Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever

There has been no official announcement, but it appears that the TV special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever may be coming to DVD. The major clue is two new Amazon listings, one for a one-DVD/150 Minute version and one for a 3-DVD/450 Minute set. Both are listed with a September 30 release date via Time-Life.

Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever is a 1983 television special celebrating the 25th anniversary of Motown Records starring some of the label’s biggest stars. Of course, the big moment of the night was Michael Jackson’s performance of Billie Jean which, for the first time, included his Moonwalk. The show was taped at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on March 25.

Among the performances:

Shop Around – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

You Really Got a Hold on Me – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

Tears of a Clown – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

Going to a Go-Go – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

Uptight (Everything’s Alright) – Stevie Wonder

Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours – Stevie Wonder

My Cherie Amor – Stevie Wonder

Sir Duke – Stevie Wonder

You Are the Sunshine of My Life – Stevie Wonder

Reach Out (I’ll Be There) – The Temptations / The Four Tops

Get Ready – The Temptations / The Four Tops

It’s the Same Old Song – The Temptations / The Four Tops

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg – The Temptations / The Four Tops

Baby I Need Your Loving – The Temptations / The Four Tops

My Girl – The Temptations / The Four Tops

I Can’t Get Next to You – The Temptations / The Four Tops

I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – The Temptations / The Four Tops

(I Know) I’m Losing You – The Temptations / The Four Tops

What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye

(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave – Martha & the Vandellas

My Guy – Mary Wells

Shotgun – Junior Walker & the All-Stars

Devil in the Bottle – T.G. Sheppard

Lonely Teardrops – Jose Feliciano

Brick House – Commodores

Where Did Our Love Go – Adam Ant

You – Lionel Richie

I Want You Back – The Jacksons

The Love You Save – The Jacksons

Never Can Say Goodbye – The Jacksons

I’ll Be There – The Jacksons

Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

The Way of Love – DeBarge

Pretender – High Energy

Ooh Baby Baby – Smokey Robinson / Linda Ronstadt

The Tracks of My Tears – Smokey Robinson / Linda Ronstadt

Being With You – Smokey Robinson

Cruisin’ – Smokey Robinson

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross

Someday We’ll Be Together – Diana Ross & the Supremes

Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand) – Diana Ross & the Supremes

The original three-hour show will fit fine on the single disc version, but what will be on the three-DVD set? There are performances from the night that didn’t make the broadcast program and, especially, moments that couldn’t be shown. The reunion of Diana Ross and the Supremes fell apart when Ross got upset that the other two members (Mary Wilson, Cindy Birdsong) walked next to her instead of behind her as they first walked upstage. Reports say that the action confused Ross and Wilson took over lead vocals along with the introduction of Berry Gordy. Performances of Baby Love and Stop! In the Name of Love were completely dropped as other stars rushed on stage to help finish Together.

When the show aired, that finale looked as if it was the way it was planned but it would be great, after all these years, if the entire performance made it onto the three-disc set. Hopefully, we will also see rehearsal footage and other special features on the deluxe set.

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