News

Smokey Robinson exposes Motown studio myth

Smokey Robinson exposes Motown studio myth

MOTOWN MYTH: Smokey Robinson receives the inaugural Architects of Sound - Artist Award on stage during at the GRAMMY Museum gala tribute concert on Monday, Nov. 11 in Los Angeles. Robinson said that many of the Motown label's hits were not recorded at its famous studios in Detroit. Photo: Associated Press/Paul A. Hebert/Invision

Soul icon Smokey Robinson has exposed one of music’s greatest legends as a myth – he is adamant many of Motown’s biggest hits were recorded miles away from the company’s famed headquarters.

The renowned record label enjoyed an unprecedented run of 110 top 10 hits in the U.S. from 1961 to 1971, for stars including The Jackson 5 and Diana Ross.

It gave the company’s headquarters in Detroit, Michigan a reputation as an unrivaled songwriting Mecca, and the building even earned the name Hitsville U.S.A.

However, “The Tears of a Clown” hitmaker Robinson has now spoken out to reveal many of the label’s best-known tracks were recorded at other studios, often thousands of miles away or even in another country.

He tells Uncut magazine, “People used to come from all over the world to recreate that magic, as if they could capture it in the air. But I’ll let you into a secret – a lot of Motown hits weren’t recorded there! A lot of the time our artists were on the road – in New York, L.A., Chicago, Nashville, sometimes even in London – and we’d book studios in these cities. I’ll defy anyone who claims he can identify the songs we recorded outside of Detroit.”

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Oct. 21

elton-john

A look back at the Hollywood headlines that made history.

in Viral Videos

B1G mascots ‘Shake It Off’ parody

12-overlay3

Big Ten mascots show off their dance moves to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off."

in Entertainment

Robin gig has gone to the girls

jenamalone

The superhero sidekick is set for a sex change in the upcoming "Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice" film.

in Music

Led Zeppelin plagiarism case to be heard in Pa.

2012 Kennedy Center Honorees and members of the band Led Zeppelin, from left, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Robert Plant chat on the red carpet after arriving at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors Performance and Gala Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 at the State Department in Washington.

Led Zeppelin have lost the first round in their plagiarism battle over mega-hit "Stairway to Heaven."

in Viral Videos

If ‘WALL-E’ was a Christopher Nolan film

15-overlay3

Take a look at Pixar's "Wall-E" reimagined as if it was created by the director of "The Dark Knight."