Brian-Lamont-Eddie, 1965-1966

more Holland-Dozier-Holland

Brian, Lamont, and EddieWhen Holland–Dozier–Holland was a songwriting and production team for Motown in the 1960s, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland were the composers and producers for each song, and Eddie Holland wrote the lyrics and arranged the vocals.

Here are more songs by Brian-Lamont-Eddie that I own, excluding most of the big hits of the Supremes, who will be covered separately. H-D-H wrote 10 of the Supremes’ 12 US No. 1 singles.

Nowhere To Run – Martha and the Vandellas, #8 pop, #5 RB in 1965
Whisper You Love Me Boy – The Supremes, B-side of Back In My Arms Again, 1965
I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – The Four Tops, #1 pop, and RB in 1965
It’s The Same Old Song – The Supremes, album cut in 1967 (Orig.  The Four Tops, #5, pop, #2 RB in 1965)
Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While) – The Doobie Brothers, #11 pop in 1975 (Orig. Kim Weston, #50 pop, #4 RB in 1965
Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things) – Martha and the Vandellas, #70 pop, #22 RB in 1965

1966

Put Yourself In My Place – The Supremes, album cut in 1966 (Orig. The Elgins – #92 pop in 1966)
Shake Me, Wake Me (When It’s Over) – The Four Tops, #18 pop, #5 RB
This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak for You) – The Supremes, album cut in 1966 ( Orig. The Isley Brothers, #12 pop, #6 RB in 1966. Written by H-D-H and Sylvia Moy
(I’m a) Road Runner – Jr. Walker and the All-Stars, #20 pop, #4 RB in 1966
Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart – The Supremes, #9 pop, #7 RB in 1966

I Guess I’ll Always Love You – The Supremes, album cut in 1967 (Orig. The Isley Brothers, #61 pop, #31 RB in 1966)
You Can’t Hurry Love – Phil Collins, #10 pop in 1982 (Orig. The Supremes, #1 pop and RB in 1966)
Little Darling (I Need You) – The Doobie Brothers, #48 in 1977 (Orig. Marvin Gaye, #47 pop, #10 RB in 1966
Reach Out I’ll Be There – The Four Tops, #1 pop, and RB in 1966
Love’s Gone Bad – Chris Clark, #41 pop in 1966. Looking for the video, I found a version by Michael Jackson, released in 1984 but clearly recorded earlier

I’m Ready For Love – Martha and the Vandellas, #9 pop, #2 RB
You Keep Me Hangin’ On – Vanilla Fudge, #67 pop in 1967, #6 pop in 1968; album version; (Orig. The Supremes, #1 pop and RB in 1966)
(Come ‘Round Here) I’m The One You Need– The Jackson Five, album cut in 1970 (Orig. The Miracles, #17 pop, #4 RB in 1966
Standing In The Shadow Of Love – The Four Tops, #6 pop, #2 RB in 1966

Holland-Dozier-Holland, 1963-1964

Len Barry’s 1-2-3?

Holland-Dozier-HollandOne of my favorite albums growing up was The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland. It was a bit of a silly name as virtually all of the trio’s hits were written by Brian, Lamont, and Eddie.

The writers were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

After Lamont Dozier died recently, I decided to link to some of their songs. How do I choose? If I own the track, I’ve included it.

Except for The Supremes. I’m going for the more obscure tracks. Know, though, that the writers wrote ALL of their hits, from Where Did Our Love Go in 1964 to Forever Came Today in early 1968. I’m sure I’ll share more Supremes/H-D-H hits in 2024.

I also opted for some non-Motown covers. Ultimately, I decided that H-D-H is worth multiple posts, so that’s what I’ll do.

Come and Get These Memories– Martha and the Vandellas, #29 pop, #6 RB in 1963
Heat Wave – Linda Ronstadt, #5 pop in 1975 (Orig. Martha and the Vandellas, #4 pop, #1 RB)
A Love Like Yours (Don’t Come Knocking Every Day)- Ike and Tina Turner, #16 UK in 1966 (Orig. Martha and the Vandellas)
Mickey’s Monkey – The Miracles, #8 pop, #3 RB in 1963
Can I Get A Witness – Marvin Gaye, #22 pop, #3 RB in 1963

Quicksand – Martha and the Vandellas, #8 pop, #7 RB in 1963
When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes – The Supremes, #23 pop, #2 RB in 1963
Leaving Here – Eddie Holland, #76 pop, #27 RB in 1963
Run, Run, Run – The Supremes, #93 pop, #22 RB in 1963
You’re A Wonderful One – Marvin Gaye, #15 pop, #3 RB in 1963

1964

Baby, I Need Your Loving – Johnny Rivers, #3 pop in 1967 (Orig.  Four Tops, #11 pop, #4 RB in 1964)
Baby Don’t You Do It – The Band, #34 pop in 1972 (Orig. Marvin Gaye, #27 pop, #14 in 1964)
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) – James Taylor, #5 pop in 1975 (Orig. Marvin Gaye, #6 pop, #3 RB)

Ask Any Girl – The Supremes, B-side of Baby Love, 1964; 1-2-3 – Len Berry, #2 pop, #11 RB in 1965. Holland, Dozier, and Holland received a co-writing credit for 1-2-3, originally credited to John Madara, David White, and Len Barry, after a court decided that the song bore similarities to Ask Any Girl. I did not know this.

Obsessed with cover songs

Walk Away Renee

Beatles' Second Album backOK, I admit it: I’m obsessed with cover songs. And it goes back decades. I discovered that the source of most of the US album Meet The Beatles was the UK collection With The Beatles. What was cut? Why five of the six cover songs, all but Til There Was You from The Music Man. The five covers were all soul-related and showed up on The Beatles’ Second Album.

Motown was always putting songs from one artist as album cuts for another. A tune written and produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland might show up on both a Supremes and Four Tops album. Several songs written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, and produced by Whitfield, were recorded by both the Temptations and Gladys Knight and the Pips. The Temps recorded War, but Motown, fearing it might be too controversial, allowed the lesser-profiled Edwin Starr to release the single and get the hit.

I’ve listened to every episode of Coverville, which recently hit the 1400th episode milestone. The tracks here are, to the best of my knowledge, NOT on those OTHER cover songs posts I’ve created. 

Hound Dog: Big Mama ThortonElvis Presley

Proud Mary: Creedence Clearwater RevivalIke and Tina Turner 

Me And Bobby McGee: Roger MillerJanis Joplin 

Try A Little Tenderness: New Mayfield Dance OrchestraOtis Redding 

I Fought The Law: The Crickets; The Bobby Fuller Four; The Clash

I’m Not Your Stepping Stone: Paul Revere and the Raiders; The Monkees – not all that different

See this post about Walk Away Renee.

More toonz

I Can’t Get Next To You: The TemptationsAl Green

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?: The Shirelles; Carole King with the Mitchell-Taylor Boy and Girl Choir, co-written by CK

Alison: Elvis CostelloLinda Ronstadt. Elvis HATED Linda’s covers of his songs.

Fire: Bruce Springsteen;  The Pointer Sisters

Wrecking Ball: Neil Young; Emmylou Harris

Tainted Love: Gloria Jones; Soft Cell

MacArthur Park: Richard Harris; Donna Summer

I Am Waiting: The Rolling StonesOllabelle

Everytime You Go Away: Hall and OatesPaul Young 

Sail Away: Randy NewmanEtta James

Stand By Me:  Ben E. King; John Lennon

Bye Bye Love: The Everly BrothersGeorge Harrison – a rewrite inspired by his breakup with Pattie Boyd

Just a few Berry Gordy songs

Motown founder

Since it’s the 91st birthday of Berry Gordy, I thought I would link to a few of the songs he wrote or co-wrote. According to the ASCAP database, there are over 350 of them.

ABC – Jackson Five, #1 for four weeks RB, #1 for two weeks pop in 1970. As part of The Corporation TM – Gordy, Freddie Perren, Deke Richards, and Alphonzo Mizell – they “were responsible for the writing, production, and arranging” of J5 singles such as I Want You Back, The Love You Save, Mama’s Pearl, and Maybe Tomorrow.

Bingo Long Song (Steal On Home) – Thelma Houston. Written with Ron Miller. It was used for the movie The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings.

Buttered Popcorn – Supremes. A 1961 song written by “Gordy and songwriter Barney Ales, produced by Gordy… It was the group’s second single after signing with Motown Records…” It appears on Meet the Supremes, with Florence Ballard on lead vocal. I LOVE this song.

Check Yourself – Temptations. On the Meet the Temptations album. It was written by Gordy and group members Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, and Elbridge Bryant, and produced by Gordy.

Now that I can dance

Do You Love Me – the Contours. #1 RB for three weeks, #3 pop in 1962. Berry Gordy wrote it to give to the Temptations. However, “when Gordy set out to locate the group and record the song, they were nowhere to be found… Gordy ran into the Contours in the hallway.” Decades later, on a Berry Gordy tribute album, the Temps did sing it.

Got A Job – Miracles. An Answer song to the Silhouettes’ Get a Job, it was written with Roquel Davis and Smokey Robinson.

I Call It Pretty Music (But The Old People Call It the Blues) – Little Stevie Wonder. Written with Clarence Paul.

Lonely Teardrops – Jackie Wilson. Written by Berry, his sister Gwen Gordy, and Roquel “Billy” Davis, a/k/a Tyran Carlo. #1 RB, #7 pop in 1958. It was ranked “#315 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” in 2004.

Money (That’s What I Want) – Barrett Strong. Written with Janie Bradford, it was the first hit record for Motown. #2 RB for six weeks, #23 pop in 1960. Barrett Strong later co-wrote songs with Norman Whitfield for The Temptations and other artists.

Favorites: the Temptations (2014-2017)

Reunion tour, 1982

temptations.reunion
Richard, Otis, Eddie, Melvin, Glenn, David, Dennis

The fact is that I have mentioned The Temptations at least six dozen times in this blog. And yet, I’m going to do it again, for J. Eric Smith’s favorite songs by favorite artists.

Not many groups of 60 years can claim an original member, Otis Williams! In fact, I was fascinated by how the Elgins/Primes featured Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams. Otis Williams & The Siberians/The El Domingoes included Elbridge “Al” Bryant, Richard Street, Melvin Franklin, and of course, Otis.

The early Temps were Al, Eddie, Melvin, Otis, and Paul. But Al left and David Ruffin took over. The first classic lineup was formed. By 1968, David left and Dennis Edwards took his slot. At about the same time, Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong started writing more “relevant” songs for the group, produced by Whitfield.

More changes

In 1971, Eddie left to pursue a solo career, replaced briefly by Ricky Owens, then Damon Harris. Paul’s addiction problem was getting the best of him, with Richard Street, one of the Siberians, singing Paul’s parts from off-stage. Then Richard replaced Paul, who died in 1973. Glenn Leonard took over for Damon in 1975. Louis Price replaced Dennis in 1977, but Dennis came back in 1980.

This set the stage for the Reunion tour, where Dennis, Otis, Glenn, Richard, and Melvin were joined by Eddie and David. I saw this performance at the Colonie Coloseum in Albany County in 1982. It was one of the two or three greatest concerts I’ve seen in my life. First, they sang together, then in groups of five. They started with the first classic lineup, Richard in for the late Paul. Then Dennis went in for David, then Glenn supplanted Eddie. They closed singing together.

I saw them about two years later in Heritage Park, a baseball stadium. It was a lesser show, even though it included the Four Tops as well. The lineup was Ali-Ollie Woodson, Ron Tyson, Otis, Richard, and Melvin. The problem in part was that the singers were so far away. The 2020 lineup is Otis, Ron, Terry Weeks, Willie Green, and a new guy, Mario Corbino.

So why The Tempations then in this past decade? I think it’s something else J. Eric Smith wrote about, comfort music. He defined it as “Music that provides consolation or feeling of well-being, typically any with a highly melodic or other pleasing content and associated with childhood or music played by one’s family.” For me, that would be Motown, roughly from 1964 to 1972, when the label moved to Los Angeles. And it was the Temptations who were most consistent, to my ear, throughout the period.

Ten Songs

I could have picked 40 more. All four of their #1 pop hits are here.

Ball of Confusion, #3 for three weeks pop, #2 for 5 weeks soul in 1970.
Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me), #1 for two weeks pop, #1 for 3 weeks soul in 1971. Eddie Kendricks’ swan song with the group.
(I Know) I’m Losing You, #8 pop, #1 for two weeks soul in 1966.
No More Water In The Well – a cut from With a Lot O’ Soul album, which is probably my favorite LP of theirs.
My Girl, #1 pop, #1 for five weeks soul in 1965. On the Temptations anthology, there’s a lovely a capella version.

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, #13 pop, #1 for eight weeks soul in 1966. Appeared on The Big Chill soundtrack in 1983.
I Wish It Would Rain, #4 pop, #1 for three weeks soul in 1968.
Papa Was A Rolling Stone, #1 pop, #5 soul in 1972. Dennis Edwards reportedly was getting really irritable in the studio about the length of the intro before he got to sing, which may have been the producer’s intent, to get the snarl in “It was the third of September”
The Way You Do The Things You Do, #11 pop, #1 soul in 1964. Their first real hit, with that Smokey Robinson poetry
I Can’t Get Next To You, #1 for two weeks pop, #1 for 5 weeks soul in 1969. The best use of that five lead vocalist thing that Whitfield stole from Sly Stone

 

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