LOVE AND AFFECTION-MORE MOTOWN GIRLS.
LOVE AND AFFECTION-MORE MOTOWN GIRLS.
For a generation, Motown was the label that provided the soundtrack to their youth. They fondly remembers singles by The Temptations, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and Diana Ross. These singles bring back memories, of times, places and people. It’s escapism.
Suddenly, they’re transported back in time. Once again, they’re young and have their whole life in front of them. There’s hope, and a sense that anything is possible. Gone is the drudgery and reality of life. Then after three minutes, the spell is broken and reality sets in. However, for three minutes, their life was transformed. All because of music, music that was recorded fifty years ago.
After all, it was 1959 that Motown first opened its doors in Detroit. Little did Berry Gordy realise, that his nascent record company would become one of the biggest soul labels ever, and in the process, transform the lives of a generation. Motown was, for many, their introduction to soul music.
From there, they headed off on a voyage of discovery. Soon, they were discovering the delights of Southern Soul, Deep Soul, Philly Soul and even, Northern Soul. However, for many, their dalliances with Southern Soul and Deep Soul were mere indiscretions. They returned home to Motown, promising never to stray again. For those who have strayed, and those who have stayed true to the Motown sound, then Love and Affection-More Motown Girls will be a must have.
Love and Affection-More Motown Girls was recently released by Kent Soul, an imprint of Ace Records. It’s a twenty-five track compilation, featuring tracks recorded between 1962 and 1969. The majority of these tracks have never been released before. Twenty tracks make their debut on Love and Affection-More Motown Girls. This includes Brenda Holloway, Gladys Knight and The Pips, Barbara Randolph, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, Debbie Dean, LaBrenda Ben and Barbara McNair. Many artists feature more than once. They return for an encore, picking up where they left off earlier. This includes Brenda Holloway.
She opens Love and Affection-More Motown Girls Reassure Me That You Love Me. It’s never been released before, and features a truly needy vocal. It was recorded in March 2015, not long after the backing track and strings were recorded. However, for whatever reason, Reassure Me That You Love Me was never released, and somewhat belatedly, makes a debut here.
Brenda Holloway’s other contribution Lonely Teardrops, was released in 2014. That was fifty years after Brenda recorded the song in 1964. It had been made famous by Jackie Wilson in 1962. However, Brenda’s delivery is dramatic and impassioned, and a reminder of her ability to make a song come to life.
During her time at Motown, Gladys Knight played second fiddle to Diana Ross. She seemed to get the best songs, and worked with the best songwriters and producers. This must have been frustrating for a truly talented artist. However, occasionally, Gladys Knight and The Pips got the chance to work with some of Motown’s best producers and songwriters.
This included the lauded Holland, Dozier, Holland. They wrote and produced Any Girl In Love (Knows What I’m Going Through). It was recorded in April 1966 and features a vocal full of heartbreak. Despite that, it was left in the Motown vaults. So was Ivy Jo Hunter produced The Things Time Can’t Erase, which was recorded in May 1967. Given its sound, it’s sure to be a favourite among Northern Soul fans.
Martha Reeves and The Vandellas were one of Motown’s most successful ‘girl’ groups. They were regular hit makers and added their vocals to the backing track in January 1969. It became This Is The Love (I’ve Been Waiting For). Motown never released the song. That was also the case with Mother Tell Me What To Do. Penned and produced by Ivy Jo Hunter, it was recorded in August 1966. Since then, it has languished in Motown’s vaults until Keith Hughes and Mick Patrick discovered the tracks when compiling Love and Affection-More Motown Girls.
I Can’t Make It Without You was recorded by Debbie Dean in November and December 1966. The song was written by Debbie Dean and Dennis Lussier, who produced I Can’t Make It Without You. It’s a needy outpouring of emotion, that sounds as if Debbie’s lived the lyrics.
Unlike some compilers, Keith Hughes and Mick Patrick eschew the tired and familiar. Instead, they’ve picked two tracks from LaBrenda Ben. This will be a new name for many people. Her contributions are Just Go On Sleeping and Fugitive. Both tracks were released in 2014, but make a welcome return on Love and Affection-More Motown Girls.
Just Go On Sleeping was recorded in January 1964, and produced by Fay Hale. A month later, in February 1964, LaBrenda Bren was back in the studio with producer George Fowler. He produced this trademark Motown stomper. It has the name Motown written all over it. Later, LaBrenda Bren and George Fowler left Motown. George found religion, and became a minister. LaBrenda Bren became Mrs. LaBrenda Fowler, and only sung gospel music.
Connie Haines will be another new name to many people. She’s not as well known as some of the names who passed through Motown’s doors. She worked with William ‘Smokey’ Robinson. He wrote and produced Mr Pride And Mr Gloom, three minutes of raw emotion from Connie Haines.
Chris Clark is another artist who features twice on Love and Affection-More Motown Girls. Her first contribution is Check Yourself. Unlike most of the tracks on the compilation, the backing track and vocal were recorded in New York in May 1966. Nearly three years later, in January 1969, Chris Clark recorded Forgotten at Golden World Studios, in Detroit. Just like Check Yourself, Forgotten showcases a talented and underrated singer who sadly, didn’t enjoy the success their talent warranted.
Barbara McNair spent around four years at Motown. During that period, she released several singles and an album. At the start of this period, in January 1965, Barbara got the opportunity to work with one of the greatest songwriters of his generation, Jimmy Webb. His career was just beginning, and during 1965, he penned seventeen songs at Motown. This included Come Back Half Way, which he cowrote with Mary Dean. Barbara breathes life and meaning into the lyrics. A month later, in February 1965, Barbara is back in the Motown studios, recording a desiring take on The Good Times Are Gone. Sadly, neither track was released, and has spent the last fifty years languishing in the Motown vaults. Somewhat belatedly, both tracks make their debut on Love and Affection-More Motown Girls.
Yvonne Fair was a member of The Chantels, and then, became a member of James Brown’s touring band. By 1969, she was signed to Motown, and recorded Close My Crying Eyes at Gold World Studio in the September. This Leonard Caston production was an outpouring of emotion and hurt from Yvonne Fair.
Kim Weston’s Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be) closes Love and Affection-More Motown Girls. It was recorded in February 1964, with producer William Stevenston. For the next fifty years, nobody heard Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be)? Then in 2014, the song was released for the first time. A year later, this poignant tale of betrayal proves the perfect way to close Love and Affection-More Motown Girls.
Fifty-six years after Motown opened its doors, people still have an insatiable appetite for Motown. That’s why so many Motown compilations are released. Many, however, constantly recycle the same songs. Not Love and Affection-More Motown Girls, which was recently released by Kent Soul, an imprint of Ace Records.
Love and Affection-More Motown Girls features twenty tracks that will be new to everybody. These tracks have never been released before. The other five only made their debut in 2014. So for Motown fans, Love and Affection-More Motown Girls is going to come high on their Christmas wish-list.
No wonder. There’s contributions from Brenda Holloway, Gladys Knight and The Pips, Barbara Randolph, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, Debbie Dean, LaBrenda Ben and Barbara McNair. The only big name whose missing is La Ross. However, there’s plenty to occupy both newcomers to Motown, and veterans of countless compilations. For both camps, Love and Affection-More Motown Girls features a plethora of long forgotten hidden gems. They somewhat belatedly, make their debut on Love and Affection-More Motown Girls the followup to Finders Keepers- Motown Girls.
LOVE AND AFFECTION-MORE MOTOWN GIRLS.