African American News

‘MOTOWN UNRELEASED: 1969’ Celebrates 60 Years Of Motown With 60 Previously Unreleased Songs Recorded By The Legendary Label In 1969

The Digital-Only Collection is Available Today Across All Major Streaming Services

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and Jr. Walker & the All Stars each contribute three previously unavailable songs

Diana Ross & the Supremes, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Marvin Gaye, Bobby Taylor, Edwin Starr, Jackson 5, Jimmy Ruffin, Valerie Simpson and more provide stand-out unheard tracks

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the celebrated label, Motown/UMe today released ‘MOTOWN UNRELEASED: 1969,’ a digital only collection that contains 60 previously unreleased studio recordings made during 1969 including songs by Diana Ross & the Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Jr. Walker & the All Stars and many more.

LOS ANGELESSept. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the celebrated label, Motown/UMe today released MOTOWN UNRELEASED: 1969, a digital only collection that contains 60 previously unreleased studio recordings made during 1969 including songs by Diana Ross & the Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie WonderMarvin GayeSmokey Robinson & The Miracles, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Jr. Walker & the All Stars and many more.

MOTOWN UNRELEASED: 1969 is available today, as The Motown Museum’s Hitsville Honors festivities begin in Detroit, to purchase or stream from all major download and streaming services in standard and Hi-Res Audio formats at

The collection captures the width and breadth of Motown’s iconic catalog, the richness of the label’s roster, and the diversity of material that was being produced at the time. The songs showcase a vision of the future that’s coming into focus, with seminal albums from Stevie WonderMarvin Gaye and The Temptations on the horizon.

Owing to the non-stop recording activity at Motown’s studios, more than half of the tracks on MOTOWN UNRELEASED: 1969 are never-before-heard compositions, including the heart-breaking-yet-hopeful “I Had a Dream (Opus I),” written and produced by Ashford & Simpson for Gladys Knight & The Pips, recorded a year after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.Stevie Wonder’s joyful “Mister Moon,” one of his first self-productions, infused with ecstatic falsetto harmonies; and “Pretty Little Brown Skin Girl,” a celebration of African-American beauty from The Temptations. Also among the jewels is “Touched by Love,” a Johnny Bristol production recorded by Bobby Taylor while he was grooming the Jackson 5 in advance of their first album.

“Motown is clearly evolving at this time,” said Harry Weinger, Vice President of A&R at Universal Music Enterprises, who oversaw the project. “There’s an opening for writers and producers to experiment with the Motown sound but, for certain topics, or musical ideas, or even artists, the company isn’t ready. Or, it’s a simple case of having only so many slots for releases. So, until now, those songs went unreleased.”

Additional tracks are unique covers of previously released songs, including several by Ivy Jo Hunter, one of the great unsung Motown writers and producers who re-works the hits he had created for other artists including “Dancing in the Street” and “Ask the Lonely.” The Jackson 5, just two months from debuting with “I Want You Back,” lay down a thrilling, up-tempo version of the Miracles’ “What’s So Good About Goodbye,” providing a fresh take of a Smokey Robinson classic. Diana Ross & the Supremes deliver an achingly beautiful version of “For Once In My Life,” an historic session that marks the last time Ms. Ross, Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong are together in the studio.

On other tracks, UMe’s A&R executives and studio engineers were able to repair technical issues on the original recordings that had prevented Motown from releasing the songs, including Kiki Dee’s “While They Watch” and “You’re My World.”

The collection also includes five funky instrumental tracks by the Funk Brothers house band – surely highlighted by the Paul Riser production, “Moratorium” –  recorded under the name of their indomitable leader, Earl Van Dyke.

All of the new collection’s tracks have been mastered for the first time at Studio 4 by Phil Nicolo from their original analog master tapes, which were individually selected by Motown A&R specialists from UMG’s secure storage facilities. Half the collection’s tracks were sourced from their original Motown mixes, while the rest were mixed for the first time for this release, by Obie O’Brien at Mixville USA and by John Morales at M+M Mix Studios.

Track credits available here:

Stream all of Motown’s greatest hits: │

1.  Diana Ross & the Supremes / For Once In My Life
2.  Stevie Wonder / Can’t Do Without Your Love
3.  Ivy Jo / It’s Love I Need
4.  Chris Clark / My World Is Empty Without You
5.  The Temptations / Pretty Little Brown Skin Girl
6.  The Volumes / Forever I’ll Love You
7.  Jr. Walker & the All Stars / (Baby) I Need You
8.  Frank Wilson / Look Out Your Window
9.  Edwin Starr / I’ll Always Love You
10.  Earl Van Dyke / Stone Soul Booster
11.  Gladys Knight & the Pips / You Took Me This Far (Take Me All The Way)
12.  Smokey Robinson & the Miracles / Won’t You Come and Fly With Me
13.  Edwin Starr / Born Just To Be That Way
14.  Smokey Robinson & the Miracles / What About Me
15.  Jonah Jones / Too Many Fish In The Sea
16.  Edwin Starr / Fan The Flame
17.  Chris Clark / The Last Thing On My Mind
18.  Smokey Robinson & the Miracles / Backfire (version 1)
19.  Gladys Knight & the Pips / I Had A Dream (Opus I)
20.  The Temptations / Why (Must We Fall In Love)
21.  The Fantastic Four / What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted
22.  Ivy Jo / Ask The Lonely
23.  Ivy Jo / Yesterday’s Dreams
24.  Ivy Jo / I Got To Get To California
25.  The Originals / Blame It On War
26.  The Stylists / The Jackpot
27.  The Spinners / Don’t Think It’s Me
28.  Michael Denton / MacArthur Park/Didn’t We
29.  Michael Denton / Someone For My Own
30.  The Volumes / One Lucky Day I Found You
31.  The Rustix / Generation
32.  Jr. Walker & the All Stars / Country Girl
33.  Jr. Walker & the All Stars / Something You Got (studio version)
34.  Bobby Taylor / At Last (I Found A Love)
35.  Bobby Taylor / Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone
36.  Jackson 5 / What’s So Good About Goodbye
37.  Bobby Taylor / You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me – feat. the Jackson 5
38.  Earl Van Dyke / The Stranger
39.  Earl Van Dyke / I Wish It Would Rain
40.  Stevie Wonder / Start Out A New Day
41.  Gordon Staples & the Motown Strings / All the Many Shades In Between
42.  Valerie Simpson / You Ain’t Livin’ Till You‘re Lovin’
43.  Edwin Starr / Pain From My Loneliness
44.  Yvonne Fair / All I Could Do Was Cry
45.  The Temptations / Home Is Where The Heart Is
46.  Stevie Wonder / Mister Moon
47.  Rare Earth / Your Heartaches I Can Surely Heal
48.  Ivy Jo / Dancing In The Street
49.  Marvin Gaye / I’ll Take Care Of Business
50.  Ivy Jo / Pride, Foolish Pride
51.  Earl Van Dyke / Moratorium
52.  Kiki Dee / While They Watch
53.  Terry Johnson / This Is The Beginning
54.  Terry Johnson / I Blew My Mind
55.  Earl Van Dyke / Chicken Little 69
56.  Kiki Dee / You’re My World
57.  Bobby Taylor / Touched By Love
58.  Hearts of Stone / When Push Comes To Shove
59.  Jimmy Ruffin / I Gotta Cover A Whole Lotta Ground
60.  Terry Johnson / Tomorrow’s Child


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