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Where Did Our Love Go?: The Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound (Music in American Life) Paperback – October 8, 2007
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Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Did he really have to describe the talented Kim Weston as a "dark skined woman with a tendency to put on weight?" Was she really laughed at when she got on stage? To me, Kim Weston was one of Motowns most talented female singers. Couldn't the author have spent a little more space on her vocal talents?
He dismisses the Supremes post-Diana Ross career in a few sentences. Did he ever listen to any of those records? The post-Ross Supremes made some wonderful music which is just now being rediscovered.
He writes off white singer Chris Clark as a "not very gifted singer". From the few songs I have heard, she may not be a virtuoso, but she's not that bad! I know of some rabid Chris Clark fans who would challenge Nelson George on that point.
He spends a lot of time on certain subjects such as Motown's post-70's decline, but seems to spend very little time actually analyzing the music.
A writer, of course, has a right to his opinions and I think, in all fairness, he does a very good job with the book. My biggest complaint is that he seems a little cynical about Motown. I know that not all was happy beneath the wonderful music people heard, but there is still something in his attitude that bothers me a little. Sometimes he seems a little bit mocking in his tone. He wrote a later book about hip hop (a music style I don't care for) and seemed to treat the whole subject with more respect.
I'm probably being a little too analytical about this book.
Anyway, this is still a good book. Put on some Motown music and enjoy.
`Where Did Our Love Go,' on the other hand, proves a truth we discovered in the day of the very music it chronicles: no amount of tepid covers surpasses a towering original. Perhaps because Mr. George was not an insider at Motown in the 60s, his history of the company is so objectively good. I've read it many times in over 16 years, and haven't found a date or factual mistake.
And it is balanced. The wonderful music of those glory days in Detroit is given the respect and affection it deserves, as well as the how-it-came-about details. Mr. George acknowledges as most of us do, that Motown's 60s sound is timeless, and is going to outlive Berry Gordy, the artists whose names appeared on the labels, and we baby-boomers who were weaned on it.
Yes, the who-struck-John stories of disappointment are delineated fairly too: the career declines and /or disappointments of folks like Martha Reeves, Gladys Knight, Chuck Jackson, Marvin Gaye and, especially Florence Ballard.Read more ›
Which for me - now the nostalgia factor is wearing off - requires seperating highly enjoyable generic Motown hit factory "products" from those iconic songs future generations will rank as all-time 60's classics. The one Motown song certain to be in this latter category is Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine". A note-perfect recording which never stales - and is never mentioned by Mr.George.
In his last chapter he removes Norman Whitfield from the Motown role of honor because - by 1983 - his wah-wah guitar sound had become a cliche! Why inaccurately denigrate this remarkable pioneer, who seamlessly fused human voices and rhythm instruments to create original non-formulaic songs - some up to 14 minutes long? A sophisticated musical form even the great Duke Ellington never fully mastered.
That some creative artists "burn-out" has no bearing on the art they created when in their prime. Isn't it obvious to everyone who's studied the entire Motown oeuvre that Norman was their only composer/producer to emerge as a bone-fide musical genius?
I knew nothing of Norman Whitfield's output when his Temptations and Undisputed Truth albums were first released. But what a discovery! Ten albums which remain unique achievements in pop music history. As enjoyable and relevant today as when first taped and mixed.
How Norman Whitfield "beat the system" to become a great American composer is yet to be disclosed in a book I hope will be written soon. Should "Universal" release ALL his Motown tracks in a 10 CD box this re-evaluation could take only a few weeks.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was one of my summer reads. It was amazing. If you want to learn about Motown and everything involved then read this book. You will love it.Published 19 months ago by J. Nova
The book was is excellent condition and arrived in good time. I enjoyed reading the book. and will recommend it to others.Published 20 months ago by Beverly Bennett
I had followed Nelson George as a Billboard columnist for the R&B side of the business. With a perfectly, if not very imaginative title, George looks even more ridiculous nearly 30... Read morePublished 20 months ago by L. Boki
One of the best books describing the history of Motown. Easy, enjoyable read!
I LOVE it! Thank you Nelson George!
My first experience of the "Motown Sound" was listening to a BBC radio show devoted to the company when I was about 12 or 13. Read morePublished on December 6, 2010 by nmollo
If you've ever wondered about what went on behind the scenes and about the history of Motown, this book will answer all of your questions and then some. Read morePublished on August 17, 2009 by Robert Joyce