used in (say) Cellarful is that no DM but only an original multitrack master is in the vaults for the chosen recording.

    Therefore that multitrack has to be mixed down for release. It seems to be current practice that such mixes are usually in stereo. And of course, the financial implications of having to cost in mixing to a back catalog project are critical getting clearance for release.

    The mono tracks are usually straight from the DM reels made back in the day.

    In general it seems to me that for the Detroit Years (at least), it was more usual to make stereo masters when known album projects were approved. And of course, we all know that some approved projects were pulled/cancelled thus leading to unissued DM stereos on certain tracks being in the vaults.

  3. #3
    Everything we did prior to around 1969 was mixed in mono while stereo mixes were only done after something had been committed to becoming part of an album release.

    That said, an awful lot of unreleased stuff wasn't released for good reason and probably shouldn't be. And hopefully nothing will be released from the DM reels which were just a low quality copy meant as a roadmap for creating a new mix in the event a master that left the building got lost.
    Last edited by bob_olhsson; 08-17-2010 at 07:08 PM.

  4. #4
    The trouble is Bob....fans want that low quality mix especially if it's the only one possible.

    I don't think you need fear though...Mr W is on top of all stuff like that.

  5. #5
    It is almost never the only one possible. A first rate copy of ALL of them were on the library shelf at EMI's Abbey Road facility. I presume those got moved to the current European distributor's library but EMI may well still have them.

  6. #6
    I guess there are artists around who are hungry for any release of their material at all and for the few dollars it will generate. But there also has been at least one former Motown artist come on SD and be very angry at the release of what he regarded as a "road map" or worse.

    I know the artist has no say or little say and does not own the work and I, as a fan of many of these artists, am really keen to hear the unreleased material ~ but perhaps at least some discretion is warranted and perhaps a discussion with the artist is appropriate prior to sending them a CD and saying: "Hope you like it!"

  7. #7

    Harry is very considerate like that. It's not my place to tell you of some of the little things he's done to involve and work with, the original artists. He goes that extra mile. Total respect.

  8. #8
    John, Rob,

    That's my impression of Mr. W., too. My highest respect. I understand why some of his projects take so long to be completed.

    On the other hand, I have learned that ANY so called 'less than good' non-released product has given me - when finally released, legally or not - a great INSIGHT in how such product had evolved withing the walls of Motown. For musical historians it's invaluable material.


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Ralph Terrana

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