The analysis of the Sound of Detroit was made more complicated in 1970 by the first major successes for Invictus Records, which had been founded in Detroit by Motown’s former staff song-writing and production team Holland-Dozier-Holland in 1968. Two key members from the audio and sound team at Motown were recruited to their H-D-H Sound Studios, Lawrence Horn (Chief mixer) and Bob Dennis (Mastering specialist). Other main staff members (who had not worked at Motown) were Greg Reilly, Barney Perkins, Ed Redd and Jerry Hall. All the label’s recordings were engineered at a converted old movie theatre, called “The Town Theater”, on Grand River Avenue, which was owned by Holland-Dozier-Holland.
Holland-Dozier-Holland’s first major hit out of their Detroit operation was “Give Me Just A Little More Time”, performed by Chairmen Of The Board, released on Invictus Records by Capitol Records in America. The song was the first million-selling single for the label and was certified gold by the RIAA in 1970. The single did extremely well overseas, charting at number three on the UK Official Pop Singles Chart week-ending 22nd August 1970 (1 week). In the USA it featured on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart at number three in 1970 and on the Billboard Best-Selling Soul Singles Chart at number eight. While The Temptations’ “Ball Of Confusion (That’s What World Is Today)” was in the Top Five on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles week-ending 11th July 1970, there was another single produced in Detroit at number five, Freda Payne’s “Band of Gold”. The song eventually peaked at number three week-ending 25th July 1970 (1 week). The song became the first trans-Atlantic hit to go to number one on the UK Official Pop Singles Chart for the newly-established Invictus Records label. The single peaked at number one week-ending 19th September 1970 (6 weeks). The instrumentation on the track was provided by members of The Funk Brothers: Bob Babbitt (bass), Dennis Coffey, Eddie Willis, Ray Monette and Ray Parker Jr. (guitars), Johnny Griffith (keyboards), Uriel Jones (drums), Jack Ashford (percussion), with backing vocals by Scherrie Payne, Telma Hopkins, Joyce Vincent Wilson and Pamela Vincent. Both “Give Me Just A Little More Time” and “Band of Gold”, the first two gold-certified singles for the Invictus label, were recorded at the Holland Sound Studios Inc. by chief engineer Lawrence Horn and mastered by Bob Dennis.
These successes encouraged the label to issue another single from the group’s “Chairmen Of The Board” album. “(You’ve Got Me) Dangling on a String” peaked at number five on the UK Official Pop Singles Chart week-ending 14th November 1970 (1 week) and the group became the only recording act from H-D-H Productions to have two Top Five singles on the UK Official Pop Singles Chart.
Around that time H-D-H Productions had another big hit with “Somebody’s Been Sleeping (In My Bed),” performed by 100 Proof Aged In Soul, released on Hot Wax Records, the company’s second label. The track peaked at number six on the Billboard Best-Selling Soul Singles Chart and the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart at number eight in 1970 and was a gold-certified recording according to the RIAA. The song was co-written by Greg Perry, General Johnson and Angelo Bond, a key song writing team at H-D-H Productions.
Lamont Dozier left Holland–Dozier–Holland Productions in 1973 in order to relaunch his career as a singer. However things were clearly more complicated than that. Disputes had arisen which could not be settled amicably and in 1975, Holland-Dozier-Holland Productions and Invictus Records sued Dozier (and 31 others), accusing him of conspiring to restrain the company’s trade amongst other charges. The case was finally settled in Dozier’s favour by a federal judge in 1982. Thus the second phase of Holland-Dozier-Holland’s music career came to a sad end in a courtroom.