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C O U R S E 
History of Rock, 1970-Present
John Covach, University of Rochester
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Motown in the 1970s
Notes taken on April 25, 2015 by Edward Tanguay
Motown comes from "Motor City" or Detroit
Berry Gordy Jr.
founder of the Motown record label
one of the most important record labels of the 60s
Motown in the 70s
happens mostly in Los Angeles
Barry Gordy wants to expand into movies and television
located in Los Angeles
The Temptations
being produced by Norman Whitfield
interested in doing what Sly Stone was doing
in the 1970s they began to address themes in urban life
after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
not so much provocative, but engaging
1968: Cloud Nine
1970 Psychedelic Shack
1972 Papa was a Rolling Stone
about problems in urban life, in the black community
a bit of realism
an ambitious track, over seven minutes in length
artistic, creates an atmosphere
influenced by Sly Stone and some of the Blaxploitation films and what was going on with Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield
a high-water mark in the 1970s for the temptations
number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and won three Grammy Awards in 1973
an enduring and influential soul classic
The Commodores
formed in 1968 in Alabama
signed to Motown in 1971
roots in Funk music
1977 Brick House
infectious groove
lyrical, catchy hook
lead singer Lionel Richie
1977 Easy
1978 Three Times a Lady
The Jackson 5
young child star, Michael Jackson
little Michael Jackson up front singing up a storm, you could already see that this kid was already absolutely loaded with talent, a fantastic performer and dancer
1970 ABC
1970 I'll Be There
got into a dispute with Berry Gordy Jr.
Berry Gordy wanted to keep them in the teen category
they wanted to play to more mature audiences
1976 they did not renew at Motown, went to CBS
Berry Gordy owned the name "Jackson 5"
renamed themselves as "The Jacksons"
brother Jermaine stayed at Motown
replaced by another brother, Randy Jackson
1978 Shake Your Body
going into disco era
Michael Jackson
1979 Off the Wall
perhaps the best disco record ever recorded
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Rock with You
Off the Wall
She's Out of My Life
1970s: Motown artists began to take more control
it had been more like an assembly line
labor was separated out
Marvin Gaye (1939-1984)
helped to shape the sound of Motown Records in the 1960s
won control at Motown
established a more social commentary voice
1971 album: What's Going On
more like a concept album
"What's Going On"
"Mercy Mercy Me"
"Inner City Blues"
dealt with urban issues in a way that was authentic
Stevie Wonder (1950-)
figured out that the best way to deal with Stevie Wonder is to let Stevie be Stevie
let him do all the writing, singing, playing, and production
complex arrangements using synthesizers
influence from Yes and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
1972 Album: Talking Book
1973 Album: Innervisions
Living for the City
in the spirit of Blaxploitation movies
kid who comes to the city and gets thrown in jail
1976: Songs in the Key of Life
classical references in his style