Every Friday is Funky Friday on Planet Mondo and this week brings you two youtube alternative takes on Tamla tunes, and three tracks that breakdown the mechanics of Motown classics.
Funk Brothers band leader Joe Hunter on the start of the Motown Sound
There can be an element of sniffery towards Motown from some Soul and Funk purists - the production line production, the radio friendly Funk arrangements (I feel the same about Trojan Reggae - it's good but the high frequencies and searing strings are a sweetened and diluted version of Studio One), but one of the first albums I owned when I started moving away from stand alone singles to the joined up listening of LP's was 'The Big Wheels of Motown', so I'll always have a soft spot for Motown.
The template, foundation and roots of Northern Soul can be traced back to the Motor City sound and in particular The Supremes 'Love is Like An Itching in My Heart' - Larry over at Funk 16 Corners does a great piece on this theory here.
First up is a Tamla team up with The Supremes and The Temptations vamping like crazy on a franticly funky 'I'm Losing You' - the Rod and the Faces Rock and Soul rework is also well worth a peep here.
Marvin Gaye's 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' may be the definitive version of the song but Gladys knight and the Pips were the first to record it in 1967. GK and the P's version is a faster, looser, downtown shakedown and completley different 'Grapevine' to Marvin Gaye's snake hips take.
This trio of treats are instrumentals of Motown classics and have deliberate drop outs and isolated instrumental breaks which give a peep at the engine, mechanics and component parts of the Motor City sound.
I Was Made To Love Her -instrumental
For Once In My Life -instrumental
I Can't Help Myself - Piano Version
There's an unreleased Motown nugget on a previous post here
And finally If you do happen to be in the sunny Southend (Leigh on Sea)area tonight, why not pop along to Weird Fantasy where Paul Sigg's, Agent Cooper and possibly even me may be spinning a few of these winners.