sábado, 20 de junio de 2009

The Marvelettes: The Marvelettes / Sophisticated Soul (1967-68)

Probably the most pop-oriented of Motown's major female acts, the Marvelettes might not project as strong an identity as the Supremes, Mary Wells, or Martha Reeves, but recorded quite a few hits, including Motown's first number one single, ‘Please Mr. Postman’, in 1961. Featuring two strong lead singers, Gladys Horton and Wanda Young, the Marvelettes went through five different lineups, but maintained a high standard on their recordings. After a few years, they moved from girl group sounds to up-tempo and mid-tempo numbers that were more characteristic of Motown's production line. They received no small help from Smokey Robinson, who produced and wrote many of their singles. Their partnership with Robinson is particularly evident on their fifth album, The Marvelettes, released in 1967, which spawned the massively popular ‘The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game’. The song just missed the top of the R&B charts, peaking at #2, and hit #13 at Pop. They followed with a remake of Ruby & the Romantics' ‘When You're Young and in Love,’ written by Van McCoy, peaking at #9 at R&B, #23 at Pop and #13 in the UK. The rest of the album tracks are consistently exciting: ‘He Was Really Saying Somethin'’ grabs you from the first measure with a savvy guitar/piano hook, spacious percussion and a bustling bass line; two uptempo tunes, ‘Keep Off, No Trespassing’ and ‘Barefootin',’ overcome obvious hooks with sheer energy; other highlights are ‘The Day You Take One (You Have to Take the Other)’ and the lovely ballad ‘This Night Was Made For Love’. Perhaps this is the best studio album the Marvelettes ever recorded. The spotlight was shared between Horton and Young, and one can attest to the differences in their styles (Horton was earthier, Young the more pop-oriented). Their next record, Sophisticated Soul (1968), was one of the best album of covers Motown ever did. The group was at its peak during these sessions, and was getting excellent production and outstanding musical support from the great studio band. From the opening ‘My Baby Must Be A Magician’ (#8 R&B, #17 Pop) to ‘Destination: Anywhere’, or ‘You’re The One For Me Bobby’, you get that lush mix of pop and soul that Motown was famous for. For trivia buffs: former Andante Anne Bogan made her debut as a Marvelette here singing ‘I'm Gonna Hold on Long as I Can’. Even if this album was not as good as their previous effort, it was however another artistic triumph and a proof that girl groups can mature with age. You can have now both albums on this nice two-in-one set. http://www.warr.org/, http://en.wikipedia.org/, http://www.allmusic.com/, http://soulstrut.com/
The Marvelous Marvelettes sing 'Don't Mess with Bill':
On Teen Town performing 'Too Many Fish in the Sea':

3 comentarios:

Nosi dijo...


samlarmisse dijo...

Many thanks!

hooch dijo...

Thank You!