Standing in the Shadows of Motown [Original Soundtrack]

Standing in the Shadows of Motown [Original Soundtrack]

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Between 1959 and 1973, Motown's house musicians, the Funk Brothers, provided the musical blueprint for every song released by the label. By the end of this phenomenal era they'd played on more No. 1 hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and Elvis Presley combined. Standing in the Shadows of Motown is the soundtrack to the same-named

Overview

Between 1959 and 1973, Motown's house musicians, the Funk Brothers, provided the musical blueprint for every song released by the label. By the end of this phenomenal era they'd played on more No. 1 hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and Elvis Presley combined. Standing in the Shadows of Motown is the soundtrack to the same-named documentary and book, which recount the remarkable journey of phenomenal unknown greats like drummer Benny Benjamin. The songs here were recorded at a live concert by the surviving Funk Brothers -- including bandleader John Hunter, guitarist Joe Messina, and drummer Uriel Jones -- who reunited for the first time in almost three decades to play a set of Motown classics sung by current singers. Notable performances include Joan Osborne digging into "(Love Is like a) Heat Wave" and "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted," P-Funk's Bootsy Collins bouncing through "Cool Jerk" and "Do You Love Me," and Gerald Levert getting gritty with saxophonist Tom Scott on a ripping rendition of "Shotgun." Elsewhere, Meshell Ndegeocello caresses "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" and delivers a tasty slice of psychedelia on "Cloud Nine," while Chaka Khan slips into a stellar "What's Going On" before playing Tammy Terrell to Montell Jordan's Marvin Gaye on a killer "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." The Funk Brothers showcase their formidable chops on instrumental versions of "You Keep Me Hangin' On" and "Bernadette" as well as "The Flick," their theme song, which bubbles over with chugging rhythms, snappy guitar riffs, and ebullient organ runs. With Standing in the Shadows of Motown, the Funk Brothers finally get their props, penning an important, previously unwritten chapter of musical history.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
During Paul Justman's film documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown, based on Al Slutsky's book of the same name about the session musicians who played on Motown recordings in Detroit from the late '50s to the early '70s, one of the interviewees is heard to comment that once those musicians, who dubbed themselves the Funk Brothers, finished cutting a backing track, it almost didn't matter who sang over it. It is no criticism of the singers who appear on this soundtrack album, which consists mainly of the new performances of Motown hits that punctuate the film, to say that the music heard here bears that observation out. The singers have been well chosen for the songs. Me'Shell Ndeg�Ocello, for example, offers a contemporary gloss on Smokey Robinson's "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" and channels Eddie Kendricks on the Temptations' "Cloud Nine," while Gerald Levert makes like Levi Stubbs on the Four Tops' "Reach out I'll Be There," Joan Osborne lives up to Martha Reeves on the Vandellas' "(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave," and Bootsy Collins brings humor and outrageousness to the Contours' "Do You Love Me" and the Capitols' "Cool Jerk." But the legend on the back of the disc, "Starring the Funk Brothers on all tracks" is well put. This is a cohesive group, not just some studio professionals. The band is mixed louder and much more clearly than they were in the 1960s, when their sound was compressed, toned down behind the vocalists, and presented (at least on the AM radios on which it was most frequently heard) in mono. While the Motown sound was the product of its singers, songwriters, arrangers, and producers as well as the musicians who played the instruments, their contribution has been undervalued, and this recording demonstrates that amply.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/24/2002
Label:
Hip-O Records
UPC:
0044006469126
catalogNumber:
064691
Rank:
33037

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave @@Joan Osborne
  2. You've Really Got a Hold on Me @@Meshell Ndegeocello
  3. Do You Love Me @@Bootsy Collins
  4. Bernadette @@Funk Brothers
  5. Reach Out I'll Be There @@Gerald Levert
  6. Ain't Too Proud to Beg @@Ben Harper
  7. Shotgun @@Tom Scott
  8. What Becomes of the Brokenhearted @@Joan Osborne
  9. I Heard It Through the Grapevine @@Ben Harper
  10. You Keep Me Hanging On @@Funk Brothers
  11. Cool Jerk @@Bootsy Collins
  12. Cloud Nine @@Meshell Ndegeocello
  13. What's Going On @@Chaka Khan
  14. Band Introduction/Ain't No Mountain High Enough @@Chaka Khan
  15. The Flick @@Earl VanDyke

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Marcus Belgrave   Trumpet
Tom Scott   Flute,Saxophone,Soloist
Johnny Griffith   Keyboards
Mike Pedicin   Saxophone
Larry Abramovitz   Violin
Richard "Pistol" Allen   Drums
Jack Ashford   Percussion,Vibes
Bob Babbitt   Bass
Davis A. Barnett   Viola
Carla Benson   Background Vocals
Bootsy Collins   Vocals
Eddie "Bongo" Brown   Organ,Conga,Soloist
Edward Gooch   Trombone
Ted Greenberg   French Horn,Hand Clapping
John Ingram   Background Vocals
James Jamerson   Bass
Uriel Jones   Drums
Seth Justman   Hand Clapping
Ron Kerber   Saxophone
Kasuku Mafia   Saxophone,Soloist
Meshell Ndegeocello   Vocals
Joe Messina   Guitar
Demetrios Pappas   Keyboards
Rudy Robinson   Keyboards
Ernie Rodgers   Saxophone
Florence Rosenweig   Violin
Evan Solot   Trumpet
Levi Stubbs   Vocals
Danny Turner   Saxophone,Soloist
Earl Van Dyke   Keyboards
Eddie Willis   Guitar,Soloist
William Zaccagni   Saxophone
Keith Benson   Background Vocals
Orest Artymiw   Violin
Olga Konopelsky   Violin
Anthony Pirollo   Celli
Richard Hotchkiss   Celli
Robert White   Guitar
Steve Jordan   Musical Direction
Joe Hunter   Keyboards
Ron Kischuk   Trombone
Misty Love   Background Vocals
Luigi Mazzocchi   Violin
Maurice Davis   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Tom Scott   Horn Arrangements
Wade Marcus   Arranger
Jack Butler   Interviewer
Lamont Dozier   Producer
Berry Gordy   Composer,Producer
Ted Greenberg   Producer,Pro-Tools
Eddie Holland   Composer
Brian Holland   Producer
Lawrence Horn   Producer
Seth Justman   Arranger
Kooster McAllister   Engineer
Paul Riser   Arranger
David Scott   Executive Producer
Willie Shorter   Arranger
David Van De Pitte   Arranger
Harry Weinger   Producer
Norman Whitfield   Composer
Mike Tarsia   Engineer
Vartan   Art Direction
Ritchie Rome   Arranger
Chris Zurzolo   Pro-Tools
Pat Lawrence   Executive Producer
Benny Benjamin   Contributor
Michele Horie   Artwork
Paul Elliott   Executive Producer

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Standing in the Shadows of Motown 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A group of people from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds come together,and give us the delightful sounds of what music should sound like. Masters of sound, groove and soul and passion to play and teach. This was a great documentary. I highly recommend this for everyone to view.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago