Hip-O Select, the new, Internet-only mail-order division of Universal, raised some eyebrows late in 2004 when it announced it was undertaking one of the most ambitious projects ever from an American record label — nothing short of a complete documentation of the classic hits (and misses) of the Motown Sound.
Tag Archives: motown
The buzz going around Motown after the Jackson 5 auditioned for Berry Gordy on July 23, 1968, was deafening.
Here was a seemingly rag-tag group of siblings — the oldest being Jackie at age 17 — from Gary, Ind., with a strict tyrant of a father and a devout Jehovah’s Witness of a mother, that danced up a storm and sang like angels. And they did it so professionally that they were about to outshine many of Motown’s biggest adult stars.
As far as the Jackson 5 were concerned, the magic wouldn’t last much longer.
1971 would see the Jackson 5 score two #2 hits, with “Mama’s Pearl” and the ballad “Never Can Say Goodbye.” Then the wildfire that was the Jackson 5 began to show signs of diminishing, as “Maybe Tomorrow,” still an R&B Top 5 fave, became their first single not to make the pop Top Ten.
Stevie Wonder was one of the artists who helped establish Motown as a force to be reckoned within the music world. (Motown)
Inspired by both the emergent rock-funk fusion sounds of Sly & The Family Stone and the socially aware songs of Motown’s latest writing team, the Clan (R. Dean Taylor, Pam Sawyer, Frank Wilson and Deke Richards, authors of The Supremes’ “Love Child”), Whitfield and partner Barrett Strong commenced their assault on Motown’s ingrained sensibilities with “Cloud Nine,” a psychedelic-soul synthesis which combined momentum and message to emerge utterly unique.