Various Artists: John Morales presents Club Motown

Posted February 13, 2015 by in Disco



3.5/ 5


Genre: , ,
Label: ,
Genre: Disco, post-disco, R&B
Producer: Various
Label: Island/Universal
Format: Digital download, compact disc, vinyl
Time: 2:29:29
Release Date: 21 July 2014
Spin This: "Ain't Nothing Like It," "Candlelight Afternoon," "Saturday Night, Sunday Morning"


Rarities like Thelma Houston's "Saturday Nighty Sunday Morning," Phylis St. James' "Candlelight Afternoon" and Michael Lovesmith's "Ain't Nothing Like It" are definitely worth checking out


Some of the song choices lack strong dance appeal , some mixes hardly take off

On super double-disc M&M mix collection, the rarities are more superior than the big hits

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

On super double-disc M&M mix collection, the rarities are more superior than the big hits

Motown has never exactly been the go-to source to discover disco royalty. There were a few big definitive records that came out of its factory: Carl Bean’s gay-crowned “I Was Born This Way,” Thelma Houston‘s “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and Diana Ross’s “Love Hangover” and the Chic-produced Diana album. But disco-heavy markets like New York and Philadelphia preferred to clamor around the music that stormed from nearby studios like Philadelphia International and Salsoul. Disco mixing legend John Morales (one-half of the M&M mix combo unit) was commissioned to go through the Motown vaults to splatter his extended 12-inch treatment to some of the catalog’s big hits and unsung treasures, mostly concentrated on the works in the early 80s when disco was more a dirty word and club/dance was the preferred code word. Rick James gets a good chunk of the spotlight here with extended takes on “Super Freak,” the Mary Jane Girls‘ “In My House” and the untouched 1982 album version of the Temptations‘ “Standing on the Top” — the latter considered to be one of the last great highlights in the quartet’s storied career, bringing together the original members with the newer guard. But those offerings, even the loop-laden sounds of the Commodores “Night Shift” and DeBarge’s “Rhythm of the Night,” aren’t the real appetizers aboard this double-disc affair. Let it also be said that those two “Night” tracks weren’t exactly adrenaline rushes on disco dance floors. What makes this collection so unique is just how irresistible the lesser known and unknown cuts sound. Michael Lovesmith‘s “Ain’t Nothing Like It” and the pretty funk of Phyllis St. James‘ “Candlelight Afternoon” both flex their muscles in ways that exceed the works of the popular hits. On disc two, Morales spins a hefty ten-minute mix of Thelma Houston “Saturday Night Sunday Morning.” Ripe with handclaps, a sassy sax solo and stunning percussion breaks, this mix is so superior over the slower  original that it could have easily netted the one-hit wonder another number one pop smash. It’s always good to hear the under appreciated the mighty Temps on “Treat Her Like a Lady.” That’s also expanded here, but it just doesn’t stack up fearlessly to the fierceness of Houston’s big secret.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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