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Merck Mercuriadis on Lamont Dozier: ‘He was as vital as any songwriter that has ever lived.’


The next MBW op/ed comes from Merck Mercuriadis (pictured inset), the founder and CEO of Hipgnosis Tune Administration. Though the now sadly-departed Lamont Dozier’s music just isn’t a part of Hipgnosis’ catalog, Mercuriadis explains why he was an enormous fan of the Motown songwriting legend – each as a music-maker, and as an individual.


Lamont Dozier was as vital as any songwriter that has ever lived.

Inside that assertion, I embrace the Gershwins, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Carole King, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Surprise, Nile Rodgers, Neil Younger, Jimmy Webb, Diane Warren, Kurt Cobain, Jimmy Web page, Robert Plant, and Prince – to not point out the 1000’s of different songwriters who had been impressed by the long-lasting songs Lamont wrote with Eddie Holland and Brian Holland.

Lamont is synonymous with Motown and the most important hits and biggest music of all time.

He was additionally a sublime, lovely and type one who was at all times beneficiant along with his time and data.

I used to be at all times energized by spending time with him and it was by no means misplaced on me that I used to be within the presence of greatness – even when that was seemingly one thing that he was unaware of.

However what we’ve got to recollect is that Lamont wasn’t simply nice in 1962; his extraordinary powers remained in ’72, ’82, ’92, ’02, ’12 and proper up till his passing a couple of days in the past in ’22.

As an business, we’re at all times specializing in the subsequent factor, and sadly that comes with penalties: we generally fail to totally honour the knowledge and experience that comes with having seen all the things there may be to see.

I’ve spent the final 36 hours fully immersed in a playlist of Lamont’s 35 Billboard Prime 10 hits. A listening pleasure that’s incomparable! From (Love Is Like A) Warmth Wave in 1963 to This Previous Coronary heart Of Mine in 1990 and together with The place Did Our Love Go, Come See About Me, Child Love, Cease! In The Identify Of Love, I Can’t Assist Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch), It’s the Identical Previous Tune, I Hear a Symphony, My World Is Empty With out You, You Can’t Hurry Love, Attain Out I’ll Be There, You Preserve Me Hangin’ On, Standing within the Shadows of Love, Child I Want Your Loving, Bernadette, Reflections, and How Candy It Is (To Be Liked by You).

“I used to be at all times energized by spending time with him and it was by no means misplaced on me that I used to be within the presence of greatness.”

That record alone is eighteen iconic songs that everybody on the planet is aware of and that at all times received handed down from technology to technology during the last 60 years – and can proceed to take action for the subsequent 60 years, and past!

However after I performed these 18 songs, a humorous factor occurred: the elation I used to be feeling from this unbelievable music that Lamont Dozier gifted the world turned to despair – as a result of immediately I remembered that Songwriters don’t receives a commission pretty and equitably.

That is even supposing they ship a very powerful part within the music business – the tune! The part that permits recorded music, stay music, music merchandise, Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok et al to exist!

The songwriters are the low males or ladies within the financial equation and they’re nonetheless not – regardless of copyright board rulings, DCMS committees and CMA investigations – paid pretty and equitably.

HOW CAN A MAN LIKE LAMONT DOZIER IMPACT OUR CULTURE AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE IN A WAY THAT IS IMMEASURABLE – BUT NEVER GET PAID FAIRLY AND EQUITABLY FOR IT?!!!!!!!

I applaud Berry Gordy, Daniel Ek, Lucian Grainge et al for his or her great work and don’t begrudge them a penny; they greater than have earned what they’ve. However the time has come to acknowledge the efforts of the songwriters that write the songs that make our world go spherical pretty and equitably.

I’ve used these phrases three or 4 instances already and it’s nonetheless not sufficient. “Songwriters don’t receives a commission sufficient” is a press release that nobody within the music enterprise can argue in opposition to. Songwriters have to be paid pretty and equitably – and the time is now!

“HOW CAN A MAN LIKE LAMONT DOZIER IMPACT OUR CULTURE AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE IN A WAY THAT IS IMMEASURABLE – BUT NEVER GET PAID FAIRLY AND EQUITABLY FOR IT?!”

At Hipgnosis we’ve at all times been clear that our motive is to acknowledge the worth of songwriters and provides our buyers an ideal return. However equally, our “ulterior” motive is to make use of the platform of our success to advocate and combat for songwriters and to take them from the underside of the financial equation to the highest. That ulterior motive is in full alignment with not solely the songwriting group however our very (politically) highly effective institutional buyers.

Although he was not part of Hipgnosis, the contributions of Lamont Dozier, and all nice Songwriters, won’t ever be forgotten at Hipgnosis. We’ll use the inspiration we get from Lamont’s songs to proceed to combat and advocate for Songwriters’ efforts to be correctly acknowledged and remunerated.

At MBW’s A&R Awards in London this November, along with the SONG OF THE YEAR award which Hipgnosis has historically sponsored, we can even be sponsoring the SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR award.

We intend to current the 2022 award in honour of LAMONT DOZIER, as a celebration of this nice man whose contributions ought to by no means be forgotten. Lamont needs to be an inspiration to everybody taking part in a job on this business, whether or not they’re at recorded corporations, music publishers, Digital Service Suppliers, CRB, DCMS, CMA, NMPA and so forth.

Everybody should always remember that with out the work of Songwriters we’ve got no Music Enterprise.

For the second it’s the identical previous tune for songwriters – however change is coming. And everybody on this business would do proper to be on the precise facet of that change.

Lamont Dozier is gone however his songs will at all times be part of the material of our lives and society. They are going to stay endlessly and thru them, he’ll stay endlessly.

Lamont Dozier; say his identify in celebration of an ideal man, with iconic songs, who made the world a greater place.Music Enterprise Worldwide



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