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motown 60th: 60 unheard tracks by stevie wonder, diana ross, others

September 26, 2019
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Celebrating 60 years of Black Excellence, Motown is releasing a special vault of unearthed music by Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5, and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, and others.

All the music is from 1969, a pivotal and thriving period in Motown’s history, Motown Unreleased 1969 is newly mastered from original tapes that have been housed in Universal Music Group’s value. The masterpiece also features songs by Gladys Knight & the Pips, Jr. Walker & the All-Stars, the Spinners, Edwin Starr, Ivy Jo Hunter, Rare Earth, and the Funk Brothers.

“There (was) an opening for writers and producers to experiment with the Motown sound but, for certain topics, or musical ideas, or even artists, the company (wasn’t) ready,” said Harry Weinger, Vice President of A&R with Universal Music Enterprises, which oversees Motown’s catalog. “Or, it’s a simple case of having only so many slots for releases. So, until now, those songs went unreleased.”’

Along with the 60 previously unreleased tracks, Motown’s 60th-anniversary celebration included a CBS tribute show in the spring and a Showtime documentary that came out in August. The festivities culminated this past weekend in Detroit with a gospel concert and “Hitsville Honors” program with guest Berry Gordy, the Four Tops, Temptations, Martha Reeves, Big Sean, Kim and Ne-Yo. At the event, the nearly 90-year-old Gordy announced his official retirement from the industry. He will be so greatly missed.