Motownby Michael McDonald
Blue-eyed soul crooner Michael McDonald led the Doobie Brothers to fame in the late '70s before embarking on a solo career, capturing fans with his endearingly gruff, R&B-tinged vocals. So it's only fitting that the St. Louis native joined the Motown Records family in 2003. Named after the legendary label, McDonald's first disc for them is an elegant collection of Motown covers. Produced by Simon Climie (B. B. King, Eric Clapton) and backed by Fourplay, McDonald pours himself into 14 classic cuts. Rather than cast too broad a net in selecting from Motown's enormous canon, the silver-haired singer leans heavily on the Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder songbooks. Traditional Gaye duets such as "Ain't Nothing like the Real Thing" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" find McDonald flying solo with just a hint of background harmonies, while Wonder's "Signed Sealed Delivered" is given a pitch-perfect reading. By far the most effective interpretations are McDonald's yearning reading of Gaye's "I Want You" and a funky take on Wonder's "Too High," accented by bubbling bass lines from Fourplay's Nathan East and quick, snappy guitar solos from Larry Carlton. On a project that could have easily turned into boomer-fueled nostalgia, McDonald does a fine job of paying homage to the past while reaching for new heights as a solo artist.
- Release Date:
- I Heard It Through the Grapevine
- You Are Everything
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours
- I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
- Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing
- How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)
- Ain't No Mountain High Enough
- All in Love Is Fair
- I Want You
- Distant Lover
- I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)
- Since I Lost My Baby
- Too High
Performance CreditsMichael McDonald Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals,Track Performer,fender rhodes
Larry Carlton Guitar
Amy Holland Piano,Background Vocals
Fourplay Track Performer
Tracie Ackerman Background Vocals
Simon Climie Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Mark Douthit Saxophone
Nathan East Bass
Ricky Lawson Drums
Audrey Martells Background Vocals
Harvey Mason Percussion,Drums
Ann McCrary Background Vocals
Amy McDonald Background Vocals
Tommy Sims Background Vocals
Tony Swain Synthesizer,Keyboards,fender rhodes
Duawne Starling Background Vocals
Michael Hart Thompson Guitar
Leon Ware Background Vocals
Tim Akers Hammond Organ
Kevin Whalum Background Vocals
Paul Waller Percussion,Fx Vocals
Gale Mayes-West Background Vocals
Tammy Taylor Background Vocals
Toby Baker Acoustic Guitar,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Synthesizer Voices
Jennifer Karr Background Vocals
Chris Rodriguez Electric Guitar,Sitar,Electric Sitar
Chris Rodriquez Electric Guitar,Sitar
Nicky "Misschief" Shaw Bass,Percussion,Drums
Alfreda McCrary Lee Background Vocals
Tim Carmen Hammond Organ
Technical CreditsMarvin Gaye Composer
Michael McDonald Arranger
Smokey Robinson Composer
Barrett Strong Composer
Lee Garrett Composer
Jerry Ross Composer
Nick Ashford Composer
Thom Bell Composer
Simon Climie Arranger,Programming,Producer,Pro-Tools
Linda Creed Composer
Lamont Dozier Composer
Shannon Forrest Engineer
Ben Fowler Engineer,Pro-Tools
Gwen Fuqua Composer
Kenny Gamble Composer
Eddie Holland Composer
Brian Holland Composer
Nick Ingman String Arrangements
Warren "Pete" Moore Composer
Don Murray Engineer
Valerie Simpson Composer
Tony Swain Executive Producer
Norman Whitfield Composer
Stevie Wonder Composer
Gavyn Wright String Conductor
Syreeta Wright Composer
Yvonne Wright Composer
Leon Ware Composer
Grady Walker Engineer
Michael Wilson Cover Photo
Paul Waller Programming,Sound Replacements
Adam Brown Engineer,Pro-Tools
Sandra Greene Composer
Toby Baker Arranger,Programming,drum programming
Arthur Ross Composer
Lula Mae Hardaway Composer
Nicky "Misschief" Shaw Arranger,Programming,drum programming,Drum Editing
Cliff Masterson String Arrangements
Warren Moore Composer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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since i have learned to find music that i am just comfortable with, this album found its way into my life and i am very thankful!
Michael has been out of the limelight for years, but it is great to hear him again & singing the Motown classics that obviously influenced him. It would have been nice to hear him sing songs by a wider variety of artists (he leans heavy on Marvin and Stevie tunes), but the ones he does sing are gems. He is really one of the most underrated vocalists out there.
I was expecting a pretty good effort here but was blown away that all the tracks are awe inspiring. I have been a McD fan from way back so am real glad to have something to keep in heavy rotation between the Bose Wave/CD and the car. Way to go.
Do not hesitate - buy this fantastic CD from the worlds "best white black singer". That vocal is just... superb.
As usual Michael McDonald has capture the spirit of the song. Covering Motown hits is not an easy task,and his renditions of "Reflections, I Want You and Distant Lover", especially the latter two is in my opinion the best I have yet to hear. Kudos to Michael McDonald!11
A long -time Doobie Brothers fan because of this mans voice, this is his best solo stuff yet! My head snapped around when I heard the "V-----n" commercial on TV because of "the voice", and when I saw that there was an album of all Motown (which I have also always loved)I HAD to have it! Some very romantic selections mixed in with stuff that makes ya want to MOVE!
If you are a fan of either Michael McDonald or Motown music, pick this one up. You won't be sorry. Combine the voice with the music and you have a can't miss combination.
Only four words are necessary: Way To Go Michael! Love this cd, especially All is Fair in Love. Michael, as good as ever!
A must own, takes me to a peaceful place!
I have fallen in love with Michael McDonald and his music. WOW! What a voice. I first heard him on the MCI Commercial and I just had to have the album.
I have followed his music for years and didn't think he could get any better. But he did. Great going Michael
Wow! Michael raises the bar and takes this album/cd to the next level.Hands down Michael is back and on a real hot streak as Motown tops over one million in sales.I saw Michael in concert in Nashville and the place was packed. Michael was great and the fans were going "buck wild!" You will love Michael and Motown!
When I first heard Michael McDonald voice on the MCI commercial I too knew I had to have this CD and I'm glad I made a wise choice. In my opinion some songs are a better rendition than the originals - once again my opinion. He's breathes new light into old classics. Job Well Done!
and does an excellent job! I LOVE this CD and have always loved Michael's rich singing voice. I'm also purchasing Motown 2.
don't I hear him sing in this album? I bought the Motown cd because I heard "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" in a commercial for a wireless phone add. I have been a fan of Michael's for many years, however this cd did not live up to my expectations. Michael's voice was barely audible due to the din of all of the backup singers. I love his voice so I bought the cd. By the time it was done playing I was ready to use it as a frisbie. I hope you or someone can pass this critique on to Michael. I want him to know how I feel about this album. I hope future albums will be more of Michael's voice and less or none at all of the singers who have ruined this album. This is my opinion.