Text by Adam Lehrer
Whenever I get the proverbial gun to the head and am asked if I could only listen to one genre of music forever, I go with soul and funk. Why? Because it's everything: amazing lyrics, amazing singing, political, emotional, makes you dance, makes you cry, makes you sex.
Motown Records in the '60s and '70s was a supercharged inferno of creativity. For every icon there's an under-praised equally deserving hero. For every Diana Ross, there's a Gladys Knight. I mean, FUCK, Gladys Knight, the power of that voice pre-dated the energy of punk and the heartbreaking candor of R&B.
You get guys like Stevie Wonder (my undeniable number one all-time favorite artist) and Marvin Gaye, and Jr. Walker all swinging to the music, fighting the power, and making beautiful jams under one roof. Now, that would be like Kanye, Beyoncé, and Frank Ocean all in the same studio at the same time with a unified front of hope and glory. That was Motown Records. It was a movement. There are no corporate labels like it and there never will be again. Something like that honestly can't exist. People don't love music in the same way that they did in those days.
Lots of people start thinking that MDMA came into popular recreational use during the days of Detroit Techno and Chicago House, but there are rumors that Temptations producer Norman Whitfield was copping love fizz since 1971. That makes total sense. Any fan of Motown would agree that all of those records have a physical buzz that just floods your body, pulsates within it. I'm an electronic music fan, but I can honestly say no music feels like Motown.