MOTOWN HONOURED WITH HIGHEST RATIO OF COMPILATIONS TO ORIGINAL Lps AWARD AT GRAMMIES
(Los Angeles, CA) – The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences yesterday bestowed on Motown Records the coveted Highest Ratio of Compilations to Original Lps award at yesterday’s Grammy Awards ceremony.
A visibly moved Berry Gordy, Jr. told the assembled music industry insiders he was “thrilled that the Motown family has been recognised” with what he called the record business’s “ultimate accolade for re-releasing the same music over and over again.”
In the ceremony’s opening speech, singer Smokey Robinson said that “instead of keeping enormously popular, five-star albums in print, Mr. Gordy has chosen the harder route: He repeatedly released collections of the same handful of songs for each artist, thereby not only skewing audience perceptions of those artists, but denying listeners a chance to hear a lot of wonderful music.”
He recalled the label’s first compilation, which was also its first long-player, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ Greatest Hits. “We hadn’t even put out a single yet,” laughed the Motown legend as he told the story.
Reached for comment at his sprawling Los Angeles ranch-style bungalow, music writer Clifford Snoats paid further tribute to the much-loved Detroit record label. “Take, for example, the Temptations’ With a Lot o’ Soul,” he explained. “An original Lp that’s an absolute embarrassment of riches with strong songs and performances.”
Something of a transitional album, Snoats revealed that “Lot o’ Soul balances the band’s doo-wop roots (‘Don’t Send Me Away’) with its sweet mid-period romantic soul (‘Just One Last Look’)” while at the same time “presaging the hard-hitting, gritty funk that would soon characterise much of [the Temps’] music over the next six years with songs like “Ain’t No Sun Since You’ve Been Gone’.”
“Why would you want that sort of cohesive diversity,” the fabulously wealthy rock critic asked rhetorically, “when you could buy another Best Of with ‘My Girl’ et al.?”
With 23 anthologies for every one album of new material, Motown easily outdistanced it competition in this category, though Trojan Records, which has released over 800 compilations for each of its all-original records, was disqualified since most of its music was initially issued on singles.
Ed: 50p at this morning’s Ashford Boot Fair. Yes.