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mjzee

The Motown Hit Inspired by Dylan

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I remember seeing Phil Spector on Les Crane's tv show (1966/1967?) commenting that "Reach Out" was a black man singing Dylan.

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And Dylan said something about Smokey Robinson being the greatest living poet...full circle!

I enjoy it when we get to hear from the arrangers and producers, about how they made the decisions they did. I'm one of those guys who will pick a record apart to find every little detail in the mix. that stuff doesn't just happen, somebody makes a decision.

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I think that is the first time I have heard that Levi Stubbs was Jackie Wilson's cousin.

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It just occurred to me what's so extraordinary about this anecdote. Dylan wasn't really a pop star; he rarely had a pop hit, and his sales weren't anywhere near the Beatles, Stones, etc. Yet Motown was clued into the quality of his work. I wonder what else they were listening to.

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I'm no expert in pop music but weren't lots of his songs pop hits by other people? 'Blowing in the wind' for example.

MG

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Stevie Wonder did a great cover of Blowin' In The Wind around 1966.

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It just occurred to me what's so extraordinary about this anecdote. Dylan wasn't really a pop star; he rarely had a pop hit, and his sales weren't anywhere near the Beatles, Stones, etc. Yet Motown was clued into the quality of his work. I wonder what else they were listening to.

Dylan had a #2 hit with "Like a Rolling Stone" in the summer of 1965. "Folk rock" was the big fad during that time. In the summer of 1966, Dylan released Blonde on Blonde, which got a lot of attention. You couldn't avoid hearing or hearing about Dylan during that period of time.

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The Byrds - Mr Tambourine Man....fusing Dylan with A Hard Days Night era Beatles jangly guitar.

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I enjoy it when we get to hear from the arrangers and producers, about how they made the decisions they did.

I agree; that's the kind of behind the scenes stuff I find interesting rather than the usual gossip that gets the term.

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I enjoy it when we get to hear from the arrangers and producers, about how they made the decisions they did.

I agree; that's the kind of behind the scenes stuff I find interesting rather than the usual gossip that gets the term.

Indeed. Back in '63, Motown started coming out with a new rhythm thing that sounded like chains being shaken. I think the first two singles that came out like that over here were Marvin Gaye's 'Can I get a witness' and Martha & the V's 'Heat wave'. And we all, not knowing from nothing, then, said, 'it's chains'. And it became a trademark sound for several years.

Years later (well over 30) I read a book on Motown that said that it WAS chains and, even better, that it was Earl Vandyke who had the idea!

MG

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I always thought that "Bernadette" really echoed Dylan's cadence:

"They preTEND to be my FRIEND but all the TIME

(Sweet Bernadette!)

They long TO persuade YOU from my SIDE."

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Bernadette is also full on paranoid/obcessive, not that there's anything wrong with that - in a song!

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Yeah, they keyed in on that zone in Levi Stubb & played to it for a while with some pretty intense results. "Bernadette" is the most intense, but "Reach Out" comes pretty close. Pretty benign lyrics, but in Stubbs' reading it turns about as far away from The Original Lean On Me as you can turn...

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