For each song, all known US recordings up until the end of 1972 are shown. This limit has been extended for songs recorded at The Motown Detroit studios, up to the final sessions held in September 1974. Where the first known recording of a song was not until 1973 or later, this recording only is shown.
All known US releases up until the end of 1972 of recordings described
above are shown. Where the first release of a recording was not until
1973 or later, this release only is shown. Where the only known
release of a recording was outside the US, this release is shown. A
large number of CD releases also appear, but by no means all; a
somewhat subjective choice of which have been “significant”
has been made, but this is intended at least to cover all CDs where
previously unreleased material was included.
Titles are shown as indicated in the original paperwork: where sources
disagree, the title has been taken where possible from independent
sources such as BMI and ASCAP. A particular problem is posed by
recordings known only from acetate labels, or discographies: in some
cases, a guess has been made about the identity of a particular
title, and future research, or release of the material in question,
may prove these guesses wrong.
Much standardisation has taken place: in general, a writer's first and
last names are shown, in the most commonly known form; combination
names (e.g. Brianbert, Janard) are expanded to full names; other
aliases are in general preserved. The correct writers of
Motown/Golden World songs have been taken where possible from the
earliest possible source, despite the fact that some titles have
“changed ownership” over the years, for varying reasons.
Writers of non Motown/Golden World songs have been checked where
possible with BMI and ASCAP.
publishers separated by comma (e.g. Jobete, Jansumar) indicate shared
publishing rights. Two publishers separated by slashes (e.g.
Birdsong/Jobete) indicate publishing rights acquired by the second
publisher from the first. The publishers listed are the publishers of
the title at the time; no attempt has been made to indicate who owns
the titles now.
much standardisation has taken place: the Miracles and the Supremes
are always shown under those names, and Martha (Reeves) & the
Vandellas always appear as the Vandellas: no attempt is made to show
which records were issued under which version of their names.
Otherwise, we have tried to indicate where aliases or alternate names
for artists appeared on a particular record.
about recording locations has been summarised: up until around 1964,
recordings were often completed in a single session, but later
recordings were often built over several sessions, sometimes held at
different locations. Locations for non-Detroit recordings are derived
either from the tape cards or from the tape boxes.
the date is annotated as “recording completed”, if it’s
a Motown recording, the date shown is is taken from the Session Logs,
which relate mostly to Hitsville/Golden World recordings. There is no
comparable information for most recordings made at other locations,
particularly those made on the West Coast: “recorded before”
indicates the date when a particular recording was added to the
Detroit tape library, the source being the tape boxes themselves.
Recording dates for non-Motown recordings are taken from a variety of
versions of the same song by the same artist are listed only when
there are significant audible differences, usually due to different
recordings (takes) being used, or to substantially different track
durations, or to the use of overdubbing. Stereo/mono mixes have not
normally been treated as different versions. Where it has not been
possible to listen to a recording, a guess has sometimes been made
about whether it is the same as or different from other known
recordings of the song by the artist in question: future research or
release of the material in question may prove these guesses wrong.
of names as for writers. Wherever possible, producers have been taken
from the session logs or tape filing cards, otherwise producers
listed on single-play records have been preferred to those listed on
albums, as the latter are not always accurate. Some producers (or
chief producers) have been inferred from master numbers where they
are otherwise unknown (this is usually possible with Motown master
numbers from August 1964 on).
of names as for writers. Arrangers’ names only appeared on
record labels, and only from about 1969 as far as Motown recordings
are concerned: there is no other source for this information.
of names as for writers. Additional information not shown on record
labels has been acquired from a variety of sources (including
listening to the recordings). There is no information in the Motown
Archives about who played on which recordings: where such information
is shown, it’s mostly derived from the work of the late Kurt
Mohr, who was given access back in the 1960s to sources that are no
TYPE OF RELEASE
records with a particular catalogue number are known to have been
pressed, a date is shown in front of the catalogue number. Where it
is thought no copies were pressed, "unreleased" is used in
place of the date. Some acetates have dates on the label, and these
are shown here.
MODE OF RELEASE
indicates mono, (S) stereo and (E) electronically reprocessed stereo.
possible, dates of release have been taken from internal Motown
paperwork. Otherwise dates have been taken from published
discographies; where these disagree, a "best guess" has
COUNTRY OF RELEASE
otherwise shown, all releases were issued in the USA.