MUSIC NEWS: Historic Motown 25 Special Featuring World Premiere Of Michael Jackson's Moonwalk Coming To DVD

Fairfax, VA -- When Motown 25: Yesterday · Today · Forever aired on NBC on May 16, 1983, it was an immediate sensation and became one of the most talked about concerts and TV specials ever.  In an era before social media, MOTOWN 25 was a true water-cooler event, marking the first time that music fans saw Michael Jackson do the moonwalk (aka: the six seconds that changed the world), in addition to many other iconic performances.  Six months after the broadcast, the show deservedly won an Emmy® Award, but has been unseen for over 20 years…until now.  This fall, StarVista Entertainment/Time Life, in conjunction with de Passe Jones Entertainment and Berry Gordy's West Grand Media, is making this historic show available on DVD for the very first time.


Motown 25 was taped before a live audience and featured virtually every Motown artist from the company's inception, including Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, The Supremes, The Jackson 5, The Miracles, The Temptations, Four Tops and many others.  The show also featured many guests outside the Motown Records sphere who had been influenced by Motown artists, including Linda Ronstadt, who performed a memorable duet with Smokey Robinson, Billy Dee Williams, Jose Feliciano and British new wave star Adam Ant, who was riding a wave of popularity from MTV exposure.  As an added highlight, the historic evening was hosted by Richard Pryor, who was arguably the hottest comedian in the world at the time. A seminal event in pop culture history, this concert event would go on to provide the backstory for the Tony®-nominated Broadway play, Motown: The Musical, as well as set the bar for all future televised concert events.

Now, StarVista Entertainment/Time Life will make this once-in-a-lifetime concert available to music lovers in several different configurations including a deluxe 6-DVD collector's set, which will be available exclusively online at MOTOWN25DVDS.COM.  The release features an extended version of the show, with over 20 additional minutes not seen on the original broadcast, as well as brand-new 5.1 surround sound revealing the music to its fullest potential.  The 6-DVD set also includes nine newly-produced featurettes and additional bonus programming including:

  • "Signed, Sealed, Delivered - The Making of Motown 25", which tells the behind-the-scenes story of the making of the concert, and offers new insights into the rise of Motown and its roster of influential stars

  • "What's Going On: Marvin Gaye"

  • "Come and Get These Memories: Inside Hitsville"

  • "Dancin' In The Streets: The History of Motown"

  • Rare footage of Marvin Gaye ad-libbing at the piano prior to a soulful version of "What's Going On"

  • Stevie Wonder rehearsal footage

  • A 2-Part Motown 25 Performers Roundtable featuring Smokey Robinson and Duke Fakir (Four Tops), Otis Williams (The Temptations) and Executive Producer Suzanne de Passe, taped at the location of the original concert, the Pasadena Civic Auditorium

  • A "Yesterday · Today · Forever" Production Roundtable with de Passe, Director/Producer Don Mischer and others

  • Over 25 exclusive interviews with performers and crew, including Claudette Robinson (The Miracles), Martha Reeves (Martha & the Vandellas), Smokey Robinson, Nelson George, Gloria Jones, Adam Ant, Buz Kohan (Head Writer), David Goldberg (Executive in Charge of Production), Mickey Stevenson (Former Head of A&R/Songwriter), Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (Songwriters/Producers) and many more. 

Also included in the deluxe collector's box are an exclusive 48-page collector's booklet packed with information about the show and artists, production materials and never-before-scene photos from the production, essays on Motown performers, a copy of the original Motown 25 program and more!

The retail releases, set to drop on September 30, include a 3-disc set, which features the concert and over six hours of extras, including four featurettes, the Gaye Rehearsal footage, the Performer and Production Roundtables and more; and, the single DVD, which features the newly-remastered concert featuring 5.1 surround sound and over an hour of bonus features.

"Motown 25 was a labor of love for me and many others at Motown Records," said Suzanne de Passe, the Executive Producer of the TV show, who has overseen the creation of the DVD release.  "I'm thrilled the show is being released to DVD for the first time, allowing fans both new and old to experience this magical, musical night in many different ways."

MOTOWN 25 (6 DISCS)
Pre-order Begins: August 19, 2014
Price: $79.95
Run time: Approx. 16 hours
Online Exclusive Collection includes:

  • 6 DVDs in deluxe collector's packaging, featuring a 48-page collector's book and a copy of the Motown 25 Program; extended version of Motown 25 with over 20 additional minutes not seen in the original broadcast; new 5.1 surround sound

  • 14 hours of specially-created featurettes, in-depth interviews and more

  • Nine featurettes including: "Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Making of Motown 25", "What's Going On: Marvin Gaye", "Reach Out I'll Be There: The Temptations and Four Tops", "Come and Get These Memories: Inside Hitsville", "Dancin' In The Streets: History of Motown", "You've Really Got a Hold on Me: The Miracles", "My Guy: Smokey Robinson", "I Heard it Through the Grapevine: Motown Sound" and "Motown 25 Reboot: The 5.1 Surround Sound Mix"

  • 2-Part Motown Performers Roundtable featuring Smokey Robinson, Duke Fakir, Otis Williams and Suzanne de Passe; the "Yesterday, Today, Forever" Production Roundtable featuring de Passe, Suzanne Coston (Producer), Don Mischer (Director/Producer), David Goldberg (Executive in Charge of Production) and Buz Kohan (Head Writer) and a Songwriters Roundtable (1983).

  • Exclusive Interviews with: Suzanne de Passe, Don Mischer,Suzanne Coston, Duke Fakir, Otis Williams, Claudette Robsinon, Martha Reeves, Gloria Jones, Smokey Robinson, Adam Ant, Nelson George, Michael Lovesmith, Iris Gordy, Motown Records Songwriters/Producers Norman Whitfield and Holland Dozier, Motown Executives including Shelly Berger, Russ Terrana (Engineer), Janie Bradford, Mickey Stevenson and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (Songwriters/Producers), Motown 25 writers Buz Kohan, Ruth Robinson and Don Waller, David Goldberg, George Schlatter (George Schlatter Productions), Rick Ludwin (former Head of NBC Specials)

MOTOWN 25 (3 DISCS)
Street Date: September 30
Price: $39.95srp
Run time: 7 hrs, 38mins.

  • 3 DVDs in deluxe collector's packaging

  • Extended version of Motown 25 with over 20 additional minutes not seen in the original broadcast; new 5.1 surround sound

  • Over six hours of hours of specially-created featurettes, in-depth interviews and more.

  •  Marvin Gaye Rehearsal Footage

  • Four featurettes including: "Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Making of Motown 25", "What's Going On: Marvin Gaye", "Reach Out I'll Be There: The Temptations and Four Tops", "Come and Get These Memories: Inside Hitsville"

  • 2-Part Motown Performers Roundtable; the "Yesterday, Today, Forever" Production Roundtable

  • Exclusive Interviews with: Suzanne de Passe, Don Mischer, Duke Fakir, Otis Williams, Claudette Robinson, Martha Reeves

MOTOWN 25 (SINGLE)
Street Date: September 30
Price: $19.95srp

  • Extended version of Motown 25 with over 20 additional minutes not seen in the original broadcast; new 5.1 surround sound

  • Over an hour of bonus programming, including "Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Making of Motown 25" and Part 1 of the Motown Performers Roundtable


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