The urge to compile Motown-oriented mixtape was there probably since I started to fill this blog with mixtapes more than 5 years ago. But only recently have I had the time to really explore this concept.
Each time that I visited our south Chicago grocery store, I was so amazed to find that the background music contained mainly classical soul songs from the 1960s and 1970s, and of course a respectable chunk of it performed by the Motown artists of the day. My surprise was the result of what I was accustomed to finding in Israel when it comes to background music in public spaces – mainly digital instrumental versions for cheesy pop music, and never original, classical versions of good music like they play in the U.S. in public spaces.
BUT, unfortunately, I must say that after extensive research and long searching I didn’t find much material that really excited me from the Motown albums and artists I admire so much. One of my goals for this blog and my mixtapes is finding and integrating less common materials, whatever genre or subject I chose to explore. Like so many other people, I really like the classical original hits of Motown from the 1960s and the early 1970s. But after I searched and listened to many complete albums from that era I was sad to discover that they didn’t have much exciting material to offer and, I know I’m generalizing, but such innovative complete Motown albums like Marvin Gaye’s “What’s going on” and The Temptations “Solid Rock” are rare, and for my own taste, while they are excellent albums they don’t represent that “Motown sound” that I was looking for. The intensive harmony changes (which I like to call “spicy harmonies”), the sophisticated grooves and production are innovative ideas (for their time, of course), that you could find in the following mixtape. I did chose to add some non-Motown artists that have been directly influenced by the core ideas that I’m trying to elaborate here. I also swung between eras, some completely pre-Motown songs and some newer materials that came long after the golden era of the 1960s and 1970s. I really hope that I could surprise or could bring some new knowledge for you Motown lovers 🙂