PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Tags
Music

29 Black Music Documentaries for Black History Month 2020

For Black History Month 2020, we are showcasing films and videos featuring Black American artists. Enjoy them and learn about the origin of each Black music legend featured.

Recent
Music

Aretha Franklin: Context, Intersectionality, and the Rock Canon

Viewing Aretha Franklin's work through a focus on race, gender, and other categories of analysis can challenge us to do the same with all music, acknowledging how multiple points of oppression and privilege impact the production, consumption, and reception of a wide range of music.

Music

Bobby Darin at Motown

A new compilation has unearthed experiments in soul music made by pop legend Bobby Darin at his final recording home. Charles Donovan talks to its compilers/producers, Joe Marchese and Andrew Skurow.

Featured: Top of Home Page

Ready for Her Cue: An Interview with Soul Legend Valerie Simpson

With dazzle, flair, and "all that jazz", Songwriters Hall of Fame legend Valerie Simpson makes her Broadway debut as Matron "Mama" Morton in Chicago: The Musical.

Books

'Motown: The Sound of Young America' Over-promises and Under-delivers

A Motown book that largely recounts the career of its head salesperson can’t really be seen as a definitive history of an enterprise that changed music, culture and commerce in America.

Books

I'm Rick James' Bio, Bitch!

The majority of Glow is a blow-by-blow account of the drugs he took and the women he bedded. James either had a great memory, or he took remarkable notes.

Music

Various Artists: The Motown 7s Box Volume 2

The second set of Northern Soul-flavored 7x7"-singles from the legendary soul label highlights just how tough it is to consider the Motown sound objectively these days.

Music

Various Artists: Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love

The music is uniformly solid, even groovy. But there’s a sweetness to the singles.

Music

In Appreciation of Nick Ashford: Love Songs, Unsung

Nikolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson stood for all that was true and eternal and clear-eyed about adult love and relationships. Romance resounded in every note.

Music

El Debarge: Second Chance

The former '80s star says goodbye to his former life and hello to the future. Welcome back!

Music

The Ruffin Brothers: I Am My Brother's Keeper

The confused sexual politics of the era can be found in the mixed messages of the 1970 release. There’s everything from the patient and respectful to the down and dirty.

Books

The Supremes by Mark Ribowsky

Without these players actually telling the story firsthand, it starts to read a bit like a Wikipedia entry.

Mike Garrett
Music

20 Questions: Nona Hendryx

In 1962, Nona Hendryx shared a bill with everyone from Bo Diddley to the Marvelettes. She took some time with PopMatters to talk about Buster Crabbe and her knack for fixing TVs.

Music

Needles in the Haystack

To supplement our list of favorite 25 singles, we offer a quick look at a handful of under-appreciated gems in the Motown catalog.

Music

What It Was Like

In the early '80s Detroit, Motown was as unquestionable as air. Who didn't like air?

Music

Yesterday's Dreams: Motown in the 1980s

The music of Motown's third decade does not quite deserve the close attention that the label's first two decades warrant, but even a cursory look at the label in these years reveals that things weren't all bad.

David Camak Pratt
Music

What's Going On: Marvin Gaye's Liberation from the Motown Sound

When Obie Benson of the Four Tops brought him a song he had co-written with Al Cleveland, Marvin Gaye found something that had reflected the way he had been feeling ever since Tammi Terrell's death -- anger, sadness, and disillusionment about his friend's death and the chaotic world around him.

Music

These Are the Breaks: The Motown Sound's Influence on Hip-Hop Sampling

For any influential group in the hip-hop game, specifically in the early 1990s, Motown's stamp of approval and its variety of subsidiaries were undeniably influential.

Music

Twirling the Dial: My Motown Memories

For those of us in tune with the sounds of the genre-redefining decade, a transistor radio was the seminal social sidekick. We loved listening to that little mono wonder, its tiny shrill speaker sparking a hundred journeys directly into the center of our mind.

Music

Danger Heartbreak Dead Ahead

If "I've Gotta Dance to Keep from Crying" could work as a slogan for Motown, the song itself works as both a dance song and a tearjerker.

Music

Manufacturing Motown

Like the nameplates on the auto industry's productive output, Motown's headline acts were brand identities under which cultural commodities were sold.

Music

Dancing in the Street: Our 25 Favorite Motown Singles

From the Four Tops and the Temptations to the Marvelettes and the Velvelettes, we narrow down our favorite singles from the "Sound of Young America" era to 25 indisputable picks.

Music

Dancing in the Street: Our 25 Favorite Motown Singles

From the Four Tops and the Temptations to the Marvelettes and the Velvelettes, we narrow down our favorite singles from the "Sound of Young America" era to 25 indisputable picks.

Music

Dancing in the Street: Our 25 Favorite Motown Singles

From the Four Tops and the Temptations to the Marvelettes and the Velvelettes, we narrow down our favorite singles from the "Sound of Young America" era to 25 indisputable picks.

Music

Dancing in the Street: Our 25 Favorite Motown Singles

From the Four Tops and the Temptations to the Marvelettes and the Velvelettes, we narrow down our favorite singles from the "Sound of Young America" era to 25 indisputable picks.

Music

Reflections: Motown in 1967

The latest installment in Hip-O Select's impressive reissue series, The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 7: 1967 collects every A-side and B-side released that year, including planned and deleted singles, as well as alternate and promotional mixes -- 120 tracks in all.

Music

Lucky Soul: The Great Unwanted

UK-based Lucky Soul offer more pop songs about the broken-hearted on their debut LP, but these are something truly special. Witness soulful, mod pop at it's best and brightest.

Reviews

Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power by Gerald Posner

Gordy wasn't running a record company; he was running a factory.

Lary Wallace

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.