(“The dubious one”)

**This is a discography for Manticore Records (as distributed by Motown) – other Motown labels are listed here. If you’re looking for a full list of every Motown single, try the Master Index instead!**

Prog legends Emerson, Lake and Palmer had set up Manticore Records back in 1973, but after falling out with successive distributors Island and Atlantic, the label somehow ended up in the Motown stable for 1975, its final year of operation.

Manticore’s status as a “Motown” label is kind of dubious, but I’ve opted to include it purely on the basis that these Motown-distributed Manticore singles – mostly 45s by Thee Image, though the label did manage to sign Little Richard right before the end – are as much Motown as the stuff on Inferno Records the previous decade, and the compilers of The Complete Motown Singles series voted to include those, so… here we are.

Here’s a list of the Motown-distributed Manticore Records singles that have been covered on Motown Junkies so far.


(this is just a placeholder, we’re not at 1975 yet!)

(Click a song title to read a full review of that side. NB: The coloured numbers after each title indicate the highly subjective mark out of ten I gave that song on the day I happened to write about it. They weren’t intended to be taken too seriously.)

2 thoughts on “Manticore”

  1. Robb Klein said:

    I doubt that Manticore Records, or Chisa records, for that matter, had the same status with Motown as Inferno Records had. All three labels were distributed by Motown. But, I don’t think that Motown had any ownership interest in Manticore or Chisa Records. On the other hand, I believe that Motown shared half interest in Inferno Records starting near the end of 1967 or beginning of 1968, as part of the deal Berry Gordy (on behalf of Motown) with Inferno’s owner, Harry Balk, for Balk to bring his label and crew into Motown, and for Balk to be a Motown producer. I believe that Motown shared ownership, 50%/50% with Balk, in the “Motown” Inferno Records. And that % ownership is reflected in the half/half shared music publishing rights of Balk’s Gomba Music and Motown’s Jobete Music on every Inferno song.

    If so, Inferno was Motown and Manticore and Chisa were NOT, and Cornell Blakely on Rich 1801 WAS Motown. I find the reasoning of the compilers of The Complete Motown Singles series to be very strange, and neither consisted nor logical.


    • Robb Klein said:

      And, clearly, the Motown-distributed Inferno singles (Volumes and Detroit Wheels) were recorded in The Snakepit using The Funk Brothers and sounded like Motown cuts, as opposed to the sound of the previous Balk produced cuts made at Golden World. I’m not sure, but I suspect that none of the Chisa or Manticore cuts were recorded in Motown in-house studios, or used Motown personnel.


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