** This is just a short biographical summary – for the full story, check out this artist’s reviews! **
Almost criminally underrated, the Velvelettes remain the greatest Motown girl group that nobody’s heard of. Educated middle-class girls from the other side of Michigan, they had talent in spades but their timing was awful. Arriving at Motown in 1963, just before the label took off into the commercial stratosphere, the Velvelettes were hampered by geography and academic commitments, their families refusing to allow them to take time off school or university (two of the girls were students at WMU in Kalamazoo) to attend recording sessions. As a result of being out when opportunity knocked in 1964, they lost ground to their contemporaries they’d never make up again.
This was a blessing in disguise for future listeners, as they were then partnered with similarly-struggling writer-producer Norman Whitfield, the two disgruntled parties bouncing ideas off each other and developing their craft to create a truly magnificent run of mid-Sixties singles. Despite the obvious quality of these 45s, commercial success continued to elude them, and their time at Motown was over by 1966. After this, the group melted away, resisting calls for a reunion in the early Seventies when their old Motown tracks started to pick up play on Britain’s Northern Soul circuit. The group did eventually accede to popular demand, and the Velvelettes are still playing live today, and they remain extremely popular at Northern weekenders. Long may they continue.
Review Archive: The VELVELETTES (8 items)
- There He Goes
- That’s The Reason Why
- Needle In A Haystack
- Should I Tell Them
- He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin’
- Throw A Farewell Kiss
- Lonely Lonely Girl Am I
- I’m The Exception To The Rule
- A Bird In The Hand (Is Worth Two In The Bush)
- Since You’ve Been Loving Me