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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 Marvel, Nile Rodgers, Neil Younger, Jimmy Webb, Diane Warren, Kurt Cobain, Jimmy Web page, Robert Plant, and Prince – to not point out the hundreds of different songwriters who have been impressed by the enduring songs Lamont wrote with Eddie Holland and Brian Holland.

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

He was additionally a sublime, lovely and type one who was all the time beneficiant along with his time and information.

I used to be all the time 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 now have 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 trade, we’re all the time 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 every little thing 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 From (Love Is Like A) Warmth Wave in 1963 to This Outdated Coronary heart Of Mine in 1990 and together with The place Did Our Love Go, Come See About Me, Child Love, Cease! In The Identify Of Love, I Can’t Assist Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch), It’s the Similar Outdated Tune, I Hear a Symphony, My World Is Empty With out You, You Can’t Hurry Love, Attain Out I’ll Be There, You Hold Me Hangin’ On, Standing within the Shadows of Love, Child I Want Your Loving, Bernadette, Reflections, and How Candy It Is (To Be Cherished by You).

“I used to be all the time 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 listing alone is eighteen iconic songs that everybody on the planet is aware of and that all the time acquired handed down from technology to technology over the past 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 unimaginable music that Lamont Dozier gifted the world turned to despair – as a result of abruptly I remembered that Songwriters don’t receives a commission pretty and equitably.

That is even though they ship a very powerful part within the music trade – the track! The part that enables recorded music, dwell music, music merchandise, Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok et al to exist!

The songwriters are the low males or girls 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 super 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 an announcement 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 all the time been clear that our motive is to acknowledge the worth of songwriters and provides our buyers an important 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 neighborhood however our very (politically) highly effective institutional buyers.

Even though he was not part of Hipgnosis, the contributions of Lamont Dozier, and all nice Songwriters, won’t ever be forgotten at Hipgnosis. We are going to 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 may 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 enjoying a task on this trade, whether or not they’re at recorded corporations, music publishers, Digital Service Suppliers, CRB, DCMS, CMA, NMPA and many others.

Everybody should always remember that with out the work of Songwriters we now have no Music Enterprise.

For the second it’s the identical outdated track for songwriters – however change is coming. And everybody on this trade would do proper to be on the proper aspect of that change.

Lamont Dozier is gone however his songs will all the time be part of the material of our lives and society. They may dwell perpetually and thru them, he’ll dwell perpetually.

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

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