Oct 17, 2015

RhoDeo 1541 Grooves

Hello, my blanco update page caused a lot of requests, it will take some time to grant them all-but these will.

It's not exactly fair to peg today's artists as a one-hit wonder, because they did have a few hits for Motown in the first half of the 1970s (albeit only one big one), as well as made half a dozen albums for the label. Still, it's not that far from the truth. Nothing else they did matched the strength of "Smiling Faces Sometimes," which made number three in 1971. Crafted by Norman Whitfield, Motown's most adventurous producer of the time, it employed the funk-psychedelic guitars and ominous, socially aware lyrics that were also characteristic of his work with the Temptations during the period. .  ... N'joy

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It's not exactly fair to peg the Undisputed Truth as a one-hit wonder, because they did have a few hits for Motown in the first half of the 1970s (albeit only one big one), as well as made half a dozen albums for the label. Still, it's not that far from the truth. Nothing else they did matched the strength of "Smiling Faces Sometimes," which made number three in 1971. Crafted by Norman Whitfield, Motown's most adventurous producer of the time, it employed the funk-psychedelic guitars and ominous, socially aware lyrics that were also characteristic of his work with the Temptations during the period.

Undisputed Truth came into being after Bobby Taylor brought Billie Rae Calvin and Brenda Joyce to Motown as part of the Delicates. When the Delicates broke up, the pair kept busy doing background vocals for the Four Tops, Diana Ross, and Edwin Starr. Whitfield teamed them up with Joe Harris of the Preps, Harris served as main lead singer with The Delicates, on additional leads and background vocals, laying the groundwork for the male-female vocal interplay that would typify their Motown sessions.

The group's music and unusual costuming (large Afros and white makeup) typified the then-popular trend of "psychedelic soul" which producer Norman Whitfield had inaugurated. A number of their singles became minor hits, and many of them were also songs for Whitfield's main act, The Temptations.

It's fair to say that the Undisputed Truth were little more than a mouthpiece for Whitfield. He wrote most of their material (sometimes in association with Barrett Strong), and used their sessions as a laboratory to devise funk rhythms and psychedelic guitar effects. He was doing the same thing with the Temptations, and the Undisputed Truth's records couldn't help but suffer in comparison. As vocalists they weren't in the same league as the Temps, and Whitfield was most likely reserving his real killer songs for the more famous group.

The group never approached the success of "Smiling Faces Sometimes" again, although they racked up a series of modest R&B hits through the mid-'70s. The best of these were "You Make Your Own Heaven and Hell Right Here on Earth" and the original version of "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," which Whitfield would quickly redo with the Temptations for a much more definitive (and massively successful) version.

In 1975 after 6 albums at Motown The Undisputed Truth, along with Rose Royce and Willie Hutch, they followed Whitfield during his exodus from Motown to set up Whitfield Records in 1975. At this time, Calvin and Joyce left the group, and Harris was joined by new members Virginia "V" McDonald, Tyrone "Big Ty" Douglas, Tyrone "Lil Ty" Barkley, and Calvin "Dhaak" Stephenson. The group's costuming and style changed as well, becoming even more unusual and Funkadelic-influenced. It resulted in 2 more albums Method To The Madness and Smokin before the act folded in 79.

Noman Whitfield meanwhile scored a Grammy for the Carwash Soundtrack but found success in the 80's hard to come by. No need to feel sorry for the man because in 2005 he faced charges of tax evasion on more than $2 million worth of income, failing to report royalty income he earned from 1995 to 1999. He pleaded guilty but got away with house arrest as he was seriously ill because of Diabetes a disease he succumbed to 16th of september 2008.

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This sparkling debut, fueled by "Smiling Faces Sometimes," a number three pop hit, zoomed to #43 on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart. Lead singer Joe Harris had recorded as a teenager with Little Joe & the Moroccos and later with the Fabulous Peps, and logged a brief, unsuccessful stint with the Ohio Players. Additionally, Brenda Joyce and Billie Rae Calvin had done background work and sung in the Delicates. Producer Norman Whitfield brought one original song to the session, "You Got the Love I Need"; every other cut was previously recorded by others (Holland-Dozier-Holland's "We Got a Way Out Love" was originally done by the Originals, and so on). Whitfield had the creative juices flowing on "Ball of Confusion," which bounces along for more than ten minutes and is true bliss; the arrangement is totally different from the Temptations blockbuster. The monster "Smiling Faces Sometimes" has a dead serious beat and some strong comments about people who show their teeth all the time. The tracks, with a couple of exceptions, follow a pattern: Harris sings lead, sounding Jerry Butler-ish, and Joyce and Calvin sweeten the tracks with their sugary, two-part harmonies. On Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone," Whitfield experiments with the trio by testing the pop/psychedelic waters, an indication of a new direction for Undisputed Truth.



The Undisputed Truth - The Undisputed Truth  (flac 250mb)

01 You Got The Love I Need 2:57
02 Save My Love For A Rainy Day 3:50
03 California Soul 3:45
04 Aquarius 2:39
05 Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today) 10:20
06 Smiling Faces Sometimes 3:05
07 We've Got A Way Out Love 2:55
08 Since I've Lost You 3:10
09 Ain't No Sun Since You've Been Gone 2:42
10 I Heard It Through The Grapevine 2:51
11 Like A Rolling Stone 6:30

The Undisputed Truth - The Undisputed Truth  (ogg 110mb)

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Face to Face With the Truth peaked at #114 on the charts, 71 slots lower than their self-titled debut, yet overall it's artistically more satisfying. Side One is straight head music, all remakes, but arranged totally different from their predecessors. "You Make Your Own Heaven and Hell Right Here on Earth" had all the biting commentary of "Smiling Faces Sometimes," and then some. Originally done at a faster tempo by the Temptations, Norman Whitfield slowed the pace for the Truth. Joe Harris sang with perfect diction, making the stark lyrics even more riveting, while Brenda Joyce and Billie Calvin chirped like songbirds. Likewise for "Ungena Za Ulimengu (Unite the World)," another Temptation cut that Whitfield slowed and transformed into a psychedelic mind bender. You won't recognize the arrangement of "Friendship Train," a hit for Gladys Knight & the Pips; and Marvin Gaye's classic "What's Going On" may come off a bit too esoteric for most. Norman Whitfield never produced a song the same way twice, and that's the undisputed truth.



The Undisputed Truth - Face To Face With The Truth  (flac 255mb)

01 You Make Your Own Heaven And Hell Right Here On Earth 6:58
02 What It Is? 4:56
03 Ungena Za Ulimwengu (Unite The World) Friendship Train 8:51
04 Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are) 3:07
05 Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me 4:02
06 Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me 5:24
07 What's Going On 9:24

The Undisputed Truth - Face To Face With The Truth  (ogg 112mb)

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It's not exactly fair to peg the Undisputed Truth as a one-hit wonder, because they did have a few hits for Motown in the first half of the 1970s (albeit only one big one), as well as made half a dozen albums for the label. Still, it's not that far from the truth. Nothing else they did matched the strength of "Smiling Faces Sometimes," which made number three in 1971. Crafted by Norman Whitfield, Motown's most adventurous producer of the time, it employed the funk-psychedelic guitars and ominous, socially aware lyrics that were also characteristic of his work with the Temptations during the period. The Undisputed Truth came into being after Bobby Taylor brought Billie Rae Calvin and Brenda Joyce to Motown as part of the Delicates. When the Delicates broke up, the pair kept busy doing background vocals for the Four Tops, Diana Ross, and Edwin Starr. Whitfield teamed them up with Joe Harris of the Preps, laying the groundwork for the male-female vocal interplay that would typify their Motown sessions. It's fair to say that the Undisputed Truth were little more than a mouthpiece for Whitfield. He wrote most of their material (sometimes in association with Barrett Strong), and used their sessions as a laboratory to devise funk rhythms and psychedelic guitar effects. He was doing the same thing with the Temptations, and the Undisputed Truth's records couldn't help but suffer in comparison. As vocalists they weren't in the same league as the Temps, and Whitfield was most likely reserving his real killer songs for the more famous group. The group never approached the success of "Smiling Faces Sometimes" again, although they racked up a series of modest R&B hits through the mid-'70s. The best of these were "You Make Your Own Heaven and Hell Right Here on Earth" (which perhaps recalled "Smiling Faces" a little too closely) and the original version of "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," which Whitfield would quickly redo with the Temptations for a much more definitive (and massively successful) version. Little else in the Undisputed Truth discography demands attention, though Motown scholars will find their work worth a listen to investigate some of the ideas rattling around Whitfield's head in the 1970



The Undisputed Truth - Law Of The Land  (flac 217mb)

01 Law Of The Land 4:24
02 Papa Was A Rollin' Stone 3:25
03 Girl You're Alright 2:54
04 Killing Me Softly With This Song 4:49
05 Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) 3:40
06 This Child Needs Its Father 3:24
07 Mama I Gotta Brand New Thing (Don't Say No) 3:37
08 Feelin' Alright 4:51
09 Love And Happiness 3:13
10 With A Little Help From My Friends 4:23
11 If I Die 3:16
12 Walk On By 3:46

The Undisputed Truth - Law Of The Land  (ogg 100mb)

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