Standing in the Shadows of Motown

Standing in the Shadows of Motown
Standing in the Shadows of Motown (click images to enlarge)

Standing in the Shadows of Motown

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No Description Available
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Media Type: CD
Street Release Date: 09/24/2002

The phenomenal story of Motown has been told many times--so many in fact, that the notion of an untold part of its legacy seems far-fetched. But as the documentary film Standing in the Shadows of Motown demonstrates, there was more to the success of the Detroit-based label than singing babes in gowns and founder Berry Gordy's business acumen. There was also the self-named Funk Brothers: the session players putting the unforgettable guitar sounds into "You Keep Me Hangin' On" and the creeping bass line behind "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." These guys were a crucial piece of the puzzle but have remained largely anonymous. While the Standing documentary tells the Funk Brothers' story via interviews, stock footage, and still photos, the accompanying soundtrack takes liberties, pairing the surviving musicians with contemporary pop, R&B, and funk artists. Together, they faithfully recast Motown hits. What could have been a disaster--would you want to muck with "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"?--works beautifully, thanks both to the Brothers' chops and the thoughtful artist selection. While enlisting a soul brother like Ben Harper was a no-brainer, the inclusion of Joan Osborne was especially astute. After all, Osborne's deep connection to R&B is why her production of the Holmes Brothers' Speaking in Tongues disc was genius, and she acquits herself beautifully on "(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave" and "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted." Similarly, bass boss Meshell Ndegeocello gives Chaka Khan competition in the gospel diva department. Bootsy Collins, Gerald Levert, and Montell Jordan also contribute. Motown purists may balk at this concept, but they'd have to agree these readings are smart, respectful, and very, very soulful. --Kim Hughes

Key Product Details

  • Creator: Various Artists
  • Genre: Soundtracks & Shows

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