Independent American label out of Detroit, Michigan: Motown Records formed by Songwriter / producer Berry Gordy Jr who started the Tamla label in 1959; a second label, 'Motown' soon joined it.  The hits started flowing, as the labels put out records by people who would eventually be household names. 1960 saw the arrival of Marvin Gaye and of Mary Wells; in '61 came the Supremes and the Miracles.  In 1963 the Vandellas, the Four Tops and Stevie Wonder were added to the roster, along with the songwriting and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland; it was about this time that the 'Motown Sound' developed.  The Temptations joined in 1966, and were followed by Gladys Knight; the Jackson Five signed up in 1969.  Motown was hugely successful throughout the '60s; the departure of the Holland-Dozier-Holland trio in 1968 (they formed their own labels, 'Hot Wax' and 'Invictus', made little dent on that success.  In the early '70s there was a slight lull as far as the singles charts were concerned, though seminal albums like Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' ('73) and Stevie Wonder's 'Innervisions' ('73) showed that the company was still a major force in music; and indeed singles sales picked up again from 1976, with the Commodores registering as the company's best-selling act.  Motown continued to sell large numbers of records in the '80's, but some of the magic had gone. In 1988 Berry Gordy Jr. sold the company to MCA and Boston Ventures. In Britain Tamla and Motown were combined, in the familiar Tamla Motown label, with manufacture and distribution done by EMI under a licensing agreement; the 'Tamla' part was dropped in October 1976, with the release of TMG-1053, and an up-to-date new label design was adopted.  Demo labels were initially issue ones overprinted in the usual EMI manner but a green colour was adopted for them from August 1977; TMG-1079 seems to have been the first to have the green demo label, though 1080's was blue.  In the summer of 1979 the green labels were abandoned and the old style overprinted issue ones were readopted.  In 1978 Motown was doing its own marketing at that time, but how long it had been doing so is unreported. Distributed By EMI Records. Thanks to Robert Lyons For The Info.


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