Jump to content
  • Sign Up
tomangoes

Quality control review panel...Motown

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, tomangoes said:

Is it not amazing that this panel back in the day, missed so many great records....at first anyway..

However, can it be assumed that any single that did get released on general sale did get approved? 

Ed

 

Unbelievably, given the plethora of excellent recordings that Motown left in the can from 1962-1970, that might even be a gross understatement.  I find it quite impossible to even believe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that Brenda (and Patrice) had a deal where she paid for her own studio and production time (in exchange for a better royalty deal for the stuff that WAS released) - so getting her in the studio excessively meant that Motown were owed lots of money, making their books look great to the bank at a time when the company was actually skint (in fact she still technically owes them about $50k - though nevertheless they've always been very good at paying her royalties).

It strikes me too that much of the unreleased stuff sounds quite 'independent' Detroit compared to the bulk of their releases at a time when BG was driving hard to consolidate 'the motown sound' as something different and identifiable.

Dx

Edited by DaveNPete

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, tomangoes said:

I also wonder what the 'break even' number was for singles sales? 

Production costs can't have been that high when it was based at Hitsville..

I don't think the studio costs involved were the real issue when it came to what escaped on a 45 back then. The only effective way in the 60's to get the word out about a new release was via radio plays. Radio DJ's / programme directors were careful not to feature too many tracks on the same label at once (payola charges being about). ALSO the distributors only had the resources to push a certain number of releases (to get them to radio stns, etc). So, the number of releases on each label was rationed in a way. That's one of the reasons that Motown ended up with 5 or more different labels ... a DJ would happily feature a track on the Tamla, Motown, VIP, Soul, Gordy labels at the same time but couldn't really play 6 singles on (say) Motown on the same show (also different labels were assigned to seperate distributors, thereby keeping their staff on their toes & on the job).

Edited by Roburt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, DaveNPete said:

I know that Brenda (and Patrice) had a deal where she paid for her own studio and production time (in exchange for a better royalty deal for the stuff that WAS released) - so getting her in the studio excessively meant that Motown were owed lots of money, making their books look great to the bank at a time when the company was actually skint (in fact she still technically owes them about $50k - though nevertheless they've always been very good at paying her royalties).

It strikes me too that much of the unreleased stuff sounds quite 'independent' Detroit compared to the bulk of their releases at a time when BG was driving hard to consolidate 'the motown sound' as something different and identifiable.

Dx

do you think they focussed on 'that motown sound' at the expense of individual artist development Dave?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For  an independent label Motown had a huge output. They  based their releases on an average of a couple of singles a week from the five labels with  some obviously more prominent than others. In that respect they got it about right. They could only release so much and under those circumstance some high quality material is always going to  go missing/shelved for whatever reason. 

That aside their treatment of the Isley Brothers seemed pretty bad. The cover of the first LP TOHOM was a disgrace. Not giving them the artistic freedom they needed and  deserved and then letting them go after a few years seems a big mistake. All those great LPs that followed could have been under the  Motown banner. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Roburt said:

I don't think the studio costs involved were the real issue when it came to what escaped on a 45 back then. The only effective way in the 60's to get the word out about a new release was via radio plays. Radio DJ's / programme directors were careful not to feature too many tracks on the same label at once (payola charges being about). ALSO the distributors only had the resources to push a certain number of releases (to get them to radio stns, etc). So, the number of releases on each label was rationed in a way. That's one of the reasons that Motown ended up with 5 or more different labels ... a DJ would happily feature a track on the Tamla, Motown, VIP, Soul, Gordy labels at the same time but couldn't really play 6 singles on (say) Motown on the same show (also different labels were assigned to seperate distributors, thereby keeping their staff on their toes & on the job).

always wondered why they had so many sub labels, without any real distinction between styles or genre 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I recall, Berry was one of the "Quality Control Panel".  I never heard of him "overruling" any of their decisions.  But I would guess that he may have done that on a few Chris Clark or Diana Ross songs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wasn't it the practise to close the door to the room where the panel was meeting right on the alloted start time of the event. Didn't matter who you were (except BG), you didn't get in if you turned up late (even Smokey was barred entry on occasions). Everything 100% business like @ Motown HQ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Comment now!

Comments are members only

Sign Up

Join Soul Source - Free & easy!

Sign up now!

Sign in

Sign in here.

Sign in now!

Adverts



×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.