Just watched again (for the 10th time!) ‘Standing in the Shadows of Motown,’ a DVD that recognizes the achievements of the Funk Brothers. Formed in 1959 by Berry Gordy, the Funk Brothers were essential to the Motown Sound of the 1960’s – they were the session musicians who actually played and recorded the tracks for most of the Motown Artists and the songs we all know so well. They defined the sound for Soul Bands and Motown Bands and some of the greatest musicians ever played in this band (the line up changed throughout the years).
The band played on more Number One hits than the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys and Elvis combined.
The Funk Brothers were considered the unsung heroes of the Motown label, playing on hundreds of hits such as the Supremes’ ‘Stop in the Name of Love’ and Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Heard it through the Grapevine.’
The band defined the Motown sound of the 1960’s, which fused gospel, soul and pop, included Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Four Tops.
Sadly, a number of the “Funk Brothers” have passed away; but the surviving members appeared on a Thursday night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem in 2002, as part of the premiere for the launch of ‘Standing in the Shadows of Motown.
The group played backgrounds on the Motown songs:
‘Ain’t Too Proud To Beg’, ‘My Guy’, ‘For Once In My Life’, ‘Wonderful One’, ‘I Was Made To Love Her’, ‘The Way You Do The Things You Do’, ‘Dancing In The Street’, ‘Your Precious Love’, ‘I Can’t Help Myself’, ‘My Cherie Amour’, ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’, ‘My Girl’, ‘Shop Around’, ‘Going To A Go-Go’, ‘Get Ready’, ‘Heatwave’, ‘How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You’, ‘Baby Love’, ‘Cloud Nine’, ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, ‘Bernadette’, ‘Mercy, Mercy Me’, ‘Signed, Sealed Delivered, I’m Yours’, ‘Where Did Our Love Go’, ‘What’s Going On’, ‘Ooh, Baby Baby’…..the list is endless.
If you like Soul bands, Motown Bands or any king of Soul Music, then this is a must watch DVD.