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  1. #1

    Marvin Gaye & the Pips?!

    In my first post on this board, I ask a question that i've had for many year.

    On Marvin Gaye's 1967 recording "You", I swear I hear the Pips providing backup vocals. I even hear Gladys during the second and third verse. But I've yet to find any source to back my suspicion up. Is it possible that gladys and the pips recorded the song first and that the lead vocal was replaced by Marvin? Otherwise, it's odd they'd go uncredited since they had a huge hit out at the time with their version of I heard it through the Grapevine!

    anyone else agree?

  2. #2
    I'm pretty sure it's Gladys & The Pips backing Marvin here. I've never seen any proof of this either, though.

    Maybe it was recorded earlier, when they first arrived at Motown?

  3. #3
    P.S. - Not quite Motown related, but they're also backing up Carla Thomas on her song "Comfort Me".

  4. #4

    ..and welcome to the board!

    Yes, it definitely is Gladys and the Pips backing Marvin on "You"...as it has been confirmed by Gladys...but apologies,for the life of me, I can't remember the source, just at the moment!

    Even after all these years, I hadn't spotted it, but when I read (or heard?..was Gladys perhaps being interviewed..???) I immediately got out the track and listened..and there they were!

    I'll give it more thought, as this was within the last year,but I'm pretty sure that someone much more knowledgeable will come up with a definite source for you soon enough....

    But for the time being, yes, I agree.......

  5. #5
    You're right West Grand, it was in the last few months... and I can't remember where I heard it too. I went straight off and listened You, and sure enough they're all on there.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by soulwally View Post
    You're right West Grand, it was in the last few months... and I can't remember where I heard it too. I went straight off and listened You, and sure enough they're all on there.

    I remember hearing this upon Gladys Knight's last tour of the UK. That's when it surfaced that it was indeed Gladys & the Pips backing Marvin Gaye on You. T thought why did she wait all these years to give us this bit of Motown trivia?

  7. #7
    I'm amazed at this having listened to the song so many times over the years and never noticed, now it's obvious who the backing singers are. I wonder how many songs have other groups backing them ( I know about Marvin and the Vandellas and Mary and the Supremes).

    Just listening to the mono mix of You on "The Master" box set and there seems to be a slight jump (edit) at time 1:35 - anybody else noticed that? The stereo mix doesn't seem to have the problem.

  8. #8
    Huh???? Gladys is singing on[you]???let me pull this one out and get back to ya,could be!!!

  9. #9
    does anyone think they were on any other tracks from the in the groove/heard it through the grapevine lp.i was thinking about "at last" also the b side to chained 7"
    i'm gonna have to dig them out.in the meantime were these albums EXACTLY the same mixes,the only difference being the title and cover artwork?

  10. #10
    honest man Guest
    great stuff, listening to this song with fresh ears, brilliant thanks for pointing this out, anymore songs with motown artists backing. kmoow about stevie with tempts, 4 tops , kim with drats as may, marvin, anymore .please, thank you

  11. #11

    Have just listened twice to Marvin's "You" on "The Master" album, and I have to say I don't appear to hear anything too unusual at time 1.35. I hear The Pips (as I think Gladys sings only on certain phrases?) sing "I need you, you", with the second "you" being slightly snatched to match the rhythm. But, you could still be right.....!

    Have you tried Dennis Edwards' version of "Ain't that peculiar" on "Motown Sings Motown Treasures Volume 2"? Listen to the drummer. At exactly the same time you quote (1.34-1.35) something that is indeed peculiar appears to happen to the drummer's beat..either he mistimes it or it's, as you say, a jump , due to a bad edit. Every time I hear that track, I notice it!


    Am I right in thinking that the basic rhythm track (bass guitar, drum, piano) for Marvin's "Tear it on down" is the same as used for Marvelettes "Destination: Anywhere"? (or vice versa...!)

    honest man

    Cellarful of Motown Vol 2; Carolyn Crawford "Keep Stepping". Notes say track cut 30 May 1965, assigned to Vandellas, but Marvelettes were dubbed in only 3 days later,on June 2...but Carolyn's lead vocal was also recorded that day.

    So, when I listen to that track, am I effectively listening to a Marvelettes track without either Gladys or Wanda's lead vocal...as that must be the Marvelettes in the background, especially on the "Ooo ooo oooooo" phrases?..but I don't know if Gladys or Wanda ever did have their own vocal dubbed in at a later date......

  12. #12
    i'll have a listen.i hadnt noticed that before.i'll check it out.

  13. #13
    The Master box set is were my copy of "You" was ripped from. But I hear the Pips.

  14. #14
    Hah! No wonder this has always been one of my favorite Marvin songs. I don't think it gets the recognition it deserves. Great lead, great groove, great background vocals... just excellent.

  15. #15
    In the early seventiesI I used to have a Dual record player where I could switch the contacts in the element from A+(B) to A+(-B). Thus eliminating the middle part of the sound spectrum which in most cases is the lead vocals (unfortunately also deleting most of the bass lines), but revealing the background vocals, who - in many cases - were mixed out of the middle.
    That way I could clearly hear Gladys & The Pips providing BG vocals to Marvin's YOU.
    I cosidered myself a technical genius at the time... can you imagine?

  16. #16
    Robbert,that was clever.....so, were there any more interesting background vocals that your neat method revealed?

  17. #17
    Sure, try this at home... e.g. with Marvin's I Heard It Through The Grapevine and The Andantes sound crispy clear from your speakers.
    I have to add the idea was not mine, but originally Marten Weistra's, who worked for the Philips Laboratories in Eindhoven at the time. We're still in touch and he could shine some light on how to do this trick. He probably remembers better than I can which tracks were best suitable for the trick.
    Anybody interested? I could ask him to produce a small essay...

  18. #18
    Well here's one, saying "yes please......!"

    ps. I would also say 'Andantes', simply because that is what my ears are telling me, but I did read somewhere that it was other ladies...but don't ask me just now, just who...!

  19. #19
    topdiva1 Guest
    Yes that's them.

  20. #20
    I THOUGHT THE BACKGROUND VOCALS SOUNDED FAMILIAR! I'm gonna listen to it now! Thanks!

  21. #21
    If I'm not mistaken they also did background on "Chained"...I think anyway I don't know lol

  22. #22
    Midnightman, I also tricked Chained the way as I described it, but no way... that Gladys & The Pips are doing the BG's here.

  23. #23
    ^ So THAT was the Originals.

  24. #24
    Dunno, haven't heard the track for ages, could've been Originals + Andantes...


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