Friday, November 30, 2007

Funky Friday - Hitsville U.S.A

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.

8 comments:

The Right Side Of Funky! said...

Gladys' version is way funkier and grossly overlooked. Keep it Mondo!

marmiteboy said...

What a version of 'Grapevine'. I got the tingle factor from it and that doesn't happen much anymore these days.

A word of praise to The Pips too. I wish you still saw dancing like that today. Fantastic stuff.

Planet Mondo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Planet Mondo said...

BC - it's a winner isn't it

MB - glad it gave you a Ready Brek glow. You can find Gladys's version of 'Grapevine' On Motown Chartbusters Vol 2- buy new or used for 60p from Amazon!!! Unreal

Davy H said...

Swell stuff as ever Mondo. Damn but The Supremes and The Tempts have those dance steps down don't they?

Planet Mondo said...

who needs hoppy skippy stop start with a mic and fake headset routines when you can frug and shrug like this lot

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