The Funky Cuts
Whilst Motown in the sixties was classed as an independent label its recorded output and subsequent releases (and unreleases) would approach some so called major labels. It differed from other indies in that it owned studios. Studio A had the Funk brothers in residence working at least five days week doing backing tracks. In another room in the converted houses at 2648 W Grand Blvd, Detroit producers would be adding vocals to those backing tracks. Berry Gordy bought Golden World records to get access to another studio.
All recordings which producers thought were good enough to be 45s were brought to the Monday morningQuality Control meeting and approved or rejected. Some of the tracks might end up on an album, some might be given to another artist to redo the vocals whilst some songs might have been given to another producer and arranger to come up with a different version.
The Miracles did the first recording of I Heard it through the Grapevine which was rejected for 45 release and ended up on the Special Occasions LP, Marvin Gaye did the next version again rejected and place on an album In the Groove.and so Gladys Knight and The Pips passed the quality control test and had a #2 hit single. In the meantime FM jocks were playing the song from In The Groove and Motown released Marvin's version and Grapevine hit #1.
Other producers and writers were not so lucky and their recordings remained in the vaults. Then with another revival of Motown in the late nineties and the popularity of CD compilations Motown UK started to release compilations dedicated to unreleased or album only material. Inspired by bootlegs or just following on from similar seventies vinyl compilations which were being played during the latest Northern Soul revival.
I've hauled out my compilations and put together a playlist of Motown recordings which I don't think I've played on The Funky Cuts previously.13:00 - 14:00