Motown Did It First! That's the campaign slogan for Universal Japan's ongoing program celebrating the venerable label's 60th anniversary. And indeed, the influence of Motown - still the most successful African-American-founded record label of all time - can't be underestimated when considering the current music scene. A number of physical releases have already been released in Japan to mark the anniversary, most of which are available as affordable imports and include titles not commonly
Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up! David Bowie, Cracked Actor: Live in Los Angeles 1974 (Parlophone/Rhino) (Amazon U.S./ Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada) Cracked Actor: Live in Los Angeles 1974 is the first authorized release of Bowie's Philly Dogs Tour show at Los Angeles' Universal Amphitheatre, from September 1974. First released earlier this year on vinyl only, some of this performance was featured in Alan Yentob's BBC documentary also known as Cracked Actor. The original tapes
Four decades ago, Southern funk band the Commodores established their place in the pop-soul pantheon with their self-titled fifth album. Now, Universal Music Enterprises is revisiting the album in a brand new way, as an expanded vinyl set. Commodores continued the Tuskegee, Alabama-bred group's ascendancy, balancing hip dance tracks with sweet balladry. The alpha and omega of these styles featured co-lead singer/drummer Walter Orange, trumpeter William King and bassist Ronald LaPread leading
Calling all '80s Motown fans! Universal's U.K. arm has issued a double disc set of 20 classic club mixes from the label, curated by noted remixer John Morales. Motown of course crafted the sound of young America throughout the '60s and created some deeply affecting funk and soul in the '70s, but the '80s was still a prolific time, thanks to popular R&B/dance acts including Rick James and DeBarge as well as established acts like The Temptations and Commodores frontman Lionel Richie.
Let's dispense with the "Get Ready" puns: after a four-year wait, Hip-O Select's Complete Motown Singles series inches closer toward the finish line with Volume 12A: 1972. This five-disc set includes every single side released by Motown during the first half of 1972, a time of transition for the company. Berry Gordy had already moved his Detroit-based media empire westward to Los Angeles, leaving some of his flagship groups in a transitional period. The Jackson 5 still had their hits, but not
The sound is familiar but different. The harmony is spellbinding if a bit woozy. You've only given me a flower/I wish I had the whole bouquet... The track, led by acoustic guitar and gently funky percussion, is spare and raw. If I should ask you for an hour/Is there a chance that you would stay/And maybe spend the day? The falsetto is recognizable but eerily haunting. The song is "You're A Song (That I Can't Sing)" performed by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons for the album Chameleon, the
Indie label Light in the Attic Records has prepped an interesting catalogue compilation for release: an overview of one of Motown's oft-overlooked divisions: MoWest Records. By the 1970s, Berry Gordy had a grander vision for Motown than ever before - one that extended from music into the film industry. To do that, of course, he needed a base of operations in Los Angeles, and the label's L.A. offices went from becoming a branch to the central nervous system of the company in 1972. (It's this