Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by tomstockman, Mar 4, 2016.
Yeah, that must have felt especially sweet.
Motown fanatics hate to hear this, but Motown was a really authoritative company. And like the teenager who has outgrown the protection of their parents, the artists had to get out from under that thumb so they could grow.
Speaking of Motown alumni . . . the Four Tops were settling in at their new label, Dunhill, with "Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got)." Ended up stalling at #2 here, and #4 on the Hot 100, but became one of their best-known hits and their biggest on that label (and, overall, post-Motown).
It took someone like Berry Gordy to make Motown the success it was, but his control freak nature also ensured Motown would only go so far before hitting a wall.
This was a great hit. Problems at Dunhill probably didn't do their career any favors. ABC was on a downward slide into the grave the entire decade.
Especially after they ixnayed Dunhill and acquired Famous Music's labels (notably Dot). And the Tops weren't the only ones to suffer. But yeah.
Have no quibble with that observation, but . . . authoritative? Shouldn't that be "authoritarian"? After all, that term more described the manner in which Gordy ran the show . . .
Right around this time another former Motown group was experiencing a resurgence on the charts after switching labels.
And yet another ex-Motown group will be showing up on another label in the second half of the year after their last Motown hurrah.
Oops! Didn't see the post where this was already featured.
ABC dissolved the Dunhill label in 1974 and, and its artists were absorbed into the proper ABC label. For a time, ABC keeped the Blues Way, Back Beat, Impulse, and Dot labels active for a couple of years after they folded the Dunhill label,
ABC enjoyed great success throughout most of the 70s with many artists like Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan, The Dramatics, Billy "Crash" Craddock, Stephen Bishop, Rhythm Heritage, Three Dog Night, Steely Dan, B.B. KIng, B.J. Thomas, as well as Poco, Freddy Fender, The Floaters, Carl Carlton, and those on their other distributed labels like The Crusaders, Pointer Sisters, Isaac Hayes, and Ace.
Seems the ABC label found itself on a fast downward spiral towards the end of 1978, and was sold to MCA.
ABC had financial troubles throughout the decade, and stupid, short sighted management. They enjoyed some success, but much of that came from acts that had already been signed at this point.
Yes, authoritarian. But, in the mid-70s, Berry did step somewhat into the background and executives like Suzanne DePasse and jermaine Jackson became more involved in the day-to-day operations or A&R. But, make no mistake: Gordy still had his finger on the trigger, and he still got involved in production and songwriting when he felt strongly about a project. I like that he didn't meddle with what Rick James and Teena Marie were doing.
Aretha released this single only tune, produced by Quincey Jones who did the honors for her subsequent LP Hey Now Hey (The Other Side Of The Sky). She was rewarded with yet another R&B Grammy.
However it did not become #1, I'd prefer it to "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" any time.
For me, both songs have their merits . . .
That was issued on Atlantic single 45-2941. The prior catalogue single - 45-2940 - was allotted to a record that we are now examining on the thread for the pop chart.
There was another label, hot in the '70's, that was also on a downward spiral in that same time period (late 1978), and latched on to a major - RCA - for distribution afterward. We'll get to said label a few Number Ones from now here.
If someone forced me at gunpoint to choose between "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" and "Ain't No Woman (Like The One I've Got)" I'd tell 'em to just shoot me.
The Tops were downright revitalized moving labels - something we'll see again come '81.
With this Spinners song, plus the singles of Roberta Flack and Aretha Franklin, Atlantic was certainly on fire in this period . . .
And on the rock side of the house Dusty Springfield had turned Atlantic on to Zep while she was recording Dusty In Memphis. Signing them payed off by the millions. She shoulda got a cut.
Hah! To synchronize with the other Billboard thread, I now present to you:
Love Train - O'Jays
My sister bought this 45 along with the previously discussed "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder. In fact, I played this one even more, and I remember it charted into April of that year. It was a very popular record across the board.
I have expounded on this on the pop thread, and should share my analysis here as well . . .
- - -
Come to think of it, "Love Train" seemed to be Gamble & Huff's riff on the theme of Cat Stevens' "Peace Train" . . . except the former in terms of where they were going were more specific than on the latter. Think about it . . .
"The next stop that we make will be England,
Tell all the folks in Russia, and China too.
Don't you know that it's time to get on board,
And let this train keep on ridin', ridin' on through.
"All of your brothers over in Africa,
Tell all the folks in Egypt, and Israel too.
Please don't miss this train at the station,
'Cause if you miss it, I feel sorry, sorry for you."
"Get your bags together,
Go bring your good friends too.
'Cause it's getting nearer,
It soon will be with you.
Come and join the living,
It's not so far from you. (a line I'd misheard from time to time as "Next stop's afar from you")
And it's getting nearer,
Soon it will all be true."
First-pressing labels, shown on this post, had Bobby Martin credited as arranger, while later pressings credited Thom Bell. In any event, it grooved enough to not only be the O'Jays' only #1 pop hit (with lead vocals divided between Eddie Levert and Walter Williams), but also Philadelphia International's second. (NOTE: This was PIR's fourth topper on the soul charts, and the O'Jays' second.)
In the end, the LP that contained this, Back Stabbers, had a full 80% of its content issued as singles. The only ones that didn't get released in 45 RPM form in "the States" were two Side 1 tracks, "When The World's At Peace" and "(They Call Me) Mr. Lucky."
As for "992 Arguments," its B side - a "quiet storm"-esque ballad called "Listen To The Clock On The Wall" - also garnered some airplay, and thematically was similar to "Me And Mrs. Jones."
"992 Arguments" was also issued as a single with a catalogue number 3522 before "Love Train" was released. "Love Train" had a catalog number of 3524.
I remember "992 Arguments" got considerable play on Soul Train.
And within the month "Love Train" peaked, PIR released another O'Jays' single - "Time To Get Down" (ZS7 3531).
Four singles from the same album was dang uncommon in those days.
the only one I can think of that came as close is "Tapestry" by Carole King.
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