And now, another one of those unbridgeable cultural gaps between the past and present. For readers of a certain age, the summer of 1965 will always be the summer of Motown, the time when the charts, the magazines, the radio and the shops were full of Hitsville’s latest and greatest creations. And yet here on Motown Junkies, we can see that the records Motown actually released at the height of the summer were, well… not great.
Up until downloads completely reconfigured the singles market forever, from the late ’80s onwards most of a single’s public life span happened before it was actually released; weeks, if not months, of radio and video play leading up to the big day, the CD shooting into the charts in the week of release at its highest position, followed by a gradual (or not-so-gradual) falling away – by which time a clued-up and savvy record label should already have been pushing the follow-up. By contrast, while Motown Junkies is sorted by release date, most records were released first and then took weeks, if not months, to climb the charts, slowly spreading across radio as sales picked up nationwide. So, the real sounds of America in August 1965 have already long since been covered here; now that we’ve reached August on the release schedules, what we’ve actually got is one of the quietest spells for quality new records in Motown’s recent history. On which note: let’s welcome Little Lisa to the Hitsville fold! Continue reading »