September 18, 2008


Legendary producer and songwriter Norman Whitfield died on september 16th at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 67 years of age. Whitfield had struggled for months with complications from diabetes, and his prognosis had been day-to-day for several weeks. He had recently emerged from a coma. With collaborator Barrett Strong — himself in a Detroit hospital recovering from a stroke — Whitfield co-wrote many of Motown’s biggest hits, including its single most successful song, “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” recorded by Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight & the Pips. (source: freep)

Norman Whitfield first came to my attention listening to the Impressions' "Pyschedelic Shack" lp. The song that most notably "did it" for me on this album is called "Take a stroll through your mind," an epic, psychedelic and ganja flavoured musical epos, clocking in well over 8 eight minutes. Surely, that was not something I expected to hear from a Motown group with sweet hits to their name such as "It's allright", but dammit, this song struck me! It got to me big time and I just kept playing it over and over again. Soon I discovered that it was the producer, not the group, who was responsible for my newly beloved sound and I found myself digging for more of those psychedelic Norman Whitfield productions. Some were good, some were great and some dazzled me: I still remember the day my fellow Lock it Down writer Elephant Soundz put on the Jackson 5 version of "Hum along and dance" for me, which simply left me in awe...

Although certainly not all his productions are my cup of tea, Rose Royce's "car wash", for instance, is really a step too far for me, but it is without doubt that Norman Whitfield was a true talent. One of the kind that don't come up too often. A remarkable sound originator, a very gifted songwriter and, on a more personal level, one of the few producers who managed to create a signature sound that keeps me digging for more and more. His musical input is still greatly appreciated over here at Lock it Down. Think I'm gonna play the Velvelettes' "Needle in a haystack" some more....or "Ball of Confusion" or "Cloud Nine" or...

September 15, 2008

World's largest record collection drama

The Archive from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.

In today’s world, everyone downloads and buys music from the internet, making physical record albums obsolete, which is very sad news for Paul Mawhinney. Paul has the world’s largest record collection that he has been accumulated throughout his lifetime. He used to run a record store, and he would always put away the last copy of an album for himself. Due to his declining health and old age, Paul has decided to put the collection on sale for a mere $3 million when it was appraised at a whooping $50 million, yet no one has given a solid offer. Regardless of our technological advances, sometimes holding an album in your hands just feels a little bit different.

thanx to PVC for the link!