Saturday, March 8, 2008


The Music Merchant Story

The Holland Dozier Holland story is a great one, but I'll chop it down for you...

Holland-Dozier-Holland is a songwriting and production team made up of Lamont Dozier and brothers Brian Holland and Edward Holland, Jr.. The trio wrote and arranged many of the songs making up the Motown sound that dominated music of the 1960s. During their time at 1962-1967, Dozier and Brian Holland were the composers/producers for each song, and Eddie Holland wrote the lyrics and arranged the vocals. When the trio left Motown, they continued to work as a production team (with Eddie Holland being added to the producer credits), and as a songwriting team until about 1974.

The trio came together at Motown Records. Eddie Holland, in fact, had been working with Motown founder Berry Gordy prior to that label being formed; his 1958 Mercury single "You" was one of the earliest Gordy productions. Later, Eddie Holland had a career as a Motown recording artist, scoring a hit in 1961 with "Jamie".

Eddie's brother Brian Holland was a Motown staff songwriter who also tasted success in 1961, being a co-composer of The Marvelettes' US #1 "Please Mr. Postman". Dozier had been a recording artist for a few different labels in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including the Anna label (owned by Berry Gordy's sister) and Motown subsidiary Mel-o-dy.

The three of them ended up writing and producing dozens and dozens of songs recorded by artists on contract to Motown Records, including 25 Number 1 hit singles such as "(Love is Like a) Heat Wave" for Martha & the Vandellas and "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" for Marvin Gaye.

Their most celebrated productions were probably the singles they created for The Four Tops and The Supremes, including a string of five consecutive US #1 singles for The Supremes, beginning with 1964's super-hit "Where Did Our Love Go".

as far as early motown (the golden years) Holland Dozier Holland WAS motown!!!
in opinion...while i will say (motown producer) Norman Whitfield, for the five-year period of early 1968 to early 1973, was the greatest all-around creative force in popular music in the US

Anyway...The trio left Motown in 1967 because of a dispute with the founder and head of Motown Records, Berry Gordy, over profit sharing and royalties. They started their own labels, Invictus Records and Hot Wax Records, which were only mildly successful. Motown sued for breach of contract, and H-D-H countersued. The subsequent litigation was one of the longest legal battles in music industry history. Because of the lawsuit, H-D-H were forced to give composer credits on their earliest Invictus/Hot Wax recordings to the team of "Wayne/Dunbar". The lawsuit was settled in 1977 with H-D-H paying Motown a mere several thousand dollars in damages.

Dozier left Holland-Dozier-Holland Productions, Inc. (HDHP) during the early 1970s to resume his career as a solo performing artist. (I'll be posting those soon)

Sooooo..After Invictus and Hot Wax, Music Merchant was the third label started by Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland after leaving Motown. The label was distributed by Buddah Records and in operation during 1972 - 1973.

this is the best of that label...soul and rock fused to be some of the best HDH productions

but don't take my word for it



Lafayette said...

Thanks, Milk...great album!
H/D/H was the greatest production unit ever!

(To make this post perfect, you just need to fix that typo in the headline! :¬)


Robert said...

thanks Milk,
Very great write-up!!


thanks Laf...i'm on it...

92bpms said...

Such good music. Thanks for the tunes and the education.

Styles said...

Thanks a lot Milk. And I agree with Laf HDH was some bad mutha's.

jogrant said...

great blog my friend a lot of good stuff on here! check out my blog if you want. i been posting some of the same albums great minds think alike

Ricardo said...

Superb post - there were so many classics to come out of that organisation
Thanks for the share Milky

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