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  1. #1

    Len Barry talks about "1-2-3" / "Ask Any Girl"

    Len Barry (credited by his real name: Leonard Borisoff) wrote this with the Philadelphia songwriting/production team of John Madara and David White, who also wrote the hits "You Don't Own Me" and "At The Hop."

    In an interview with Forgotten Hits, Madara explained: "In 1965, with '1-2-3' being the #1 record in the country, we were sued by Motown during the period when Berry Gordy was suing anyone whose records sounded like a Motown record. We were sued, saying that '1-2-3' was taken from a B-Side of a Supremes record called 'Ask Any Girl.' The only similarity between the two songs are the first three notes where the Supremes sang 'Ask Any Girl' and Lenny sang '1-2-3.' After that, there were no similarities, but their lawsuit said that our goal was to copy the Motown sound. Well, needless to say, Motown kept us in court, tying up all of our writers' royalties, production royalties and publishing royalties, and threatened to sue us on the follow-up to '1-2-3,' which was 'Like A Baby.' So after battling with them for two years and having a ton of legal bills, we made a settlement with Motown, giving them 15% of the writers' and publishers' share.
    We never heard 'Ask Any Girl.' The only influence for making '1-2-3' was to make a ballad with a beat. And the sound of '1-2-3' was definitely the sound of the era. Listen to 'The In-Crowd' - that's not the Motown Sound, that's the sound of the era - and '1-2-3' definitely had a beat! Motown was suing a lot of people at the time."

    http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=4937

  2. #2
    The production on "1-2-3" is, if anything, bigger and better than a lot of Motown from that time. Even the stereo mix really kicks ass.

    I just love this track. With its epic intro, it used to be a surefire floor filler when I was a mobile DJ back in the 70s and 80s.

    I've also got a remix on a Dutch Various Artists double LP compilation that includes a count in, and a count in to such an intro as this is even better.

    What I can't understand is why the production on the follow-up, "Like A Baby" wasn't as good (going by the stereo mix that I have). It's just so wimp-ish, and it's not helped by a relatively workmanlike arrangement. Was it recorded and/or mixed in a different studio?

  3. #3
    Didnt George Harrison say he may have "unconsciously "been affected by Hes So Fine? I imagine Len and co. were in a hurry for a follow up, hence Like A Baby. yuk

  4. #4
    Greetings All
    It is really strange how things pop up over the years.
    We (THE ORIGINAL TYMES) and a girl group,
    If I can remember it was THE COOKIES? I will find out for sure.
    I had no idea that there was that much going on, in the back.
    But those were some happy sessions.
    Len Barry still to this day, is a good friend.
    We talk very often. ut wow that stuff happens.
    I may try to but me a book together.
    I know, it would be a best seller ( smiles )
    NOTE,
    We were on all of the LEN BARRY songs
    Take care
    Ceasar
    The
    Original
    Tymes




    0

  5. #5
    Didnt know that Ceasar-very cool. Has Len pretty much retired?

  6. #6
    just like in '63 when you had all the Phil Spector copycats,from 64 on you had alot of Motown Sound copy cats, however, songwise its quite a stretch to think 1-2-3 is Ask Any Girl.Yes, it tries to duplicate the Motown sound but so was alot of others.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by motony View Post
    just like in '63 when you had all the Phil Spector copycats,from 64 on you had alot of Motown Sound copy cats, however, songwise its quite a stretch to think 1-2-3 is Ask Any Girl.Yes, it tries to duplicate the Motown sound but so was alot of others.
    It's funny, but I don't really associate 1-2-3 with The Motown Sound specifically.

    Instead, I associate it with mid-60s dance and soul in the more generic sense since Motown was just one of a number of companies turning out fabulous soulful and danceable sounds.

    Sure, Motown pioneered a lot of stuff and had a load of imitators, but 1-2-3 has a lot of other non-Detroit influences plus - to my mind - a second to none production that barely anything else could match. Even "Like A baby" failed to come close.

  8. #8
    never thought they sounded a like

  9. #9
    The first time I heard "1-2-3" I thought it sounded like "Ask Any Girl", and that was long before I knew of the lawsuit.

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