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Get Ready! Songs of “Motown: The Musical” Are Collected In Original Hit Versions

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Motown Musical - OriginalsWhen Motown: The Musical opens at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 14, it will mark yet another career landmark for Berry Gordy, the songwriter-producer-entrepreneur who turned Detroit, Michigan into Hitsville, USA some fifty-five years ago.  The musical, written by Gordy and directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, depicts the rise to prominence of the Sound of Young America, with Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple, The Scottsboro Boys) starring as Gordy.  He’s joined by a cast of roughly 40 including Valisia Lekae as Diana Ross, Charl Brown as Smokey Robinson, Bryan Terrell Clark as Marvin Gaye and Ryan Shaw as Stevie Wonder.  Despite the considerable talent of the youthful cast, however, the star of Motown: The Musical is undoubtedly the music written by such composers and lyricists as Brian Holland, Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and Gordy himself.  While plans are already afoot for the Original Broadway Cast Recording to arrive from UMe, the label is further supporting the new “jukebox musical” with the release of Motown Originals: The Classic Songs That Inspired the Broadway Show, available in 1-CD, 2-CD and digital formats on March 5.

The Broadway berth of Motown isn’t Gordy’s first foray into theatre.  Motown, under Gordy’s aegis, made a sizeable investment in Roger O. Hirson and Stephen Schwartz’s 1972 musical Pippin, directed by the legendary Bob Fosse.  Gordy’s team at Motown saw the potential in the score by Stephen Schwartz, who had already made a name for himself with Godspell and its hit single “Day by Day” on the Bell label.  In exchange for the company’s investment in the musical, Motown’s Jobete publishing arm received rights to Schwartz’s delectable pop-rock-flavored score for Pippin.  Hence, the Diana Ross-less Supremes recorded the torch ballad “I Guess I’ll Miss the Man,” the Jackson 5 surveyed the beautifully yearning “Corner of the Sky,” and solo Michael Jackson tackled the optimistic “Morning Glow.”  Motown also released the original cast recording, the label’s first, co-produced by Schwartz and Phil Ramone.  Gordy’s investment paid off; when Pippin closed in June 1977, it had run 1,944 performances.  It returns to Broadway this spring in its first revival, melding an all-new circus concept by director Diane Paulus to choreography inspired by Bob Fosse’s original work.

Motown also isn’t the first time Gordy has attempted to bring the story of his renowned label to the musical theatre stage.  Ain’t No Mountain High Enough was announced in late 2006 to close out the season at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre in summer 2007.  A report in Variety promised “a book by Gordy and 30 Motown tunes.”  Ain’t No Mountain even announced an opening date of July 15, but it wasn’t meant to be.  The production was scrapped, and Gordy continued the journey that has finally taken his story to Broadway.  The new Motown: The Musical has assembled an 18-piece orchestra to play the orchestrations of Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, likely inspired by the original hit record arrangements.

After the jump: what will you find on the various versions of Motown: Originals?  We’ve got more details, full track listings and pre-order links!

The single-disc iteration begins, appropriately, with The Temptations’ “Get Ready” and takes a non-chronological journey that takes the Motown story from its beginnings all the way into the 1980s.  It includes original tracks from the label’s sixties Golden Age like The Supremes’ “Where Did Our Love go,” Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street,” Mary Wells’ “My Guy”, The Miracles’ “Shop Around,” Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life,” and Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.”  The story progresses into the seventies with Gaye’s socially-conscious anthem “What’s Going On” and the Jackson 5’s dynamic “I Want You Back,” before hitting a career peak for Lionel Richie with 1983’s “All Night Long (All Night).”  The single CD ends with the triumphant “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” from the solo Miss Diana Ross.

The 2-CD version ups the tracks from 14 to 40, making room for artists not represented on the highlights disc such as early hitmaker Barrett Strong (“Money (That’s What I Want)”), The Contours (“Do You Love Me”), The Four Tops (“Baby, I Need Your Loving”), Rick James (“Super Freak”) and The Commodores (“Brick House”).  The Temptations’ psychedelic soul period gets aired on the 2-CD set (“Ball of Confusion,” “Cloud Nine”) as well as the post-Ross Supremes era (“Up the Ladder to the Roof”).  Each track on the single-disc version is also present on the double-disc edition.  As the musical hasn’t begun previews yet, there’s no word on whether the track listing of either edition reflects the actual sequence of the songs in the musical penned by Gordy.  Motown: Originals is also to be made available from all digital providers.

Motown Originals: The Classic Songs That Inspired the Broadway Show arrives from UMe on March 5.  You can pre-order both versions of the album below.  The musical begins preview performances on Broadway the following Monday, March 11.  Get ready, ‘cause here it comes!

Various Artists, Motown Originals: The Classic Songs That Inspired the Broadway Show (Motown/UMe, 2013)

1-CD Version:

  1. Get Ready – The Temptations
  2. Dancing In The Street – Martha & the Vandellas
  3. Shop Around – The Miracles
  4. Please Mr. Postman – The Marvelettes
  5. My Guy – Mary Wells
  6. Where Did Our Love Go – The Supremes
  7. I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
  8. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
  9. For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder
  10. I Want You Back – The Jackson 5
  11. My Girl – The Temptations
  12. You’re All I Need To Get By – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
  13. All Night Long (All Night) – Lionel Richie
  14. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross

2-CD Version:

CD 1:

  1. Get Ready – The Temptations
  2. Dancing In The Street – Martha & the Vandellas
  3. Money (That’s What I Want) – Barrett Strong
  4. Shop Around – The Miracles
  5. Stubborn Kind Of Fellow – Marvin Gaye featuring The Vandellas
  6. Fingertips – Part 2 – Stevie Wonder
  7. Please Mr. Postman – The Marvelettes
  8. Two Lovers – Mary Wells
  9. You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me – The Miracles
  10. Do You Love Me – The Contours
  11. My Guy – Mary Wells
  12. Where Did Our Love Go – The Supremes
  13. Stop! In The Name Of Love – The Supremes
  14. Baby I Need Your Loving – Four Tops
  15. Shotgun – Jr. Walker & the All Stars
  16. Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone – The Supremes
  17. I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
  18. War – Edwin Starr
  19. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
  20. Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today) – The Temptations

CD 2

  1. Love Child – Diana Ross & The Supremes
  2. Cloud Nine – The Temptations
  3. For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder
  4. Who’s Lovin’ You – The Miracles
  5. I Want You Back – The Jackson 5
  6. I’ll Be There – The Jackson 5
  7. Up The Ladder To The Roof – The Supremes
  8. My Girl – The Temptations
  9. You’re All I Need To Get By – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
  10. I Hear A Symphony – The Supremes
  11. My World Is Empty Without You – The Supremes
  12. Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand) – Diana Ross
  13. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) – Marvin Gaye
  14. Cruisin’ – Smokey Robinson
  15. Brick House – The Commodores
  16. I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross
  17. All Night Long (All Night) – Lionel Richie
  18. Super Freak – Rick James
  19. Remember Me – Diana Ross
  20. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross

3 Responses

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  1. Mono?
    Original mixes?


    February 26, 2013 at 10:37

    • Those specs were not included on the original press release, but we will happily report back once that info can be obtained. Thanks!

      Joe Marchese

      February 26, 2013 at 11:25

      • Thank you Joe!


        February 26, 2013 at 11:33

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