The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 9: 1969

The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 9: 1969




A Diana Ross & the Supremes B-side in 1969 was called "The Beginning of the End," and it's hard not to think that the title applies to Motown in 1969, especially as depicted in the six-disc, 148-track box set The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 9: 1969. Berry Gordy uprooted Motown to Los Angeles at the end of 1968, a move that couldn't help but be seen as symbolic no matter what good business reasons there might have been behind it. It seemed that Gordy was abandoning Detroit in the wake of the 1967 Riots, leaving behind tumult in the Motor City and also severing ties with the label's roots, if not its history. It was ten years since the label's inception, and in that decade Motown rose from a scrappy independent to a label with so much success it was almost an institution, and what better way to cement its mainstream institutional success than by relocating to the heart of show biz? It made sense on paper even if it nevertheless had the byproduct of removing some of the label's soul, as it seemed as if its heart belonged in Detroit. But most cultural change is slow, not sudden, so it's not like 1969 saw the debut of a brand-new Motown: instead, it was the beginning of the label's third act, one that saw it broadening its borders and eventually leading to the artistic triumphs of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye in the early '70s -- in other words, it was "the beginning of the end." Within that fledgling ending were remnants of the very beginning, of course, sometimes remnants that appeared to be just a shade too self-conscious, as when Gordy had Detroit TV legend Soupy Sales cut a single, almost as a way to illustrate how Motown still had ties to its hometown even if the 45 itself was an ultra-bizarre "Macarthur Park" parody non-too subtly titled "Muck-Arty Park." And, of course, the label's leading lights remained the superstars from the '60s -- Diana Ross & the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder. But even if the names are familiar, the sounds reflected the time, as the productions are studded with wah wah guitars, fuzztones, and elastic funk beats. The feeling of the era is reflected most glaringly in the very title of "Psychedelic Shack," but also in how Smokey Robinson & the Miracles sang Dion's "Abraham Martin & John," the elegiac undertones of the Supremes' "Someday We'll Be Together," and the smooth, lush tones of Wonder's "My Cherie Amour." These lush, soft tones are improbably echoed in, of all places, Jr. Walker's recordings; once the toughest, hardest of the Motown stable, he is also held under the sway of the softer sophistication of the new era Motown (quite fetchingly so on "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)") unlike Marvin Gaye, whose "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby" has a bounciness to it that is the closest thing to a throwback to classic Motown among the hits in 1969. Even if the sound recalled earlier days, there's a sophistication within his writing and the production, just as there is in Stevie Wonder's "Yester Me, Yester You, Yesterday," which is one of his best moments. Nevertheless, these kind of mammoth hits -- hits that turned into pop classics -- didn't dominate Motown's year; they were the exception, not the rule, as the label had its most uneven year since 1963. From 1964 through 1968, almost every single the label released turned into a hit of some magnitude, and their bench was so deep the records that didn't appear on the charts were nevertheless by and large terrific. In 1969, Motown had hits that weren't memorable, singles that were exercises in fashionable styles and sounds, singles that suggested that the label was chasing trends instead of setting the pace. Part of this was due to cultural shifts, part was due to shifts within Motown, as Gordy decided to attack the times head-on by opening up a rock label with Rare Earth and started distributing Chisa, the label of world music pioneer Hugh Masekela and his partner Stewart Levine. Such digressions do dilute the consistency of the listening experience on The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 9, making it compare unfavorably to the almost all-killer sets from 1966, 1967 and 1968. But even if there is more pop culture archaeology here than there has been on one of these sets since 1963, most of these records sound good as artifacts of 1969; on these also-rans the production is appealing, all that is lacking is good material. But amidst this middling material are some very good, even excellent, singles thanks to Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Norman Whitfield and Ashford & Simpson, who helped give this year many great moments. But what really defined the year for Motown is the debut of the Jackson 5, whose debut "I Want You Back"/"Who's Lovin' You" arrived at the end of the year. On this set, it appears toward the end of the set, following several discs of music that vacillate between the good to the pleasingly mediocre, so it sounds every bit as bracing and exciting as it did upon its original release. It's a hit that closed the door on Motown's period of doldrums and opened the doors to a new decade, while giving the label its biggest new stars in years.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/12/2008
Label: Hip-O Select
UPC: 0602517507722
catalogNumber: 001027002
Rank: 173834


Disc 1

  1. Twenty-Five Miles
  2. Love Is My Destination
  3. I'm Livin in Shame
  4. I'm So Glad I Got Somebody (Like You Around)
  5. Good Lovin' Aint Easy to Come By
  6. Satisfied Feelin'
  7. We've Got a Way out of Love
  8. You're the One
  9. We've Got a Way out of Love
  10. My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)
  11. I've Got to Find Myself a Brand New Baby
  12. Muck-Arty-Park
  13. Green Grow the Lilacs
  14. I Don't Know Why
  15. My Cherie Amour
  16. Don't Know Why I Love You
  17. Runaway Child, Running Wild
  18. I Need Your Lovin'
  19. Don't Mess with My Weekend
  20. I Had a Dream
  21. Ain't No Justice
  22. Didn't You Know (You'd Have to Cry Sometime)
  23. Keep an Eye

Disc 2

  1. I'll Try Something New
  2. The Way You Do the Things You Do
  3. Are You Lonely for Me Baby
  4. Your Wonderful Love
  5. Are You Lonely for Me Baby
  6. I Feel Like Falling in Love Again
  7. Pin Point It Down
  8. (We've Got) Honey Love
  9. I'm in Love (And I Know It)
  10. Runnaway Child, Running Wild
  11. Gonna Give Her All the Love I've Got
  12. For Better or Worse
  13. Don't Mess with Bill
  14. The Composer
  15. The Beginning of the End
  16. My Cup Runneth Over
  17. Ask the Lonely
  18. Too Busy Thinking About My Baby
  19. Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)
  20. What Is a Man
  21. Don't Bring Back Memories
  22. Cherie
  23. Baby
  24. What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)
  25. Brainwasher, Pt. 1

Disc 3

  1. Don't Let the Joneses Get You Down
  2. Since I've Lost You
  3. Just Ain't Enough Love
  4. Green Grow the Lilacs
  5. No Matter What Sign You Are
  6. The Young Folks
  7. No Matter What Sign You Are
  8. I'm Still a Struggling Man
  9. Pretty Little Angel
  10. The Nitty Gritty
  11. Got Myself a Good Man
  12. Doggone Right
  13. Here I Go Again
  14. Abraham, Martin, And John
  15. Abraham, Martin, And John
  16. I've Lost Everything I've Ever Loved
  17. We Have a Good Thing Going On
  18. Stubborn Kind of Fellow
  19. Try It Baby
  20. The Luney Landing
  21. The Luney Take-Off
  22. Oh, I've Been Blessed
  23. It Should Have Been Me Loving Her
  24. Cheating, Is Telling on You
  25. Need Your Love

Disc 4

  1. Oh How Happy
  2. Ooo Baby Baby
  3. My Springtime
  4. Suzie
  5. My Girl Has Gone
  6. I Can't Get Next to You
  7. Running Away (Ain't Gonna Help You)
  8. That's the Way Love Is
  9. Gonna Keep on Tryin' Till I Win Your Love
  10. Honey Come Back
  11. What Am I Gonna Do Without You
  12. Baby, I'm for Real
  13. Moment of Truth
  14. Taking My Love (And Leaving Me)
  15. Heartless
  16. In Bed
  17. Reality
  18. The Weight
  19. For Better or Worse
  20. A Whiter Shade of Pale
  21. When You Are Available
  22. Just Another Lonely Night
  23. Don't Care Why You Want Me (Long as You Want Me)
  24. Midnight Cowboy
  25. Green Grow the Lilacs

Disc 5

  1. That's How Heartaches Are Made
  2. Rainy Mourning
  3. Home on the Range (Everybody Needs a Home)
  4. It's a Family Thing
  5. Mend This Generation
  6. A Place in the Sun
  7. Your Love
  8. Never Had a Cream Come True
  9. Yester Me, Yester You, Yesterday
  10. I'd Be a Fool Right Now
  11. It's Private Tonight
  12. Let's Make Some Love
  13. These Eyes
  14. I've Got to Find a Way to Win Maria Back
  15. Friendship Train
  16. Cloud Nine
  17. In My Diary
  18. (She's Gonna Love Me) At Sundown
  19. I Want You Back
  20. Who's Lovin' You
  21. If You Will Let Me, I Know I Can
  22. Farewell Is a Lonely Sound
  23. Gonna Put It on Your Mind
  24. Henry Blake

Disc 6

  1. Someday We'll Be Together
  2. He's My Sunny Boy
  3. Don't Let Him Take Your Love from Me
  4. The Key
  5. Baby, I'll Get It
  6. The Day the World Stood Still
  7. What You Gave Me
  8. How You Gonna Keep It (After You Get It)
  9. Generation (Light Up the Sky)
  10. Magic Key
  11. I'm So Glad I Fell for You
  12. I Pray Every Day You Won't Regret Loving Me
  13. I'm So Glad I Fell for You
  14. Point It Out
  15. Darling Dear
  16. Point It Out
  17. Can We Talk to You? (For a Little While)
  18. Love and Peace
  19. Can't You Hear the Music Play
  20. I Guess This Is Goodbye
  21. I Will Never Love Another
  22. Love Unto Me
  23. How Can I Forget
  24. Gonna Give Her All the Love I Got
  25. Psychedelic Shack
  26. That's the Way Love Is

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Shorty Long   Piano,Trumpet,Vocals
Hal Davis   Accompaniment
Hal Davis Singers   Accompaniment

Technical Credits

Ivory Joe Hunter   Composer,Producer
Wayne Henderson   Arranger
Marvin Gaye   Composer,Producer
Gladys Knight   Composer
Robbie Robertson   Composer
Smokey Robinson   Composer,Producer
Edwin Starr   Composer
Arthur Adams   Composer,Photo Courtesy
Randy Bachman   Composer
Gary Brooker   Composer
Lincoln Chase   Composer
Burton Cummings   Composer
Gene Page   Arranger
Barrett Strong   Composer
R. Dean Taylor   Composer
Joe Hinton   Composer
Wade Marcus   Arranger,Producer
Nick Ashford   Composer
Tom Baird   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Jimmy Barnes   Composer
Hidle Brown Barnum   Arranger
Bert Berns   Composer
Johnny Bristol   Composer,Producer
Billie Jean Brown   Composer,Producer
Vernon Bullock   Composer
Henry Cosby   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Hal Davis   Producer
Lamont Dozier   Composer,Producer
Oma Drake   Composer
Dino Fekaris   Composer
Wilton Felder   Composer
Harvey Fuqua   Composer,Producer
Gwen Fuqua   Producer
Stu Gardner   Arranger,Composer,Adaptation
Anna Gordy Gaye   Composer
Berry Gordy   Composer,Producer
George Gordy   Composer,Producer
Bill Halley   Composer
Eddie Holland   Composer
Brian Holland   Composer,Producer
Don Hunter   Composer,Producer
Terry Johnson   Producer,Photo Courtesy
Jerry Long   Arranger
Clay McMurray   Producer
Ronald Dean Miller   Composer,Producer
Warren "Pete" Moore   Composer,Producer
Richard Morris   Composer,Producer
Clarence Paul   Composer
Ben Raleigh   Composer
Keith Reid   Composer
Deke Richards   Producer
Paul Riser   Arranger,Composer
Jimmy Roach   Composer
Pam Sawyer   Composer
Willie Shorter   Arranger
Valerie Simpson   Composer,Producer
C.P. Spencer   Composer
William "Mickey" Stevenson   Producer
William Weatherspoon   Composer,Producer
Harry Weinger   Augmenting
Norman Whitfield   Composer,Producer
Stevie Wonder   Composer,Producer
Willie Woods   Composer
Nick Zesses   Composer
Suzanne de Passe   Composer,Producer
Duke Browner   Composer,Producer
Bobby Rogers   Composer
Bill Dahl   Track Annotations
Harvey Schmidt   Composer
Robert Gordy   Composer
Merald "Bubba" Knight   Composer
Raynard Miner   Composer
Allen Story   Composer,Producer
Walter Gaines   Composer
Wes Henderson   Composer
Sylvia Moy   Composer
Marvin Tarplin   Composer
Margaret Johnson   Composer
Harry Balk   Producer
Janie Bradford   Composer
Dick Bakker   Composer
Elgie Stover   Composer
William Witherspoon   Composer
Jackey Beavers   Composer
Beatrice Verdi   Composer
Cleveland   Producer
Robert White   Arranger
Raynoma Gordy Singleton   Composer
Corporation   Composer
Pat Lawrence   Executive Producer
Thomas Kemp   Composer
Jeff Smith   Art Direction
Traditional   Composer
Dick Holler   Composer
Lula Mae Hardaway   Composer
Tom Jones   Composer
Henry Dixon   Composer
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Frank Beaty Wilson   Producer
Quattrocchi   Art Direction
Andrew Skurow   Tape Research
James Frank Dean   Producer
Freddie Gorman   Composer
Lynn Henderson   Composer
Kenny Folick   Composer
Keith Hughes   Producer,Track Annotations
Jack Eschew   Arranger
Frank Kavelin   Arranger,Composer
Larry Perrault   Composer
Doris McNeil   Composer

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