The Rita Wright Years: Rare Motown 1967-1970

The Rita Wright Years: Rare Motown 1967-1970

by Rita WrightRita Wright

CD

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Overview

Syreeta Wright had been doing receptionist, secretarial, and demo vocalist work for Motown when she made her recorded debut, as Rita Wright, on her employer's Gordy subsidiary. "I Can't Give Back the Love I Gave You," an aching number written by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson with Brian Holland, unfortunately went nowhere -- in a commercial sense -- upon its January 1968 release. It did reach Dusty Springfield, whose version was out in the U.K. by the end of November. Within a couple years, Wright co-wrote the Spinners' "It's a Shame" and gained more attention when she and fellow composer Stevie Wonder wed a few weeks after that smash began its chart ascent. As an artist, Wright remained in the shadows until 1972, when she released her Stevie-produced debut album. From 1967 through 1970, however, she recorded a high stack of shelved, frequently decent, occasionally excellent Motown material compiled here by the Kent label. According to Tony Rounce's liner notes, it includes everything Wright recorded that was mixed by a Motown engineer "at or close to the time of recording." "Love My Lovin' Man" alone was mixed later, in 2016. Only a quarter of the tracks were released previously, heard on the Cellarful of Motown series and Kent's Love and Affection: More Motown Girls, or via reissue on volume eight of The Complete Motown Singles. This shows that a lot of history remained. Take the demo of "Love Child." The day after Wright's vocal was recorded, Diana Ross' performance was overdubbed, and within two weeks, the official version was in shops, on its way to classic status. Most of the other songs have fascinating backgrounds detailed in the notes or track-by-track annotation. In some cases, the Henry Cosby/Sylvia Moy-written belter "(Touched) By the Hand of Love" especially, no illuminating context is required for enjoyment. That particular song easily surpasses "I Can't Give Back the Love I Gave You," which is here, along with its B-side, "Something on My Mind" (another Ashford & Simpson song), later recorded by Diana Ross for her self-titled solo album. Altogether, this completes the puzzle of a discography grown by a talent Motown concealed for too long.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/07/2016
Label: Imports
UPC: 0029667245524
catalogNumber: 3434602
Rank: 42513

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rita Wright   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Chris Clark   Composer
Laura Nyro   Composer
Gloria Jones   Composer
R. Dean Taylor   Composer
Joe Hinton   Composer,Producer
Clan   Producer
Nick Ashford   Composer,Producer
Jeffrey Bowen   Composer
Leonard Caston   Composer,Producer
Henry Cosby   Composer,Producer
Hal Davis   Producer
Lamont Dozier   Composer,Producer
Ronald Dunbar   Composer
Berry Gordy   Composer
Eddie Holland   Composer
Brian Holland   Composer,Producer
Brenda Holloway   Engineer
Don Hunter   Composer,Producer
Ivy Jo Hunter   Composer,Producer
Richard Morris   Producer
Deke Richards   Composer
Jimmy Roach   Composer,Producer
Pam Sawyer   Composer
Valerie Simpson   Composer,Producer
William Weatherspoon   Composer,Producer
Stevie Wonder   Composer,Producer
William Robinson   Composer
Tony Rounce   Liner Notes
Sylvia Moy   Composer,Producer
Frank Wilson   Composer
Robert Hamilton   Composer
Helen Lewis   Composer
Kay Lewis   Composer
Stephen Bowden   Composer
Edyth Wayne   Composer
Vicki Fox   Coloring
Jack Goga   Composer,Producer
Sherlie Matthews   Composer
Keith Hughes   Liner Notes
Stanley "Mike" Ossman   Composer
James Dean   Composer,Producer
Lula Hardaway   Composer
Joanne Bratton   Composer
Walter Fields   Composer

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